Biff Poggi, Tim Brewster, and the entirety of the Charlotte Football staff have stuffed stockings on early National Signing Day and put dreams of wins in the heads of the 49er faithful everywhere.
According to Poggi, Charlotte’s class has reached 33 players in total, and more will trickle in as the season nears. And those 33 aren’t run of the mill players, there are some studs that will be donning the green and gold.
In a press conference this afternoon, Biff Poggi, the second-year coach of the Forty-Niners said that according to the “Transfer Portal Report,” Charlotte secured the number one ranked transfer portal class amongst group of five schools, and the number five ranked portal class in the nation. Talk about delivering on a promise.
Biff and his staff recruited the Charlotte area heavily. When asked about teams that Charlotte was battling for specific players, Poggi answered all of them. “Anybody that comes in the Charlotte, we are going to recruit against them.” Charlotte strategically recruited high school players from the area, and they put an emphasis on targeting players in the transfer portal who grew up in the Carolinas that wanted a chance to play closer to home.
The crown jewel of the class according to Poggi, is quarterback Max Brown, a transfer from the University of Florida. Poggi referred to quarterback play as the “Achilles heel” of the 2023 Niners season, and it’s hard to disagree with him. Charlotte was 12th out of 14 teams in the American Athletic Conference in passing yards, only outproducing East Carolina, and Navy (who runs the triple option and rarely passes). The lack of passing output showed up on the scoreboard as Charlotte only scored 210 points on the season, good for 13th in the conference.
Poggi referred to Brown as a “Ferrari,” and a “program changer,” and you can’t have that kind of player and not give him some help (looking at you, Carolina Panthers.) In fact, Poggi revealed that the quarterback helped bring some players to Charlotte with him.
Charlotte’s head coach often talks about having “erasers” on offense. When I hear the term eraser in a sports context, I’m thinking of a Dikembe Mutombo or a Rudy Gobert who blocks shots and erases looks around the rim in a basketball game. In Poggi’s context, he’s talking about offensive players who can erase good coverage, or erase a mismatch that the team may have by going up and making a play when it’s needed.
Running back signee Cartevious Norton (Iowa State) and wide receiver signee Isaiah Myers (Independence JUCO) were both mentioned by name as erasers on the offensive side of the ball.
To round out the offense, Poggi lauded the recruitment of “physical and athletic” guys on the offensive line to protect his prized quarterback recruit and create lanes for the power rushing attack he wants to run.
Much like filling out the offensive line with physical and athletic players, Poggi repeated the same line for what the staff desired in the defensive front seven as well. The main defensive focus was on the secondary, as seven of the 33 players signed to play on the back end of the defense.
Poggi called his 2022 class band-aids for the program. He got a late start in Charlotte after coaching in Michigan’s College Football Playoff loss to TCU, and that late start forced him and his staff to plug holes instead of reshape the roster in his image.
The results played out on the field and the band-aids fell off like the usually do, but this class should be different.
Poggi referred to the 2023 recruiting class as “brain surgery” to the program. After a year in the Queen City, Biff has started to get some guys that will rewrite the future of the Charlotte football program. Poggi spoke with a confidence and reverence when discussing the signing class, and if the future of the Forty-Niner football program matches the energy Biff put out today, Charlotte fans can expect a very merry 2024 and beyond.
To view everyone that has signed, head on over to Charlotte’s NSD Central.