CARBONDALE — SIU football coach Nick Hill and his staff will host a public reception tonight to unveil their 2018 recruiting class.
The National Signing Day celebration will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Stadium Club of Saluki Stadium on the second level. Doors open at 5 p.m. Appetizers will be provided, and a cash bar will be available. Fans will be able to reserve season tickets on site. Hill is expected to begin his remarks about this year's class at approximately 5:30 p.m.
SIU announced 16 signees on Dec. 20 during the early signing period and announced six mid-year transfers on Jan. 16.
The 16-player class, all high school seniors, featured two quarterbacks, running back Tremayne Lee of Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, two tight ends and two wide receivers. Lee, the Springfield Journal-Register metro player of the year in 2016, rushed for 1,200 yards and 21 touchdowns on 142 carries this past season.
With eight of the Salukis' top 10 offensive linemen slated to return, the class only had two frontmen, 6-foot-5, 265-pound Beau Branyan of Decatur St. Teresa and 6-5, 305-pound Brett Groves of Cary-Groves High School. Jacob Traxler, a 6-4, 225-pound running back/defensive lineman at Eldorado High School, and Miguel Rodriguez (6-3, 223) of Viera (Florida) High School were the only two defensive linemen in the class.
Cornerback Titus Booker (Wisconsin), cornerback Madre Harper (Oklahoma State), quarterback Stone Labanowitz (ASA Junior College), wide receiver Matt Quarells (Iowa), running back Nate Strong (Missouri), and linebacker Jaylen Waters of Minnesota officially joined the Salukis as mid-year transfers in January. All are enrolled at SIU and will be with the team for spring practices.
The program will announce its newest signees today through social media on Twitter (@SIU_Football) and Facebook (/SalukiFootball) as their national letters of intent are cleared by the institution's compliance department. Three high school seniors have verbally committed to the Salukis in the last month or so via Twitter, wide receiver Je'Quan Burton of Jones (Florida) High School, kicker/punter Griffin Cerra of Cardina Gibbons (Florida) High School and linebacker Nick Terrana of Tampa (Florida) Jesuit High School.