Liberty brought in one of their largest recruiting classes in recent memory on Wednesday with 21 signees. A breakdown of the class:
As mentioned, 21 is a very large class for Liberty. In Turner Gill’s first class with the Flames a year ago he pulled in 12 high school signees. Danny Rocco’s final class in 2011 was just 10. So, why such a large class? There’s many reasons, but the primary reason is Turner Gill and company believe this class will be the foundation for Liberty’s move to the FBS, whenever that time comes.
With that in mind, it is easy to see why Liberty focused on the Offensive and Defensive Lines so much, with 10 of the 21 signees being lineman. These are some big boys with an average size of 6’3″ 275 pounds. These lineman will be the anchor of Liberty football for the next 4-5 years. The jewels of this group seem to be Kris Wilson and Spencer Cook.
The next focus of the staff was the secondary with 4 signing on Wednesday. These 4 signees hail from Texas, Florida, and Virginia. What comes to mind with those states, particularly the first 2? Speed. Expect big things out of this group in the years to come. Tyrin Holloway’s highlight video from his senior season is impressive.
Backs & Receivers
There were 4 total running backs and wide receivers included in the 2013 haul, and all 4 are listed as 2 stars by Rivals. The running backs, Macon and Smith, seem to compliment one another as Smith is 5’6″ 175 pounds compared to Macon’s 5’10” 210 pound frame. The same goes for the receivers. Justin Fritts is 6’2″ 195 pounds and goes along with the several tall receivers the Flames have on their roster. Parker is smaller, but relies on his speed at 5’10” 175 pounds.
John Nick Setterlind and Nick Newman are both listed as Athletes, but expect to see both on the defensive side of the ball. Setterlind will likely end up at linebacker. The 6’4″ 210 pound Newman was reportedly recruited as a Safety. With that size? Wow. Newman played both defensive end and linebacker in high school.
The Flames picked up just 1 quarterback in this class, but he looks to be a stud. Stephon Masha comes to Liberty from Austell, Georgia. The dual-threat quarterback compares his game to Robert Griffin III. I think all of Flames Nation would be thrilled if he came close to that level of production in college.
In summary, the Flames brought in seven 2 stars, and concentrated in the Sun Belt states of Texas (6 signees), Florida (4), and Georgia (2). Of course Liberty also hit Virginia (6) and neighboring North Carolina (3) as well. Expect to continue to see this trend in the coming years as Turner Gill prepares to bring Liberty football to the FBS level. The 2013 class will be a good foundation for this move.
In case you missed it, here’s our Signing Day post which details each signee.