UNI Panthers

UNI football's 2018 recruiting class: Mark Farley waits until February to announce signees

Panthers sign 21 players

UNI head football coach Mark Farley. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
UNI head football coach Mark Farley. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR FALLS — College football’s new early signing period lessened the buzz for the traditional National Signing Day that falls every February. However, the buzz for Northern Iowa football is similar to years past as head coach Mark Farley took a different approach in comparison to much of the competition back in December, opting not to publicize his early signing period signees.

“I made the decision not to publicize (the early signing period) because everyone wanted to throw it out there right away and with a second signing period coming up I felt it would benefit us if we would hold our cards,” UNI head coach Mark Farley said. “We weren’t hiding who we signed, we just didn’t make it (easily) accessible to our opponents to find out what we had done, and thus I thought it allowed us an opportunity to continue to recruit top young men. Because, say I sign one defensive back in the (early period), I may want to sign two more in the (regular period). So, I didn’t want (recruits) looking online saying, ‘well, you just signed him why do you want me?’ We needed them all.”

After signing 29 players in 2016 and 24 in 2017, UNI’s 2018 class count of 21 is unsurprising. What could be considered a surprise is the discrepancy between offensive and defensive players — nine to 12 respectively — with a couple offensive-minded athletes that have the potential to contribute on defense.

“I’m pleased because there’s a lot of defense in this class and that’s what we really wanted to make sure we garnered on this class,” Farley said. “Then there’s a balance of athletes on the offensive side. This class, there’s a lot more skill in it.”

Historically, Farley has largely stuck to redshirting as many newcomers as possible, something he hopes to continue with this class.

“We had to get defense, and actually some of these guys may play for us this year because we lost so many defensive players in this particular class,” Farley said. “I want to redshirt every one of them if I can, but there will be guys that play in this class. As much as you would like to redshirt people, the times of college football right now dictate that you are going to have to play some of these guys because of depth and there’s also some excellent players here that can come in and contribute.”

UNI's 2018 recruiting class: Offense

Name        Position Height Weight Hometown School
Jack Wegher RB 5-10 205 North Sioux City, S.D. Purdue (transfer)
Deion McShane ATH 5-9 155 Freeport, Ill. Freeport
Sam Ingoli WR 6-5 205 West Des Moines Dowling
Eric Mooney ATH 6-1 190 Huntley, Ill. Huntley
Trevon Alexander ATH 6-1 195 Richmond, Mo. Richmond
Jayden Scott TE 6-5 230 Omaha, Neb. Concordia
Alex Allen TE 6-6 220 Nixa, Mo. Nixa
Chase Arends OL 6-1 270 Cedar Falls Dike-New Hartford
Jordan Hook OL 6-4 270 Grundy Center Grundy Center

UNI's 2018 recruiting class: Defense

Name        Position Height Weight   Hometown School
Caden Houghtelling DE 6-5 240 Cambridge, Neb. Cambridge
Devin Rice DE 6-5 220 Liberty, Mo. Liberty North
Khristian Boyd DT 6-4 305 Blue Springs, Mo. Blue Springs
Tim Butcher DT 6-2 300 Palmer Iowa Central CC (transfer)
R.J. Clarke DL 6-4 265 Milwaukee, Wis. St. Francis
Jordan Gayer LB 6-3 195 Waverly Waverly-Shell Rock
Sam Thompson LB 6-2 205 Van Meter Van Meter
Taj Moffett DB 6-0 175 University Place, Wash. Curtis Senior
Shakespeare Williams DB 6-0 190 Kansas City, Mo. Ruskin
Jevon Brekke DB 6-3 185 Minneapolis, Minn. DeLaSalle
Roosevelt Lawrence DB 6-0 170 Tampa, Fla. Iowa Central CC (transfer)
Tayler Johnson DB 6-2 155 Minneapolis, Minn. Minneapolis North

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