After signing 14 recruits in December, Citadel football coach Brent Thompson speculated that he'd likely sign nine or 10 more during February's second signing period.
That number eventually grew to the 13 players signed by The Citadel on Wednesday, giving the Bulldogs a total of 27 players in the 2019 recruiting class. That's the military school's largest class since it signed 29 new players in 2012.
Citadel coaches recruited with an eye toward a new defensive scheme that will be based on a 3-4 alignment, with three down linemen and four linebackers. The 13 new signees include three linemen, three linebackers and four defensive backs.
The new list also include two quarterbacks — Cooper Wallace of Florence and Evan Schickel of Fredericksburg, Va.
"We had planned to take nine or 10 this time," said Thompson, whose third Citadel team finished 5-6 last year. "But that becomes 11, 12 or 13 as you start to divide (scholarships) up. What we really wanted to do was to improve our depth.
"I wanted to do the best that we could in-state, and I think we accomplished that goal. We got a lot of players from the state of South Carolina who understand what it means to come to The Citadel and want to come to The Citadel. Those are the guys we went after the hardest. We want guys who want to be here."
Five of the 13 players signed Wednesday are from South Carolina, while eight of 14 signed in December are from the state. Those numbers do not include local players who signed Wednesday as walk-ons — linebacker/safety Jackson Watson of First Baptist and receiver Huw Meredith of Wando.
Perhaps the most highly recruited player signed by The Citadel is linebacker Dewey Greene IV, a 6-3, 245-pounder from A.C. Flora High School in Columbia. He played for former Charleston Southern quarterback Collin Drafts and had offers from Air Force, Mercer, Charleston Southern and Alabama A&M.
Greene was the player of the year in his region and had 77 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and five sacks while leading his team to a 9-3 record as a senior.
"He will play the defensive end spot for us this year and has been outstanding on film," Thompson said. "I think he's a young man who can come in and help us out right away on the defensive line."
The new quarterbacks are both in the mold of returning starter Brandon Rainey, Thompson said.
Wallace is a 5-10, 195-pounder who played QB and defensive back at West Florence High School. He led his team to a school-record 11 wins and the Class AAAAA Lower State semifinals, and was selected as the co-regional offensive player of the year after rushing for 1,407 yards and 27 touchdowns, while also throwing for 1,354 yards and 13 scores.
"Cooper is a dual-threat quarterback, and what I liked about Cooper on film is that he is another physical, running-back style quarterback," Thompson. "He can get you yards when there are no yards to be had in there."
Schickel (6-0, 183) is from Massaponax High School in Virginia. He led his team to an 11-2 record and rushed for 1,101 yards and 16 touchdowns, while throwing for 337 yards and five touchdowns. He ran for at least 50 yards in all 13 games, including four 100-yard rushing games.
"They are a triple-option team and their head coach has been down quite a few times to clinics with us," Thompson said. "Evan did a great job for us at camp, being very familiar with the triple option. He's a lot along the lines of a Brandon Rainey with a little more triple-option knowledge coming into college."
Another intriguing recruit is Hi'Keem "Hulk" Elmore, a 5-10, 265-pounder from Edisto High School. The Citadel plans to start Elmore out at nose guard on defense, but his quick feet made him an effective running back in high school. He's also one of the top wrestlers in the state
The Citadel Signings
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Home/High School
Hasan Black LB 6-2 225 Wyoming (HS) Ohio
Anthony Britton Jr. LB 6-2 205 Stockbridge, Ga. (Eagles Landing)
Ben Brockington OL 6-1 278 Orangeburg-Wilkinson HS
Bud Chaney DB 5-9 195 Cape Coral, Fla. (Lehigh HS)
Hi’Keem Elmore DL 5-10 265 Orangeburg (Edisto HS)
Jay Girdner DB 5-10 184 Spartanburg HS
Dewey Greene IV DL 6-3 245 Columbia (AC Flora HS)
Nehemiah McIntosh DB 5-10 170 Atlanta (Westlake HS)
Evan Schickel QB 6-0 183 Fredericksburg, Va. (Massaponax HS)
Torian Spencer DB 5-11 172 Union City, Ga. (Langston Huhghes HS)
Sidney Starr DL 6-1 233 Brentwood (HS), Tenn.
Cooper Wallace QB 5-10 195 Florence HS
Thomas Wyatt LB 6-2 205 McKeesport HS), Pa.
*Logan Braucht FB/LB 6-0 212 Ware Co. HS (Ga.)
*Nick Grier DL 6-3 250 S. Gwinnett HS
*Nicoles Rogers LB 6-1 230 Blythewood HS
*Jake Kenison DB 6-1 195 Hillcrest HS
*Tereis Drayton OL 6-2 270 James Island HS
*Robert Harbor DL 6-0 275 Richmond, Texas
*Antareus Pressley DB 6-1 160 Belton-Honea Path
*Michael McDowell LB 6-1 215 Boiling Springs HS
*Logan Billings LB 6-0 200 Boiling Springs HS
*Stephon Stokes OL 6-2 295 Greenville HS
*Hayden Williamson LB 6-1 210 Kubasaki HS (Okinawa)
*Jay Lagroon LB 6-3 200 T.L. Hanna HS