New Bronchos On the Block
Senior Running Back Clay McKenzie rushes into opposing players Thursday August 31, 2017 in the University of Central Oklahoma’s home opener win in Edmond, Okla. McKenzie rushed for a net total of 94 yards.
After finishing the regular season on a six game win-streak, the University of Central Oklahoma football team carried that momentum into the recruiting trail by signing 32 players for next fall.
“This is our largest high school signing class since we’ve been here,” Head Coach Nick Bobeck said. “Of the thirty-two signees, there are 30 from Oklahoma and two from Arkansas.”
These signees are in addition to six mid-year signees that are already on campus.
“We were able to address our needs and bring in student-athletes that fit our program athletically and socially,” Bobeck said. “They will do a great job representing the University of Central Oklahoma on and off the field.”
The Bronchos class is full of size and length along the offensive and defensive line and in the secondary. The average linemen in this class weighs 250 pounds and the average height of a defensive back is 6 feet 1 inch.
“The MIAA is a big league,” Bobeck said. “In order to win in this league, you must have the size to compete along the line. We feel you must win the rushing battle in every game. This establishes physicality within the game.”
Seventeen of the 32 signees are on the offensive side of the ball, where the Bronchos lost a lot of players from graduation and departures. After playing with two running backs for most of the season, the Bronchos signed three and continue to build depth along the offensive line signing five.
The Bronchos must also replace starting wide receivers, J.T. Luper and Josh Crockett. So far, the replacements are junior college transfer Tyriq French and freshman Diego Richards.
“Tyriq is a big physical receiver that is still raw but has the tools to be special for us in the slot,” Bobeck said. “He can really run and does a great job with the ball in his hands. Diego is lightning in a bottle. One of the most explosive players in the state. He is a very clean fit in our offensive scheme and special teams.”
The Bronchos also inked two quarterbacks, freshman Camden Cargill from Christian Heritage Academy and University of Louisiana at Monroe transfer Will Collins.
“We felt that Will Collins added experience to the quarterback room and we sign a high school quarterback every year,” Bobeck said. “Both are highly competitive individuals and will be able to come in and compete quickly.”
Defensively, the Bronchos signed seven linebackers, including mid-year junior college transfer and Edmond native Dillion Hall.
“Dillon is a thumper with natural box instincts,” Bobeck said. “He was very productive in his time at [Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College] and earned Second-Team NJCAA All-American.”
Despite this, Bobeck said he would still like to add more linebackers in next year’s class.
“We have several seniors at defensive end and linebacker,” Bobeck said. “We’ll see where attrition hits and what we need to do come December.”
Overall Bobeck said he is pleased with the class that he and his staff signed this season.
“We think this a very deep class with exceptional talent throughout,” Bobeck said. “On paper, we feel this is the best class we have signed since we’ve been at UCO.”