(STATS) - Sam Houston State's recruiting class was defined by both immediate and long-term concerns.
The Bearkats still feel close to a national championship level despite last season's disappointing end against eventual title winner James Madison.
Coach K.C. Keeler unveiled a 22-member recruiting class Wednesday, including four midyear transfers.
"We wanted to emphasize physical offensive linemen who would have a good future, and with the graduation of six defensive linemen, we wanted to try and find some guys who could possibly come in and help us early on the defensive line," Keeler said. "Also, with the graduation of Jeremiah Briscoe next year, it was important that we brought in some high-level freshman quarterbacks who could compete with the guys already on the roster, so we could feel good about the quarterback position next year and moving forward."
The in-state high school signees featured quarterback Ty Brock (College Station) as well as wide receiver Tevyn Stevenson (Allen) and defensive back Tyon Merchant (College Station). Two of the transfers were offensive lineman Ty Barrett from TCU and linebacker Deoundrei Davis from Texas.
Sam Houston has qualified for the FCS playoffs in each of the past six seasons, including two national runner-up finishes, trips to two other national semifinals and a quarterfinal-round appearance this past season. But the end to 2016 was particularly jarring because the Southland Conference champion was unbeaten at the time of its 65-7 loss to James Madison.
This year's team will be one of the most experienced of the national powers, so Keeler and his coaching staff were looking to add some new pieces that could take the Bearkats to a higher level.
Sam Houston State 2017 Signing Class
Quan Ardoin, WR, 5-10, 160, Baytown, Texas (Sterling)
*Ty Barrett, OL, 6-5, 316, Dallas (Skyline/TCU)
Ty Brock, QB, 6-4, 190, College Station, Texas (College Station)
Liam Bunnell, PK/P, 6-1 ,190, Houston (Second Baptist)
*Sekou Clark, DL, 6-3, 260, Denton, Texas (Ryan/Trinity Valley CC)
*Deoundrei Davis, LB, 6-3, 215, Cypress, Texas (Cy Woods/Texas)
Kyran Jackson, RB, 5-8, 177, Fort Worth, Texas (South Hills HS)
Moses Johnson, DL, 6-5, 260, Sugar Land, Texas (Fort Bend Austin)
Caleb Jolivette, WR, 5-9, 170, Manvel, Texas (Manvel)
Drew Mahlen, LB, 6-0, 205, Huntsville, Texas (Huntsville)
Tristin McCollum, DB, 6-2, 175, Galveston, Texas (Ball)
Zyon McCollum, DB, 6-2, 177, Galveston, Texas (Ball)
Luke Melton, OL, 6-3, 315, Celina, Texas (Celina)
Tyon Merchant, DB, 6-1, 180, College Station, Texas (A&M Consolidated)
Azuka Mgbemena, DL, 6-2, 250, Spring, Texas (Westfield)
Osi Odume, DL, 6-2, 238, Alief, Texas (Taylor)
Markel Perry, LB, 6-1, 200, Beaumont, Texas (Ozen)
Eric Schmid, QB, 6-1, 175, The Woodlands, Texas (The Woodlands)
Tevyn Stevenson, WR, 5-11, 193, Allen, Texas (Allen)
Colby Thomas, OL, 6-2, 270, Manvel, Texas (Manvel)
Jaylen Thomas, DB, 5-9, 165, Galena Park, Texas (North Shore)
*Craig Williams Jr., DB, 5-10, 180, New Orleans (St. Augustine/Fresno City College)
* - Transfer