Blue Raiders prepared for big Signing Day


Story By Jim Bratton // Staff Writer   

Photo provided by MT Athletics

Signing day is finally upon us, and it’s one of the biggest days of the year for college football programs. On Wednesday, Feb. 3, every school has a chance to add a lot of talent to their football programs.

Coming off of an appearance in the Popeye’s Bahamas Bowl on Christmas Eve, Middle Tennessee have added an impressive amount of talent to their football team. The Blue Raiders currently have 22 players who have either already signed their National Letter of Intent or who plan to sign Wednesday. These players include six junior college transfers and 16 high school seniors.

Here’s a list of the Junior College transfers making the move to Middle Tennessee this year:

  • ILB Detric Bing-Dukes-Iowa Western Community College-Council Bluffs, IA
  • WR Ricky Blair-Pasadena City College-Pasadena, CA
  • WR Jermel Walker-Riverside Community College-Riverside, CA
  • ILB Kory Lamberts-Diablo Valley College-Pleasant Hill, CA
  • CB Charvarious Ward-Hinds Community College-Raymond, MS
  • OG Angelo Owens-Dodge City Community College-Dodge City, KS

As you can tell from this list, Head Coach Rick Stockstill and his staff were able to bring over some guys from the football hotbed of California. The weapons coming in on offense should provide quarterback Brent Stockstill with even more weapons to go along with wide receiver Richie James. The two inside linebackers will provide depth on defense, which the Blue Raiders will need, with multiple graduates on the defensive side of the ball.

In addition to the junior college transfers, the Blue Raiders have put together a list of 16 “hard commits”, five of whom hail from the state of Tennessee:

  • DT Rakavian Poydras-Clarksville High School-Clarksville, TN
  • WR Ronald Patterson-Raines High School in Jacksonville, Florida
  • WR Quandarius Weaver-Central High School in Phenix City, Alabama
  • TE Chris Myers-LaVergne High School in LaVergne, Tennessee
  • OT Treyton Peters -Harriman High School in Harriman, Tennessee
  • WR Reginald Henderson-Clewiston High School in Clewiston, Florida
  • WR C.J. Windham-McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia
  • QB Kyle Banks- North Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia
  • OLB Caleb Felton-Muscle Shoals High School in Muscle Shoals, Alabama
  • DE Jordan Gonzalez-Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  • CB Kylan Stribling-Independence High School in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee
  • DT Ty Nix-Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
  • OLB William Craig-Buford High School in Buford, Georgia
  • TE Nick Bryant-Pasco High School in Dade City, Florida
  • RB Will Mitchell-The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida
  • CB Justin Brown-Parker High School in Birmingham, Alabama

This is a pretty solid high school recruiting class for the Blue Raiders. It features 11 3-star recruits, including two players from the Middle Tennessee area: cornerback Kylan Stribling from Tennessee Class 5A state champion Independence, and Oakland defensive tackle Ty Nix, who is the son of MTSU defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix. Ty will become the second player on MTSU’s roster with a father on the coaching staff, joining quarterback Brent Stockstill.

Meanwhile, outside of MTSU, the state of Tennessee has also produced some high-profile recruits in this 2016 class. Cornerback JoeJuan Williams from Hendersonville has committed to Vanderbilt. The University of Tennessee has added two commits from the mid-state area, outside linebacker Daniel Bituli from Nashville Christian School and offensive tackle Ryan Johnson from Brentwood Academy. An interesting player that stands out to me is WR Dillon Mitchell from White Station High School in Memphis, who has committed to the University of Oregon. This just goes to show that the state of Tennessee is prime territory for recruiting, and teams from around the country are starting to take notice.

Signing Day begins in the morning on Wednesday, and some of the nation’s top recruits, including No. 1 overall recruit Rashan Gary, will choose their school. Middle Tennessee will be having its annual Signing Day Celebration at 6:30 p.m. The event is free for BRAA members, and $10 for non-members.

For more sports features, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Sport.

To contact Sports Editor Connor Ulrey, email sports@mtsusidelines.com.

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