The early signing period has arrived, and the Charlotte 49ers’ first class under coach Biff Poggi is beginning to take shape.
As of Wednesday, Charlotte has signed 28 student-athletes, including seven individuals who are transferring from major college programs. Poggi’s ties to the Washington, D.C., area remain strong, with 13 of Wednesday’s signees having played high school football at St. Frances Academy, where Poggi coached from 2017 to 2020.
The first-year head coach placed emphasis on both recruiting locally and utilizing his past relationships at both St. Frances and the University of Michigan to find the best 85 players to bolster the 49ers’ roster.
“We’re putting a ring fence around Charlotte. If you’re coming to recruit Charlotte, you better pack a lunch,” Poggi said. “We’re working to get the best 85 players we can get. If those guys are in our current locker room, nothing would make me happier than that. But we’re going to find the 85 best.”
Poggi and offensive coordinator Mike Miller landed their first quarterback commit this past week, one of six signees from the Carolinas, with three-star prospect Carter Black flipping from future American Athletic Conference foe Memphis to the 49ers. And, it sounds like more help is on the way.
Poggi talked Wednesday about the quarterback room, which includes redshirt sophomore Xavier Williams, who showed flashes of greatness last season.
“We have three scholarship quarterbacks, and you probably need to add more there, and we’ll address that soon. Good news is coming,” Poggi said. “We’re very excited about Carson Black. Kids like that are how you change your program. He’s out recruiting Charlotte now and he’s very important for us.”
Poggi also noted that the 49ers will look to bolster the defensive backfield, add a home-run hitter at running back, and continue to add to depth on both sides of the trenches.
With over 20 seniors graduating and numerous others entering the transfer portal, the Charlotte roster is changing – and fast.
“This is a way of getting an instant culture into our building,” Poggi said about the familiar faces joining the program. “I know these players and they know me. They know what I expect, and I know what they’re capable of. That’s the basis of the class, but there’s also a lot of other unbelievable kids in the class, too.”
The following recruits have signed with the Charlotte 49ers as of Wednesday afternoon:
QB Carson Black, Nations Ford (SC)
TE Lacota Dippre, Lakeland (PA)
WR Jack Hestera, Colorado (TX)
WR Jalen Bradley, Pittsburgh (NC)
RB Terron Kellman, Northern Illinois (MD)
OT Andrew Adair, James Madison (VA)
OT Jonathan Bass, Georgia State (GA)
OT Dominick Kelley, Cuthbertson (NC)
OT Micah Sumpter, Knightdale (NC)
OL Austin Fontaine, Maryland (MD)
OT Tyler Thomas, Grambling (MD)
OT P.J. Wilkins, St. Frances (MD)
OL Jonathan Wallace, Holmes C.C. (DE)
DT Emmanuel Balogun, Marshall (Nigeria)
DE Osita Ekwonu, Notre Dame (NC)
DT Katron Evans, Jackson State (VA)
DE Malik Puryear, Oklahoma C.C. (NC)
DE Ephraim Deese, Forest Hills (NC)
DL Colin Coates, St. Frances (MD)
DT Zion Shockley, Maryland (MD)
LB Keoni Denny, Sumner (FL)
EDGE TJ Butler, Maryland (MD)
EDGE Demon Clowney, Ole Miss (MD)
S Al-Ma’hi Ali, St. Frances University (PA)
S Kameron Howard, St. Frances (MD)
S Tequan Latimore, Georgia Military (GA)
CB Breon Noel, St. Frances University (MD)
P Grant Gonya, John Carroll (OH)