For the first time ever, there is a December signing period for football prospects, and Liberty cashed in with a total of 19 signees on Wednesday. This class could continue to grow to around 30 total prospects, JUCO and high school combined, over the next couple of days and as we move towards the February signing period. Here are a few notes/thoughts on the class:

  1. 19 of the 22 verbal commitments Liberty has signed on the first day they had the opportunity to do so. Those that didn’t (Dacoda Weaver, Marcellous Harris, and Javon Scruggs) could still sign prior to the end of the early signing period which is Friday, December 22nd or could wait until the February signing period.
  2. The signees came from 8 different states – Georgia (3), Florida (3), Tennessee (2), Alabama (3), California (5), Virginia (1), Maryland (1), and Missouri (1). The coaching staff sure did put some time in on the road, further evidence to the national brand Liberty University has and is still building. The FBS label will only help.
  3. Of the prospects who signed Wednesday, five were rated as 3 star prospects and seven are 2 star prospects. With the FBS move, the coaching staff was clearly able to attract a higher caliber athlete. Just for comparison’s sake, the previous 3 classes had a combined total of six 3 stars and six 2 stars.
  4. The Flames signed 4 wide receivers, 4 offensive linemen, 5 defensive linemen, 3 defensive backs, 1 running back, 1 linebacker, and 1 tight end.
  5. Austin Lewis is one signee the coaching staff has raved about, calling him the biggest commit in school history. The big defensive end should be able to play immediately at a position in dire need of some depth. Lewis chose Liberty over 12 total offers, including 6 from FBS schools.
  6. Henry Chibueze is another mammoth signee for the Flames. This 3-star offensive guard will compete for playing time immediately, and he will bring a level of physicality to the team that will be desperately needed at the FBS level.
  7. News trickled out during the day Wednesday that Appomattox product JaVon Scruggs was waiting until February to sign. Dacoda Weaver picked up a last minute offer from FAU, and perhaps he is mulling that offer while also keeping the option that he could receive others. Marcellous Harris, a 2 star prospect, also did not sign with Liberty after committing to the Flames in June. It does give some cause for concern that these 3 didn’t sign on the first day they were able to, but hopefully they will stay true to their commitment. Scruggs will be taking his official visit in January, so it does make sense for him to wait until the February signing period, after his official visit. Both Harris and Weaver took their official visits in December.
  8. Liberty received NLIs from 5 JUCO prospects, trhee of which will be mid-year enrollees. These 5 (BeJour Wilson, Cheapell Jones-Morris, Kevin Shaa, Vincent Elefante, and Devin Pearson) will be expected to contribute immediately and help add depth to a Liberty squad moving from FCS to FBS. Elefante, Pearson, and Shaa will be enrolling for the spring semester. In addition to the JUCO early enrollees, defensive back Hunter Goetz will also be enrolling early and will be on campus for the spring semester.
  9. Some bad news broke late in the afternoon as Liberty’s top quarterback prospect, Caleb Lynum, announced his commitment and signed with FIU. His final 4 was between FIU, Indiana, Ball State, and Liberty.
  10. With Lynum off the board, Liberty will turn its attention to other QBs. Brandon Robinson, Swift Lyle, Riley Smith, and Tyshun Sarratt are all quarterbacks the Flames have offered that are still available. This will be a key position to watch between now and February.
  11. Running back Uriah West, who de-committed from Liberty after his official visit earlier this month, is still available. He has picked up an offer from Marshall. With Henderson the only running back to sign Wednesday, the Flames will clearly be looking to add at least one more.
  12. With the 19 signees, it leaves 11 spots still open to be filled if the Liberty coaching staff can reel in that many prospects. Take away the 3 current commits, which will all hopefully sign, and there are only 8 spots remaining. Of those 8, we can expect at least two to go to a quarterback and running back. With the remaining 6 spots, defensive back will certainly be a priority. The others may just go to the best prospect available.