WKU Recruiting: 2017 Classes Shaping Up To Be Best Yet
Two things have happened this past year that should make any WKU fan excited about the future of the program.
After leading the program to a 12–2 record, a bowl win and three players being selected in Chicago, Coach Jeff Brohm was rumored for many top jobs in college football.
However, much to some people’s surprise Coach Brohm decided to stay, turning down offers from bigger schools and instead, signing a four-year extension. This showed his dedication to the program, something that recruits want to see.
On the hardwood, WKU made a splash with the hire of former Texas A&M assistant coach, and longtime head coach for Mississippi State, Rick Stansbury. Coach Stansbury led his Bulldogs to the postseason 11 times during his tenure. He was also instrumental in Texas A&M’s success the past two years, as he is one of the best recruiters in the game. He helped the Aggies build a top five class is 2015, and is already off to a great start as the head coach of the Toppers before having ever led a game from the bench.
WKU has two of the best coaches in their respective sports, and it has led to a lot of success on the recruiting trail.
WKU has a relatively small class of eight players for 2017. However the players that are committed are supremely talented as Coach Brohm and his staff are going after players with offers from big time schools. This is a rundown of the eight players currently committed prior to National Signing Day this February:
- Keyron Catlett- One of the most notable things about WKU football is the success the program has had throwing the ball. However, in order for a passing team to be successful, you need good wide receivers. After Antwane Grant and Jared Dangerfield signed NFL contracts, WKU became a destination for wide receivers, and Catlett was a great get for WKU. Catlett, from Christian County in Kentucky, was the first player to commit for the 2017 class when he pledged to play for the Tops on June 4th of this year. He is a 3-star receiver who had reported offers from Arkansas State, Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, and Kentucky Christian. He is ranked as one the top five players in the state, according to the 247 composite ranking.
- Titus Curry- Curry is a 3-star inside linebacker from Jacksonville, Florida, who is currently rated in the top 80 of his position in the 247 composite rankings. He had reported offers from Charleston Southern, Elon, FIU, Hawaii, and North Texas before committing to WKU on June 18th.
- Caleb Huntley- One of the more underrated parts of WKU’s success the past few years is the continued success from running backs, and Huntley looks to be the next in line. WKU’s highest rated recruit according to the 247 composite rankings, Huntley is a 3-star running back from Locust Grove, Georgia. He committed on June 17th, after being offered by Elon, Georgia State, Mercer, and Minnesota.
- Woodford Lankford- As the old saying goes, the game of football is won in the trenches. WKU has had very consistent line the past few years, and that is one of the reasons they have been successful. Lankford will look to continue the trend of talented linemen to play at Western Kentucky. He is a 3-star offensive tackle from Lexington, Kentucky. He had offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Kentucky, Miami (OH), and Toledo. He also had interest from Cincinnati, Kentucky, Marshall, and Vanderbilt.
- Kenneth Major- A mark of a great coach is the ability to find players who were overlooked by other schools. Major might be that player for the Tops. Listed as an athlete, Major plays both sides of the ball for Christian County. He has reported offers from Kentucky Wesleyan, Southeast Missouri State, and Tennessee-Martin.
- Khalil Newton- WKU continues to go to the South and pick up highly skilled players. Newton, a 6'2" receiver from Stone Mountain, Georgia, is another big recruit for Coach Brohm. Newton had reported offers from Kentucky, N.C. State, and Wake Forest. WKU’s success in recruiting players like Newton, ones with offers from major schools, shows how Coach Brohm has changed the perception of WKU on the recruiting trail.
- Markenzy Pierre- The commitment of Pierre gives running backs coach Chris Barclay two 3-star running backs to help replace the loss of Ace Wales and De’Andre Ferby in the next couple of years. Pierre, from Kissimmee, Florida had over 10 offers, including East Carolina, FIU, Memphis, and MTSU.
- Deshon Washington- WKU went to Louisville to secure the commitment of Washington, a 2-star tackle with offers from Ball State, Eastern Illinois, and Eastern Michigan. He has great size at 6'5", but needs to put on weight. He is a guy that could really help the team if developed properly in a few years.
Coach Stansbury only has one commitment so far for the 2017 class, but it is safe to say that it is one of the biggest commitments in Hilltopper history. Mitchell Robinson is the number one rated center in the 2017 class and a consensus top 10 recruit. He was originally committed to Texas A&M, where he was recruited by Coach Stansbury. After Stansbury left to become Western’s coach, Robinson decided to follow and committed to the Tops on June 29th. The 7-footer from Chalmette, Louisiana gives the Tops their highest rated recruit in the modern era.
WKU has started off the 2017 recruiting year with a splash, and it is encouraging to see the future of the programs. Over the next few weeks, I will release an article about each commit. I will also start highlighting players WKU has offered, so you know who to watching out for in the future. Be sure to follow @TheTowelRackWKU on Twitter for the latest updates on all things WKU.