Head Football Coach Mike Sanford and his WKU coaching staff welcomed 23 new members to the Hilltopper family on Wednesday during National Signing Day, the unofficial holiday of college football recruiting across America.
Sanford, who was announced as WKU’s 20th head coach on Dec. 14, quickly but diligently built the class of 2017, or “#ThePursuit17” as the program calls it.
“The Pursuit was definitely aptly named for the last 28 days since our staff reported on Jan. 3,” Sanford said. “It’s something that we wanted to set a tone for every aspect of our program. We wanted to pursue the best players that fit Western Kentucky, and most importantly, fit our vision for this program going forward. The one thing we knew when we got here was we were going to get the best 23 to 25 players to populate this recruiting class that would fit what we were looking for going forward.”
The top goal on Sanford’s board for WKU is to graduate every player on the roster. In keeping with that mantra, the combined cumulative GPA of all 23 signees is a 3.04, and 16 of the 23 signees also served as captains on the previous teams.
It was also important for Sanford and company to squeeze a year of relationship-building into less than a month, something the head coach thought the Hilltoppers excelled at to build this signing class.
“I think we effectively built those relationships, and more important is the fact that those players bought into the vision and bought into everything this university and this program have to offer,” Sanford said. “We feel like we got the 23 best players to fit this roster and to buy into the vision we have as a new coaching staff.”
By position, WKU signed 12 offensive players, 10 defensive players and one specialist long snapper. On offense, the Hilltoppers added four offensive linemen, three tight ends, two running backs, two wide receivers and a quarterback. Defensively, WKU added four defensive backs, four defensive linemen and three linebackers.
A complete list of signees with biographical information is attached.
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Associate Athletic Director, Communications