If the ASA football program was a sleeper prior to Wednesday's National Signing Day, it's about to be a fully-awakened entity following a highly-successful day.
Fresh off the heels of a national column written about the burgeoning program, ASA is in the midst of compiling a very impressive recruiting list for the upcoming 2017 campaign. Head coach Joe Osovet has the Avengers looking and feeling as if they'll be a legitimate national contender in just his second season at the helm, as he and his stellar staff have signed numerous top-flight talent.
The Avengers finished 4-6 last season in Osovet's maiden voyage, but were definitely on the rise, as they ended the season on a two-game winning streak by averaging a whopping 75 points per game in the victories.
What Osovet and his staff have done at ASA in such a short time is very commendable – as written by USA today columnist Paul Myerberg in his Feb. 1 article. Myerberg noted that unlike major-college football programs that only have to bring in top-flight talent, Junior Colleges (JuCo) have that task as well, but also have to worry about where their now-departing student-athletes land once their two-year stints ends. Major college coaches don't have that same workload as coaches like Osovet have, which is, as Myerberg noted, to "sign its own crop of players while finding landing spots for its graduated class — essentially doing twice the work of its four-year college peers."
Osovet agreed with Myerberg's claim, saying "it's a tougher place to recruit than at those Power Five conferences [because] you have to do all of your evaluating, one. Two, you're not only recruiting kids into your program, but the lifeline or the bloodline is that you've got to make sure you're getting kids out to marquee places."
Coach Osovet and his staff have been doing just that by taking care of their own, while restocking their own cupboards. In recent weeks, ASA's facilities have played host to coaches from Mississippi State, Ohio State, Rutgers, Memphis, and Florida State. The list of players heading off to esteemed universities and colleges is growing by the year – this year in particular. Since its debut in 2009, the Avengers program has sent student-athletes to every FBS conference -- and on this signing day, ASA graduates are set to play for Missouri, Indiana, and Pittsburgh, among others.
As far as incoming prospects, ASA's plan is to sign between 15 and 23 prospects on signing day, holding another handful of scholarships in reserve for what coaches call the "second wave" of recruiting, a period beginning later in February as recruits who inked with four-year colleges discover they failed to become academically eligible.
Osovet described his best pitches to potential signees, as Myerberg noted in the USA Today piece:
"We're going to sell that we can get you out in 15 months," Osovet said. "We're going to sell the exposure and recruiting aspect, and that you're going to play a national schedule. So there's exposure in terms of getting yourself out there to get a Power Five offer."
For the complete USA Today article, follow the link below.
National Signing Day update:
- Amir Stewart, defensive lineman, Harlem, NY
- Felton Blackwell, defensive lineman, Egg Harbor City, NJ
- Marcus Bowman, defensive lineman, Upper Marlboro, MD
- Chris Bournes, linebacker, Union, NJ
- Al-Tariq Jones, running back, Union, NJ
- Jordan Velez, offensive lineman, Kenilworth, NJ
- Malachi Timberlake, defensive back, Egg Harbor City, NJ
- Stone Labanowitz, quarterback, Stuart, FLA
- Alphonso Howard, quarterback Chicago, IL
- Omar Truitt, cornerback, Washington, D.C.
- Joel Galvan, offensive lineman, Bronx, NY
- Travell Jones, defensive back, Columbus, GA
- Parris Heath, offensive lineman, Spring Valley, NY
- Ari Long, offensive lineman, Philadelphia, PA
- Nyshir Mackee, defensive back, Philadelphia, PA
- Asadiq DeJesus, linebacker, Philadelphia, PA
- Kyree Wade-McLeod, offensive lineman, Philadelphia, PA
- Johncarlo Valentin, offensive lineman, Philadelphia, PA
ASA Avengers moving on to top four-year colleges and universities:
- Kennedy Ndukwe, defensive back, Bethune-Cookman University
- Rashad Brandon, defensive tackle, University of Missouri
- Macquel Hardy, offensive lineman, North Carolina A&T University
- Mike McGinnis, linebacker, Indiana University
- Nour-Eddine Seidnaly, offensive line, Arkansas State University
- Justin Alexandre, defensive line, The University of Incarnate Word