The group includes one quarterback, one wide receiver, one tight end, two offensive linemen, one defensive lineman, one defensive back and one linebacker.
RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University football program got an early start on putting together new head coach Walt Wells’ first recruiting class with eight high school players signing National Letters of Intent (NLI) during the early signing period.
“I’m really excited about the talent of this group,” said Wells. “It means a lot to me that these eight men kept an open mind during the transition and chose to be a part of what we are going to build here at EKU. I want to thank the staff for all their hard work in identifying and recruiting an outstanding group, and I want to thank our current players who played a big part in the official visits.”
The group includes one quarterback, one wide receiver, one tight end, two offensive linemen, one defensive lineman, one defensive back and one linebacker. Five states are represented among the group, including four from Kentucky, and one each from Georgia, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee.
This is the third year for the early signing period for NCAA Division I football. Previously, prospective student-athletes signed with their school of choice on the first Wednesday of February only. The February signing period still remains.
“We’ll turn our focus now to the February signing period,” Wells said. “We have a lot of work left to wrap up this year’s class. We have already seen a lot of excitement about EKU football. We will all be very happy with this class when it is completed in February.
Eastern Kentucky has won two national championships, 21 conference titles and has made 21 playoff appearances. No other FCS team has won at least two FCS national titles and 20 or more conference championships.
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“It is always important to get a QB in every class, and we got a really good one in Khalil Arnold,” Wells said. “Tre’ Goodin, a cornerback, has tremendous speed and ball skills. We added great length on the offensive line with Vincent Munlin Jr. and Trever Sandusky. Micah Manning brings outstanding speed as a wide receiver. Jake Sloan is an extremely athletic and versatile tight end. Ryan Jackson gives us length and physicality at the defensive tackle position. Jaylyn Allen brings size and athleticism to the nickel position.”
The following are individual profiles of the 2020 early signees.
Jaylyn Allen – LB, 6-2, 215, Fr., Paintsville, Ky. (Paintsville HS)
Earned all-state honors … four-time all-area selection … totaled 172 tackles, 17 sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries during his high school career … helped Paintsville High School to a 45-10 record, two district titles, two regional championship and an appearance in the state finals in 2019.
Khalil Arnold – QB, 6-3, 220, Fr., Lovejoy, Ga. (Lovejoy HS)
Chosen player of the year and first team all-region at Lovejoy High School.
Tre’ Goodin – DB, 5-10, 170, Fr., Campbellsville, Ky. (Taylor County HS)
Rushed for 1,301 yards and scored 16 touchdowns while also making 52 tackles as a senior in 2019 for a Taylor County team that went 11-2 and won a region championship … had 725 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns and 63 tackles while helping TCHS to a 12-2 record, and district and region championships as a junior in 2018 … totaled 467 yards and four touchdowns with 40 tackles as a sophomore in 2017 … won region championships in the 100m and 200m as a member of the Taylor County track team … four-time honorable mention academic all-state.
Ryan Jackson – DL, 6-2, 290, Fr., Mount Juliet, Tenn. (Friendship Christian School)
Chosen as the 2019 Division 2-A East Offensive Lineman of the Year as a senior in 2019 after helping the Commanders win a region championship … totaled 43 tackles, including 14 for a loss, two sacks and one interception his senior season … earned Division 2-A All-State honors as a junior in 2018 after finishing the season with 40 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, three sacks and one interception and helping FCS to a runner-up finish in the state playoffs … also picked as the Wilson County and Division 2-A Defensive Lineman of the Year as a junior … had 37 tackles, 11 for a loss and four sacks as a sophomore in 2017 while helping the Commanders win the state title … four-year varsity wrestler at Friendship Christian, placing third in the state as a sophomore and runner-up as a junior.
Micah Manning – WR, 5-10, 175, Fr., Lees Summit, Mo. (Lees Summit Senior HS)
Earned all-district honors after rushing for 615 yards and totaling 319 receiving yards as a senior in 2019 … all-conference selection in 2018 after finishing with 571 rushing yards and 258 receiving yards … chosen all-state as a member of the LSSHS track team.
Vincent Munlin Jr. – OL, 6-6, 240, Fr., Cincinnati, Ohio (Princeton HS)
Team captain and earned second team all-league honors as a senior in 2019 … chosen as the team’s most valuable offensive player as a junior in 2018 … three-year starter on varsity team … ranked eighth in his weight class in the state as a junior on the Princeton High School wrestling team … four-time GMC All-Academic.
Trever Sandusky – OL, 6-5, 270, Fr., Carrollton, Ky. (Carroll County HS)
Helped Carroll County High School to a 7-4 record in 2019.
Jake Sloan – TE, 6-3, 205, Fr., Somerset, Ky. (Pulaski County HS)
Earned second team all-state honors as a junior, and all-state honorable mention as a freshman and a sophomore … chosen as district player of the year after totaling 77 receptions for 899 yards with eight touchdown catches as a senior in 2019 … had 116 catches for 1,667 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior for a Pulaski County High School team that went 11-3, won district and region championships and advanced to the state quarterfinals … led the state in receptions and yards in 2018 … recorded 73 receptions for 936 yards and caught six touchdown passes his sophomore season … had 510 yards and five touchdowns on 46 receptions as a freshman as PCHS went 12-3, won district and region championships and made it to the state finals in class 5A.