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2017 National Signing Day Recap: Toledo Rockets

Jason Candle’s first full-cycle recruiting class is loaded with talent.

NCAA Football: Stony Brook at Toledo Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Candle led the Rockets to a 9-4 record during his first year at the helm of Toledo. The Rockets are hoping to build off of that season, and capture the MAC West title next year. This class is a step in the right direction towards maintaining Toledo’s recent span of success over the last few years.

The Signees

RB Nicholas Sims, 3-star, 5’11”, 200, Murphy (AL)

DT Reggie Howard, 3-star, 6’4”, 275, Fort Scott CC (KS)

OL Kedonis Haslem, 3-star, 6’3”, 308, St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)

LB Tadarrius Patterson, 3-star, 6’1”, 221, George Washington Carver (AL)

DE/TE Drew Rosi, 3-star, 6’4”, 239, Olentangy Liberty, (OH)

WR Nick Kovacs, 3-star, 6’3”, 195, Springboro (OH)

S Victor Williams, 3-star, 5’11”, 175, Howland (OH)

ATH DeAmonte King, 3-star, 6’0”, 180, St. Vincent-St. Mary (OH)

QB Caleb Martin, 3-star, 6’2”, 190, Fort Recovery (OH)

DE Jamal Hines, 3-star, 6’2”, 216, Princeton (OH)

OL Kelvin Ateman Jr., 3-star, 6’5”, 299, Cass Tech (MI)

OL Mitchell Berg, 3-star, 6’5”, 265, St. John’s Jesuit (OH)

DT Devonte Dunn, 3-star, 6’1”, 290, Nazareth (IL)

WR Bryce Mitchell, 3-star, 6’3”, 200, Bowsher (OH)

LB AJ Crider, 2-star, 6’1”, 215, South Side (PA)

DB Tycen Anderson, 2-star, 6’2”, 183, St. John’s Jesuit (OH)

WR Darius Corbett, 2-star, 6’1”, 165, Tampa Catholic (FL)

S Saeed Holt, 2-star, 6’0”, 190, Woodland Hills (PA)

WR Dakari Carter, 2-star, 5’8”, 153, Streetsboro (OH)

DE Nate Givhan, 2-star, 6’4”, 230, Carver, (AL)

DL Tyrone Chambers, 3-star, 6’5”, 325, Brush (OH)

OL Woodford Lankford, 6’4”, 270, Lexington Catholic Central (KY)

Offensive Breakdown

Nicholas Sims was a huge late addition to this recruiting class. After 4-star RB Michael Warren de-committed late in the process, Sims is a guy who will fit in seamlessly in the Rockets offense. He chose the Rockets over preferred walk-on offers from Alabama and Ole Miss.

Caleb Martin is a quarterback who oozes with potential. He has been a long-time commit, and was key in recruiting other main pieces of this class. He’ll join an already talented roster of quarterbacks, and will have the opportunity compete for the job after Logan Woodside graduates.

Bryce Mitchell is another recruit who was severely under offered throughout the recruiting process. Toledo is getting a steal in the athletic wide receiver. It’s entirely possible that he develops into the hometown hero that many fans were hoping Michael Warren would become, albeit at different positions.

This class also added some needed depth on the offensive line. Kedonis Haslem, Kelvin Ateman Jr, and Mitch Berg are all three-star lineman with high ceilings. Haslem was a late addition, while Ateman and Berg are long-time commits. Ateman wound up reopening briefly in the Fall before ultimately deciding on the Rockets once again.

Defensive Breakdown

The defensive side of the ball is the highlight of this recruiting class for the Rockets. Reggie Howard is a junior college defensive lineman with loads of potential. Howard originally signed with Kent State before eventually attending Fort Scott Community College. He will have two years of eligibility remaining once he arrives in the Glass City.

Tadarrius Patterson is a shifty linebacker who had this to say about any Power 5 program thinking of trying to swoop in at the last minute.

Patterson had reported offers from Louisville, California, and Auburn to name a few.

While Patterson might be the headline recruit, Anthony Crider has looks like he could be a diamond in the rough. If he had not committed to Toledo so early in the process and and effectively shutting down his recruiting process, there is little doubt in my mind that he would have a handful of other offers.

Assuming DeAmonte King plays defensive back at the next level, he will provide a huge boost to their secondary. It is worth noting that King could also play wide receiver, and would be able to compete for playing there as well.

No matter what position King plays in college, this class of defensive backs is extremely solid. Victor Williams, Tycen Anderson, and Saeed Holt are all solid players with a ton of potential. Anderson turned down a reported offer from Kentucky to play for the Rockets. Williams also had an offer from Kentucky as well as West Virginia and Cincinnati.

The biggest surprise of the day was when 3-star DL Tyrone Chambers signed with the Rockets. Chambers had previously been committed to Minnesota. Prior to Fleck’s departure, he was also committed to WMU. Chambers was also offered by Ole Miss at one point. Chambers will definitely have the opportunity to earn some playing time as a freshman.

Overall

For the last three years , Western Michigan has dominated all of the recruiting headlines out of the Mid-American Conference. Those days are long gone as Jason Candle is poised to take the reigns as the best recruiter in the conference.

Despite some attrition in this recruiting class later in the process, Candle was able to land some big-time recruits in the last few weeks before Signing Day. Tadarrius Patterson, DeAmonte King, Nicholas Sims, Kedonis Haslem, Jamal Hines, and Davyn Flenord all were added within the last two weeks before Signing Day. And then the Tyrone Chambers surprise happened this morning.

As we all know, it will be a few years before we can truly evaluate this recruiting class. However, on paper Toledo has put together a star-studded recruiting class that is ready to wreak havoc on the rest of the Mid-American Conference.