North Texas Daily

Football team adds 19 recruits at National Signing Day

Football team adds 19 recruits at National Signing Day

Football team adds 19 recruits at National Signing Day
February 06
00:30 2014

Ehsan Azad // Staff Writer

When the Mean Green football team celebrated its Heart of Dallas bowl victory Jan. 1 on the Cotton Bowl stadium field, it marked the last time for some players to play on an organized team.

Since then, the team has heavily recruited to fill in the holes left by the graduating seniors.

The Mean Green officially unveiled the 2014 recruiting class Wednesday night at Apogee Stadium.

“We’ve been working like crazy to continue to add to the success we built here at North Texas and we accomplished that with the class we signed here today,” head coach Dan McCarney said.

The recruiting class has 19 official athletes, but McCarney counts 23 because of four players already on the team he felt deserved a scholarship. The players are freshman offensive lineman Kaydon Kirby, freshman punter Blake Macek, sophomore defensive back Kenny Buyers and senior wide receiver Carl “Skip” Caldwell.

The recruiting class has players from all over the state, nine from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and three players from Oklahoma. Out of the class, the Mean Green has 10 on offense, eight on defense and one kicker.

With senior linebackers Zach Orr and Will Wright leaving a void on defense, the team signed four linebackers. Only four starters from last season’s defense will return, so the team expects the recruiting class to contribute early.

“There are no preconceived depth charts,” McCarney said. “We don’t talk about redshirt anyone, we are going to give everyone an opportunity when they get here.”

McCarney said he is looking forward particularly to the speed of the defensive players. He said it helps those players do multiple things in the defensive scheme.

“You got to be able to run if you are going to play defense for North Texas,” McCarney said.  “You have to have some cats that can run and I think we addressed that with this recruiting class.”

The four wide receivers signed look to continue the success of all-conference senior Brelan Chancellor. Incoming freshman Fonzale Davis stood out to McCarney.

“Fonzale was a receiver that we felt one of the best kids that we have seen in our camp and in the state,” McCarney said. “We are fortunate to sign him.”

Some of the players recruited out of junior colleges were in attendance and eager to get to work. Sophomore Josh Greer, a quarterback recruit from Navarro Junior College, is one of the four quarterbacks competing for the starting job.

“Being a JUCO [junior college] guy I only have a limited time to play, so the main thing was going to a place where I have a chance to play immediately,” Greer said.

Greer knew with senior Derek Thompson about to graduate, this would be a perfect time to transfer to UNT.  He believes his strengths match the Mean Green offense.

“I am a very intelligent quarterback, I can get guys in position on the field, I can read defenses and I am a student of the game,” Greer said. “When I am on the field, it’s my offense and I am in control.”

Connor Means, another quarterback from Deer Park High school, said there was no pressure to replicate the success of last season’s team.

“People make it a bigger deal than it really needs to be,” Means said. “It’s just a bigger level, like a bigger level backyard football.”

The team will now prepare for spring training, which will start March 2 and conclude with the spring game held in late April.

McCarney said the recruiting class’ impact usually isn’t felt initially, but it will be noticed sooner rather than later with this group.

“I think there are bigger and better things down the road,” McCarney said.

Feature photo: Head football coach Dan McCarney speaks at the press conference at Apogee Stadium Wednesday afternoon. McCarney announced that 19 players have signed national letters if intent to play for the Mean Green Beginning in 2014. Photo by James Coreas / Staff Photographer 

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