Signed and sealed
There will be some new faces in cardinal and white in the upcoming seasons.
As Wednesday came to a close, there were 25 new Troy Trojans football players thanks to the National Signing day.
Of the new signees, 14 will be playing on the defensive side of the ball, with nine of those players being defensive backs.
There were six offensive lineman who signed letters of intent, while Troy also picked up three wide receivers, a quarterback and a running back.
“We are always excited to bring in new players,” head coach Larry Blakeney said during a press conference held on Wednesday.
“Recruiting is the life blood of any football or athletic program.
“It’s a lot of fun but also a lot of work – and I want to commend all of our coaches for their hard work. They are the guys that are the workhorses of the process,” he added.
All 25 of the new Trojans came from either Alabama, 11, Florida, 11, and Georgia, with three.
There were three players in the class that are coming from the same school as well.
Offensive lineman Dalton Bennett, defensive back Fidel Montgomery and defensive lineman Tommy Stephens all will be traveling from Marianna, Fla.
“They are all sharp, happy kids,” Blakeney said. “I think they had more fun on their official visit than anybody.
“They are excited about coming to Troy – and all are quality players,” he added.
Even with the recent coaching changes the Trojans endured, Blakeney said recruiting was unaffected.
“Recruiting was already pretty solidified even before we lost Neal [Brown] and Chad [Scott],” Blakeney said earlier this week. “It is always good to get the staff taken care of though before signing day.
“We had to sure some things up but nothing to serious. We have 25 guys signing with us and it is always good for the folks coming in to know who their coaches might be.”
The coach did say he was unsure whether any of the incoming freshman will be able to contribute immediately.
“We signed guys all across the board [as far as positions go],” Blakeney said.
“We signed to the needs the team had.
“I don’t think we will see an immediate impact from the freshman. “There will be some from this group that will line up for us during for the first game – but it’s hard to say who,” he added.
One of the players who signed will be making the shortest trip to Troy.
BJ Chitty, from Northview High School, was one of three receivers that signed Wednesday.
“He’s a gifted guy,” Blakeney said.
“I wouldn’t classify him as a Jerrel Jernigan, but he can do a lot of things. He can catch the ball, throw the ball and line up and take a direct snap. It’s big to sign a kid from Dothan – we are awful proud of him,” the coach added.
As far as addressing one of the team’s biggest needs at defensive back, the coach said he thought the coaching staff was able to bring in the right kind of guys.
“There are some good ones on this list,” Blakeney said.
“All are quality guys and have the ability to come up here and get in the mix. We addressed the corner ad safety positions and it gave us more depth.”
Most of the recruits will be on campus during the summer months to prepare for season, which Blakeney said is something that really helps.
“It will be important to getting these kids off to a great start and to help give them a chance to contribute at the earliest point.”
“There is a little gap between high school and college [football], and some are able to bridge that gap quickly,” Blakeney added.
“Having the kids come in for a little bit over the summer will help them learn a lot though.”
Troy recruiting coach and defensive ends coach Randy Butler proclaimed the class as a “good haul.”
“I am pleased with how everything fell into place,” he said.
“We got a lot of early commitments which is the way recruiting is going now-a-days.
“I thought the entire staff did a great job in getting the players we wanted,” he added.