BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU welcomed 15 new members to the Hilltopper Football program
on Wednesday during the NCAA’s new early signing period as future Hilltoppers signed
their national letters of intent.
“It was an early Christmas for the Hilltoppers,” said head coach Mike Sanford, a
noted fan of the new, earlier signing period. “We got some great clarity that we
didn’t usually have in years past at this time of the year. We’re very excited about
this group of players. The thing I’m most excited about is that we addressed some
Sanford publicly announced 13 signees throughout the day and received two other
NLIs, but due to those signees’ plans to celebrate the occasion with a ceremony, the
program is respecting their decision to announce at a later date.
“I think that this class is going to be a historic class for Western Kentucky, to
say the least,” Sanford added. “The recruiting services are what they are, but I do
think with the 15 players we signed today, this is probably one of the deepest
classes in terms of upper-echelon talent that this program has had and we’ll
continue to recruit the best.”
One of those recruiting services, 247Sports, currently has 11 of the 15 signed
Hilltoppers rated as three-star prospects marking the first time in program history
that WKU has inked double-digit three-star prospects in a single class. Including
last year’s group of nine three-stars, which Sanford and company had just over a
month to assemble, the 20 three-star signees would be just nine fewer than the
previous six classes combined with room to add more in the coming weeks.
The signing period runs through Friday, Dec. 22, and then opens up again during the
traditional signing block in February – a date which the Hilltopper coaching staff
will continue to work feverishly on to fill out what is currently rated as
Conference USA’s top signing class.
“The part of it that’s unique is we still have commitments who …will end up
signing Feb. 7 who have remained committed even though this Dec. 20 period is a bit
of a put-up-or-shut-up type of period,” Sanford said. “There are certain players who
just got done with their playoffs and they’re not quite ready to sign the dotted
line. So we’re going to continue to foster relationships with players, and we do
have several committed players at critical positions that we’re going to go down to
Feb. 7 and keep battling, fighting, scratching and clawing to make sure we get
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