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The virtual recruiting trail offered Hampton University football coach Robert Prunty a fresh opportunity.
“It allows me to be able to listen more,” Prunty said, “and really lock and dial in and understand what the recruit is saying and what they want out of the university as far as academics and athletics go.
“This is a new playbook for me.”
Hampton signed three defensive lineman on Wednesday to help build a bigger defensive front that allows the Pirates more versatility to use more three-man fronts.
Oluwaseun Adewumi (6-foot-5, 275 pounds, Raleigh, North Carolina), Makhi Armstrong (6-3, 335, West Helena, Arkansas) and D’Andre Satchell (6-6, 290, Rockville Center, New York) will join the Pirates, who did not play this season because of COVID-19.
Hampton will return a solid stock of linemen – most of team is young – so it was just coincidence that the best players available happened to be of the same position, Prunty said. However, it will help in producing multiple schemes.
“We needed to get bigger up front,” Prunty said. “We needed more speed, size and length. And we have a good group of D-line guys coming back.”
Adewumi originally committed to Army before changing his mind and Prunty pounced on his late availability.
“We feel like if we would’ve played this season, we wouldn’t have gotten him,” Prunty said. “He can play all four positions up front and he’s aggressive.”
Armstrong impressed Prunty with his maturity and character during their talks and a lot of times football wouldn’t even come up. But when Prunty saw Armstrong’s film, he was shocked at the quickness for a player his size.
Satchell is transferring from Monroe College and is another player Prunty didn’t expect to pick up.
“If he would’ve played spring ball at Monroe, I don’t think we would’ve got him,” Prunty said.
Prunty likes Satchell’s closing speed just as much as his desire to pursue a criminal justice degree at Hampton.
Prunty isn’t finished recruiting quite yet. The Pirates still hope to address needs at linebacker, defensive back and wide receiver along with a possible quarterback, Prunty said. The newcomers won’t join the team until the beginning of summer - the same time Prunty hopes to see all his team for the first time in over a year.
“We’ve been virtual all year so I haven’t seen my players in 11 months,” Prunty said. “I’m hoping we will get them back in June.”
Ray Nimmo, 757-446-2364, firstname.lastname@example.org