Recruiting is never an exact science, but it is important for coaches to hit on a good percentage of their signees in order to have a successful program. Liberty has certainly seen plenty of success over the past several years under head coach Ritchie McKay.
How have each of his freshmen recruiting classes finished? How do they rank among the other classes? We rank these classes:
When first arriving on campus and even during their first year or two, it looked like this would be a very good class. Now, none of the four will finish their career at Liberty as both Jonathan Jackson and Isiah Warfield have entered the transfer portal.
Drake Dobbs had the opportunity to be the team’s starting point guard, but that never materialized. Micaiah Abii was a starter and looked like he could be a program changer his first few games. Jonathan Jackson was never able to break into the rotation, and Isiah Warfield ended up being the biggest contributor of this group. Warfield didn’t see much playing time his first season, but he became a valuable member off the bench the last two seasons before entering the portal.
Only one of these four made a meaningful impact on the team, but it was certainly a big one. Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz is one of the best point guards to ever play at Liberty, being a starter for all four years of his career, being a part of some of the best teams in school history, and helping lead the team to two straight conference championships.
Brock Gardner had a lot of potential and a strong first year before he opted to transfer. Xzavier Barmore and Josiah Talbert never really made a big impact.
Elijah Cuffee and Keegan McDowell were both big parts of Liberty’s team for their four plus years in the program while Brendan Newton never quite reached his potential. Still, hitting on two out of three that were multi-year contributors is not a bad hit rate for this class.
Similar to the 2017 class, the 2019 group hit on two out of three. Marten Maide didn’t make an impact on the court, but Shiloh Robinson and Kyle Rode have both been big contributors and multi-year starters as they enter their fifth season at Liberty.
Any class that has Darius McGhee on it is going to be ranked high. Add in Blake Preston, a multi-year starter before entering the portal this season, and it’s just icing on the cake even though Josh Price was unable to carve a role for himself.
This class is made up of three of the greatest players to ever play at Liberty. Caleb Homesley signed with the Flames prior to Coach McKay being named head coach and Myo Baxter-Bell entered the program as a gray-shirt his first year before becoming a big part of the team. Lovell Cabbil was the first commit after Coach McKay returned to Liberty. Hansel Atencia was the only miss in this class.
The most recent classes are still to be determined:
DJ Moore transferred after only one year, and Bryson Spell has yet to make a contribution on the floor. Joseph Venzant has been a starter since he arrived on campus, and Brody Peebles has been a part of the rotation his first two years. Let’s see how this class finishes up their time on the Mountain.
This class has just one year under its belt, but it certainly looks like it may end up being one of the best. Zach Cleveland and Colin Porter look to be long-term contributors while Southerland still has a chance to break into the rotation as he comes off his redshirt.
Where will this year’s incoming class of freshmen rank?