West Texas A&M head football coach Hunter Hughes addresses the media during his signing day press conference on J Ferg Field at Buffaloes Stadium. [Kale Steed/ Press Pass Sports]
West Texas A&M head coach Hunter Hughes announced a total of 32 players to the 2020 signing class Wednesday.
That number is significantly down from Hughes’ class of 66 signees on last years signing day.
Coming off his best season at WT with an 8-3 mark last fall, Hughes feels that the Buffs football program is in much better shape than it has been during his tenure, and the 32 signees was the perfect amount.
“We might have been a little more picky,” said Hughes, who is 17-16 in three seasons as the WT head coach. “We went after some guys that I feel were Division I type players. In the past we might not have thought we could go and compete with signing those type of guys. It was evident that we were recruiting those type of guys. Some got plucked away, and some turned down Division I offers to be here.”
The Buffs went heavy at defensive back, signing the most at any position with eight.
WT inked five defensive lineman, four linebackers, four quarterbacks, four wide receivers, two offensive lineman and tight ends, a running back, and a kicker.
“We were wanting safeties,” Hughes said. “We wanted bigger, physical, hard-hitting type safeties. If you look at a Braden Hay (6-foot-2, 185 pound) or a Preston Steszewski (6-foot, 185), those are guys that have length and not scared to hit anybody. We also got some cornerbacks that we liked”
Coreon Bailey, QB, Lubbock Monterey
Lubbock Monterey quarterback Coreon Bailey looks for running room against Caprock during a District 3-5A game last fall. [John Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
Hughes was very upbeat when talking about his four quarterbacks in his 2020 signing class, especially Lubbock Monterey standout Coreon Bailey. The dual-threat QB ended his senior season for the Plainsman totaling 3,517 yards with a total of 39 touchdowns.
“We were a little scared Tuesday night,” Hughes said. New Mexico came in, but Coreon stood his ground. He really likes what’s going on here. I think he’s a guy that can push starter Nick Gerber right away. He’s dynamic and has a maturity about him that you don’t see a lot. He has a special leadership capability that people can follow, and he’s a heck of an athlete.
Hughes also signed Brett Leach (6-foot-3, 175), of Andrews, Grant Wall of Kingwood and Richardson Pearce’s Blake Waters to fill out the quarterbacks in the 2020 class.
Locally, Panhandle tight end Griffin Fields was the lone Texas Panhandle signee. Bailey’s teammate and Monterey wide receiver Tyrie Tipton is headed to Canyon, as is linebacker Sederick Colbert of and defensive back Ke’Zadrick Murray of Lubbock Estacado.
For a complete look at the WT 2020 signing class check out https://gobuffsgo.com/