What to know heading into National Signing Day

Hayden Boudreaux

Tomorrow is National Signing Day for college football. It is a day when college programs around the country finalize their recruiting classes and high school athletes make their final commitments for where they will play for the next four years. The Eagles have had quite the successful off-season, so before the big day let’s look at what we know so far.

1. Leading the Sun Belt

The Eagles are entering their third year in the Sun Belt, and already they are off to a good start in 2016. Currently, Georgia Southern has 23 commitments, with seven of them being ranked by ESPN, and is ranked as the 72nd best class in the FBS according to Rivals.com.Other schools in the Sun Belt have lagged behind, including defending champion Arkansas State with two 3-star commits, App State with six and Georgia State with one. While all of the previously mentioned schools have picked up two and three star recruits, one thing sets the Eagles apart from the rest of the pack.

2. Eagles land first four-star recruit (from UGA)

One of the biggest takeaways from the off-season is the commitment of 4-star wide receiver Darion Anderson from Warner Robins. Anderson is the first ever recruit for the Eagles to be signed from ESPN’s top 300 recruits and had quite the interesting start to 2016. In late December, he was committed to the University of Georgia but then de-committed, opening the door for the Eagles to swoop in and pick up the highly touted receiver. This is a testament to the recruiting abilities of the coaches and program of Georgia Southern.

3. New coaches making a difference

The departure of former head coach Willie Fritz definitely raised question marks among Eagle fans. With a large portion of the coaching staff moving to new schools, recruiting could have been greatly affected by the exodus. Instead, credit should be given to athletic director Tom Kleinlein and head coach Tyson Summers for bringing in several high school coaches, which resulted in them of bringing several of their former players with them to join the #Swoop16 signing class. 

4. A passing future?

When looking at the list of commitments so far, which has adopted the name #Swoop16 on Twitter, a few things will jump out to Eagle fans. In addition to the four-star receiver Anderson, the Eagles have picked up a three-star and a two-star wide receiver along with a three star tight end that could all make a difference in the passing game quickly. This points towards the idea of the Eagles putting the ball in the air more as both quarterbacks Kevin Ellison and Favian Upshaw are entering their final years with the team. With the passing game improving, things still look good for the Eagle offense. 

5. The Georgia Power Company

For those of us who still love the run game, the future remains bright for the Eagle option game. Amid the host of strong defensive recruits and receivers, the staff has brought in more heavy hitters for the running game. Two three-star running backs will enter the #Swoop16 class along side a pair of three-star offensive lineman from South Carolina. The Eagle backfield is stacked for the next three years or so, and the offensive line is maturing with every passing minute, but these recruits will all make their mark on Eagle football before their four years are up.