Edgy's Salukis overall grade: C+
Southern Illinois head coach Nick Hill fared pretty well in state, inking 10 local players out of the 23 recruits in their Class of 2016. Expect Hill to continue to hit in-state very hard, including the Chicagoland area, Central and Southern Illinois. Hill, who played his high school football at Du Quoin, later became a standout quarterback for Southern Illinois. Hill coached at Carbondale High School before joining the Salukis' coaching staff in 2014. Expect Southern Illinois to hit the in-state recruiting landscape hard, while also adding much-needed pieces via the out of state/JUCO and BCS transfer route.
Headliner of the in-state class?
The Salukis has one of the FCS's top offenses in 2015, which is why defense was a top priority in this recruiting class. Al Raby defensive tackle Malik Haynes (6-foot-0, 300 pounds), Joliet Catholic defensive tackle Zeveyon Furcron (6-foot-1, 310 pounds), Chester linebacker Jordan Berner (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) and Minooka defensive lineman Blake Parzych (6-foot-3, 260 pounds) all have great potential and could emerge for Southern Illinois this fall.
The one who got away?
Crete-Monee athlete Clint Ratkovich (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) was one of the first offers that Hill extended. Ratkovich, who was a standout at quarterback and at linebacker for the Warriors in 2015, took a late visit to Western Illinois and ultimately signed with the Leathernecks.
[MORE PREPS: 2016 National Signing Day - Recruiting tracker]
Final thoughts on Southern Illinois' recruiting efforts:
The hiring of Hill did nothing but create excitement for Southern Illinois football after a tough 2015 season. There's no question that Hill is a very green head coach who will need to learn on the fly. However, the overall youth of Hill and his coaching staff can also be a real positive in the Salukis' recruiting efforts. Southern Illinois has yet to make the FCS playoffs since completing their $83 million Saluki Way athletic facility upgrades, and the pressure will now be on Hill to move the program forward. I fully expect Southern Illinois to continue to hit the in-state recruits hard under Hill. The challenge for Southern Illinois will be closing on kids and fighting off the other in-state FCS schools for the same names, while also winning games in the toughest FCS football conference in the country (Missouri Valley Conference).