It's not a big signing class for the Lincoln football team, but it's a start.
The Blue Tigers announced Friday they signed nine players for this fall, following Wednesday's national signing day.
"It's been good for us, but I was hoping it would be better," Lincoln coach Malik Hoskins said. "There are so many kids out there that are still out there waiting on those opportunities."
Lincoln signed seven offensive players and two defensive players.
The Blue Tigers picked up a pair of wide receivers: Jamari Collier (6-foot, 175 pounds) from Coral Gables, Fla., and Markel Wynn (6-0, 185) of Marion, Ark.
Collier committed to Lincoln last month and helped Coral Gables make the postseason for the first time in program history.
"We made a conscious effort to go out and seek speed at the skill positions," Hoskins said. "We talked about Jamari specifically at the wideout position. He's a burner, he's a good-sized kid.
"Not only is he a really good receiver, he can return punts and he can return kickoffs."
Speaking of skill positions, Lincoln also signed a pair of running backs in Jamario Harris (5-10, 205) of Horn Lake, Miss., and Brandon Mackey (5-10, 190) of Marion, Ark.
The Blue Tigers already have speed at the running back position with Hosea Franklin and Tori Hicks, but Harris and Mackey give them size in the backfield.
"If they stood next to each other, they look like brothers, they're mirror images of each other," Hoskins said. "They're thicker than what we normally have."
Tight end Chris "Trey" Mitchell (6-3, 230) had 32 catches for 467 yards and four touchdowns this season at Pike High School in Indianapolis. Twice he had games of eight catches and 100-plus yards for the Red Devils.
"He's one of those hybrid guys that you can put in the backfield as a fullback or you can attach him to the line of scrimmage, and you can split him out," Hoskins said. "He's a weapon that we plan on utilizing. He can step on campus right now and play."
Lincoln also signed a pair of offensive linemen in Shasmo DeSalle (6-3, 290) of Metairie, La., and Jakob Scott (6-3, 315) of Pilot Point, Texas.
"We came into this class saying we were going to need six (linemen), and we only signed two," Hoskins said. "It goes back to how there are still so many quality kids out there, and offensive line and defensive line, we've got to fill both of those positions."
On the other side of the ball, Lincoln added Dontonio Moore (6-3, 210) at outside linebacker. He is the third player from Marion, Ark., in this year's signing class.
"Dontonio was the one that was sought after," Hoskins said. "He had several offers, and he had offers from inside the MIAA. I think getting him here on campus and being able to sit down and sell this program went a long way.
"He's a true outside backer, and we need size in order to compete in this conference."
Chris Parker (6-0, 175), a defensive back, rounds out the Blue Tigers' signing day class. Parker, who was a wide receiver on offense, helped Choctaw, Okla., advance to the Oklahoma Class 6A-II state championship game in December.
"Chris was our No. 1 defensive back on the board," Hoskins said. "He had offers from Emporia State, a couple of MIAA offers, and he chose us.
"Probably four or five of those guys that we signed had MIAA offers. It says a lot about the direction that we're going, that we're able to get kids that have offers from other schools in the conference."
Hoskins said Lincoln signed a total of 54 players — scholarship players and preferred walk-ons — during last year's signing class, but many of those players are no longer on the roster. COVID-19 protocols kept the Blue Tigers from meeting regularly during the fall, which included scrapping the entire 2020 football schedule.
However, Lincoln will play an abbreviated spring football schedule, which begins Feb. 19 at Nicholls State.
"Our games are spread out," Hoskins said. " That gives us an opportunity to finish focusing on our recruiting class."