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2023 Recruiting Breakdown: Air Force

A class led by mid-level talent

NCAA Football: Armed Forces Bowl-Baylor vs Air Force Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the eighth post in our twelve-part recruiting breakdown series. Today will look at the #8 team in our rankings, Air Force.

The Falcons never have a problem getting the quantity when it comes to recruiting, but in many years the quality is usually up for debate. In this year’s class, there were a high number of three-stars to lead the class, although they lacked a true headliner. While those players are considered more mid-level talent than top-tier talent, it’s easy to see many of them becoming contributors for Air Force in the years to come if they can develop. Thankfully for them, they are in a program that is high on player development. With that being said, this post highlights twenty of those players.

The Skinny:

  • Roughly 69 recruits signed (21 recruits highlighted in this post).
  • 69 high school players
  • 35 offensive, 32 defensive, 2 special teams
  • 13 3-stars per 247 Composite rankings.
  • Players with a composite rating over 85: 0
  • Players with a composite rating over 82: 7
  • Breakdown by state (as comprehensive of a list as possible): 15 Texas, 10 Georgia, 5 Oklahoma, 5 Washington, 4 California, 4 Colorado, 3 Arizona, 3 Ohio, 3 Florida, 2 Alabama, 2 Illinois, 2 Minnesota, 2 Missouri, 1 Idaho, 1 Kansas, 1 Louisianna, 1 Mississippi, 1 Nevada, 1 Pennsylvania, 1 Tennessee, 1 Virginia, 1 Wisconsin
  • 247 Composite Rankings (subject to change)

- Overall: 104

- Recruiting: 102

- Transfer: 201

The Players:

QB Josh Johnson

Josh comes to the academy as a quarterback. He is a do-it-all athlete who plays all over the field and can understand both offensive and defensive schemes. Johnson moves around the field effortlessly, cutting and changing directions all over the field. He has great vision as a runner and his vision will aid him in the pitch game. Josh looks like he can command the option offense down the line for the Falcon.

RB Dermot White

Dermot is a running back out of Texas. He is a tough, downhill runner who isn’t afraid of contact when bouncing off tackles for extra yards. White finds the hole and hits top speed quickly once he commits to running. He has some breakaway ability, but he really excels on short runs fighting for extra yards. Dermot would fit in well as a fullback in the Falcon offense.

RB Ryan Henning

Ryan is another running back in this class. He has plenty of speed and changes direction smoothly in the open field to avoid defenders. Henning can hold his own between he tackles but looks most comfortable once he gets into the second level where he can make people miss. While he doesn’t have much experience taking a pitch, but it’s easy to envision him in that role for Air Force. Ryan should fit in well in the option system.

RB Luke Gall

Luke is another running back for a team that loves to run the ball. He is a tough running who excels at running between the tackles while he wards off tacklers. Gall does a fantastic job seeing the field and finding holes to run through at the line of scrimmage. He is well-rounded, able to grind out a few years or break free for a huge gain after he finds another gear once he’s in the second level of a defense. Luke is high on potential and is a natural fit at the fullback spot for the Falcons.

WR Anthony Wenson

Anthony is a talented wide receiver in this class. He is a big downfield threat who has great hands while running down the sidelines. Wenson is a solid route-runner who uses his speed and technique to get open. He does a great job turning up field after the catch for big gains. Even though the Falcons won’t throw it a ton, Anthony has the potential to be a top target when they do.

WR KeShon Singleton

KeShon joins the Falcons as a wide receiver. He is a complete receiver who can hurt a defense in a variety of ways. Singleton is shifty in the open field, juking defenders and avoiding tackles after first contact. He can also impact the game as a returner, where he moves well in space. KeShon has the potential to be a productive player in due time.

TE Mitchell Blakeslee

Mitchell enters the fold as a tight end. He is an aggressive player who is ready to go as soon as the ball is snapped. Blakeslee excels in blocking, pushing defenders out of the play to allow the running game to get going. He does a great job keeping his feet moving and sticking to his man on his blocks. Mitchell should have no issue fitting into the Air Force offense once he gets on the field.

OL Skye Richardson

Skye will be an offensive lineman for Air Force. He is a fierce blocker, initiating contact at every opportunity he gets. Richardson does a good job pulling and getting out in front of plays, but is at his best pushing the defender in front of him off to the side. He does a nice job staying low and using his lower body in his hits. Skye looks like he can develop into a good guard at the next level.

OL Evan Keefe

Evan is another offensive lineman who signed with Air Force. He is an athletic player who moves comfortably all around the field. Keefe is noticeably strong, running plays right out of the play like a sled drill. He is also skilled in pass protection, displaying good footwork as he moves laterally. Evan can play all over the line, but looks good at the tackle position.

OL Ian Fisher

Ian is another lineman with great size. He is physical at the point of contact and plays with a mean streak. Fisher executes sound fundamentals both in pass protection as well as run blocking. He puts his entire body into his blocks, overpowering defenders and driving them out of the play. Ian looks skilled enough to play guard or tackle.

DT Kade Thompkins

Kade comes to Air Force to play defensive tackle. He is very mobile at the line of scrimmage, fighting to gain position and get into the backfield. Thompkins pushes past blockers with a bull rush and chases down quarterbacks with a burst of quickness. He does a great job wrapping up on his tackles to ensure he finishes plays. Kade has college ready size and ability, so he should see the field early in his career.

DT Ty Holiday

Ty is a defensive tackle entering the academy. He is quick off the snap as he pushes his was into the backfield to make a play. Holiday does a great job doing all he can to get a piece of the quarterback to slow him down or stop his momentum and notch a sack. He is versatile on the line, capable of playing on the interior but still having enough speed to slide over the end. Ty should be a nice fit for the Falcons as a defensive tackle due to his size.

DL Brady Phillips

Brady is an impressive defensive tackle for Air Force. He plows through the offensive line to disrupt the offense. Phillips generates a good interior pass rush by staying low and driving blockers back until he can break free. He does a nice job keeping his hands active to make a tackle or take away a passing lane. Brady is one of the more talented players in this Falcon class, and if he takes care of things off the field, he should be on the field in no time.

DE Aiden Herring

Aiden comes to the program as a defensive end. He is fierce off the edge, going full force on every play to get into the backfield. Herring does a nice job reading plays and then getting into position to disrupt them. He has good game speed and is a sound tackler, able to get to the running back or quarterback right away. Aiden has a bright future as a defensive end once he adjusts to the college game.

DE Kaden Freeman

Kaden is a defensive end out of Texas. He is a high-motor player who doesn’t give up on plays until the whistle is blown. Freeman is a great tackler who is sure to wrap up running backs as he closes up holes at the line of scrimmage. He knows how to use his leverage and body to get offensive linemen off balance. helping him to win his matchups. Kaden has all the tools necessary to be successful.

LB Blake Fletcher

Blake joins the Falcons as a linebacker after playing on both sides of the ball in high school. He does a great job diagnosing a play and then committing full speed to his assignment. Fletcher displays solid speed as he roams the field and is a great tackler, with ball carriers having not chance to escape him. He fills the gaps quickly and effectively in the run game and can hold his own in coverage as well. Black seems like he will have no problem developing into a great middle linebacker at the next level.

LB Kade Steadman

Kade is another linebacker in this class. He has impressive size and is still able to move around the field with little issue. Steadman sheds block with little issue and gets into the backfield to stop running backs in their tracks. He has enough speed to keep up with players when they change direction and can play special teams units as well. Kade is in the mold of a classic Air Force defender.

LB Houston Hendrix

Houston is a skilled linebacker heading to Air Force. He is an athletic player, lining up in multiple spots over the field during his high school career. Hendrix sees the field well and delivers hards hits in space to limit explosive plays. He can line up in the box and win battles against offensive linemen to stop the run game. Houston has a lot of potential as he heads to the academy.

DB Devin Jordan

Devin joins the team as a defensive back. He is very skilled at reading plays, both in the run game and when the ball is in the air. Jordan is a ballhawk who beats receivers to the ball and comes down with the interception. In run support, he slides into position and stays low when delivering a forceful tackle. Devin looks like a well-rounded safety, and his skills should serve him well in college.

DB Kyle Chen

Kyle comes to the Falcons as one of their highest-ranked recruits this cycle. He is a playmaker in the secondary who is able to lock down receivers. Chen is at his best playing off defenders in zone coverage and then closing in to knock down a pass or snag an interception. He sees plays develop as they happen and has the speed in the open field to react. Kyle should definitely see the field early in his career.

DB JT Tomescko

JT is another defensive backing this class. He tracks the ball well in the air and uses his body well to fight for position and make a play. Tomescko isn’t afraid to be physical at the back of the defense, mixing it up with receivers and laying hard hits in coverage. He has great leaping ability and is skilled at timing his jumps. JT will need time to keep developing but should have a productive college career.

Team Writer Thoughts:

I’m not sure anyone can predict which of the Falcon recruits will do well in the system, outside of perhaps the coaching staff. If you look back at some of the recruiting years, very few of the 3 star recruits become the leaders of the team, probably because they leave or they don’t have the discipline to play as a cog in the machine. As an example, on the 2019 recruit list, only two of the nine three-star recruits became stars on the team, Trey Taylor and Kyle Patterson. The two-star recruits from that year included starters Brad Roberts, Luke Hallstrom, Micah Davis (no stars), and Thor Paglialong. And don’t forget Isaac Cochran, who wasn’t even recruited and came in as a walk-on and became an All-American. One of the few benefits the Falcons have in recruiting is that there is no limit on the number of recruits they can bring in because everyone gets a scholarship.

If I have to pick one recruit that has the best chance at a good Falcon career, I’d pick RB Luke Gall. He is hard to bring down, has good vision through the line of scrimmage, and has good quickness and speed. He looks like a good candidate to take over the fullback position.

Quick Hits:


Mike: Chen, Wenson, Fletcher

NittanyFalcon: Wenson, Chen

Talented enough to play right away (Right away for the Falcons means might get a few snaps if injuries become a problem):

Mike: Chen, Wenson, Fletcher, Hendrix, Phillips

NittanyFalcon: None

Sleeper Recruit:

Mike: White, Gall, Richardson

NittanyFalcon: Luke Gall

Best unit:

Mike: Defensive Line, Linebacker

NittanyFalcon: Linebacker


As stated above, this Air Force class is led by a bunch of above-average players and flanked by a plethora of other signees to fill out the ranks. How this class turns out remains to be seen, but it would not be a surprise for quite a few players to overachieve and outplay their recruiting rankings. There is a lot of potential in this class, and most of them fit the Falcon system very well. With that being said, some players may not like the academy, while others may not pan out due to the rigorous standards. Assuming they do, the potential is there. Overall, there’s a lot to like here.

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