The ink has at last dried on the final National Letter of Intent (NLI) for Dave Cecchini and his coaching staff. The second-year head coach received the final commitment last week to cap off one of the largest and most widespread recruiting classes in program history. Cecchini will welcome 53 new Crusaders this coming fall in an effort that spanned 14 states.
"This class of recruits represents both a commitment on behalf of the coaching staff to attract quality student-athletes from all across our great nation, as well as finding the best local talent. It is a big class numerically, but we are also thrilled with the quality of the class. We were able to make nice upgrades from a speed and athleticism standpoint, and were able to address needs on both the offensive and defensive line," Cecchini remarked.
The class of newcomers includes representatives from Florida (13), Illinois (12), Indiana (7), California (4), Missouri (4), Michigan (3), Ohio (2), Texas (2), Arizona (1), North Carolina (1), Pennsylvania (1), South Carolina (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (1).
From a position-by-position standpoint, offensive line (12) and wide receiver (12) saw the highest number of recruits. The remaining 29 consist of nine linebackers, six defensive backs, four defensive lineman, two defensive ends, two kickers/punters, two running backs, two tight ends, an H-back, and a quarterback.
"We were able to land several outstanding commitments after the national signing day. I expect a lot of these young men to make an immediate impact on the gridiron for us this fall," Cecchini concluded.
Valpo received 141 receptions and 1,710 receiving yards in 2014 from a senior core of wide receivers who graduated this past May. In addition to a talented group in incoming freshman, Cecchini has also noted the steady increase in adaptability and production from Frank Catrine (Springboro, Ohio/Bishop Fenwick) and Jarrett Morgan (Cooper City, Fla./Cooper City) since focusing solely on those duties.
The Crusaders boasted the best offensive line in all of FCS football last autumn with respect to sacks allowed, surrendering just 0.42 per game.
The Brown and Gold will open the 2015 slate on Thursday, September 3rd versus Eastern Kentucky in Richmond. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT.
For a full list of this year's recruiting class, see the attached PDF.