It was a particularly impressive class signed on Wednesday for Georgia Southern University head coach Chad Lunsford, who inked 21 players in his first-ever National Signing Day event.
According to 247 Sports (at the time of this writing), the Eagles currently sit atop the Sun Belt as the best signing class in the conference. Before 247 decides to adjust their grades and make me look like a fool as is yearly tradition, let’s take a look at the class and analyze what all went into the signing of certain positions.
2018 Georgia Southern Signing Class
|Quin Williams||LB||3 Star||6'2||240|
|Brandon Cross||CB||3 Star||5'10||180|
|Justin Birdsong||CB||3 Star||5'11||175|
|Andrew Cunningham||RB||3 Star||6'0||215|
|Christian Ford||WR||3 Star||5'10||170|
|Davarius Bargnare||WR||3 Star||5'11||165|
|Parker Devine||DE||3 Star||6'4||250|
|Elijah Campbell||DT||3 Star||6'2||244|
|Aaron Dowdell||G||3 Star||6'4||310|
|Jontavius Ferguson||LB||3 Star||6'1||210|
|Jaden Moreland||WR||2 Star||5'10||168|
|C.J. Wright||DT||2 Star||6'2||285|
|Najee Thompson||ATH||2 Star||5'10||182|
|Justin Tomlin||QB||2 Star||6'0||170|
|Tre Adams||QB||2 Star||6'1||168|
|Khalil Crowder||T||2 Star||6'2||280|
|Marcus Rogers||WR||2 Star||6'2||189|
|Zyon McGee||ATH||2 Star||6'2||205|
|Javon Reid||S||2 Star||6'0||170|
|Deontae Grant||CB||2 Star||5'11||193|
|Jawaski Webb**||G||2 Star||6'2||280|
Two things stick out to me immediately: The number of defensive linemen and wide receivers signed by Lunsford and the rest of the staff.
Defensive line has been a major problem over the past two years under former coach Tyson Summers, and Lunsford and obviously seeked to right that wrong immediately. Too few times over the last two season has the line not gotten to the quarterback and made the secondary work even harder as a result.
Hopefully with two defensive tackles and a defensive end added on to what was already a youthful position group, the line can get the pressure it has been lacking when it went a combined 7-17 since the 2016 season began.
From an offensive perspective, signing four wide receivers and two athletes that may also see time at the position is a curious choice. Georgia Southern quarterback Shai Werts was forced to throw more than the team was comfortable last year, but that was more due to the need for quick strike points because of the faults of the offensive line.
It will be interesting to see whether new offensive coordinator Bob Debesse decides to air the ball out a little more because they want to, and not because they absolutely have to.
- I mentioned the defensive line, but the defense as a whole gets some assistance here, as the team secures nine players from that side of the ball including three cornerbacks and a safety. Lunsford had obviously seen last year’s secondary group range between passible and downright awful, so hopefully those four players brought in will be of some help.
- Two quarterbacks in Justin Tomlin and Tre Adams look interesting on first glance as well, but when you consider that LaBaron Anthony and Kado Brown will graduate after the 2018 season, it makes a little more sense as to bolster that position.
We all knew coming in that Lunsford was an ace recruiter, and he showed it in his first-ever National Signing Day class. Now it’s time to show that these players can come in and be contributors for a team desperately in need of star-level talent.