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Charlotte 49ers: 2022 Early Signing Day Takeaways

Coach Poggi and the Niners hit the early signing period with 27 new additions

NCAA Football: Maryland at Charlotte Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte finished the early signing period with 27 signees, all which Coach described as “difference makers”. Coach Poggi has been on a mission to change the trajectory of Niner football by being a “transformational coach”. Charlotte’s goal is to help players get to where they want to go, not the other way around.

Biggest Challenges

Building a sustainable culture with players who fit the scheme and personality of a certain program is not an easy feat. Coach Poggi accepted this job fully aware of the obstacles and uphill battles that will come. During today’s press conference, Coach Poggi defined culture as “a series of authentic relationships with a common goal”.

Coach highlighted that the biggest challenges in the early signing period were moving from the Conference-USA to the American Athletic Conference, and convincing recruits and transfers to buy in, despite Charlotte’s lackluster past.

To combat these problems, Coach Poggi hit areas that were familiar to him...hard. 12 out of Charlotte’s 27 early period signees are from Baltimore and/or attended Saint Frances Academy. Coach emphasized how “time is the enemy of all deals”. The short term goal is to bring in individuals who can create immediate impact and change the current culture in Charlotte.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Charlotte Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

QB + RB Room

Coach Poggi stated that he was “very excited” about the addition of QB Carson Black and how he is a “winner” on and off the field. Carson will become Charlotte’s third scholarship quarterback, an area where Coach highlighted still needs work.

During today’s presser, Coach Poggi also described the running back recruits and transfers that he’ll be targeting for the program. First, Coach is looking for a “big back”. Someone who can serve as a workhorse in a run heavy offense, while also having the ability to effectively pass block in play action situations. Secondly, Coach prefers to have a “home run hitter” who can consistently catch passes out of the backfield and turn a defense upside down.

Here’s Coach Poggi describing Charlotte’s game plan going forward:

“We’re going to run gap schemes, and power will be the basis of our run game. When we do that, they will have to put the seventh and eighth man in the box. Then, we’re going to throw it over their heads, many times.”

Coach Poggi told the media to use Michigan’s most recent win against The Ohio State University as a reference point.

Portal Perception

Charlotte’s big head coaching hire comes with an equal level of expectations. Coach reiterated how Charlotte is not in a position to take time “drafting and developing” players. Instead, the Niners’ plan is to cultivate instant results through the transfer portal, eventually flipping that around to focus on high school recruits as time goes on.

An important factor in shifting the current state of Charlotte football is focusing on local talent. Coach Poggi stated how the program will be “putting a ring fence around Charlotte”, with every coach being responsible for certain local areas.

Coach Poggi was presented with a document containing a list of Power-5 players that left Charlotte in the past few years…it was four pages long. The Niners will make it a point to find difference makers, as they keep their eyes particularly in the Charlotte area.