Head football coach Paul Winters and recruiting coordinator Scott Kazmierski said there is only one word they can use to describe the Wayne State football recruiting class of 2017: "outstanding."
WSU had 19 incoming freshman commit on National Signing Day, and a junior college transfer who will also be joining the team next season.
“It’s an outstanding class,” Winters said. “We address quite a few needs, and in some cases where we don’t address a need, we took some very talented players.”
Winters said 95 percent of recruits will redshirt their first year, but that this class adds a lot of depth to the team.
“We have a number of standout recruits this year if you go across the board,” said Winters.
It starts with Ian Sharp, from Salem, Ohio, an offensive tackle who Winters said could be a very important left tackle, potentially following in the footsteps of all-American Nate Theaker. Theaker was one of the only players in the country to be scouted by all 32 NFL teams last season.
“He’s a guy that was heavily recruited, but we were able to hold on to him; he’s an outstanding recruit,” Winters said.
Winters described center Lane Potter from Hudsonville, Michigan, as “one of the best centers we’ve seen in a long time, he’s a big, strong kid, a leader; we feel like he’s going to be an outstanding center for us.”
Winters said Kam Ford, a wide receiver from Novi, Michigan, is "a difference maker." Ford scored 21 touchdowns in his last two years of high school, and Winters said he is very excited to bring him and his speed to the team.
"We signed three running backs, each one a little bit different," Winters said. "But, they're all outstanding."
Avery Hall, from Indianapolis, King Sanders and Donte McClure from Ohio, are all additions that Winters said he is excited about.
"I can go on and on and on," said Winters, regarding his standout recruits.
"The class in general is just an outstanding class," Kazmierski said. "Majority of the list [of new recruits] are guys that we targeted and were top guys so we feel very good about that."
Kazmierski says the focus for the new recruits, in their first year, is in the weight room and the classroom, since the majority of new recruits will spend their first season redshirted.
"Strength and conditioning is a huge part of it, getting stronger and bigger," Kazmierski said.
Ruben Mendoza, the head strength and conditioning coach, said the new recruits have to adjust to the big transition between high school and the strength and conditioning for college.
"Initially, when they start training with me, we do a total body transformation, we work everything to make sure there are no deficiencies,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza said the work of the strength coaches and the football coaches goes hand in hand.
"The accountability, discipline and work ethic the new recruits develop in here, we want that to carry out onto that football field,” Mendoza said.