Minutemen Minute Fireworks aplenty on NSD; C.J. Daniels makes a switch; brewing battle at MLB Mar 3 10:26 AM Recap Comments0 ******Having a banner year recruiting in general, Coach W.D. Franklin went into NSD with the high, if not unrealistic hopes of fully filling out of his 2017 class. 11 targets made their decision on NSD. Despite entering into the sweepstakes late in the process for most of these young men's services, Franklin did an admirable job given his restraints. Announcing their decision on NSD were Lamar Willis, a kicker with the leg strength of a mule, from Warren, AR; James Holt, a safety hybrid expected to be groomed at the 'Frank' position, from Union, SC; Ernest Stephens, the country's fifth-rated cornerback, hailing from Marshall, TX; MLB Claude Goodman from Fair Haven, VT, a thumper in run defense; and Benjamin Bennett, an active, 282 pound defensive tackle from White Oak, MD. These five joined 15 other prior commits to give UMass the 8th rated recuiting class for the 2017 season. A more detailed analysis of the system will be on the way in the enxt edition of the Minutemen Minute. ******A handful of Minutemen are switching positions this spring to create playing time opportunities and depth at certain position. Former outside linebacker Trey Murphy is moving to the middle linebacker position to compete witth rising senior Tra Romero and incoming freshman Travis Fitzpatrick for the right to take over the position held by Jorge Smith. Murphy has the size to play in the middle and is an explosive athlete with good speed. A solid tackler, Murphy excels in the run defense, but has obvious deficiencies if coverage. With Murphy moving inside, sophomore Kenny McClellan is sliding outside where his speed and coverage abilites are better suited, and where his smaller frame isn't such a liability. The most noteworthy position change this coming season will be that of C.J. Daniels. One of the nation's top prospects coming out of high school, as an athlete, the plan for Daniels was to provide depth and eventually assume the reigns at the halfback position. However, with the signing of halfbacks Devin Carlson and Edmond Barbour this recruiting class, Coach Franklin elected to move Daniels to wide receiver where he would have a legit chance to compete for a starting job, as opposed to spending another year as a backup behind rising senior Josh Leonard. Carlson and Barbour shuld be able to sufficiently carry the load behind Leonard in the coming season. Daniels move to receiver gives the Minutemen and absurdly talented cadre of young receivers. He will battle Brian Scott, Wallace Hill, and Peter Brown for the starting spot opposite Sam Davis. There are also incoming freshmen Dwight Anderson and Pat Bridges.