When Concordia-St. Paul football coach Shannon Currier took over the program right before the start of the 2015 season he didn't have much time to put together a recruiting class. With a full year to recruit, the Golden Bears' staff made up for lost time. They brought in thirty-seven kids from the class of 2017 and nine kids from Minnesota.
“We are excited about the recruiting class overall,” Currier told northstarfootballnews.com. “We felt like we addressed all our needs. We were able to spend the whole offseason recruiting, and we came up with a good group. We don't think we just brought in good football players. We feel like we brought in some good leaders and some good students.”
Currier and the staff are looking to change the culture of Golden Bears' football.
“After the talent is there, the next piece is the leadership,” Currier said. “We are focused on building our leaders.”
The program needed numbers on both sides of the line as well as in the defensive backfield – three areas where they landed big numbers.
“Our philosophy is we need to win up front. When we came in last year we had five total offensive linemen in the program,” Currier said. “Last year we brought in six offensive linemen. Last year we played four true freshmen at different times on the offensive line.”
They started three other true freshmen on offense. One area Currier knew they didn't have a chance to recruit heavily last year was defensive back. This year they attacked the defensive backfield with numbers. They brought in twelve defensive backs.
“We needed to get more athletic and longer,” Currier mentioned.
They also needed to get bigger.
“We needed to get some more pass rushers,” said the Golden Bear alumni. “We were just short of big guys as a team. Games are won with the biggest kids with bigger leverage, and we went after bigger kids with bigger leverage.”
Going 2-7 in 2016 – the program needed a little bit of everything. The coaching staff brought in at least one guy at every position except for kicker and punter.
They have put a bigger focus on their home state.
“We want to do more in Minnesota,” said Currier. “As we become a better option or a better team we will get more interest from the local kids. We are working on building better relationships with the coaches. We want to do things off the field to improve the reputation of our program. We are trying to do things in the community and with the local companies.”
Coming off a poor season record wise, Currier and his staff had to recruit kids with an eye toward the future.
“I was here from 1999 to 2004, and we won the league my senior year. Past success is something we sold. If we could do it back then with thirteen scholarships and not having our own field and not having a brand new training facility we are putting in this summer we can do better things today with more resources than we had back then.”
They also sold a chance to play early.
“At this stage of the program, you can come in and play. We played thirteen true freshmen and started six last year. We are selling that we are a team on the rise.”
With the number of athletes Concordia-St. Paul brought into the program; they have a great foundation to get back to the championship form of Currier's senior season.