Top Charlotte Football storylines following National Signing Day

by Feb 4, 2022Football

CLT FOOTBALL

Top storylines following NSD

With NSD behind us, lets talk about the top items impacting CLT FB

Coaching changes

Defensive coordinator

There have been comments about a change coming here, notably from Hunter Bailey, the Charlotte Football beat writer for the Charlotte Observer.

https://twitter.com/Hunter_Bailey45/status/1486886802489319424

What remains to be seen is two-fold:

  1. Will there really be a new DC?
  2. If yes, what happens with Marcus West? Is he fired, or reassigned to Defensive Line coach?

Secondary coaches

Football Scoop reported on November 29th that Will Healy was making defensive staff changes and had let go Brandon Cooper (Co-DC and Safeties coach) and Eddie Hicks (Cornerbacks).

It’s been 68 days since that was scooped. No one has been announced for either of those roles. Healy did mention on ESPN 730 The Game yesterday that he hopes to have new coaches on campus next week, but didn’t elaborate on which positions.

This delay has forced Spring practice to be pushed back until February 21st.

Tight End Coach

News broke last night that Charlotte Tight Ends coach Joe Cox was being hired by Nick Saban and Alabama to be their new Tight Ends coach. Undoubtedly a tremendous opportunity for him and I wish him nothing but the best.

https://twitter.com/PeteThamel/status/1489434643413835777

Now Healy has to work on hiring potentially up to 4 assistants at once.

Recruiting + the portal

Charlotte currently has signed 17 scholarship athletes for the class of 2022, with several of those players already enrolling for the Spring semester. I’ve not been able to get a clear answer on who many more players they could add in this cycle, but I feel it’s safe to think we’re constantly evaluating the portal and the players that are in it currently, or that will enter moving forward.

Charlotte has not lost many players due to transfer at this time, the most notable player to leave was starting Linebacker Tyler Murray, who landed at Memphis. Honestly, I think this can be looked at multiple ways:

  1. Charlotte has done an excellent job teaching current players the pitfalls of the portal (players will not always find a home)
  2. The guys that aren’t seeing snaps after being in the program for several years aren’t leaving, meaning less spots availble to fill via portal with guys that in theory may better compete for those snaps.

For example, from the 2019 recruiting class (Healy’s first) had 16 signees and 7 transfers (per 247sports.com). Backround info, 5 of those transfers did not exhaust their complete eligibility here: Brett Kean went into coaching, as did Christian Roberson. Brelin Faison-Walden hung it up early and moved on, and Philip Walton never made it to campus. Murray transferred out. 5 of the non-transfer signees have transferred out or left the program: Noah Henderson, Micaleous Elder, Yontez Jarrell and Jamel Brown all transferred. Rhett Read (JUCO TE) lasted 1 season before leaving the program.

That’s 10 out 23 that did not finish their careers here so far. Out of the other 13, only Marquill Osborne, Jaxon Hughes, Solomon Rogers, Michael Kelly and Prince Bemah contributed outside of Special Teams.

Now lets look at the 2020 class. 247sports lists 19 enrollees, 5 Signed LOI and 7 transfers. The transfers have for the most part been impactful, we’re still waiting to see Ricky Kofoed play and Derek Boykins impact has been minimal so far, but with Tyler Murray leaving he could be primed for an increase in snaps in 2022. For the 5 “signed LOI” guys, Lyndarious Strange departed for a rap career (no word on how that soundcloud is going), Trey Creamer was a key CB this year, Dom Shoffner was out for the season due to injury and Dez MOrgan and Jonny King’s snaps have been limited to date. Out of the 19 enrollees, the top 3 rated have all left the program: Ty’kieast Crawford (Charlotte’s highest rated signee ever), Elijah Turner and Dajeun Gibson. Braylin Johnson and DJ Bagwell (PWO) are no longer with the program. Guys that have made an impact on the field: Taylor Thompson, Ashton Gist, Panda Askew, Chavon McEachern, Shedrick Ursery and Jake Clemons. The rest of the group I’d put in the still-to-be-evaluated category.

No need, in my opinion to dive into 2021 HS signees, but the transfer were impactful this past season. All of the transfers played snaps and should be recognizible names to fans in one capacity or another.

Historical Recruiting Snapshot

Recruiting as undeniably improved under Healy’s regime, keep in mind that 2019, 2020 and 2021 class rankings do no include transfer rankings, and those classes had more transfers than we do so far in the 2022 cycle. 2020 class was great on paper, but losing the top 3 guys from that class ultimately negate that rating when looking back.

One thing remains the same, ratings for recruits is a crapshoot and they are great for fan fodder and a very high-level comparision datapoint vs your peers. What happens when those guys gets to campus matters the most: player development + coaching.

Class of 2023

This recruiting class is well-under way now with 2 known commits and 1 mystery commit for now. You can follow this class on the Class of 2023 Commitment Tracker.

No better place to spend the offseason

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