Spring has been a busy time for the North Texas football program, and we're not talking about spring practice.
The Mean Green are bringing in players at a frantic pace when it comes to recruiting for its 2020 class.
The number grew to 10 last night when offensive linemen Cade Bond of Magnolia and Erik Williams of Lubbock Coronado committed to continue their careers at UNT and gave the Mean Green an overlooked distinction.
No Group of Five program has landed more 2020 recruits than UNT.
None of the programs looking to capitalize on bowl wins or the programs with new coaches riding the excitement surrounding a change in leadership.
Bowling Green has nine players committed thus far. Cincinnati and Temple, a couple of American Athletic Conference programs, have also taken a host of players early. Cincinnati has seven players committed, while Temple has six.
The topic of recruiting early versus saving scholarships until late in the process and grabbing the best players who qualify late or have their Power Five offers dry up is a debate that has raged for years at UNT.
This year will be an interesting chapter in that discussion.
UNT wrapped up its class during the early signing period in December last year. The Mean Green could be done well before then at this rate.
There are two schools of thought here:
The advantages are clear when it comes to locking up a class early. Teams target who they want, find the players who are willing to commit early, lock them up and hold on for the early signing period.
There's a lot to be said for that approach, especially if a program has a lot to sell.
UNT falls into that category. The Mean Green have played in bowl games in each of the last three seasons and are in the process of constructing the Lovelace and McNatt Families Practice Facility, a $16 million indoor venue that will open in the next few months.
There are also advantages to waiting until later in the process to see what will transpire.
Players emerge as college prospects during their senior seasons. There are also a host of highly regarded players who reach NCAA qualifying standards late in their senior seasons. Even more are looking for a place to land in the days leading up to national signing day.
There is no right answer. It's a matter of what a coach and his staff believe is the approach for their program.
UNT has clearly found a formula that works. The Mean Green were struggling early in Seth Littrell's tenure when it came to recruiting.
UNT turned it around after Littrell revamped his recruiting staff and brought in Luke Walerius as his director of recruiting and Shelby McIntyre as his coordinator of football recruiting operations.
The Mean Green jumped from ninth in recruiting among C-USA schools in 2018 to fourth last season. UNT was ranked even higher before Florida Atlantic, Marshall and UAB loaded up on players just before national signing day.
FAU grabbed 33 players, far more than it can fit into a class of 25. Some won't qualify academically. Marshall also went over the limit with 31 commitments. UAB took 24 and is under the limit.
Will enough make it at FAU and Marshall to give them classes that exceeds what UNT landed by locking up its class early?
We'll find out this summer.
What we do know after what transpired over the last few weeks is that UNT is taking an aggressive approach to filling out its class heading into the summer, one that has put it out front among G5 programs when it comes to grabbing players.