LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — February’s National Signing Day gave way to hundreds of athletes inking their way onto college football rosters, nine recruits sending a letter of intent to Arkansas State. One item that stands out about the Red Wolves’ touted 2023 signing class is a stress on pulling talent from inside state lines.
“We always talk about our recruiting footprint,” head coach Butch Jones said in Wednesday’s press conference. “We have 15 different states represented in this signing class… the second-most is from the state of Arkansas which we’re excited about, with five. It’s the most of any [major Division 1] football program in America and it’s the most at A-State since 2011.”
Four of the team’s five Arkansan signees are out of high school: El Dorado wide receiver DeAndra Burns, Robinson safety/wideout Brandon Greil, Stuttgart running back Cedric Hawkins, and early enrollee Benton offensive lineman Walker Davis. Former Benton running back Zak Wallace also transfers into ASU from Tennessee-Martin.
“We have 26 high school players signing and that’s the most Arkansas State has had since 2006,” Jones said. “So building this program with high school players first and foremost and starting in-state, we’ve been able to do what we said we’d do when we came in here.”
The five in-state signees join a wolf pack of incoming freshmen who hope to turn around a program coming out of a dip. Since Butch Jones’ arrival at Arkansas State, the Red Wolves have won just two Sun Belt conference games through two seasons. Jones and staff are using a pipeline of Arkansas athletes to help bring their team back to its winning ways.
“Not only have we been working to continue to add to this class but we’ve been working to add in junior recruiting with 2024s,” Jones said. “I’ve been in Little Rock, all over the state as have our coaches… I think we really created some competitive depth really at every position.”