Head football coach Sean Lewis introduced his first Kent State recruiting class Wednesday afternoon.
Kent State improved from the 12th recruiting class in the Mid-American Conference last season to the fifth this season under Lewis, according to 247sports.com. The Flashes had 23 commitments, 11 on the offensive side of the ball, eight on defense and four on special teams.
“The biggest thing we were looking for was young men and families that match our cultural beliefs and values,” Lewis said. “The immediate measurables and the athletic skill sets jump out. Everyone wants guys that are bigger, faster, stronger, more athletic. Teams are always looking to improve their roster in that way, and we’re no different. The challenge was evaluating whether the character was a match.”
The Flashes added two quarterbacks to a roster that saw three different starters last season. Former four-star recruit Woody Barrett redshirted at Auburn and then transferred to Copiah-Lincoln Community College before committing to Kent State for next season.
Marquez Glover also signed with the Flashes. During his senior season, he threw for 2,765 yards, 33 touchdowns and a 137.1 QBR, adding seven rushing touchdowns.
“It is an open competition,” said Lewis. “Woody Barrett was a young man I knew about from way back when the transition happened when I was going to Syracuse. It just happened to work out when this transition came about. He was one of the first young men to get to campus and have a belief in what we were doing and jump on board.”
Lewis stressed the importance of every player, regardless of position, earning their spot in the lineup.
“I expect each and every one of our kids, not just at the quarterback position, to compete daily,” Lewis said.
The Flashes have 11 new players on the offensive side of the ball. Kent State ranked 127th out of 129 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total offense last season. The team had two season-ending injuries at the quarterback position that sent the offense spiraling early on.
The team also looked to improve on the defensive side of the ball.
The team ranked 77th in total defense, 27th in passing (195.1 ypg) and 113th in rushing (213.3 ypg). They added two players on defense that are in the top 15 of recruits in the team’s all-time rankings, according to 247 Sports.
Defensive end Connor Parks accounted for 81 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 15 sacks in his junior season, and Montre Miller had 51 catches for 606 yards and seven touchdowns in his senior season. However, he will be playing as a cornerback next season for the Flashes.
“We were able to spend a lot of time with Connor and from an evaluation standpoint we knew more about him,” Lewis said. “We felt very comfortable with him.”
“Montre Miller is a young man who is very versatile and has electric speed,” Lewis continued. “He has the ability to walk up and challenge receivers and deny easy passes. He will be a lockdown defensive back for us.”
The team also signed two kickers to fill the vacancy left by Shane Hynes, who transferred to South Carolina in the offseason. Matthew Trickett and Dalton DeChristopher, a walk-on, have committed to the team for next season.
Lewis is the youngest head coach in the FBS at the age of 31; the next youngest is Lincoln Riley (34), who is the head coach at Oklahoma University.
“A lot of people have made references to my age and my staff’s age, but at the end of the day, we’re all prepared to do this job, and we’re working every day to prove that we’re ready for the opportunity and hopefully the results will come,” said Lewis.
Ian Kreider is a sports reporter. Contact him at email@example.com.