New North Texas coach Eric Morris vowed to put an emphasis on recruiting the Dallas-Forth Worth area and Texas high schools in general when he took over the Mean Green’s program a few weeks ago.
UNT took another step toward reaching that goal on Sunday as the Mean Green wrapped up their final recruiting weekend before national signing day. UNT landed three players as of late in the afternoon, including two with area ties.
The Mean Green added West Wilson, a tight end/defensive end from Lucas Lovejoy, Killeen Ellison linebacker Matthew Moore and Gladewater defensive back/wide receiver Kollin Lewis.
All three announced their decisions on their Twitter accounts and joined UNT’s class that has come together quickly over the last several days.
Wilson attracted the attention of traditional college football power Boise State.
“I was talking to Boise and was set on going there,” Wilson said. “Then I came to North Texas, and they blew me away with everything. That is when I made my decision to go to with North Texas.”
UNT’s location played a big part in Wilson, who is 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds, electing to pass on an offer from the Broncos. He also has a tie to the Mean Green’s program. Two of his high school coaches are former UNT athletes, including former Mean Green wide receiver Brandon Jackson.
“What put me over the edge is that North Texas felt like home,” Wilson said. “It’s really close. Some of my high school coaches went to UNT. That helped a lot.”
UNT’s coaches didn’t tell Wilson if they project him as a tight end or defensive end on the college level, but he did spend most of his recruiting visit with tight ends coach Chris Gilbert. Offensive line coach Jon Cooper also played a key role in his recruiting process.
Wilson caught four passes for 49 yards and two touchdowns in nine games last season.
“The coaching staff was just amazing,” Wilson said. “Even though they are all new, they are ready to work and turn this program around. I am excited to join the process with them.”
Moore also has ties to the Dallas area. His older brother lives in Mansfield.
“It’s a great school and I love how close it is to home,” Moore said. “The DFW area works perfect for me because I have family close by, and I like the new coaching staff they just brought in. The 3-3-5 defense they are moving to fits me. The culture is great.”
UNT recruited Moore, who is 6-feet and 215 pounds, as an outside linebacker.
The Mean Green are moving their new scheme under coordinator Matt Caponi.
Moore finished with 129 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and three sacks last season. Arkansas State also offered Moore a scholarship.
Moore said he felt like he is a perfect fit for UNT’s new scheme, one he is excited to see come together. He was recruited by linebackers coach Colby Kratch.
“The coaches really sold me,” Moore said. “The hospitality they showed me, and the connection they built with me showed me that they want me there. That is what got me to North Texas over Arkansas State.”
Lewis is also a Texas product and excelled on both offense and defense for Gladewater. He finished with two interceptions and 37 tackles to go along with 693 receiving yards.
Lewis, who is 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, also returned kicks and posted 1,500 all-purpose yards.
“I can play both sides,” Lewis said. “The coaches said I will play on defense and return kickoffs. If they need me at wide receiver, I’ll play there. Wherever they need me, I’ll play.”
Lewis had offers from four schools. He ultimately committed to UNT over UTSA and Texas State, the two other schools he strongly considered.
UNT’s new coaching staff was one of the key reasons Lewis committed to the Mean Green.
“I wanted to find the best fit for me,” Lewis said. “The relationships I built with the new staff and the way I felt at home made it a great fit. I felt good about it ever since I talked to coach Morris.”
UNT’s trio of Sunday commitments moved the Mean Green closer to putting its class together. National signing day is on Wednesday.
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