/Troy preps for #NSD18
(PHOTO/ Michael Shipma) Fourth-year Troy football head coach Neal Brown and company are in the annual race for the best possible recruits. Currently, Troy has the top-rated recruiting class in the Sun Belt Conference, according to 247sports.com.

Troy preps for #NSD18

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Scott Watkins

Staff Writer

National Signing Day is fast approaching, and the Troy coaching staff is gearing up to infuse the football team with fresh talent.

Coming off a record-setting 2017 season, the Trojans are looking to keep the momentum rolling by signing a strong 2018 class on Wednesday.

The class is currently the top-ranked recruiting class in the Sun Belt and 85th nationally, according to 247sports.com. The recent commitment of three-star tight end Anthony Lewis Jr. boosted Troy to its current No. 1 spot.

Troy has yet to sign the Sun Belt’s top recruiting class under Neal Brown, but did finish second last year. The last time the Trojans topped the conference in recruiting was in 2009.

The Trojans have 14 players who took advantage of the new early signing period. Along with the already signed are four commits expected to sign on Wednesday.

That brings Troy’s current total to 18 players, 10 of whom are rated as three-star players on 247sports.com.

During the early signing period, the Troy staff was able to fill a number of holes and add depth in key areas.

Of the 14 players who signed, eight play on the line of scrimmage. Offensive tackle Jake Andrews from Millbrook stands out among the group.

Andrews has the versatility to play anywhere along the offensive line and can provide instant depth in his first year.

On the other side, defensive tackle Anthony Pierce Jr. out of Dothan will be competing for a starting spot immediately.

After graduating its entire starting defensive line, Troy will need to find new players to fill in.

The coaching staff has made it clear that they’re not afraid to play true freshman, and will give Pierce a chance to throw himself in the mix early.

Another early impact player could be cornerback Levon Fletcher from Huntsville. Fletcher has advanced coverage abilities and can make plays on the ball with relative ease.

The Trojans currently have plenty of depth at corner, but there is a spot open with Jalen Harris graduating.

Of the committed, defensive tackle Will Choloh Jr. is a three-star defensive tackle from North Georgia who is worth keeping an eye on.

While Choloh, a former Georgia State commit, won’t be on campus until summer camp, he could work himself into the rotation before long.

Choloh and Pierce have the potential to create a disruptive defensive line unit for several years to come.

Also among the group expected to sign on Wednesday is wide receiver Demontrez Brown from Madison.

Demontrez Brown would be the highest-rated recruit Troy signs this class, just ahead of the aforementioned Andrews.

Troy graduated three wide receivers after the 2017 season, and will be graduating three more after the 2018 season.

Demontrez Brown’s development in 2018 will be key. He is figured to be part of a 2019 wide receiver group that also features Tray Eafford and Richard Hallman, two underclassmen receivers that combined for over 400 receiving yards in 2017.

Troy is still actively pursuing several players, including running back Tyler Price out of Montgomery Catholic Preparatory.

Price is a small, quick-cutting back who rushed for over 1,100 yards his senior year of high school. Price currently has 16 offers, five of which are from Sun Belt schools.

Troy is also in the mix for a future playmaker in wide receiver Jared Miles out of New Orleans. Miles has an impressive offer sheet that includes TCU and West Virginia.

The three-star prospect is expected to decide between Troy and Oregon State, however.

Neal Brown and company will be looking to close out the 2018 class strong and add to the rebuilt wall the Trojans have put up around Troy.