With National Signing Day taking place on Wednesday, Memphis head coach Mike Norvell announced the completion of the 2018 signing class. With Wednesday’s additions, the Tigers have a total of 24 incoming freshmen for the 2018 season.
Among the signees were defensive lineman Montre Bonner, a former first-team All-American at Fullerton College in California. Bonner finished his career at Fullerton as the program’s all-time leader in sacks with 25. His 14 sacks led the state as a sophomore. He also had 39 tackles, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Norvell raved about the speedy defender and was “excited” to have him be a part of the program.
“He’s just a special player,” Norvell said. “Just such an impactful player. He’s got a great first step, and he is a guy that we think will have an immediate impact for us.”
Another newcomer that Norvell talked about was quarterback Brady White. The Arizona State transfer spent his previous three seasons with the Sun Devils and was their highest rated quarterback signee in 2015. Despite the 4-star’s resumé and his previous association with Norvell, who served as the Sun Devil’s offensive coordinator during his recruitment, Norvell reiterated Wednesday that the Tiger’s quarterback spot is not set in stone for the 2018 season.
“It’s important to build that competition,” Norvell said. “Brady knows he is going to have to earn everything he gets, and the room that he’s coming into is a talented one with David Moore, Brady Davis, Connor Adair and the freshman we just signed Brady McBride. We got a room full of Bradys, but this is a talented group.”
With the high-powered offensive attack the Tigers have showcased the past two seasons, one of the big questions has been the defense, a unit which had its shares of ups and downs as the years progressed. Those questions have gotten bigger with the departure of senior leaders like linebacker Genard Avery. Norvell thought it was important to get more of a skillset on that side of the ball, with nine signees on defense.
“I think when you look back on this last season, I thought we were extremely close,” he said. “In that first game, we lost three of our best players, and throughout the year we lost six starters. There were some young guys that had to play and were thrust into action, but we’ve done a great job of making the explosive plays.”
Another one of the incoming defenders for whom Norvell had high praises was Kameron Wilson. Wilson was a former basketball player who played two years of football at Hueytown High School. He is a versatile athlete, playing on the defensive line as well as linebacker. He also took snaps on offense, playing tight end and earning an Offensive Player of the Week award during his senior season. The Alabama native also was named the Hueytown Gophers’ Comeback Player of the Year in 2017.
“He’s a big athlete, but we’re going to start him off on the defensive side of the ball,” Norvell said. “Sometimes when a guy is coming out to play basketball, you worry about the physicality, and one thing that he has established is that he wants to put the pads on people, and that’s what I enjoyed about him.”
Norvell raved about Wilson’s “drive” as well as his background. He thought the athlete was “fun to watch.”
“What was interesting was that he had a little bit of a setback due to an injury earlier in the season, and you saw the boost he brought his team once he got back out on the field,” Norvell said. “He’s a special talent, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for him.”
Brady White spent three seasons at Arizona State before joining Memphis as a graduate transfer. At Hart High School, he was ranked the 68th best player in the country, according to 247Sports.
Memphis Head Coach Mike Norvell celebrates after a 43-7 win against Kansas. Norvell announced the completion of the 2018 signing class Wednesday after recruiting 24 incoming players to the program.