National signing day, Dec. 2021: Southern Illinois Salukis

Southern Illinois added 12 new players this week on the December national signing day, and expects to continuing adding through February. (Photo by

Editor’s note: This is one part of a four-part series on December signees by Illinois FCS programs.

Tomorrow: Eastern Illinois.

Adding nine incoming freshmen and three transfers this week on national signing day to the Southern Illinois football program was only a start, according to head coach Nick Hill.

“We’ll obviously add to this class, but the early signing period gives you an opportunity to sign guys who have been committed for a while, especially the high school kids,” Hill said.

Hill said the Salukis will add “a few more guys … probably before Christmas, and we’ll go back out in January and add a few more kids” before the second national signing day in February.

Six of the additions on signing day are from Missouri and four from high schools in St. Louis, which Hill said is a credit to wide receivers coach Mark Watson, who recruits that area for the Salukis.

“(He) does an unbelievable job recruiting that area,” Hill said. “He’s from there. He’s recruited it for a long time and made unbelievable relationships with high school coaches. We’re always going to be recruiting St. Louis heavily.”


“We’ve proven that we can recruit at a high level and develop guys. There’s a checklist that goes into (recruiting) and these guys met that criteria, and we’re excited about them.” – Nick Hill

Where are they from?

Half of the Salukis’ class hails from the state of Missouri, with four athletes from St. Louis high schools. Two players are from the state of Florida and one each are from Texas, Mississippi, Georgia and Arizona. The SIU early signing class did not include any Illinois players.

What positions do they play?

The defensive backfield got an immediate boost in experience with FBS transfers Mark Davis Jr. (Buffalo) and LeAndre Thomas (Memphis). They are among four DBs in the 12-man class. Abilene Christian transfer Remington Lutz is a 6-foot-6 tight end. He is one of two new tight ends. Two prep offensive linemen also were among the signing class. The Salukis also added a quarterback, defensive lineman, linebacker and a kicker/punter.

What accomplishments do they bring?

DB Charles Young III from Lutheran St. Charles High School in St. Peters, Mo., returned four kickoffs for touchdowns for a team that won a state championship. …. At Cherokee High School in Canton, Ga., offensive lineman Ryan Chandley led his team in pancake blocks in every one of his four seasons. … Though listed as a defensive back, St. Louis native Brian Brown Jr. was 26-5 as Lutheran North’s starting quarterback for three years. He passed for 57 touchdowns and nine interceptions while also running for 21 TDs. … Linebacker Ben Bogle of Ponte Vedra, Fla., led the state with 202 tackles this fall, ranking 15th nationally. He also posted a state-leading 19 sacks. … As a senior at Lee’s Summit North High School in St. Louis, quarterback Tre Baker threw for 29 TDs and one interception.

Here’s the full list of the Salukis’ December signees announced this week:

Name, position, height, weight, hometown, last school

Tre Baker, QB, 6-0, 190, St. Louis, Lee’s Summit North HS

Jaylen Banks, DL, 6-4, 280, St. Louis, Lutheran North HS

Ben Bogle, LB, 6-2, 210, Ponte Vedra, Fla., Nease HS

Brian Brown Jr., DB, 6-1, 150, St. Louis, Lutheran North HS

Ryan Chandley, OL, 6-4, 285, Canton, Ga., Cherokee HS

Mark Davis Jr., DB, 6-2, 195, Bradenton, Fla., University at Buffalo

Marlon Hauck, K/P, 6-3, 180, Phoenix, Ariz., Desert Vista HS

Jimmy Lansing, OL, 6-7, 280, St. Louis, Chaminade College Prep HS

Remington Lutz, TE, 6-6, 240, Temple, Tex., Abilene Christian University

Ryan Schwendeman, TE, 6-4, 235, O’Fallon, Mo., St. Dominic HS

LeAndre Thomas, DB, 6-1, 185, Jackson, Miss., University of Memphis

Charles Young III, DB, 6-1, 170, St. Peter’s, Mo., Lutheran St. Charles HS

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