CONWAY — A little more than a week away from National Signing Day, Coastal Carolina football coach Joe Moglia was cautiously optimistic about the Chanticleers’ incoming recruiting class.
Cautious because as any coach knows, nothing is certain until that signed national letter of intent arrives through the fax machine.
Moglia said Coastal has received around 10 verbal commitments, though that number is ever in flux, and he’s hoping to sign 17 or 18 players and augment the class with a number of preferred walk-ons with whom the coaching staff has been in communication. The class will come into full focus next Wednesday, though, as players around the country put their decisions in ink.
“I think it’s going well,” Moglia said. “I’m not going to be comfortable until we get to February 6. But I feel good about the guys that have committed. I feel good about the guys we have offered. This is a big week. We’re going to have one more recruiting weekend – that’s going to be this weekend, so that’s a big weekend. ... But I’m not going to really feel good about it until I’ve seen who has actually signed.”
Moglia said offers have been extended to players as far west as Mississippi, as far north at Massachusetts and as far south as Florida.
The Chants have had a more traditional recruiting push this year after having to scramble to assemble the 2012 class following Moglia’s hiring in late December of last offseason. Still, the process wasn’t without hiccups this time either.
Recruiting coordinator Mike Gallagher resigned in December to pursue other potential options and defensive line coach Brandon Noble left earlier this month for a job at Temple. Moglia insists the staff departures had no significant impact on the program’s recruiting efforts, however.
“Mike left early enough and even when Brandon left, both did a good job of sitting down with me to go over all their guys and then we transitioned all of their guys to one of the other coaches,” Moglia said. “Both Brandon and Mike would sit down with the other coach and talk to them about that kid and would also make a phone call to the kid he was recruiting. ... Because of their professionalism, I don’t think we missed a beat.”
The true verdict will come next Wednesday.
A day after announcing Cory Bailey as the Chants’ new defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator, Moglia said he still plans to make one more hire to his coaching staff.
Bailey takes on the roles vacated by both Gallagher and Noble, but Moglia hopes to add another assistant coach with a speciality in pass defense and/or special teams.
“I’m trying to wrap that up now,” he said.
As for Bailey, Moglia touted his background and his tenure as the head coach at Division II Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. Bailey went 32-50 in eight years there, leading the program to its first-ever consecutive winning seasons in 2009 and 2010.
“Assumption is a low-budget Division II school. I don’t know if anybody could have done a better job at Assumption than what he’s done,” Moglia said. “When you’re in a role like that, you have to do a lot of things. One of the things you have to do is figure out a way to manage your budget when you’re recruiting so you can maximize the talent pool you bring in. I think he’s done that.”
Moglia also joked that the two have a thing or two in common.
“He’s a bright guy. He majored in economics and went to Fordham,” Moglia said. “I majored in economics and went to Fordham. So what else do I have to say?”
Defensive back Philip George has left the program and will look to find another opportunity elsewhere, Moglia said.
George recorded 36 tackles last season as a junior, starting five games at safety before seeing his role change a bit down the stretch. He had made nine starts as a sophomore.
“He started in the beginning of the season, he wasn’t playing as much at the end of the season, [so] he thought he had a better shot at playing somewhere else,” Moglia said.
Meanwhile, the Chants have already added three players to their 2013 roster.
Junior offensive lineman Jon Jenkins (6-foot-4, 300 pounds) comes to Coastal from ASA College in New York, freshman offensive lineman Rodney Mitchell (6-3, 290) comes from the Atlanta Sports Academy and junior defensive back Imir Sanders arrives from Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania. All three are already on campus but will be considered part of the 2013 recruiting class.
The Chants had success last year in adding Atlanta Sports Academy product Tyrell Blanks at receiver and Lackawanna transfer Lorenzo Taliaferro at running back.
Contact RYAN YOUNG at 626-0318, or follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/RyanYoungTSN.