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UTPB hauls in massive local recruiting class

UTPB football head coach Kris McCullough focuses on recruiting locally in first recruiting class.

ODESSA, Texas โ€” February 1st is national signing day across the country. It's also 41 days since new UT Permian Basin football coach Kris McCullough was named to the helm of the program. It's also 29 days after the new leader said he'd recruit locally. 

"I think any coach that takes over a program wants to keep local talent home, and we've done a good job of that in the past here...and we're going to focus on that again," McCullough said back in early January during his introductory press conference. 

Wednesday, Coach McCullough did just that, rounding out his recruiting class with 11 Permian Basin athletes. Here's the full list: 

Girevis Bobey, Offensive Lineman from Midland Legacy

Nigel Wallace, Offensive Lineman from Midland Legacy

 Dawson Bullard, Safety from Midland Christian 

Caysen Clinton, Linebacker from Permian 

Jaquan Richardson, Wide Receiver from Permian

Blake Flowers, Quarterback from Seminole

Jose Guerrero, Offensive Lineman from Odessa High

Blane Mendoza, Tight End from Odessa High

Nolan Park, Kicker/Punter, Forsan

 Matthew Rosas, Athlete, McCamey 

 Jordan Tally, Wide Receiver, Wink. 

All of these football players are all local and Coach McCullough hopes that recruiting from the area bring Basin sports fans out to UTPB games on Saturdays. 

"You don't have a chance if you don't keep local talent here. Plus, the excitement factor. Like you said, this is something that hasn't been done since this program start. Now, you get a little more excitement going toward this program," McCullough said. 

In total, Coach Mac signed 44 high school seniors and a number of transfers that span the entirety of the state for the young coach's best recruiting outing of his career. 

" It's crazy! I've never had number like this in my career as a coach, not just a head coach but career in general. 77% of the guys we brought on visits committed and signed with us. That's never the case. It's usually toward the 30%-40% range," McCullough said. 

Those numbers are why the new coach was hired in the first place. Back in early January, Director of Athletics Todd Dooley mentioned how connecting with young man is one of the exciting aspects around the McCullough hire.

"His ability to connect with student athletes and earn their trust plays a vital role in any successful program. I think his ability to reach across that aisle and earn their trust will be a big assets," Dooley said. 

Coach McCullough also mentioned how these young players are going to be utilized in year one. He mentioned the "redshirt rule" and the plan to development these athletes. 

"Everybody's treated the same, freshmen or seniors. We're going to put them all on the same pedestal from day one of fall camp to the first game...Their bodies are still 17-18 year old men, where they're going up against 22-year old men, so we have to develop their bodies a little bit and their IQ for football knowledge. Giving them the same opportunities as the seniors to show us what they are going to be." 

Many signing festivities for local products were postponed due to weather, but have been or will be reschedule. We'll hear from these athletes soon. 

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