North Texas coach Todd Dodge wasn't looking for a quick fix, but he was looking for immediate help.
Dodge signed 22 players in this year's class, including 10 from the junior college ranks. With 19 starters returning, it was imperative that he fill voids up front defensively, at linebacker and in the secondary.
"As we look on our board today, we hit all of our needs," Dodge told the Denton Record-Chronicle.
UNT is coming off a two-win season and Dodge will need to produce this season. The Mean Green will play in a new stadium the following year, something he said aided his staff's recruiting efforts.
"The stadium is helping us tremendously," Dodge told the Denton Record-Chronicle. "Our players are fired up and motivated because they were recruited with the idea that they will play at least part of their careers there. You can show as many pictures and models, but until they see some dirt moving they are a little skeptical."
UNT's signees on defense will need to make the biggest impact as the group ranked last in the Sun Belt for the second straight season in 2009.NOTES, QUOTES
--Mike Canales was hired as offensive coordinator after Todd Ford resigned to take a head high school job.
--North Texas will return its top three receivers in Jamaal Jackson, Darius Carey and Michael Outlaw, who combined for 169 receptions last season.
--LB Michael Miller, Lancaster, Calif. -- The second-team junior college All-American at Antelope Valley College should provide immediate help to the linebacking crop.
--LB Forlando Johnson, El Dorado, Kan. -- The Bulter Community College transfer will bolster the linebacking position as well. He has good speed and cover skills and is a three-star signee.
--LB Brad Graham, Katy, Texas --The Navarro College transfer was the 2009 National Junior College Athletic Association Defenisve Player of the Year. He has great speed and is accustomed to winning. He also was a three-star pick.
--PK Zach Olen, Richardson, Texas -- Considering UNT missed five field goals and six PATs last season, Olen will certainly get his shot. He was rated as high as the No. 18 kicker in the nation.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We signed 10 junior college players and I look at (linebacker and SMU transfer) Julian Herron and (gray-shirt) Ryan Boutwell as midterm transfers. The five midyear guys we brought in will definitely help us. They will either start or push the guys who are starting to be a whole lot better." -- UNT coach Todd Dodge.STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
2010 LOOK AHEAD: If there is a bottom feeder team in the Sun Belt with a chance to make a quantum leap, it's North Texas. The Mean Green lost several close games a year ago, but with experience should come better results. UNT lost just three starters, although many newcomers should make an immediate impact.
SPRING SNAPSHOT: Spring practice will run from March 23-April 15. The spring game is scheduled for April 11.
Turnovers plagued UNT severely a year ago. The mindset has to be to correct those problems in the spring and hope it carries over into the fall. The talent, particularly offensively, is there to make a big jump in the league standings. However, UNT was still the worst defense in the league in 2009. Spring practice will be critical in terms of making improvements on that side of the ball.
RB Cam Montgomery -- UNT didn't lose many players and really doesn't have any pro prospects. Montgomery was hurt early and lost his starting job. However, he's a solid runner with good hands and good get a shot somewhere.
--Sophomore QB Riley Dodge battled shoulder and ankle injuries in 2009. Although he only missed two games, he'll make more of an impact if healthy in 2010.
--UNT will return 19 of 22 starters in 2010, as well as 90 percent of its roster.
Previous Report: 12/21/2009