In putting together a class that includes four of the top 50 players in the state of Tennessee, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders have to feel very confident heading into National Signing Day. They are sitting on the #3 recruiting class in Conference USA and the #84 recruiting class in the nation.
Outside of the work done on several important in-state recruits line Rakavian Poydras, the Blue Raiders look to gain several weapons that Tony Franklin can use on the offensive side of the ball. It has been clear during the recruiting process that several commits were swayed by a need to replace Ed Batties at wide receiver.
The Blue Raiders are sitting on commitments from six different wide receivers. JUCOs Ricky Blair and Jermel Walker should be able to come in immediately and compete for the opening precipitated from the graduation of Ed Batties. Both are coming from California Junior Colleges.
Recent commit Ronald Patterson is one of the highest rated MTSU commits. The Jacksonville, Florida native is one of five recruits coming from the state of Florida. Quandarius Weaver (Phenix City, AL), Reginald Henderson (Clewiston, FL), and C.J. Windham (Powder Springs, GA) are all three star rated and round out a very talented group.
At tight end, the Blue Raiders have a couple of very talented players committed. Local product Chris Myers (LaVergne, TN) is an important pickup as the #32 player in the state of Tennessee. Fellow tight end Nick Bryant (Dade City, FL) gives MTSU a great combo at the position moving forward.
JUCO offensive guard Angelo Owens of Dodge City C.C. is a ready to play lineman that will at least compete for playing time among a group of experienced linemen. At worst, he will be a solid backup in the trenches. East Tennessee native Treyton Peters (Harriman, TN) is an intriguing prospect at tackle with great size of 6-7, 290 pounds and a bright future. The #35 player in the state of Tennessee has offers from Memphis and Western Kentucky as well.
One of the earliest commits to MTSU is quarterback Kyle Banks (Dallas, GA). The three-star pro-style quarterback also holds offers from Appalachian State, Georgia State, and Southern Miss, but is a solid commit.
Joining Banks in the offensive backfield is all-purpose back Will Mitchell (Jacksonville, FL). The two-star running back will fit in well as a different type of back than many MTSU has on the roster.
Many of the crown jewels of the recruiting class are on the defensive side of the ball. Inside linebacker Detric Bing-Dukes of Iowa Western C.C. will be in the mix to replace defensive star T.T. Barber. It would be a surprise if Bing-Dukes didn't see playing time this fall.
The Blue Raiders also hold the commitments of linebackers Kory Lamberts of Diablo Valley College, Caleb Felton (Muscle Shoals, AL), and William Craig (Buford, GA). Felton is a three-star outside linebacker that is committed to MTSU over offers from two FCS programs.
In the defensive backfield, the Blue Raiders are sitting on commitments from Charvarius Ward from Hinds C.C., Kylan Stribling (Thompson's Station, TN), and Justin Brown (Birmingham, AL). Ward is a big JUCO cornerback that MTSU earned the services of over East Carolina and Southern Miss.
In the defensive trenches is where MTSU may have their best recruit of the 2016 class. Defensive tackle Rakavian Poydras (Clarksville, TN) is a 6-2, 275 pound beast on the inside. He was a longtime Memphis commit that flipped in late October to the Blue Raiders. He also holds an offer from Arkansas State.
Jordan Gonzalez (Palm Beach Gardens, FL) and Ty Nix (Murfreesboro, TN) round out a talented group of defensive line commitments. Nix in particular is a huge commitment in helping to build a pipeline from talent heavy Murfreesboro to MTSU.
Though this recruiting class looks to be done if it stays with these 22 players, there could be some wild changes tomorrow morning as National Signing Day tends to bring lots of surprises.