Many fans were stunned, and frankly disappointed when coach Fleck decided to spurn WMU to coach at Minnesota. Now, Western Michigan is forced to essentially start over on the recruiting trail with less than a month until National Signing Day. There is no doubt that coach Lester is going to be a very busy man over the next few weeks. Putting the finishing touches on a recruiting class in less than a month is a huge challenge, however Lester seems to have hit the ground running.
Despite the short time frame, don’t look for this challenge to have any correlation with Lester’s eventual success (or failure) in Kalamazoo. The next three weeks will have little to nothing to do with how the Lester era turns out. In other words, just because WMU’s recruiting class ranking may slip a little over the next few weeks, there’s no need to hit the “panic” button on Lester. That would simply be egregious.
Now let’s get into what Lester has been up to since being hired:
Retaining 3-star LB Treshaun Hayward
Hayward will enroll early and participate in Spring practices.
Extend an offer to 2-star QB Reece Goddard
Goddard has been committed to Southern Illinois since June, however coach Lester is looking to poach this recruit from the FCS level. Since the Broncos lost talented 3-star QB Tanner Morgan to Fleck/Minnesota, I think this will move rather quickly and would not be surprised to see Goddard commit to the Broncos by the end of the week.
Extend an offer to current EMU commit, DE Ali Fayad
WMU is Fayad’s third offer, the other being Saginaw Valley State and EMU. Look for the WMU staff to attempt to get him on campus for a visit in the next two weeks.
Extend an offer to DB Coby Bryant
(Insert joke about his name being eerily similar to an NBA legend here)
Blessed and Honored to earn an offer from Western Michigan! God is Awesome! pic.twitter.com/NpfllNOp0K— Coby Bryant (@CBryant__2) January 17, 2017
Bryant reports offers from Cincinnati, Buffalo, EMU, Kent State, and Marshall. According to his 247Sports profile, he is scheduled to take an official visit to Kalamazoo this weekend. He took an official visit to Cincinnati last weekend, so we could have a good old-fashioned recruiting battle brewing here.
Extend an offer to WR Jared Scott
Not a whole lot is known about Jared Scott as far as the recruiting services are concerned. What we do know is that Scott could run up the scoreboard at Oak Park River Forest high school in Illinois. According to the Chicago Tribune, through just six games Scott had tallied 250 yards and three TD’s.
Extend an offer to 3-star DB Mitch West
West recently de-committed from Purdue after they went through a coaching change in December. It is clear that the new coaching staff is putting a priority of defensive back, with these recent offers. It will be interesting to see if Lester is able to reel in one, if not both of these DB’s.