That isn’t to say the Eagles didn’t ink some talented athletes Wednesday. Eleven players signed with Reinhardt, but coach Danny Cronic expects to bring six times that number onto campus in the fall.
Offensive coordinator Drew Cronic, the head coach’s son, expanded on that.
“Ninety percent of what we bring in will happen after signing day,” he said. “Many of them are guys that might have slipped through the cracks on signing day, and signing day becomes a reality check for them and will become a little more popular of an option.”
Drew Cronic said that when he was an assistant at Furman, an NCAA Division I program, National Signing Day was the end of the journey.
At NAIA Reinhardt, it’s just the beginning.
Still, both coaches spoke highly of the players that had already signed.
Among them were Creekside defensive lineman Lawrence Curtis, Duluth defensive lineman Evan Ubakanma and Campbell quarterback Ricky James.
“We signed two defensive ends that are very athletic,” Drew Cronic said. “A defensive tackle and a quarterback that’s a real good athlete. The Lawrence Curtis kid from Creekside played on a state championship team, and he is undersized, but is a tremendous player. (Ubakanma) is another really athletic, smaller defensive lineman. (James) from Campbell is a really good athlete and runs fast and throws the ball well.”
Reinhardt also signed a trio from West Forysth — running backs Cole Stanton and Gabe Pierce and receiver Kyran Ochocki. The Eagles also added a kicker from Jefferson County, Seth O’Steen.
“We have been watching film all day,” Drew Cronic said. “We can see who is still available and go after that.”
Danny Cronic expects another month or two of recruiting. He and his staff have been holding tryouts to help them target the specific needs of the team and look for players with those skills.
“The other guys get to go and focus on spring practice, but we have to continue to focus on recruiting,” Danny Cronic said.
The Cronics said that having a season under their belts makes it easier to sell Reinhardt to the recruits. It also helps that the Eagles did more than just compete in 2013. They excelled by winning the Mid-South Western Division title.
“We still have a hard time beating D-I schools, and we aren’t going to beat them with their million-dollar facilities and full scholarships,” Danny Cronic said. “But we’ve still got a share of good players.”