Mountaineers, Satterfield prepare for offseason

The+Appalachian+Online

The Appalachian Online

Nick Joyner

After a six-game win streak to close out their first-ever FBS season, the App State football team (7-5, 6-2 Sun Belt) entered the off-season on a high note.

App State rebounded with passion after a homecoming loss in overtime to FCS Liberty by a score of 55-48. That mid-October loss would ultimately be the final loss of the season for the Mountaineers, who won their final six contests after starting the campaign 1-5.

Carrying that momentum into the off-season and ultimately, next season, is one of the top priorities for head coach Scott Satterfield.

Despite the on-field success, the off-season is a time where coaches have to put away their clipboards and start booking airplane tickets for recruiting purposes.
With national signing day quickly approaching on Feb. 4, Satterfield and his staff are starting to learn the ropes of FBS recruiting.

The Mountaineers previously worked with 63 potential scholarships as members of the Southern Conference. Now, with 85 scholarships to work with as an FBS program, Satterfield said the recruiting landscape changes for his team.

Satterfield said that 93 players will go through spring practice – the most App State football has ever had.

Beyond the numbers, Satterfield said the fierce competition in the FBS recruiting landscape has already been a new experience for the program.

“We are battling everyone now,” Satterfield said. “You’re battling FBS schools, but you are also battling mid-majors. For us, we are running into a lot of Sun Belt schools, Conference-USA and the AAC in our region. There are a few ACC schools, but if we are going head-to-head [against an ACC school], it is hard to win those battles at this point. But, we’re winning battles against all of the mid-majors.”

Satterfield said that even after a high school recruit verbally commits to a university, the fight isn’t over. Poaching recruits who have verbally committed to other universities is very prevalent within the FBS.

Satterfield said he has quickly learned that recruiting never really stops until the player officially signs – a challenge that all schools face.

“It’s never over until we see the inking signed on the paper,” Satterfield said. “That’s just the way college football recruiting is, it is every school for themselves.

We’re going to continue to recruit these kids hard and we don’t take anything for granted. We’ve had kids who have been committed for a long time, and when the NCAA allows it, we are going to go see them. We can’t take it for granted because there will be other guys there to come and get those kids.”

The Mountaineers first contest of the 2015 season will be a home matchup against Howard on Sept. 5th. Kickoff time will be announced at a later date.

Story: Nick Joyner, Senior Sports Reporter