Troy football announces 2015 signing day class

Published 3:02 am Thursday, February 5, 2015

“Rebuild The Wall.”

That’s been the running mantra to Neal Brown’s young tenure as Troy University head football coach.

Wednesday, Brown announced his first signing class with the Trojans, which consisted of 22 players.

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Take one look up and down the weight and height measurements of each Troy signee and it’s clear: Brown wasn’t kidding about rebuilding that wall.

“This is a game of length,” Brown said. “People want to talk about speed…we’ll take all the speed we can get. But I think now in today’s game, I think length is the number one thing.”

Length and size was clearly a top priority for Brown and the Trojans with this new batch of athletes.

With nine of the 22 signees measuring at least 6-foot-3 inches and 17 of those players at over six-feet tall, Brown is quite literally rebuilding a wall on the offensive and defensive lines.

“That (length) was something that was a point of emphasis in this class and it will continue to be,” Brown said. “Football kind of goes in spurts. Everybody was looking for speed over size, and I think now it may be a little bit more of emphasis on size and length. If you can get both, you’ll take it.”

In all, Troy inked 18 high school recruits, three junior college prospects in William Lloyd, Justin Lucas and Jalen Rountree and one four-year transfer from UAB in LaMarcus Farmer.

Lloyd, Lucas, Rountree and Farmer have already enrolled at Troy and are in the midst of offseason workouts.

Joining them on campus is the Trojans’ sole early high school enrollee in Gardner Minshew.

Minshew, a Brandon, Miss., native and 3-star quarterback out of Brandon High School, graduated early and has already jumped into offseason workouts with the Trojans.

“I really feel like I’m coming in here with the staff and coming in at about the same time,” Minshew said. “I’m able to learn everything in the spring whereas if I had come in in the summer. I’m just coming in here to compete and help the team any way that I can.”

In addition to size, Troy made it a point to recruit players who not only excel athletically but also academically.

“The academics of most of these guys, you all can’t imagine,” defensive coordinator Vick Koenning said. “Those guys typically know how to work, they know what’s expected and you aren’t going to have to be chasing them to class.”

After being hired in December, Brown had just two months to turn around his first recruiting class at Troy.

And when all the dust was settled, he knew this class sent a strong message.

“I think we set the tone with this class,” Brown said. “I think we put some schools on lookout that have traditionally come into our territory and had some success the past few years.”