As of Thursday, the day after National Signing Day, the Arkansas-Pine Bluff football team had not added any signees to its short list of nine for the incoming class of 2014.
Coach Monte Coleman said he expects eight more recruits to officially commit to the Golden Lions soon. But on Wednesday, he was hoping at least three of them would sign national letters of intent as soon as Thursday.
“If we can get them signed before August, that’s all we’re looking for,” Coleman said Wednesday.
Coleman also said recruiting efforts weren’t hindered by UAPB’s 2-9 record last season or the fact that an offensive coordinator or linebackers coach wasn’t hired until this week. Anthony Jones, who helped Coleman with identifying recruits as an offensive coordinator on a temporary basis, was promoted to full-time status Tuesday. Byron Anderson has been hired as the linebackers coach.
Jones, the former Alabama A&M head coach, also will serve as quarterbacks coach and academic liaison. He said he’s held a conversation with each returning player about their academics since joining the staff last month.
“Coaching is more than just X’ing and O’ing; it’s about developing young men and getting them ready for the opportunities presented to them in life,” Jones said Wednesday.
Jones’ teams at Alabama A&M have ranked among the top two in the SWAC in Academic Progress Rates each school year since 2006-07. UAPB has always posted a satisfactory APR since such data was first released after 2004-05, but at least 13 of its players, many of them expected to be key returnees, missed some or all of last season’s games due to academic eligibility concerns.