BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – With 13 signees already inked from December’s first-ever Early
Signing Period, WKU Football added to its already record-setting class as 10 future
Hilltoppers signed their national letters of intent on Wednesday.
“It was a great day today,” Sanford said. “The ink’s drying on what I believe to be
a historic signing class and a historic day for Western Kentucky Football. I think
the star ratings are what they are and certain people put a lot of emphasis, a lot
of value on that. I don’t know I put much emphasis on that whatsoever, but I do know
we signed a historic class for this university.”
Representing nine states in all, from Texas to Florida, head coach Mike Sanford’s
second signing class on The Hill is, by all measurements of the national recruiting
services, the best collection of talent in program history. The 23 future
Hilltoppers included a newly-minted four-star recruit in quarterback Kevaris Thomas,
the first-ever four-star prospect to sign to WKU out of high school, and 17
three-star rated players by 247Sports.com.
See full list here.
WKU signed eight three-star prospects in the class of 2017, Sanford’s first on The
Hill with just two months to recruit for a total of 26 three-star or better signees
in two classes. In the previous five classes combined since 2012, the Hilltoppers
signed a total of 25 three-stars from the high school ranks.
The 2018 signing class is also the highest ranked signing class in program history
according the 247Sports’ national team rankings.
On Wednesday, receiver Kawan Williams (Savannah, Ga.) was the first NLI in the
building, followed by linebacker Tre Leslie (Tucker, Ga.), defensive lineman
Deporess Schletty (Alpharetta, Ga.), running back Garland LaFrance (New Orleans,
La.), receiver Anthony Spurlock (New Orleans, La.), offensive lineman Mason Brooks
(Cedar Park, Texas), defensive back B.J. Crim (Ocala, Fla.), and finally tight end
Jay Gibson (Chattanooga, Tenn.).
Louisville, Ky., native Shannon Bishop’s signature with the Hilltoppers as well as
defensive lineman Nazir Sy (Norcross, Ga.) became public after the pair originally
signed in December.
“Make no mistake about it, the success this program has experienced and the spoils
we’ve been able to enjoy are a result of that [recruiting] success,” Sanford said,
speaking of his first tour of duty with the Hilltoppers in 2010. “It was built
through the very hard work, the labor, the elbow grease that was put in through
recruiting and the building of the roster. That to me is where we were at this past
season. We had to get back to the drawing board in terms of just continuing to
enhance this roster and make this roster better and better every single year. I
think that we were able to achieve that without question today and with the December
20 signing period.”
By position, the Hilltoppers secured the signatures of four wide receivers, two
running backs, one tight end, one quarterback, and two offensive lineman on offense.
Defensively, WKU added four defensive linemen, three linebackers, and six defensive