JOPLIN, Mo. — Missouri Southern landed 26 players Wednesday on the first day of the NCAA’s signing period — 13 from high school, 13 from junior colleges.
“It just turned out that way,” Lions coach Daryl Daye said. “Hopefully we can redshirt as many of these freshmen as we can. If they can compete and help us win, they are playing. But if they are in a position where we don’t need them for depth reasons, we want to redshirt every freshman we possibly can.”
Among the 13 juco signees, all but two are already on campus and available to go through spring drills. The exceptions are wide receiver Courtney Ward from Fort Scott and safety Marquiz Edget from Holmes (Miss.) Community College.
“To get the mid-year transfers was extremely good for us,” Daye said. “I’ve been a part of this for many years, and I don’t think we’ve ever gotten more than five or six mid-year transfers. To get 11 ... it’s awesome. We had a hole in our junior class, and by getting those guys here, that kind of filled in the class.”
The offensive line was one recruiting priority. The Lions landed lineman Brandon Berg from tradition-rich Tulsa Union High School plus three juco linemen who tip the scales at 290 pounds or more. Two of them — Levi Freeman and Elbert Fulgham III — came to MSSU from Petal, Miss., by way of different jucos — Freeman from Pearl River (Miss.) and Fulgham from Dodge City.
“There were O-line concerns we addressed,” Daye said. “The junior college kids are immediate-help guys who are ready to go. We’re still going to take maybe one or two more high school offensive linemen that we’re looking at.”
Joplin’s Gabe Sachetta and Corey Moss from Thomaston, Ga., are the two quarterbacks who signed Wednesday.