Fourth-year Southern Illinois head coach Nick Hill and his staff have brought in another large recruiting class.
SIU announced the signing of 18 players on Wednesday, which combined with the nine who signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period in December, gives the Salukis 27 new players.
Wednesday's signees included five junior college transfers, plus 13 players who will be true freshmen for the fall semester.
The Salukis are coming off a disappointing 2-9 season that produced just one Missouri Valley Football Conference win.
One of the biggest Saluki needs is quarterback. Seniors Sam Straub and Matt DeSomer (now pitching for the SIU baseball team) ended their careers last fall.
A season ago Hill brought in four quarterbacks, including one from the junior college ranks (Stone Labanowitz of ASA in Florida) and two highly productive Illinois high school standouts (Nic Baker of Rochester and Javon Williams, Jr. of Centralia). Wednesday brought SIU two more quarterbacks--junior college transfers Kare Lyles, a junior from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College and freshman Cooper Callis, a freshman from Pearl River (Miss.) Community College.
Whoever emerges at quarterback for the Salukis may wind up throwing passes to four wide receiver recruits, including Wyoming transfer Avonte Cox, a former standout from downstate Rochester.
Recruits signed: 27
Top offensive need met: offensive line
Top defensive need met: defensive back
Most players, by position: 7 (offensive line)
States represented: 10 (Illinois 8, Georgia 4, Missouri 4, Indiana 3, Ohio 3, Florida 1, New Jersey 1, New York 1, Tennessee 1, Wisconsin 1)
Shortest player: 5-7 (Romeir Elliott, RB)
Tallest player: 6-6 (Abdou Toure, OT)
Heaviest player: 320 (Nathaniel Pierre, OL)
Lightest player: 173 (Tate Johnson, WR)
Player from the farthest distance: 985 miles (Nathaniel Pierre, OL, Middle Village, NY)