Not since former coach David Bennett convinced the Chanticleers’ first signing class in 2002 – the year before football began at CCU – has there been a more important recruiting effort for the school.
With new coach Joe Moglia taking over in December, well after other schools were well on there way to completing their classes, Coastal started behind the 8-ball.
With a partial staff, Moglia not only had to convince the Chants’ verbal commitments to keep their word, he also had to start searching for recruits to fit his system from scratch.
Early indications are that Coastal’s new staff did an admirable job under the circumstances. With little experience in the school’s core recruiting base – North and South Carolina and Georgia – the new staff went outside the traditional boundaries to find some quality players.
Quarterback Dalton Demos of St. Louis, for example, came courtesy of a connection through new assistant coach and former Missouri running back Brock Olivo.
Like many players in the Midwest and beyond, Demos had never heard of Coastal Carolina before talking to Olivo. After a hastily planned visit to the Conway campus, he was sold.
The Chants also appear to have done well in their backyard as well. Two Florence products – Wilson wide receiver John Israel and West Florence center Michael Quick are expected to cement their commitments today.
However, Moglia admits this class will not be a large one, likely around a dozen players in all, primarily because of the short amount of time the new staff had to get into the recruiting circles.
Between the number of kids who had committed to Coastal under Bennett’s leadership changing their minds and the difficult task of trying to get others to change their commitments and check out CCU, Moglia and Co. had their hands full.
But it will be the quality of this class, not the quantity, that will go the longest way toward deciding the early success or failure of the new coaching staff.
In terms of sheer numbers, this will likely be the smallest recruiting class ever at Coastal. But in terms of importance, it will be the biggest class in CCU football history.