AStateNation breaks down incoming QB's

AStateNation breaks down incoming QB's

AStateNation.com will be taking a look at the incoming recruiting class of Gus Malzahn's first recruiting class at Arkansas State. Go "Inside" to get our take on the quarterback position.

National Signing Day for Gus Malzahn and the Arkansas State Red Wolves ended much better than most expected it to.

Not bad considering that Malzahn and his almost entirely new coaching staff had less than three weeks to assemble the class.

Taking a look back at the class, there is no doubt that Malzahn signed the most impressive class ever in the history of the school.

AStateNation.com is going to take an in-depth look at each position of incoming athletes and give you our thoughts on who may see action earlier than others.

We will first take a look at the quarterback position.

Malzahn is known for being an offensive genius, he has had great successes with his offensive system and quarterbacks, including leading Auburn to a National Championship and Cam Newton to a Heisman Trophy.

Malzahn made it known as an early priority for him and his coaching staff was recruiting the state of Arkansas like it had never been recruited before by ASU coaches.

He went as far as saying if it was even on a talent level, the in state prospect would always get the edge with him and his staff.

This was no more apparent at the quarterback position for the Red Wolves.

The previous coaching staff had a commitment from a New Orleans quarterback Jyron Walters. The New Orleans signal caller had impressed the previous coaching staff at a summer camp and earned an offer, as of signing day Walters is still listed as unsigned by Scout.com.

Instead, Malzahn and his staff turned their recruiting sights on two in-state athletes.

It was obvious from day one that Malzahn and his staff had their sights set on Pulaski Academy's Fredi Knighten.

Knighten was an athlete that had an offer from the Red Wolves already as an athlete, instead of at quarterback, that changed with the coaching change.

"Coach Malzahn made it clear to me that they were signing me as a quarterback first and foremost," Knighten told AStateNation.com. "

Knighten understands his role for the Red Wolves.

"I know that I will be learning from Ryan Aplin and Phillip Buttertfield," Knighten said. "The coaches told me that they will find a place on the field for me this fall."

Knighten put up huge numbers at PA in Little Rock.

New offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee visited Knighten on his first day on the job.

"Coach Lashlee came and saw me the first day he arrived to Jonesboro," Knighten said. "They made me feel very wanted and important to their program."

AStateNation's take on Knighten: A great athlete that will definitely get a shot at playing quarterback for Arkansas State and Malzahn. Expect to see him play some Rabid Wolf formations etc as a true freshman. Definitely a guy that could make an early impact somewhere for ASU.

Another in state athlete that is getting an opportunity to play for Malzahn is Searcy athlete Dez Stegall.

Stegall changed his commitment from Louisiana Tech to Arkansas State on Monday night before National Signing Day.

Stegall wanted to play quarterback and was offered as an athlete but told he would be given a shot at signal caller, making the difference in his decision making process.

"They told me that they would give me a shot to play quarterback," Stegall told AstateNation.com. "That's all a person can ask for is a shot or an opportunity. The rest is up to me."

AStateNation's take on Stegall:

Definitely a great physical looking athlete. If his shot at quarterback doesn't work out, he can definitely be an asset at a different position. Probably a guy that will most likely red shirt as a true freshman unless he can prove that he can be a difference maker early on special teams or at another position.

AStateNation's Overall Grade at Quarterback: C+

Knighten and Stegall are quality athletes, only time will tell how their careers at quarterbacks will end up. Expect the Malzahn name to draw bigger name signal callers to Jonesboro in the future.

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