Welcome to the first post in our twelve-part series that hopefully makes the dead period go by a bit quicker. These articles aim to provide a detailed look at what each team has done thus far on the recruiting trail and what work still needs to be put in before NLI day in February. One team a day will be featured this year in alphabetical order. Today will look at Air Force.
The 2021 season was a productive one for Air Force. They were able to reload on offense after most of their core graduated, and they returned the turnbacks to add to what was already a stellar defense. They didn’t miss a beat, producing on both sides of the ball and competing for the division title up until the last week of the season. A close, overtime loss to eventual champs Utah State, a close loss to SDSU, and a rivalry loss to Army were the only blemishes on the season. However, by sinking Navy, the Falcons ended up in a three-way tie for the coveted Commander-In-Chief Trophy.
As usual with academy recruiting, they are signing dozens of players and doing so with the purpose of finding players to fit their system. This means traditional rankings don’t fully capture their classes. Even so, there is still enough to discuss with the players who have signed with the Falcons so far. To read about a few of them, look below.
The Road So Far:
Air Force brought in numerous players during the December Signing Period but won’t be discussing all of them in this piece, nor in the February breakdown. Instead, we will look at some of the top recruits they brought in.
Note: For more info on why Air Force can recruit so many players, check out what we were told by beat writer Brent Briggeman a few years ago.
Although not as in-depth as other teams, here are some quick observations about their class. Per MWCConnection tracking, they have gained signees from players in at least eleven different states, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming. They have verbal commits in even more states. More than any other team in the Mountain West, Air Force casts a wide net recruiting players from many states.
Looking at their offensive signees, there was a significant focus on the offensive line, where nine recruits signed. They were complemented by a quarterback, a running back, two wide receivers, and a tight end. It’s hard to get into specifics at this point, and not all players have been confirmed signees. Still, some notable names are: Kemper Hodges, RB Aiden Lal, Dylan Evans, Ridge Brewington, OL Joe Radovan, Jace Sutulovich, and Alec Falk.
Turning to the defense, the Air Force signees were more balanced by position. Thus far, there are two signees on the defensive line, three linebackers, and two in the secondary. Some names to keep track of include: Beau Edwards, Jackson Garrett, Tyler Stevens, Zach Juckel, and Devin Dunn.
Number who signed in December: 37 (at least)
Number who will enroll early: None (per academy rules)
247 Composite Rankings:
- Overall: 106th
- Recruiting: 76th
- Transfer: N/A
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: They’ve secured players all positions and will undoubtedly add more players. However, more depth at QB, RB, FB, DT, and LB wouldn’t hurt.
Going forward, the important part of the Falcon’s recruiting efforts is to keep an eye on how they are finding players to fit their system. They have already done a good job with the offensive line, wide receiver, and defensive back spots so far. Bolstering the numbers at fullback and running back, both key offensive positions will be necessary. On the other side of the ball, the Falcon defense will benefit from addressing the interior of the defensive line and the linebacker unit. Air Force is always the most challenging class to identify, but more depth is never a bad thing.
Coming tomorrow: Boise State