Tennessee, There’s No Place These Studs Would Rather Be
Coach Stockstill and his staff just signed their 12th freshmen class of his tenure as head coach of the Raiders. This one, perhaps fills more major holes then any class in recent memory. That, a statement in college football and sports in general that is a double edged sword. One side you sign new talent with all the potential in the world; at the same time it means you’ve lost your players who’ve already fulfilled that potential. According Rivals.com, MTSU finished fourth out of the 13 teams that make up Conference USA in recruiting.
Coach Stock’s Final Thoughts on the 25
“It’s a special day for these players. You have to realize how special it is for these guys, because it is a life long dream for them to accomplish a goal of theirs to play college football no matter where they go.”
“I say it all the time, we have a phenomenal staff here. These guys busted their tales for a year. Will Redmond (Director of Player Personnel), who heads up the recruiting process has done a phenomenal job of organizing throughout the course of the year. Candra Howell (Recruiting Operations GA) did a great job also. You guys never see them or hear their name much, but they did an outstanding job. I’d just like to thank Will and Candra for what they did.”
“This class, any class, you look at what you think are the deficiencies of your team. Where you need to strengthen your team to make it better, we did that. Whether it’s adding depth to a position or needing immediate help.“
“I think there are a lot of players in this class that can have a big impact this season coming up. I think this year is the most we’ve competed against other school late in the recruiting process. Usually, you get to mid-January and we’re trying to hang on to three or four guys that other schools are coming in on. And in this class there was a lot of competition from a lot of different schools, some our level and a lot above our level. That’s a testament to our staff.“
Tennessee Roots Run Deep
Once the big day came and went, the dust had cleared and Stockstill had 25 new Blue Raiders headed to Middle Tennessee. Players from as far as Arizona and Canada will now call Murfreesboro home. But, as impressive as MTSU’s reach was in this recruiting process, for this article we want to focus on the players who already call the Tri-Star state home. The first thing any good coach will tell you about recruiting is, you must own your state. Harvesting players from the biggest name brand schools down to the ones in towns with one stop light. Out of the 25 players headed for the ‘Boro, seven of them are in-state talent.
Two of the seven, right here from Rutherford County. First up, the reigning 6-A lineman of the year in state, Elijah Dobbins. Dobbins is a Murfreesboro native, as he hails from Oakland High School.
The next Ruth. Co. boy, QB Josh Turner. Rated a three star by Rivals.com. Josh was a two-time 6-A Region Selection at Smyrna High School.
We’ll have to leave the county for the next five players, but we’re not traveling too far.
First up, Zack Dobson. The highest rated Raider signed on the day. Dobson and his family where thrust into national attention when his brother, Zaevion, shielded two young girls from a drive-by in their home town of Fulton, TN. (More on the story at the link) Dobson earned All State Wide Out honors his senior year at Fulton and played in the Toyota East-West All-Star Game.
DJ Delfendahl (delf-in-doll) was voted a 2nd team All-USA Tennessee OL his senior year. He is a native of Mt. Juliet where he attended Mt. Juliet High.
Tyrese Johnson is a WR who is the 2016 6-2A Region Player of the Year out of Halls High School where he owns virtually every school receiving record.
Chaton Mobley, another Fulton naitive, will fill a hole at LB for the Raiders next season. In high school he garnered All-State accolades in 2015 and 2016.
Cain McWilliams is another LB. Cain is from Lewisburg, TN where he played for Marshall County and Fayetteville. His senior year he was a 4A Mr. Football Finalist, All-State and Region Defensive MVP.