Weber State football doesn’t sign early recruits; Jay Hill explains strategy

Wednesday , December 20, 2017 - 8:14 PM

BRANDON GARSIDE, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — While a few Big Sky football teams signed a dozen or more recruits Wednesday as the new early signing period opened, two Big Sky teams did not announce any signings: Weber State and Northern Colorado.

Wildcat head coach Jay Hill said there are many factors to the lack of announcements from his program: the types of players he and his staff are recruiting, WSU’s historic run in the FCS Playoffs and a limited amount of scholarships.

“We are out recruiting really hard right now and we are building relationships with kids, and we’re in deep on these guys,” Hill said. “We have not pushed hard at this point for a lot of commitments due to who else is recruiting these guys.”

Season in review: Jay Hill talks historic run, future of Weber State football

The players Hill and his staff are recruiting are drawing attention from larger programs on the FBS level, but Hill believes some will still be available to sign in just more than a month. Those players will not sign with an FCS school at the moment as they have hopes to sign with those schools on the higher level.

With only 17 seniors leaving the roster after a historic 2017 season — and some players earning scholarships after proving their worth during the run — this year’s signing class is expected to be much smaller than those in the past four years of the Hill era. The February 2017 signing day saw 32 players announced as new signees.

“Our situation has just been different,” Hill said. “I still believe in the end that we’ll have one of the best signing classes in the Big Sky. We’re not taking very many guys this year, either. We just don’t have many spots available.”

Coaches were delayed in hitting the road to recruit as the Wildcats played up until the Dec. 8 quarterfinals loss at James Madison. Hill said players are unlikely to sign with a school that they have not yet visited. 

Montana State added 16 players in the early signing period and Montana announced 15, but most teams in the conference signed no more than seven players.

The early signing period lasts through Friday and the standard national signing day is Feb. 7, 2018.

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at bgarside@standard.net, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.

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