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  1. Put any coach in front of a microphone and ask him if stars matter and he’ll probably say one or all of the following: “We don’t look at that stuff.” “We trust our own evaluations.” “Give me a 5-star heart any day.” College football coaches are a pathologically competitive lot and recruiting is the lifeblood of the sport, but they don’t care about recruiting rankings? Look at it this way: You could build a pretty solid roster of NFL players taken in the fifth round or beyond, but you’d be nuts to take that roster over a roster of first-round picks. Being a 5-star recruit in and of itself guarantees you nothing, but in the aggregate, a 5-star is much more likely to succeed at the college level than a 2-star. Don’t ask me, ask the data. read more: http://footballscoop.com/news/stars-matter-recruiting-data-says/
  2. I know the first rule of the “Fight Club” movie starring Brad Pitt was you were never to talk about Fight Club. But when it comes to #F19HTCLUB, the official social media moniker for North Texas Football’s 2019 signing class, I feel compelled to break the rule. Not only is this class off to great start with fourteen 3-star ranked commitments in just early July, but potentially looking like it could be one of the best in program history. Perhaps it could even be in the running for one of the top G5 classes in the country. This is new territory for a North Texas program who has struggled at times to land higher ranked players, despite being in a hot bed of Texas high school talent in past years. The 2019 class not only has high rankings, but also many hold quality offers from G5 and, yes even *gasp* P5 programs with significant more funding and resources. One of the only knocks on Seth Littrell in his tenure thus far at North Texas is the perception he has not recruited at a high enough level, certainly in the eyes of the recruiting services. One argument was Littrell’s signing classes did not have enough 3 star ranked players. Another would be that his recruits did not have enough P5 school offers. Here’s the real story, in just over two years Littrell and company has done a remarkable job completely rebuilding the roster and culture of a program that had been decimated after a string of bad hires. You don’t take a 1-win team to a C-USA conference championship game in 2 seasons without upgrading the talent on the roster. Over 50% of the starting line up in the 2017 C-USA conference championship were brought in after Seth Littrell took over. The good news is that the proportion of Littrell recruits will only increase in the 2018 season and there were some good players who redshirted last season making their debut in 2018. And no one has ever questioned Littrell and his staff’s ability to identify and develop talent. One need only look to starting junior quarterback Mason Fine who most every division I program thought was too small to play. Fine passed for 4,052 yards in 2017 with 31 touchdowns making him the #6 ranked passing leader in the entire NCAA. In fact, he sat just one chair behind #5 ranked Sam Darnold of USC (4,143) who just signed with the NY Jets as the 3rd pick in the draft. As North Texas has improved in the win column (9-5 in 2017; 2 consecutive bowls) there are also encouraging signs the recruiting efforts have trended upward each cycle since Littrell’s hiring. That said, the 2019 class – thus far – appears to be the cycle where everything seems to be falling into place. Winning helps for sure, as top players want to join a program that is winning consistently and going to bowl games. In retrospect, the key difference may well be Littrell’s hiring director of recruiting, Luke Walerius. Walerius’ most recent stop was at Kentucky in the SEC and is primarily responsible for North Texas’ recruiting program including organization and talent evaluation. The social media efforts and communication have taken took huge steps since his arrival. When talking to both prospect and commits a common theme is that North Texas is the team showing the most love and the best family culture to them. Another key impact that Walerius has made has been to take the natural resources North Texas has, in terms of staff, location, facilities, academics and communicate it effectively in language that the prospects and their respective coaches understand. Twitter has become the king of football recruiting and North Texas has embraced communicating it’s strengths in that medium under Walerius’ lead. Two positions they may be set in terms of numbers in this class are WR and LB. Littrell and his staff have had great success at the wide receiver position since coming on board. They are returning Jalen Guyton, Rico Bussey, Michael Lawrence and Jaelon Darden, all guys brought in by current staff. They also have some exciting freshman and transfers that could contribute this fall including redshirt Greg White from Georgia and Kansas transfer Keegan Brewer. There are currently 3 receivers committed to North Texas this cycle including Damon Ward and Deonte Simpson both from West Brook as well as Kealon “Action” Jackson from Shadow Creek. All three have two things in common, speed and versatility. All three will contribute and be exciting in this spread offense. North Texas has had great success at LB in recent history including sending Craig Robertson (Saints) and Zach Orr (Ravens/Retired) to the NFL. In 2018 North Texas will have a very veteran LB Squad led by seniors EJ Ejiya and Brandon Garner. The quartet of 2019 LB recruits could be the most talented group of commits as whole by position. Twins Gabriel and Grayson Murphy (Bishop Lynch) and Taylor Jacobs (South Grand Prairie) all listed at 6-2, 215 and have versatility to play both linebacker positions and the potential to move down to defensive end. The fourth linebacker commit Kevin Wood (Judson) is listed at 6-0 200, and on film is a tackling machine with a nose for the ball. Watching his highlight film is exciting. He also has versatility and speed to not only play linebacker but also slide back to a safety position in the 3-3-5. The quarterback commit position is in good hands as well. North Texas went back to familiar territory and went back to Oklahoma landing the commitment of State Champion Owasso QB Will Kuehne. Kuehne is a very good QB prospect with a very bright future and a ton of potential. He held offers from Maryland, Arkansas State and several Ivy League schools. Defensive back is one of the most important position groups in the 3-3-5 defense. Mean Green added 4 safeties in the last class. I project they will add close to the same number this class. Currently they just have one committed but that one is a BIG one. Jevin Murray (Shadow Creek) is one of the top defensive backs in the state. He can be an instant contributor for defensive coordinator Troy Reffett’s defense. He held 13 offers including multiple P5 offers. Jevin’s main recruiter is special teams coach Marty Biagi who is having a great recruiting season so far. Marty’s covers the critical Houston-area region which many believe has more prospects than any other region in Texas and possibly the nation. North Texas is having great success in Houston this year. including two of the top-rated recruits running back Garrison Johnson (Manvel) and tight end Asher Alberding (Clear Lake). Garrison choose to commit to North Texas over P5 offers including Syracuse and Nebraska. He has the talent to fall right in North Texas run of talented running backs. Asher (6-4, 235) is an intriguing combination of old school blocking and new age receiving tight end. Coach Littrell success with Rob Gronkowski at Arizona played a big part in Asher decision. It will be fun to watch him develop. The hardest position groups for G5 and even P5 teams to recruit consistently on both sides of the ball is the offensive and defensive lines. In the 2019 cycle, North Texas has done a great job finding big athletic guys that you can develop. They currently have two offensive linemen in John Brunner (6-5, 300 / Brock) and Chris Cassidy (6-4, 280 /Angleton). Both fit the build of athletic/people movers that can develop for offensive line coach Chuck Langston. Look for UNT to try and add at least one more offensive lineman this class. On the defensive side of the ball they have one defensive lineman committed in Demeco Roland (6-3, 275 / Broken Arrow, OK). He comes from the same school as Derrick Shaw a defensive tackle signee from last year class that the staff is very excited about. Demeco is another guy with a lot of potential. Look for him to have big senior season. With 14 commits so far, I figure the staff has around 9 to 10 more scholarships to fill out. I would expect 2 to 3 more commits before the season starts. Don’t be surprised if North Texas doesn’t save the rest of the scholarships for the frenzy that happens as signing day nears and prospects realize they can’t all go to Texas and A&M. With coaching changes and stuff, it is a mad dash as national signing day gets near. And in Seth’s time at North Texas they have really capitalized on some of these later commitments. There is also the opportunity to add some junior college transfers at positions of need. Of course, when you sign the best, you better be prepared when bigger schools lose their commits and decide to start poaching. In prior regimes, North Texas seemed ill prepared for this annual ritual. With Walerius managing the process, it appears that the program is doing everything you have to do to circle the wagons, maintain strong relationships and keep these committed players in place. Time will tell. This is an exciting time to be a North Texas fan. There can be no doubt that North Texas is trending upward in the college football ranks. Back to back bowl games and a trip to the conference championship is potentially just the tip of the iceberg. Between the talent added last class and the talent currently committed this could be the boost needed to push North Texas to the top of G5 rankings and beyond. For a long time UNT has been referred to as the “sleeping giant” due to great location, and school size. But now all the necessary pieces seem to finally be in place to take that next step. North Texas is benefiting from great leadership starting with university president Neal Smatresk and athletic director Wren Baker. North Texas made a phenomenal coaching hire in Seth Littrell and with the aid of director of recruiting Luke Waleruis. #F19HTCLUB could be the signing class that finally woke the sleeping giant.
  3. OLB Tim Laison, 6-2, 225, from Independence JUCO commits to the Mean Green this evening! Check out the recruiting section of GMG!
  4. http://www.meangreensports.com/signingday/ Dec. 20, 2017 DENTON – North Texas head football coach Seth Littrell announced the first group of the 2018 Mean Green signing class Wednesday, in conjunction with the newly-instituted early signing period. The class thus far, is comprised of 14 student-athletes from four states and features 11 high school signees and three junior college transfers. “As we raise the level of expectation around this program, we have to continue to bring in players that can help us accomplish our goals,” Littrell said. “Competing for championships and playing in bowl games is now the standard for Mean Green football, and these young men that we signed today will help us do that for the foreseeable future.” North Texas will announce the remainder of the 2018 signing class on National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. For a full list of the 14 Mean Green signees, as well as bios and videos, head to Mean Green Signing Day Central.
  5. He came on later in the show but offered some exciting news about this weekend and some prospects who may be leaning our way: GOMEANGREEN BARBERSHOP PODCAST #189
  6. A fun and interesting article https://www.underdogdynasty.com/conference-usa/2017/7/28/16047118/conference-usa-west-ncaa-football-recruiting-prestige-rankings-2018-la-tech-rice-utsa-uab-unt-utep
  7. Coach Bill Lewis

    FAU means serious business

    Kiffen is loading up his roster with lots of talent. This is the way you win in CUSA. They are my darkhorse to win the East. https://www.si.com/college-football/2017...s-pitt-fsu
  8. Mike Jackson

    Just Venting

    So I am looking at all the information and analysis of UNT's recruiting class and I can't help but think about what could have been. Yes Darrell Dickey's last 2 seasons were bad but, 4 consecutive conference titles and: Phil Armour center, Indianapolis Colts (2000) Adrian Awasom defensive end, New York Giants (2005–2007), Minnesota Vikings (2011) John Baker punter, St. Louis Rams (2000–2001): Punted for the Rams during their Super Bowl XXXVI season. Patrick Cobbs running back, Miami Dolphins (2006–2010) Brad Kassell linebacker, Tennessee Titans (2002–2005), New York Jets (2006–2007) Cody Spencer linebacker, Tennessee Titans (2004–2005), New York Jets (2006–2008) Brian Waters guard, Dallas Cowboys (1999, 2013) Kansas City Chiefs (2000–2010), New England Patriots (2011): Pro Bowl (2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010), First Team All-Pro (2004, 2005), NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner (2009) Just saying he did a lot of things right and should have been given more resources to work with. I can't help but think we ruined our chances to be good now being short sighted then. Maybe if we had hired a "John Mac" type back then with college coaching experience and a staff with coaching connections in Texas high schools UNT would be a solid G5 program on par with Houston. The moral of this story is patience and try to see the big picture. UNT hired a first time FBS head coach so they need to give him at least 3 years get this program right. And for God's sake if Seth is fired 2 years from now, UNT needs to put on big boy pants. That mean going to get a big name coach who can recruit to "His" brand not UNT's. I am talking somebody Chip Kelly like otherwise like someone said in another post "continue to be like the Cleveland Browns"
  9. For the sake of completeness. 6'3" 230. 4.64 247-composite 4 star WDE/OLB from Dallas Carter http://247sports.com/Player/Jarell-Cherry-85244 http://www.hudl.com/profile/4331469/jarell-cherry
  10. Mike Jackson

    Draft Anyone?

    Very passively watching the NFL draft tonight and thought occurred: If UNT is ever going to turn the corner permanently they need to get some players drafted in the first 3 rounds of the draft. The question is when was the last time we had player drafted in the first 3 rounds of the NFL draft? Have we ever had multiple players drafted in the first 4 rounds?
  11. MGNation92

    Harrell Passing School

    Since I'm tired of reading everyone here bickering like an old married couple about the current state of UNT athletics, I had an interesting thought about the Harrell Passing School. With Harrell's current status as an OC and the NCAA ruling of no satellite camps, does this mean he will no longer be able to participate/evaluate those players? I see this as a potential leg up for recruiting but I am curious as to whether or not it violates any sanctions as far as recruiting those players and the satellite camp rules now in place.
  12. http://www.wfaa.com/sports/new-north-texas-coach-salvages-class-with-late-surge/31347255
  13. GMG_Dallas

    News?

    Any news with some of our targets/guys that have been mentioned on this board? William Johnson, Bain? Any news about potential late commits that have yet to sign. Everything seems so quick since the original flooding of signees early this morning...
  14. I knew that they would probably have quite a few transfers and jucos etc but I just saw their updated commitment listing and sure enough.. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2015/10/2016_uab_football_commitments.html There are like 30 and they are all juco or transfers! What's the deal? Is it because they are restarting football in 2017 that they are taking this approach? Actually, it seemed like they had a primarily juco transfer roster the year before last. It seems like their coach likes going that route. Does anyone know the particulars or parameters of how the NCAA is allowing them to restart their program? I am assuming there is a strategy to this sort of like what UTSA did when they started theirs up.
  15. Hey, guys. My name's Or. I'm a producer for channel 8 here in DFW and a proud UNT alum. I'm also a frequent GMG stalker and occasional poster. Just wanted to drop in and share this... I reached out to the athletic staff to see if we could get Coach Littrell on our sunday night sports show this coming week. I expected it was a slam dunk; new coach, program in need of exposure, good chance to showcase what he's doing during an important time. I listed three possible times for a taping, as well as an offer to go live on sunday. About an hour later I got a very polite text back. As much as they wanted to make it happen, Coach Littrell doesn't have a spare moment this weekend. He's using them all to host recruits. So while I'm out a guest on Sports Special, I've got a lot of optimism for this class. At the very least, we know the staff is putting in serious work. Back to baseless speculation! GMG.
  16. Props to UofH for these. (Now let's steal this idea instead of using those pixelated signatures) Building that #Brand et cetera, et cetera
  17. Not the biggest fan of Capper, but this statement is beautiful to see. Exactly what should be happening
  18. "North Texas' football program reached a new low over the weekend when head coach Dan McCarney was relieved of his duties following a historically bad loss to Portland State. The 66-7 loss was the worst loss an FBS program has suffered to an FCS opponent in NCAA history. The game was bad enough, even before it being UNT's homecoming game was factored in to the equation." Read Article : http://www.texasfootball.com/craven-unt-in-its-current-position-because-of-recruiting-failures/
  19. Trey Keenan, a former Argyle OL and three-star recruit, has transferred to UNT. He will be eligible to play in 2016. More info on this to come. Below is a story from January on his decision to leave TT. http://collegesportsblog.dallasnews.com/2015/01/texas-tech-loses-two-lineman-including-former-argyle-standout-trey-keenan.html/
  20. Just thought I would pick your brains on the subject of recruiting in today's world. Just my opinion but where have all the real scouts and recruiters gone? Football programs are in such a hurry to land an internet based recruit that has more stars on a web page than the next guy that programs at all levels are scrambling year to year when the "talent" doesn't pan out. I look at the "grey shirts" and non-productive players and it makes me angry. It is not the athletes fault as they are kids playing the recruiting game and using the instant and wide spread technology available to them. Who is actually vetting the process....laying eyes on the talent in person...looking these athletes in the eye...questioning the "combine and showcase results" instead of relying on rivals and scout to plaster stars on a website. I wonder if recruiters want job security in an unstable field and it causes them to "trust" others opinions and insights above questioning their own intincts and needs in a program?? Teams are built by placing strategic pieces to a puzzle in place and that takes truly knowing a player and how they produce on the field....NOT on paper. Hitting, reading plays, instinct, discipline and passion.....example: difference between combine fast and football fast. Year after year it gets worse as recruits, stars and program rankings are decided on political and marketing strategy. Going to games and practices instead of watching youtube and "I'm perfect highlight films". Scouts used to go to war in the trenches to read and evaluate players.....we have a world gone mad that has been consumed by the facade of fast, instant, glammoring technology. I just wonder if we went back to the basics and used our own intelligent opinions and gut insticts based on experience... to hand select players if we could build a strong program and possible dynasty of the future. I must have poured sour milk in my cheerios this morning....but seriously think the system is selling out. I am probably just hitting my head against a brink wall...