Just one year after reeling in a special class to Houston, Cougar fans wanted to know what Major Applewhite could do in his debut. While he didn’t have any immediate needs, his first recruiting class seemed thin. There were plenty of commits and decommits in the last few days, but Applewhite managed to bring in the 68th best class in the country, and fourth best in the AAC.
Applewhite brought in 18 total recruits. Punter Dane Roy is considered part of this class, moving the total to 19, but he was already on campus and played in the 2016 season. Let’s take a look at the new Cougars coming to campus (rankings are according to 247Sports).
2017 Houston Recruiting Class
|Amaud Willis-Dalton||OLB||6-0||195||Cy Ranch||⭐⭐⭐|
|Jeremy Singleton||WR||6-0||170||Brother Martin||⭐⭐⭐|
|Bryson Smith||DT-QB||6-0||170||John Tyler||⭐⭐⭐|
|Grant Stuard||S||6-0||20||Oak Ridge||⭐⭐|
|Dalton Witherspoon||K||5-9||160||Northeastern Oklahoma A&M||⭐⭐|
|Bryan Jones||DE||6-5||240||Madison Prep Academy||⭐⭐⭐|
|David Anenih||DE||6-3||220||Mansfield Timberview||⭐⭐⭐|
There were a few losses heading into National Signing Day, but Applewhite replaced them with three other recruits. Tre’Von Bradley (three star receiver), David Anenih (three star defensive end), and Payton Turner (unranked defensive end) all committed to the Cougars on signing day to round out the class.
The big signing for the Cougars was three star defensive end Bryan Jones, but the class overall was a solid group. Houston football’s Twitter page made a unique video for each recruit once they received their Letter of Intent, which was a nice touch to cap off the experience.
With the last two classes that former head coach Tom Herman brought in, it may be difficult for these recruits to see the field right away. That being said, the four defensive ends should get some looks this year, and tight end Parker Eichenberger could find his way onto the field with little experience returning at that position.
Overall, Houston’s fans should be pleased with the class Applewhite brought in. He lost some players to Herman at Texas, but went out and found players that he wanted on campus and was able to bring them into the fold. Bringing his own style to recruiting was a good way to start his tenure as head coach. They fell two spots in the conference, but that’s only because Cincinnati and UCF were able to snag some highly-ranked recruits to build up their classes. This Houston class added depth to positions of need, and also brought plenty of excitement leading into the 2017 season.