Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

February 6, 2014

Signing surge

NSU inks 9 in Robinson’s first signing class

bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com

Northeastern State made a habit of stock-piling recruits in recent years. More players never yielded more wins, though, as NSU managed only six wins out of 20 games in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

That eventually led to Kenny Evans’ ousting as head coach.

As NSU’s head coach in 2014, Rob Robinson opted to go with less to get more.

Signing nine high school seniors on Wednesday, Robinson completed his first national signing day by going with mainly offensive and defensive linemen.

“I didn’t want to sign a bunch of kids and end up spinning our wheels,” Robinson told the Daily Press shortly after receiving all the letters of intent. “We can go out and sign 20 kids to look busy, but that many wouldn’t of done us any good.”

When Robinson took over as the RiverHawks’ head coach in December, he identified a need to bolster depth on the offensive and defensive fronts.

He checked that off his list by loading up on Oklahoma City-area players — Millwood defensive end Quincy Dotson, Norman offensive linemen Josh Farley and Cole Ridgway, Midwest City defensive lineman Brandon Jones and defensive end Ryan Woolman of Locust Grove.

“They are quality MIAA players,” said Robinson, who took over a program that had signed 59 players over the past two years. “That’s the big thing I wanted to address.”

Robinson also added four other players — Lawton defensive back Kevin Bell, Dibble’s Tazden Jevons (running back-linebacker combination), quarterback Payton Rawlins of Seneca, Mo., and tight end Jacob Drysdale of Fox High School in Arnold, Mo.

“Recruiting starts earlier these days and it’s hard to get in on a player when you had to start a little later than everybody else like we did this year,” Robinson said. “We will continue to recruit after signing day to get our numbers up where they need to be.”

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