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 2022 season was a productive one for Air Force, although it did not live up to preseason expectations. For the first few weeks of the season, they were the best in the Mountain West. By the end of the season, they were a very good team but not quite one who could compete for a conference championship. The Falcons beat both of their academy rivals and scored victories over both in-state teams to become the Kings of Colorado. However, they struggled against many other teams in their division. Winning the coveted Commander-In-Chief Trophy balances out not playing for the conference title.
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 sixteen different states, including Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, Texas, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, California, Alabama, Idaho, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, Florida, Nevada. To no surprise, that is 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 running backs and the offensive line, the latter of which had the most signings at any one position for the Falcons. They were complemented by signings at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and 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 Anthony Wenson, Skye Richardson, Evan Keefe, and Griffin Stalfort.
Turning to the defense, Air Force once again featured players from every position. Thus far, the secondary looks to be in good shape for this class, and they also feature signings on the defensive line as well as a few at linebacker. Some names to keep track of include Anthony Murphy II, Kaden Freeman, Isaac Hubert, and Houston Hendrix.
Number who signed in December: 36
Number who will enroll early: None (per academy rules)
247 Composite Rankings (subject to change):
- Overall: 92nd
- Recruiting: 91st
- Transfer: 132nd (N/A)
The Road Ahead:
Top Targets Remaining: They’ve secured players all positions and will undoubtedly add more players. However, more depth at quarterback and linebacker 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 a number of positions, including offensive line, wide receiver, defensive line, and defensive back spots so far. Bolstering the numbers at running back, a key offensive position in the scheme is necessary. On the other side of the ball, the Falcon defense will benefit from addressing 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