C-USA signing postmortem blog

North Texas head coach Seth Littrell speaks to reporters during the Mean Green's signing day press conference earlier this month.

A few days have passed since national signing day in college football.

When it comes to Conference USA, it usually takes a while for the dust to settle, giving us a clear picture of how the teams in the league fared.

We have reached the point where one can make an informed evaluation.

Here' are a few key takeaways:

UNT came away as one of the big winners

No C-USA team performed better when one takes its situation into consideration than North Texas.

The Mean Green was among the biggest disappointments in the league last season, when UNT finished 4-8. Head coach Seth Littrell also completely revamped his coaching staff while bringing on five new assistants.

That's a recipe for disaster. Assistant coaches are often the primary point of contact for recruits.

UNT overcame those obstacles and finished with the top recruiting class in C-USA, according to 247Sports. 

The Mean Green addressed some immediate needs by bringing on junior college defensive end Davonte McCrae as well as junior college offensive linemen Anterrious Gray and Teeshaun Turpin.

UNT also landed a host of highly regarded high school players. The Mean Green's staff showed a lot of hustle by landing Las Vegas defensive end Jonathan Pickett and Louisiana wide receiver Detraveon Brown late in the process. 

Both were on the market in the days leading up to signing day and ended up being among the top-rated players in UNT's class.

FAU didn't show any signs of slowing down

Florida Atlantic lost coach Lane Kiffin to Ole Miss, but the Owls clearly didn't lose their momentum.

FAU won the C-USA title, hammering UAB in the championship game, and then drilled SMU in the Boca Raton Bowl.

Willie Taggart took over for Kiffin and quickly solidified a terrific class. One could make the argument that FAU had an even better recruiting haul than UNT.

The Owls landed five transfers that don't count in 247Sports' rankings, including a pair of wide receivers who are immediately eligible in T.J. Chase (Clemson) and Aaron Young (Duke). 

FAU didn't have many holes in its lineup that was filled with players who are set to return and addressed a host of them. Wide receiver was the one obvious spot FAU needed help. 

Flipping JUCO defensive tackle Alvin Dempsey from UNT and landing highly regarded JUCO offensive lineman Sebastien Dolcine bolstered FAU's hopes of repeating as C-USA champs.

Don't overlook Louisiana Tech and FIU

Florida International and Louisiana Tech finished third and fourth in 247Sports' C-USA recruiting rankings, respectively.

Louisiana Tech coach Skip Holtz told Cory Diaz of the Monroe News Star that the Bulldogs class was "the most decorated since I've been here."

Louisiana Tech has won bowl games in each of the last six seasons and garnered national attention with a 14-0 win over Miami in the Independence Bowl this year. The Bulldogs became the first Group of Five program to shut out a Power Five team in a bowl game in the BCS/College Football Playoff era that began in 1998, according to Stats Inc.

Louisiana Tech landed a class that could help keep its run going. FIU also signed a quality group. 

C-USA's Texas teams (other than UNT) continue to struggle

Rice finished with the ninth-ranked recruiting class in C-USA, while UTSA and UTEP landed in the bottom two spots.

C-USA's four Texas teams finished in the bottom four spots in the league's West Division in 2019. UTSA and UNT both finished 4-8 overall and 3-5 in conference play. Rice finished 3-9 overall and was also 3-5 in league play.

UTEP went 1-11 and 0-8.

UNT showed signs that it will quickly recover due to its recruiting haul. The rest of C-USA's Texas teams didn't fare nearly as well.

The Mean Green added to the misery of UTSA, one of its biggest rivals. The Roadrunners appeared to be in position to land both Turpin and Brown before UNT jumped in late and signed both.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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