Monday, May 21, 2018
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David Briggs

Candle hits top-rated Toledo recruiting class out of the park

I wrote for the Wednesday paper about Ohio State’s push to sign the top-rated recruiting class in the nation, but let’s not forget about the school in our backyard.

Toledo cleared the fences, too.

It is hard to overstate the recruiting job of Rockets coach Jason Candle, who prepared to sign the No. 1 class in the Mid-American Conference for the second straight year.

As much as ever, Toledo is a good place to sell these days, with a fresh league title to go along with its standard advantages (best stadium in the league, favorable facilities, strong fan support). But landing this collection of talent was impressive just the same.

Headlined by three-star Florida quarterback Carter Bradley — and including Springfield offensive lineman Tyler Long — the 26-member class is heralded by 247Sports.com as the 65th-best pull in the country. (And that doesn’t count the addition of Kentucky transfer Bryant Koback, the former Springfield rushing star.)

For perspective, that puts the Rockets ahead of Kansas State, Oregon State, Texas Tech, Arizona State, Houston, Memphis, and BYU among other reputedly more name-brand programs. Among Group of Five schools, only Cincinnati (No. 53) and South Florida (60) had higher-rated classes.

Candle’s work in his first two-plus seasons as the boss suggests he will get a bigger opportunity soon, perhaps after next season. But whether he is here for the long haul or not, he has set Toledo up well for a long time. 

Contact David Briggs at dbriggs@theblade.com419-724-6084, or on Twitter @DBriggsBlade.

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