Attracting players for the Charlotte 49ers’ football program was just part of new head coach Will Healy’s job this year.
“My No. 1 recruiting job this year was for staff,” Healy said Wednesday afternoon during a National Signing Day news conference announcing the first 10 signees of his initial recruiting class in Charlotte.
Healy landed three Charlotte-area standouts in the group and says 49er coaches will knock on doors repeatedly at area schools in coming months and years. But for now, he said, recruiting a coaching staff has been front-and-center.
“I can go out and recruit 15 four-star players, but if we don’t have the right staff, we won’t be successful,” said Healy, hired earlier this month from Austin Peay University as 49ers’ head coach.
Healy said he has the majority of the staff lined up, although most of the names won’t be announced until later in the month.
“A lot of guys are tied up with bowl games,” he said.
Once the staff is in place, according to the 49ers’ new head coach, they will focus on the Charlotte area. In his second day on the job, Healy was at the Vance-Myers Park 4AA state playoff game, meeting coaches and recruiting.
“Once Charlotte-area players come here and see how amazing this place is, they’re blown away,” Healy said.
The 49ers’ 2018 recruiting class includes Mecklenburg County defensive standouts Tre Bly, Jaylon Sharpe and Bryson Whitehead.
Bly, son of former UNC and NFL player Dre’ Bly, was rated a three-star cornerback at Myers Park High. He had seven interceptions and was a mainstay of the Mustang defense this season.
Sharpe, a linebacker from Rocky River, also earned three-star ranking from some recruiting services. He had 90 solo tackles in his senior year and picked the 49ers from among more than 10 college offers.
Whitehead, a defensive back from Hough, got three-star ratings from some recruiting organizations. He had 23 solo tackles, a sack and an interception this season for the Huskies.
Healy said the 49ers are not finished with this year’s recruiting class, saying he hopes to add about a dozen more players.
“We’ll be out there, first thing in January, looking for unsigned players from the Class of 2019,” he said. “And then we’ll start working very hard on the 2020 players.”
Charlotte 49ers’ players who signed Wednesday:
Pete Agabe, LB, 6-2, 215, Orlando Christian Prep (transfer from Georgia Military College); Trey Bly, CB, 5-8, 150, Myers Park; Tre Goode, WR, 6-3, 185, Jamestown Ragsdale; Yontez Jarrell, OL, 6-6, 265, Jacksonville (Fla.) Ed White.
Michael Kelly, DE, 6-3, 225, Graham; Quinton Patten, WR, 6-0, 185, Blythewood (S.C.); Rhett Read, TE, 6-4, 230, Buffalo (Texas) Leon (transfer from Blinn Community College).
Solomon Rogers, DB, 6-0, 180, Rolesville; Jaylon Sharpe, LB, 6-3, 225, Rocky River; Bryson Whitehead, DB, 5-11, 180, Hough.
Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle