Ouachita Stacks Team with Arkansas Talent


ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – Ouachita Tigers Football Head Coach Todd Knight and his staff announced their 2016 Football Signing Class today. The Tigers signed 23 players that will immediately provide depth and balance on both sides of the football in 2016. Following the same plan that has produced eight-straight winning seasons, this year’s class is loaded with in-state recruits. 18 of the 23 players who signed come from Arkansas high schools.

“Having the Arkansas kids makes a ton of difference in our program,” Head Coach Todd Knight said. “They know the rivalries and they know the traditions in-state, so it already means a lot to them.”

Knight added, “Arkansas high school football is very good. The coaches in the state do a great job and having a nucleus of those quality kids on our team enhances our program. The relationships that our coaches, starting with our Recruiting Coordinator, Brett Shockley, have with state coaches has made a huge impact on our recruiting.”

Arkansas high school football players make up roughly 70 percent of the current roster. Last season 11 starters, six on the defensive side, were from Arkansas high schools. 38 of the 44 players on the 2015 two-deep were Arkansans.

This year’s mission for the coaching staff was following their motto of “Quality over Quantity.” Coach Knight discussed how recruiting is more than just adding numbers.

“Recruiting is making an investment in a kid,” Coach Knight said. “Morale’s better, their effort’s better when they know they are an investment.”

He added, “Our philosophy is to sign exactly what our needs are and not shotgun recruit by signing a ton of kids and let attrition take care of it. Coach Shockley has led us to a specific class to address our needs.”

Entering the 2016 season, this year’s recruiting class looks to fill the void left by 13 seniors, all of whom were starters or saw significant playing time throughout their careers. Last year’s seniors finished their careers with a record of 30-12, two conference championships and one playoff appearance.

On defense, Ouachita signed eight players to address immediate needs at both the linebacker and defensive back positions. The Tigers also added one player to an already talented and young defensive line that accounted for 14 of the Tigers 20 sacks last season.

“The linebacker spot was a huge issue for us and we had some attrition at the defensive back spot with graduation,” Coach Knight said. “Our coaches did a great job at getting those needs filled for us to have a shot to compete this year and make a run at the conference.”

On offense, the Tigers added four players to the offensive line. Ouachita averaged 254 rushing yards per game last season and the Tigers will need to replace two all-conference tackles who have started since the 2012 season. Ouachita also signed three tight ends to address the void left behind by a three-time all-conference starter.

Coach Knight said, “We’ve got a good nucleus on campus right now of young guys who will be ready for the spring on offensive line. We’re in pretty good shape, but we needed the depth and the guys we signed in this class will provide that depth or even have a shot to play some.”

At the skill positions, Ouachita added five players to help bolster an offense that averaged 403.5 yards per game and scored 32.5 points per game. The Tigers lost two senior starters at the wide receiver position. In response they signed two, including a 2015 Landers Award finalist. Ouachita also added depth to the running back and quarterback positions.

The Tigers are currently in offseason workouts. Spring football starts the third week of March, where the Tigers begin their quest for a third Great American Conference title.

2016 Ouachita Baptist University Football Signee List
Ouachita 2016 SIGNING CLASS Final Version

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