BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU head football coach Bobby Petrino announced the signing of 25 student-athletes on National Signing Day on Wednesday, unveiling a class that spanned from seven different states, including 17 of the signees on Wednesday hailing from the states of Alabama and Florida.
Petrino’s first signing class as head coach at WKU also included four signees from the state of Kentucky, including three hailing from the city of Louisville. In addition to the 25 student-athletes that signed on Wednesday, eight student-athletes have already enrolled in classes at WKU as early enrollees, with six junior college student-athletes and a pair of high school student-athletes that began the spring semester in January.
“This has been really fun for us as a staff because we got to get back into the total evaluation process,” Petrino said. “I commend the job that our entire staff did during this recruiting process. It is definitely a team effort and I feel like the quality of young men that we were able to bring to WKU is due in large part to the hard work and dedication of this staff.
“Overall, I am really excited about this class. We added size, athleticism, speed and versatility, but more importantly we added student-athletes that I believe will come in and make a difference in this program from the very beginning. We don’t go out placing an emphasis on rankings or stars, but we go out trying to find the right guys that will fit our system, and I believe that we were able to do that.”
Petrino and his staff placed an emphasis on numerous positions during the entire recruiting process, with one in particular being the wide receiver position. WKU signed five wide receivers on Wednesday, including three from the state of Kentucky.
“We wanted to go out and find wide receivers that really fit our offensive scheme and allow us to stretch the field and can make things happen after the catch,” Petrino said. “I feel like we went out and got some really good speed, some great playmakers and some guys that have great strides and length. The combination of this group is really exciting to me.”
The 2013 WKU signing class also features quite the mixture of talent on both sides of the line, with nine of the 25 signees being either offensive or defensive linemen. With five senior defensive linemen finishing their careers at WKU in 2012, Petrino and his staff set out to reload along the defensive front, signing four defensive linemen in the 2013 class to go along with two early enrollees.
“Coming in, we knew we had to do a good job of replenishing the defensive front,” Petrino said. “The two early signees really helped us with size inside. From that point we began to focus in on speed off the edge and some guys that are really tall and long off the edge and can be guys that will really develop. I think we signed some guys with great growth potential along the defensive front.”
Petrino, known for his ability to develop quarterbacks, signed one quarterback in the 2013 class, adding O’Fallon, Ill., quarterback Todd Porter, who holds numerous career and single-season records at O’Fallon High School. Porter joins quarterback DaMarcus Smith as two new quarterbacks on the Hilltopper roster, after Smith was ruled eligible for the 2013 season after sitting out the 2012 campaign.
“We set out to get a pair of quarterbacks, and by having DaMarcus Smith eligible now is a big plus because he will be part of the competition this spring,” Petrino said. “We then went out and found Todd Porter, who we believe is the style of quarterback we want and a guy that is a true pocket passer with the ability to run and make yards with his legs.”
WKU also added three linebackers and five defensive backs, along with one tight end. The Hilltoppers return the majority of their depth at the tight end and running back positions in 2013, with all four running backs that saw action in 2012 set to return for the 2013 season.
The Hilltoppers will open the 2013 season against Kentucky at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. WKU football season tickets are now on sale for the 2013 campaign, as fans can visit www.WKUSports.com or call 1-800-5 BIG RED, or 745-5222 locally, to order their 2013 season tickets.
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