Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Norvell hits the ground running with 2016 recruiting class

<p>New Memphis Tiger football coach Mike Norvell being introduced last month.&nbsp;</p>
New Memphis Tiger football coach Mike Norvell being introduced last month. 

The task of replacing Justin Fuente and Paxton Lynch, the most successful coach/quarterback combo in the history of the Memphis football program, will not be accomplished easily, but Mike Norvell is off to a good start with his 2016 recruiting class.

Norvell is already showing why he was touted as a good recruiter from his days at Arizona State, barely a month after being hired as head coach at the University of Memphis.

“I believe recruiting comes down to one thing, and that’s relationships,” Norvell said at his introductory press conference. “Film is not going to be the determining factoring on whether we bring in a young man to play football here. It’s going to be the total package. We need the right guys that fit this program and fit what we want to do.”

In just a short time on the job, Norvell has received four signed National Letters of Intent from four junior college prospects.

The highest rated of the four is three-star, according to 247Sports Composite Rankings, quarterback Riley Ferguson, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound quarterback from Matthews, North Carolina.

Ferguson, a former University of Tennessee Volunteer, is rated as the number one pro-style quarterback and is a top 25 overall prospect.

It was once thought Ferguson would win the starting job at Tennessee before Josh Dobbs ultimately secured the position, causing Ferguson to leave the program after just one season in Knoxville.

Ferguson, who will have two years of eligibility left to play at Memphis, will likely battle it out with redshirt freshman Brady Davis for the starting quarterback spot in 2016.

The other three that have signed their Letters of Intent are Lio Lafaele, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman from Corona, California, and the No. 6-ranked junior college lineman in the country, Jonathan Cook, a 6-foot, 197-pound defensive back from Spanish Fort, Alabama and the No. 10-ranked cornerback in junior college, and Harneet Gill, a 6-foot-7, 265-pound offensive lineman from Saint Charles, Missouri and is the No. 63 prospect junior college prospect in the state of Missouri.

The Tigers currently have nine other players committed for their 2016 class, all of who committed to Fuente, but remained solid through the coaching change. Only two players de-committed from the Tigers during the coaching change.

Keon Howard, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound quarterback from Laurel, Mississippi, is the highest ranked commit that has not yet signed with the Tigers. Howard played quarterback for Mississippi in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game

Thomas Pickens, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound safety, is the only current member of this class that went to high school in Memphis. Pickens was teammates at Memphis University School with 2015 commit Peyton Jones.

Despite having just 13 players committed thus far, Norvell has actually outperformed Fuente’s recruiting. During his tenure at Memphis, according to 247Sports, Fuente’s recruiting classes finished ranked in the AAC tenth in 2012, eleventh in 2013, seventh in 2014, and fifth in 2015.

The Tigers and Norvell still have plenty of time to land recruits before National Signing Day on Feb. 3, but his class already ranks fourth in the AAC-higher than any class Fuente put together in his four years.

New Memphis Tiger football coach Mike Norvell being introduced last month. 

Similar Posts