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Keeler stresses dynamics for new SHSU recruiting class

Contributing Reporter

Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 23:02

K.C. Keeler Football

Alex Broussard| The Houstonian

Head coach K.C. Keeler discusses the thirteen new additions to his football program. Keeler had two weeks to recruit after being hired on Jan. 23.

Less appears to be more for Sam Houston State’s head football coach K. C. Keeler as he nabbed 12 recruits and one transfer for National Signing Day Wednesday, down from 19 in 2013.

During the National Signing Day conference, Keeler emphasized bringing a dynamic recruiting class with four defensive and eight offensive recruits.

Keeler and his staff only had two weeks to build a recruiting class but managed to bring in a big haul in terms of size with the average height and weight at 6 feet 1 inch and 217 pounds. The former Delaware head coach said he had accepted the fact that prospects were going to leave with a new head coach, but he said he is confident in the recruiting class he reeled in.

“We knew we were going to lose some of them [with Fritz leaving], but we could really fit in about 13,” Keeler said. “It actually worked out given how many we got and how good [the recruits] are. You can never worry about the ones that you lose; it’s the ones you take.”

Keeler said he is centering his offensive playbook from an old-fashion approach, big and powerful linemen. A counter to Fritz’s athletic front line.

Mansfield Timberview recruit Dorian Brownand recruit Wyatt Pennington, who is from Catoosa High in Tulsa, Okla., both fit the bill for Keeler’s plans on the offensive line.

“[For offensive linemen] I’ve seen bigger guys in the Colonial Athletic Association than I do in this league, but I see a lot of athleticism,” he said. “We want to be a little bit bigger and more physical.”

Although the class was smaller this year, Keeler said 13 recruits was the “magic number.” SHSU is only allocated 63 scholarships for a 91-man roster and remains a deal breaker for potential recruits.

“We were recruiting hard and being honest with them, and the numbers all worked out in our favor,” Keeler said.

The wild card for Keeler’s recruiting class is Grand Prairie High School quarterback Jaylen Fails.

“He’s a [very] special athlete that can play wildkat, slot, safety and quarterback,” Keeler said. “He has a lot of potential at quarterback first, but there are a lot of things we can do with him if that position doesn’t work for him. He can do a lot of things.”

Although Keeler said he is aware that there are holes in the wide receiver position, he has two premier receivers: Allen High School’s Grant Finney and Millwood High School’s Alfonso McMillian.

As for defense, Keeler is keeping options open for a potential role shift.

“Defensively, yeah there might be a transfer in our role,” Keeler said. “That’s why we left a little money there for a transfer in the future.”

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