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Sun Belt Class Rankings

By Billy Tyson
SouthernPigskin.com
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Not surprisingly, Arkansas State finished with the top recruiting class in the Sun Belt.

11. Troy

The Trojans gathered a recruiting class that leaned heavily on wide receivers. Six of the Trojans’ recruits are potential receiving targets for the quarterback. Three-star JUCO player Jarvis Bentley of Itawamba CC is the standout of the group. He should be a favorite target of quarterback signees Connor Bravard of Iowa Western CC and Dontreal Pruitt of East Mississippi CC.

Commits: 19

Three Stars: 1

Two Stars: 8

10. New Mexico State

Joining the Sun Belt in 2014, the Aggies are hoping to improve their offensive production. They brought in three-star pro-style quarterback Nick Jeanty from Hollywood, FL and rwo-star Running back Larry Rose of Fairfield, TX to put up more points.

Commits: 25

Three Stars: 3

Two Stars: 15

9. Louisiana-Monroe

The Warhawks hope to surge back into the top half of the conference in 2014 after finishing 6-6 last year. To boost their offense, they signed three-star pro-style quarterback Anthony Monken from Libertyville, IL, to battle with two-star QB recruit Garrett Smith of Spring Branch, TX.

Commits: 22

Three Stars: 1

Two Stars: 19

8. Idaho

The Vandals are in a unique position in the Sun Belt. While most members battle for recruits in one corner of the country, Idaho has a window to the West. Most of the Vandals’ recruits come from West of the Mississippi, but three-star running back Aaron Duckworth hails from Orange Park, Florida. The only signee from Idaho is two-star dual-threat quarterback Gunnar Amos.

Commits: 24

Three Stars: 3

Two Stars: 15

7. South Alabama

The Jaguars surprised many by earning a winning record in the Sun Belt in 2013. They followed up that momentum with a signing class of 21 members. Three-star safeties Nigel Green of Mississippi Gulf Coast CC, CJ Johnson of Moultrie, GA and Malcolm Buggs of Opelika, AL anchor a defensive-minded recruiting list.

Commits: 21

Three Stars: 4

Two Stars: 15

6. Georgia State

After a disastrous start to the 2013 season, Trent Miles saw his Panthers make solid progress towards the end of the year. The second-year coach saw a big need at quarterback and brought in three-star pro-style signal caller Nick Arbuckle from JUCO Pierce College. To improve the defense that gave up the most points in the Sun Belt, the Panthers got three-star JUCO players cornerback Marcus Caffey of Iowa Western CC and safety Sheldon Wynn of Hartnell College.

Commits: 24

Three Stars: 8

Two Stars: 15

5. Texas State

Tying with Appalachian State for the most signees, the Bobcats will have 27 new players for 2014. Three-star kicker James Sherman is an interesting pickup for Texas State. Offensively, Three-star Tryston Mizerak of Garland, TX, could make an impact at center. Three-star Roosevelt Pearson of San Jacinto, CA, is rated as the number seven defensive end on the weak side of the ball and is a solid JUCO signee.

Commits: 27

Three Stars: 3

Two Stars: 23

4. Louisiana-Lafayette

The Ragin’ Cajuns brought in a few defensive studs to join the squad that gave up the second-fewest points in conference play. Three-star defensive lineman Ken Edwards of Philadelphia, MS, and three-star linebacker T.J. Posey of Gadsden, AL, make for a punishing threat to opposing offenses. Three-star tight end Anthony Jones of New Orleans is rated at the number five player at his position from Louisiana. He should make a fine addition to a potent offense.

Commits: 21

Three Stars: 6

Two Stars: 15

3. Appalachian State

Head coach Scott Satterfield tied for the largest class in the Sun Belt with 27 new players. The Mountaineers looked to resurrect an offense that struggled in several contests in 2013. Satterfield brought in six wide receivers, headlined by three-star Sheadon Meadors of Duncan, SC. Meadors could soon find himself a favorite target of pro-style quarterback J.P. Caruso of Delray Beach, FL. Three-star linebacker Okon Godwin of Covington, GA, looks to be a future defensive standout.

Commits: 27

Three Stars: 8

Two Stars: 15

2. Georgia Southern  

Willie Fritz had less than three weeks of active recruiting time to put together the Eagles’ first FBS class. The allure of FBS membership proved helpful, as Fritz signed the top recruiting class in Georgia Southern history. As the Eagles transition to a different version of the option offense, Fritz wanted a bigger offensive line. He found it in five new linemen who average 304 pounds as a unit. Three-star recruits Christian Williams of Wetumpka, AL, and Trayvon Williams of Kingsland, GA, headline the impressive new O-line. Cornerback was a pressing need for the Eagles, and they filled it with three-star Darrius White of Belton, TX ,and the open field tackler Caleb Williams of Tyler, TX.

Commits: 20

Three Stars: 10

Two Stars: 9

1. Arkansas State  

New head coach Blake Anderson wanted to solidify his defense. The Red Wolves signed 15 defensive players, with tackles and defensive backs taking the priority. Three-star defensive tackle Chuks Ota chose to stay in his hometown of Jonesboro. Three-star defensive end Kyle Strickland comes to the Red Wolves from Brandon, MS.  Anderson did not neglect the offense, as 10 players will join the Red Wolves’ attack. Pro-style quarterback James Tabary of New Orleans will find solid playing time sooner rather than later.

Commits: 25

Three Stars: 13

Two Stars: 12

Billy Tyson - Billy is a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a BA in Communication Arts and a minor in Film. A native of Springfield, Georgia, he is the sportswriter for the Metter Advertiser and serves as a Sun Belt Conference contributor for Southern Pigskin.