By Danny Collins
FSU Football Student-Athlete
Big Rapids, Mich.- The Ferris State University football program will welcome its future as the Bulldogs announce their 2018 recruiting class that will be competing on the gridiron in the coming years as part of National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
National Signing Day is a day that celebrates the success of high school athletes worldwide as their abilities on the field and the classroom in high school has given them the opportunity to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level.
The athletes will be signing their National Letters of Intent in their respected high schools to finalize their contract to become a collegiate-athlete.
Personally, National Signing Day was a moment of realization that I accomplished something that I had worked so hard for my whole life and that was the ability to play college football.
Ferris State football prides itself on a family atmosphere where the coaching staff is your second family and will do anything to help you succeed athletically and academically.
Bulldog Head Coach Tony Annese and the coaching staff truly care about their incoming recruits even beyond just the football field - instead they welcome them into the culture and tradition that is Ferris State Football.
"National Signing Day was one of the best days of my life," said current FSU freshman defensive back Amarr Blake. "I felt like all my hard work was recognized and it was the end of a chapter, but a beginning of one that had not been written yet."
Coach Annese, who just recently finished his sixth season as head coach of the Bulldogs, has placed Ferris State on the map among the top Division II programs in the country. He has been named as the Super Region Coach of the Year twice in his career at FSU and is presently the winningest active coach in the country.
Ferris State football has achieved a 60-14 overall record in the last six years and the Bulldogs have also posted the best winning percentage of all 21 collegiate programs in the state of Michigan along with the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) during that stretch.
In his time at the Bulldog helm, Coach Annese has led Ferris State to two conference titles in 2014 and 2015. This past fall, the Bulldogs made their fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division II Playoffs and also reached the national quarterfinal round for the second-straight year.
In 2016, the Bulldogs reached the national semifinals in the Division II playoffs before losing to Northwest Missouri State, who would go on to be the NCAA Division II National Champions.
The culture and atmosphere the coaching staff and current players at FSU have developed cannot be matched anywhere else. The tradition continues with each new class that the team brings in and this class is sure to be no different.
"After signing with Ferris State, I was excited for my future and I knew that the program had great success over the past few years and I was thrilled to be part of it," said Bulldog freshman wide receiver Sy Barnett.
The winning tradition that has been established by Cocah Annese and the Bulldogs over the past six seasons has allowed FSU to receive commitments from some of the best high school football players across the country in recent years and this year's class is expected to be no different.
Committing to Ferris State is a commitment to faith, order, love, and discipline, which is what FSU football prides itself on as their pillars of success. A new group will come "In The Fold" on national signing day.
Fans can follow complete coverage of Wednesday's National Signing Day at FerrisStateBulldogs.com along with @FerrisFootball on facebook and twitter with updates throughout the day.