It was a historic day for the Tarleton State University football program Wednesday when head coach Todd Whitten announced the first NCAA Division I FCS signing class in program history.
"What an exciting day for Tarleton State University," Whitten said. "I've been a part of a lot of national signing days in my career, but this one had a little something extra. We've been talking about making the move to Division I for a while now and to put together our first class at this level is very special. I'm thankful and blessed to be a part of it.
"As far these young men that we've added, I'm excited to see all of them represent our great university," he added. "We've added some young men that we fully expect to see grow and embrace the culture that we've created here. We've had quite the track record of bringing in high school players and seeing them develop into great Texans - for example Brant Bailey, Ronnell Wilson and Devin Hafford - and I can't wait to see how this class ends up."
Since made his triumphant return to Tarleton State University in 2015, this is the fifth national signing day for his staff. Whitten has been joined by defensive coordinator Marcus Patton and co-offensive coordinator Jonathan Beasley for all five of his third-era recruiting classes and have found tremendous success on the first Wednesday in February.
In the last four years on signing day, Tarleton has recruited 55 lettermen that have taken the field for the Texans. Of those 55 players, the Texans have boasted 14 all-conference selections, the 2019 LSC Defensive Lineman of the Year, and six All-Americans. Tarleton will go into their first Division I football season with four players remaining from Whitten's first recruiting class in his return - Chris Radford, Tre Johnson, Ronnell Wilson and Devin Hafford.
On Wednesday, Tarleton added 27 freshmen student-athletes and four collegiate transfers - three from four-year institutions and one junior college transfer. The four transfers have been enrolled in classes since the spring semester began.
The breakdown of the 2020 signing class includes 15 offensive players - three wide receivers, two tight ends, three running backs, two quarterbacks and five offensive lineman - and 13 defensive players - six linebackers, three defensive linemen, and four defensive backs. Tarleton also added a dual-threat kicker that can also handle punting duties and two all-around athletes who could play on either side of the ball.