Buffs ink 54 players to 2021 signing class
West Texas A&M head football coach Hunter Hughes met with the media during his signing day press conference Wednesday. [Kale Steed/ Press Pass Sports]
West Texas A&M head coach Hunter Hughes announced a total of 54 players to the 2021 signing class Wednesday.
During his press conference Wednesday afternoon Hughes was all smiles when talking about the talent this class of athletes represents.
“This may be the best class we’ve had in the five years we’ve been here,” said Hughes, who is 20-19 entering his fifth season as the WT head coach. “This class has a lot of depth. I think we got everyone we went after, and it shows on this list of names.”
Hughes and his staff went heavy on wide receivers and defensive backs. Out of the 54 signees, WT inked nine receivers and 12 cornerbacks and safeties. The most of any position group.
“We really wanted to address the corner position,” Hughes said. “That was a position we really needed to strengthen. We added height, and we got a steal in a player like Devin Manor from Elgin. He is very fast. We liked the safeties we got last year, but added some more, but the main focus was cornerbacks.
The Buffs also landed great Texas Panhandle talent, getting eight key players from the Amarillo-area to come play in Canyon next fall. Those eight are — Rafe Butcher from Canyon, Joshua Culwell, and Reagan Cochran from Canadian, Cade Cox and Ahlee Yart of Dumas, Britt McQuitty of Texhoma, Okla., Hesston Marshall from Wheeler and Lance Welps from River Road.
“It was a good year in the Texas Panhandle I thought,” Hughes said. “I like getting guys from small towns. They have a hard-nose work ethic, and fit the type of player we’re recruiting here.”
The most intriguing position group was the talent brought in at quarterback. WT returns two-year starter Nick Gerber, but signed three young guns to add plenty of depth to the roster. Locally, Culwell from Canadian highlights the signal callers. Culwell was the Offensive MVP for the Class 3A state champion Wildcats, as well as the Class 3A D2 Padilla Poll Player of the Year, and the Press Pass Sports Player of the Year.
“When it came down to a decision it was really between Angelo State and WT,” said Culwell, who threw a Texas Panhandle-best 3,656 yards with 52 touchdowns. “After the visit I knew WT was the place for me. The people and the environment felt right. Not to mention I get to stay in the Texas Panhandle.”
Joining Culwell is Kyle Brown of Vista Ridge and Seth Ford of Round Rock High School.
Brown is a three-star recruit by 247Sports, was the Central Texas Player of the Year and the District 25-6A Most Valuable Player. First Team All-State. Ford was a second team All-District quarterback as a junior and senior.
“I love the quarterbacks,” WT offensive coordinator Russ Martin said. “All three are winners, and come from winning programs. Everyone is confident, and love to compete. Look what Culwell did in the state title game. His team was trailing, and he kept his composure and found a way to win. Kyle Brown and Seth Ford have done the same thing. For a look at the full list at the WT signing class please visit, https://gobuffsgo.com/