The Blitz: Plethora of commitments ahead of National Signing Day

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There is no doubt that we are in the middle of college football's crazy season. Coaching staffs are busy trying to keep current commits while seeking a commitment from players that have yet to make a decision. That part has been common in college football for years.

However, the addition of the transfer portal, with a window that coincides with National Signing Day, has coaches trying to figure out their needs after the window closed last week while mining the portal to fill some of those voids.

Last week, we took a look at FCS commitments. The focus this week is on commitments we can confirm for Division II schools, along with updating commitments to FCS teams. NAIA and JUCO can sign players to a National Letter of Intent during the NSD next Wednesday.

But what about Division III? Players are announcing their commitments to continue their careers at a DIII program next year. However, DIII does not have athletic scholarships and is not officially a part of the National Signing Day activities. According to NCAA Division III Bylaws, an athlete can sign a non-binding celebratory form at any time. However, the institution is prohibited from announcing the commitment until the athlete has submitted a financial deposit.

With that in mind, we at Dave Campbell’s will hold off on announcing commitments to Division III schools until the university makes an official announcement.

Southland Conference

  • Houston Christian head coach Braxton Harris announced the hiring of Eric Daniels, who will serve as the Huskies' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Daniels spent the past three years as defensive coordinator at Towson and was defensive coordinator at Briar Cliff and Oklahoma Panhandle State before joining the Tigers.

  • UIW received commitments from defensive end Logan Granville (Fort Bend Marshall HS), defensive back D’Arius Carmouche (South Grand Prairie HS), and defensive back AJ Harris (Lakeview Centennial).

  • Lamar received a commitment from wide receiver Michael Vasquez (Clark HS), defensive lineman Peyton Christian (Kilgore HS), offensive lineman Eli Ripley (Iowa Western), and defensive end Alex Haralson (Fort Worth Christian).

  • Texas A&M-Commerce earned a commitment from Peaster linebacker Tramar Gilbert.

Southwestern Athletic Conference

  • Prairie View A&M received a commitment from Pasadena Dobie High School linebacker Nigel Hill.

  • Texas Southern received a commitment from Buda Johnson High School kicker and punter Patrick Hellen.

Western Athletic Conference

  • Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the Stephen F. Austin community following the tragic deaths of wide receiver Graylan Spring and former SFA baseball player Micah McAfoose.

  • Sam Houston announced the addition of Brad Cornelsen as offensive coordinator last week. Cornelsen was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Virginia Tech from 2016-2021. This will be his first coaching job inside Texas after coaching at Illinois State, Oklahoma State, Northeastern State, and Memphis before joining the Hokies.

  • Bixby defensive back Tyson Williams announced his commitment to Abilene Christian.

  • Celina kicker and punter Kaden Lorick, committed to Sam Houston. Lorick was initially committed to Nevada.

  • Washington State safety Adrian Shepherd and Riverside Community College safety Marseille Taylor announced their intentions to transfer to SFA.

Lone Star Conference

  • West Texas A&M released its 2023 football schedule on Thursday. Head coach Josh Lynn will begin his first campaign at the helm at Western Colorado on Sept. 2. The Buffs have six home games scheduled, including LSC rivals Midwestern State and Angelo State.

  • Sources confirmed to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football that Sul Ross State is expected to transition to NCAA Division II and join the Lone Star Conference on July 1, 2024. The Lobos have been charter members of the American Southwest Conference since 1996. The decision marks a return to the LSC for the Lobos, who was a member of the conference from 1950-1976 when the LSC competed in NAIA.

  • Midwestern State is adding Shawn Byrnes to the Mustangs coaching staff. Byrnes will serve as the offensive line coach. Byrnes has spent the last five years as an offensive line coach at Northern Colorado and Ottawa University in Arizona. A native of Paradise Valley, Ariz., Byrnes played his collegiate ball at Texas Tech.

  • Angelo State transfers and commitments: quarterback Gerald Gardner (Lake Erie College), linebacker Ian Lewis (Georgetown HS), linebacker David Ifeanyi (The Woodlands HS), defensive back Jayden Jones (Yoakum), offensive lineman Connor Carington (Arlington HS), wide receiver Noah McClatchey (Legacy School of Sports Sciences), offensive lineman Brodan Elliott (Georgetown HS), and defensive lineman Greg Salazar (China Spring).

  • Midwestern State transfers and commitments: linebacker Jordan Fields (Allan Hancock College), quarterback Dom Shoffner (Eastern Illinois), wide receiver Tyrone Browning (Tyler JC), wide receiver Kalan McInnis (Duncanville), quarterback Isaiah Marks (Navarro), and athlete Austin Cumpton (Hawley).

  • Texas A&M-Kingsville transfers and commitments: wide receiver Anthony Isom (Kilgore), running back Santana Scott (Katy Morton Ranch HS), offensive lineman Anthony Bates Jr. (C.E. King HS), wide receiver Clearence Hosey (Vanderbilt Industrial), defensive lineman Josiah Lewis (Corpus Christi Vets Memorial HS), wide receiver Wyatt Elwood (Corpus Christi Flour Bluff), running back Kevin Holmes Jr. (Rudder HS), and defensive lineman Matt Quick (San Antonio Reagan HS).

  • UTPB transfers and commitments: offensive lineman Christian Crockett (Summer Creek HS), offensive lineman Maximus Johnson (East Central), offensive lineman Tristin Willis (East Central), defensive back Chance Omli (Butler CC), defensive back Tony Washington (Northeast Mississippi CC), offensive lineman James Morrow (Youngstown State), offensive lineman Thomas Medellin (Lincoln University), wide receiver Zeke Long (Morgan State), offensive lineman Andrew Johnson (McKendree), defensive back Ashton Hamby (Southwestern Oklahoma State), defensive end Malik Allen (Oklahoma Baptist), quarterback Keegan Byrd (Braswell HS), offensive lineman Girevis Bobey-Munoz (Midland Legacy HS), linebacker Sean Burks (Cuero HS), offensive lineman Reid Mitchell (Plano West HS), defensive lineman Mekhi Harris (Cedar Hill HS), and offensive lineman Jayden Deemer (Fort Bend Marshall HS).

  • West Texas A&M transfers and commitments: kicker Preston Gregg (Missouri Southern), linebacker Jimmy D Wayne Harrison (Nebraska-Kearney), defensive lineman Ovahdyah Ben-Israel (Nebraska-Kearney), linebacker Joshua Beaird (New Mexico Military), defensive lineman Dylan Ware (San Saba HS), quarterback Landyn Hack (Panhandle HS), defensive back Cody Chapman (Tompkins HS), defensive back Calen Austin (Denton Guyer HS), long snapper Alex Taylor (Nebraska-Kearney), and quarterback Kanon Gibson (Wink HS).

  • The Buffs received good news last week when wide receiver Noah Bogardus and cornerback Ty Dillon withdrew their names from the transfer portal and announced their intention to return to WT for the 2023 season.

American Southwest Conference

  • Sul Ross State announced the promotion of Caden Fregia to full-time linebacker coach. Fregia began his coaching career as a student assistant working with the linebackers following his playing career in 2021.

  • Sources confirmed to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football that Sul Ross State is expected to transition to NCAA Division II and join the Lone Star Conference on July 1, 2024. The Lobos have been charter members of the American Southwest Conference since 1996. The decision marks a return to the LSC for the Lobos, who was a member of the conference from 1950-1976 when the LSC competed in NAIA.

  • Howard Payne head coach Kevin Bachtel began assembling the final pieces of his coaching staff with the announcement of Terell Sims as receivers coach. Sims served as receivers coach and passing game coordinator at Sul Ross State last season. Before joining the Lobos last season, Sims was the wide receivers coach at NCAA Division II Valdosta State. Some of his previous coaching stops include Eastern Illinois, Virginia State, Florida A&M, and Florida International.

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