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Middle Tennessee adds 24 players on National Signing Day

Coach Rick Stockstill looks to strengthen weaknesses for a conference title run in 2017.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

After a very up and down 8-5 season, Middle Tennessee has already made a couple of changes in hopes that the 2017 season brings bigger and better things, most notably hiring former Syracuse HC Scott Shafer last month.

National Signing Day was the next step as MTSU locked down it’s fifth straight Top 6 recruiting class in Conference USA according to 247sports.com and focused on areas where the Raiders struggled last year.

Middle Tennessee 2017 Signing Class

Name Position Height Weight Previous School 247 Composite
Name Position Height Weight Previous School 247 Composite
Zack Dobson WR 5'9" 165 Fulton ⭐⭐⭐
Cain McWilliams LB 6'3" 225 Marshall County ⭐⭐⭐
Zeke Cobb WR 6'3" 190 Dalton (GA) ⭐⭐⭐
Cody Smith S 6'2" 187 Martin County (FL) ⭐⭐⭐
Jordan Ferguson TE 6'3" 240 Norcross (GA) ⭐⭐⭐
John Turner QB 6'1" 197 Smyrna ⭐⭐⭐
Reed Blankenship S 6'2" 180 West Limestone (AL) ⭐⭐⭐
Raheme Fuller CB 6'3" 180 Boyd Anderson (FL) ⭐⭐⭐
Maurice Gordon RB 5'11" 200 Navarro College (TX) ⭐⭐⭐
Rosheem Collins DT 6'1" 300 East Central C.C. (MS) ⭐⭐⭐
D.J. Delfendahl OT 6'5" 270 Mount Juliet ⭐⭐⭐
Jimmy Marshall WR 6'4" 215 Tattnall Square Academy (GA) ⭐⭐⭐
Wesley Bush S 6'2" 185 Northwest Mississippi C.C. (MS) ⭐⭐⭐
DQ Thomas S 6'1" 190 Oxford (MS) ⭐⭐⭐
Brad Anderson ATH 5'8" 170 Bob Jones (AL) ⭐⭐⭐
Wayne Parks S 6'1" 210 Sebastian River (FL) ⭐⭐
Chaton Mobley LB 6'2" 230 Fulton ⭐⭐
Tyrese Johnson WR 5'8" 163 Halls ⭐⭐
Amir Luckett OT 6'3" 266 Scottsdale C.C. (AZ) ⭐⭐
Kamau Farrell-Burke CB 6'2" 180 Arizona Western College (AZ) ⭐⭐
Elijah Dobbins OG 6'4" 270 Oakland ⭐⭐
Cole Kirby OT 6'4" 283 Franklin-Simpson (KY) ⭐⭐
O.J. Johnson CB 6'0" 195 Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. (MS) ⭐⭐
Tavares Thomas LB 6'0" 235 Navarro College (TX) ⭐⭐

The biggest story of this recruiting class is Zack Dobson, brother of Zaevion Dobson who was shot and killed shielding his friends from gunfire in December 2015. In honor of that, Zack will wear his brother’s high school number 24 at Middle after current MT WR Ty Lee agreed to let Zack have it.

Dobson, a small but speedy wide receiver out of Knoxville, TN, plays hard and will look to find a starting spot in a receiving corps that struggled with injuries in 2016. Middle also added three other receivers in the class, which is nothing but good news for a receiving corps that was absolutely cursed with injuries the entire 2016 season.

The defensive backfield was another unit that struggled in 2016, giving up on average 251 yards per game (95th in FBS). With the departure of star Jeremy Cutrer, MTSU responded by signing eight defensive backs in the 2017 recruiting class. It will be interesting to see which of these players can step up and make an immediate impact on a defense that is looking to improve and support one of the best offenses in Conference USA.

As a whole, this recruiting class is a solid group that seems underrated by those outside of MTSU. Rick Stockstill and his staff has expressed a lot of enthusiasm about the talent in this class, despite what people outside of the MTSU community think. Likewise, I believe MT fans should be excited moving forward as well because the future seems bright at Middle Tennessee.