Head football coach Brock Spack has reason to eagerly anticipate the upcoming football season. He and his staff brought to Illinois State the top recruiting class in the nation in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

A total of 24 student-athletes committed to continue their collegiate and athletic careers at the University. The group of signees includes four receivers and linebackers each, three tight ends and defensive ends, two running backs, two safeties, two offensive linemen and one quarterback, a fullback, defensive back and safety. They are from Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, and Nebraska.

“We feel this is a very good, deep class with quality players at every position,” Spack said. “This group is used to winning, with several players from state championship winning programs, and it is a very smart class in terms of their performance in the classroom. I am very comfortable with this group and feel we had a great recruiting year.”

Illinois State will open the 2014 campaign Saturday, September 6, when it hosts Southwestern Athletic Conference member Mississippi Valley State at Hancock Stadium. The gridiron matchup will be the first between the Redbirds and the Delta Devils. It is one of seven home games, which pleases Spack.

“That’s big for us because we have a great facility to play in. Our home fans make this a great place to play for us and a tough venue to play in for our opponents. We haven’t had that many games at home since we’ve been here as a staff, and it will be nice for our players to experience that kind of schedule. Last year we only had five home games, partly because of the construction schedule, so it will be nice for our fans to have seven to watch this year at home.”

Be a part of this year’s season. Get tickets online at GoRedbirds.com or by calling (309) 438-8000.