The Blitz: Ranking every early high school recruiting class for Texas FCS teams

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This week’s edition of the Blitz will be a bit different following last week's early signing period. However, the NCAA only allows Division I schools to sign players in December. All other NCAA divisions must wait until the national signing day in February. So, this week will only feature the FCS teams.

For fans like me that aren’t recruiting gurus, I set out to try and rank only the high school signees for each conference with a Texas team. I learned an even greater respect for the incredible work that Greg Powers does for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

These rankings are purely subjective. I searched each high school signee to find a consensus ranking from 247 Sports,, and On3. Transfers are not included in these rankings, with the recruiting services trying to catch up to the invention of the transfer portal. Sam Houston is also included in these rankings as they transition to FBS. The Bearkats officially move to Conference USA in July and will be a part of the Blitz until the move is official.

On3 provides team recruiting rankings based on the entire class of high school signees, transfer signees, and commitments. For reference, On3 has Sam Houston with the best FCS recruiting class in Texas, followed by Stephen F. Austin, Tarleton, Houston Christian, Prairie View A&M, UIW, Lamar, Texas A&M-Commerce, and Texas Southern

Using only the high school players that signed last week during the early signing period, my rankings have Sam Houston at the top, followed by SFA, Texas Southern, Tarleton, PVAMU, HCU, Lamar, UIW, ACU, and A&M-Commerce. Each team’s ranking will be discussed further compared to their conference rank below. These rankings will be revisited following the national signing day in February.

Southland Conference

  • Southeastern Louisiana signed 20 players, including 18 from high school. The Lions do not sit atop the Southland rankings due to the number of players added, but their ranking is bolstered by 3-star linebacker Jirrea Johnson. 

  • McNeese follows the Lions with the addition of consensus 3-star offensive tackle Jamall Franklin Jr. The Cowboys are another school that signed a massive class with 10 from high school and 14 players from the transfer portal.

  • Houston Christian is the top-ranked team from Texas in the Southland. The Huskies signed six players during the early period, led by quarterback Cutter Stewart and defensive end Andrew Huff. Head coach Braxton Harris and staff have HCU on the rise in the rankings after receiving a commitment from 3-star high school linebacker Khalil Peart and 3-star linebacker Justin Macias, who is transferring to HCU from Louisiana-Monroe.

  • Peter Rossomando’s first early signing class at Lamar sits fourth in the Southland ahead of Northwestern State. The Cardinals added five high school players and received a present on Christmas Eve with the addition of defensive back Jamarion Evans.

  • UIW head coach Clint Killough battled a deep playoff run to land four high school athletes, including offensive lineman Christian Fitchett from Cibolo Steele and wide receiver Jameson Garcia from Amarillo.

  • Texas A&M-Commerce finishes ahead of Nicholls thanks to the addition of six players, while the Colonels only added one athlete from the high school ranks. Lions head coach Clint Dolezel and staff are sure to hit the road recruiting over the next month and should improve in the final ranking.

Southwestern Athletic Conference

  • Jackson State has a deep high school recruiting class highlighted by five 3-star athletes. The Tigers earned the signatures of Noah Boulieu, Isaiah Kendall, Tristen Sion, Dequarious White, and Mike Williams despite former head coach Deion Sanders leaving for Colorado.

  • Texas Southern slots behind JSU. The addition of 3-star defensive back Marques Neal bolsters the Tigers. Clarence McKinney and staff have only added five high school players thus far, but the depth of their class is impressive.

  • Prairie View A&M is third in the rankings ahead of Alabama State, Alcorn State, Southern, Florida A&M, Alabama A&M, Mississippi Valley State, Bethune-Cookman, Grambling, and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Panthers most significant addition was 3-star defensive back Treylan James from Baton Rouge, La.

Western Athletic Conference

  • The race for the top spot in the WAC was razor-thin, with Sam Houston barely earning the nod. The Bearkats added talent across the board, highlighted by three 3-star players. Wide receiver Lonnie Adkism was the top-ranked recruit added, followed closely by fellow 3-star defensive backs Jamarie Wiggins and D’Marea Weaver.

  • SFA is close behind its rival and added three 3-star players in its 19-member recruiting class. Colby Carthel and staff added 15 players from the high school ranks, led by 3-star offensive lineman Kolt De La Torre, running back Jaylen Jenkins, and quarterback Gavin Rutherford.

  • Tarleton is fourth behind Utah Tech, who added 12 players, including 3-star prospect Nygel Osborne. The Texans are only slotted behind the Trailblazers due to only signing two players during the early period, including 3-star offensive lineman Rikter Connally. Expect the Texans to rise in the rankings when Todd Whitten and staff complete their recruiting class in February.

  • Abilene Christian slots in at the final spot in the conference behind Southern Utah, who added 28 high school players. The Wildcats added four players during the early period, with Odessa Permian defensive back Bryce Woody highlighting the early class. All four players in ACU’s early class are defensive players, including defensive linemen Jerry Lawson and Luke Gambs.

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