North Texas took the next step in what is expected to be a long process of putting together its 2022 recruiting class. The Mean Green landed eight players during the early signing period and added nine more in the weeks leading up to signing day.
UNT coach Seth Littrell indicated when he introduced his early signing class in November that the Mean Green would add 12 to 14 more players before finalizing their recruiting class.
UNT has already added several transfers and will likely dip into the portal for additional players in the next few weeks.
Here’s a quick look at which players who have already joined the Mean Green’s 2022 class and could have the biggest impact.
Head of the class: Qualon Farrar, 3-star RB
UNT has produced a host of standout running backs during Seth Littrell’s six seasons as the Mean Green’s head coach, including Jeff Wilson Jr., who is now with the San Francisco 49ers.
Farrar could be the next great player in that line. The South Oak Cliff standout is ranked No. 50 in SportsDay’s Area Top 100 and was offered a scholarship by Missouri and Kansas. He rushed for 980 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior.
Dark horse: Stone Earle, 3-star QB
The Mean Green have been looking for their next great quarterback ever since Mason Fine graduated after the 2019 season. Former Argyle standout Austin Aune led UNT on a five-game winning streak to cap the regular season. He could start again next year but will have to hold off a couple of transfers to hang on to the job in JD Head (Louisiana Tech) and Stone Earle (Abilene Christian). Earle started eight games in the 2020 and 2021 seasons for ACU and threw for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns. He won’t be the odds-on favorite to start, but he’ll get a shot.
Immediate impact player: Nicholas Nakwaasah, 3-star S
UNT signed a host of transfers who could make an immediate impact next season. Nakwaasah could be in the best position of any of those players to move into the starting lineup right away. The former Bishop Dunne standout was a highly regarded prospect coming out of high school and has produced on the college level. He finished with 33 tackles and an interception in nine games in 2020. Nakwaasah was briefly committed to Colorado State before flipping to UNT, which has a need at safety following the departure of Makyle Sanders and Tyreke Davis.
Biggest need not addressed: Defensive line
UNT landed a trio of quality defensive linemen in its class in College of DuPage tackle Tom Trieb as well as defensive ends Cam Robertson of Plano and Kaghen Roach of Blinn College. The Mean Green could use even more help up front after its defensive front was wiped out after last season. UNT lost defensive tackles Dion Novil and Caleb Colvin as well as backup defensive end Kam Hill to graduation. Starting defensive ends Grayson Murphy and Gabriel Murphy elected to transfer. The Mean Green will likely look for additional help up front in the next few weeks.
Overall class grade: C
UNT is far from done when it comes to recruiting for its 2022 class. The Mean Green have held on to scholarships after signing day under Littrell and have a history of adding impact players late. Georgia transfer wide receiver Tommy Bush didn’t arrive until May last year.
UNT needs some immediate help and landed a few promising players from the transfer portal, including Utah State cornerback Zahordi Jackson and Missouri wide receiver Jay Maclin.
What UNT could have used more of are highly regarded high school players to bolster its class. Farrar looks like a star in the making, but the Mean Green’s overall high school class is rated No. 11 among Conference USA schools. UNT’s class would look a whole lot better with a few more highly regarded high school players.
It’s too early to pass final judgement on the class with UNT planning to remain active in the next few weeks. As of now, the group looks solid. What one has to wonder is if it is enough to keep UNT’s run of five bowl games in six seasons going and help the Mean Green break through for that first elusive bowl win under Littrell as he enters his seventh season at UNT.