The Final 49: NEXT!
Courtesy: Charlotte Sports Information
          Release: 01/27/2013
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During the final 49 weeks until Kickoff 2013, we will take a moment each week to look at various aspects of the football program.

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NEXT!

Jan. 27, 2013

By Tom Whitestone

A year ago at this time we were anticipating the signing of our first class.

We had coaches but we didn't have a team.  Our program was taking shape.  Construction was well underway on the stadium.  Schedules were taking shape.  But we didn't have a team.

Now, we are about to officially sign our next class of football players.  We have a team - and it's about to get better.

An announcement went out last week to promote the second Signing Day Chalk Talk.  The reception is held on the Salon level of the Barnhardt Student Activity Center.  Dinner and beverages will be served.  The 49ers coaching staff will take to the mike to discuss the new class while photos and video of the players appear on the big screen.

For those who attended the function last year, the night not only provides that first look at the new class of players - but a welcome glimpse of the coaching staff.  Each coach will talk about the fresh faces at their respective positions.

Between the notes they will share about each player, the stories they may tell and the excitement they have, you're likely to learn as much about the coaches themselves as the players they recruited.

A year ago, we got our first look at first-ever signee.  We learned about some potential QB prospects.  We were introduced to players with names like Tank and Sledge.  Over 25 signees were paraded in photos and video in front of our eyes.

Head coach Brad Lambert had promised to build his team from the inside out - so several linemen, both offensive and defensive, began to take shape for us.  It was also important to the coaching staff to land players at each position to try build the very foundation for the program. 

Now, with a semester of practice under their belts, the 49ers are able to fill in the gaps.  The 49ers can add some depth, plug some holes and fill some needs. 

In addition, this second class will add age.  Lambert had a few upperclassmen at practice in the fall -- some transfers from four-year institutions who already had a basic understanding of the demands of college football.  Those upperclassmen provided the added bonus of coaches on the field.  The younger players could look to them for answers.  They provided basic leadership and, as Lambert said, you could see the benefits those players brought to their position meetings and drills.

Now, more upperclassmen will be added to provide another dose of that leadership.  Some already transferred in, mid-semester.  More will come in the 49ers second class - along with another promising freshman class anxious to be a part of 49ers history.

The new class will be introduced to Niner Nation, next Thursday night, Feb. 7.  It's a great evening that brings fans inside the recruiting process and up close with the coaches that our leading our team.  And of course it gives us a clearer picture of the players that we will be cheering in years to come.

Last year, we met our first-ever signee.  This year we meet our next.

For more information on the Second Signing Day Chalk Talk, contact the Charlotte 49ers Athletic Foundation at 704-687-1049.

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