The NCAA, earlier this spring, approved a new signing period for college football in December. That period begins two weeks from today and runs Dec. 20-22.
That’s good news for a program like Western Kentucky with recent championship pedigree and current coaching stability – and because first-year coach Mike Sanford and staff have put together Conference USA’s top-ranked class according to both Rivals and 247sports.
Many of the prospects in that class now have the option to officially sign with WKU in two weeks.
The 22 players – all high school seniors – who have already committed to Western are considered the No. 1 class among CUSA teams, just ahead of Texas San Antonio and Louisiana Tech. The group includes nine three-star recruits.
Two of WKU’s pledges hail from the Commonwealth in three-star athlete Terez Traynor – who played sparingly in 2017 after a preseason injury – from Doss High School and two-star cornerback Shannon Bishop from Pleasure Ridge Park High School. Traynor is also considered the highest-ranked recruit, according to 247, among the 22.
Ten future Hilltoppers come from Georgia including three-star defensive tackles Lichon Terrell and Nazir Sy, three-star defensive end Roderick Forts and three-star linebacker Trey Urquhart. Alpharetta High School teammates Spencer Gaddis, a wide receiver, and Deporess Schletty, a defensive tackle, are also considered three-star prospects.
Kawan Williams, from Beach High School in Savannah, Ga., is a three-star athlete who played all over the field his senior season.
Western has five commits from Florida highlighted by offensive tackle Troy Ingle, safeties Arthur Brathwaite and Malik Occiur and wide receiver Russell Brown. Two future Hilltoppers are from Alabama and one each are from South Carolina, Tennessee and Illinois.
Football Bowl Subdivision programs are permitted to sign 25 players on an annual basis. Traditionally the majority of those 25 have signed the first Wednesday of February outside a few junior college transfers or early high school graduates.
This year a large chunk of that 25 will sign in December and it's expected WKU will officially begin its starting class in that fashion as well.
— Follow WBKO sportswriter Chad Bishop on Twitter @MrChadBishop