Skyhawks’ football adds 2 to make 5

Fort Lewis adds a linebacker and a defensive end to its recruiting class

After making a three-man splash on national signing day with a couple of reverse transfers from the Division I level, the Fort Lewis College football program added two more players Thursday to bring its 2013 recruiting class to five.

Ryan Ross transfered to FLC from Dodge City Community College.

David Sweet signed his national letter of intent to join FLC from Goddard High School in Roswell, N.M.

Ross and Sweet join Michigan State transfer Arthur Ray, Utah State transfer Chris Friesen and Phoenix College transfer C.J. Anderson, the three players announced Wednesday.

Ross, a 5-11, 220-pound linebacker, was Dodge City’s captain last season. He is a Doherty High School alumnus from Colorado Springs.

“The linebacker spot is one position that we do need a little bit of help at,” first-year FLC football head coach John L. Smith said in a news release to The Durango Herald. “Getting Ryan is a plus because it helps us in a need area. Every area is a little bit of a need area, but having someone come in and play immediately is a plus for us.”

FLC, which graduated its all-time leading tackler, finished 0-10 last season. Phil Odell, who finished his FLC career with 367 tackles at the linebacker position, is expected to help on Smith’s coaching staff next season.

Sweet is a 6-5, 225-pound award winner at defensive end, tight end and punter.

“David is a big-bodied, athletic defensive end that I think is going to grow into a big man,” Smith said. “We think he’s going to be a good player in the future. He is an all-state punter as well ... that’s a plus. We’re going to continue to work with him in that regard.”

FLC has signed five in two days, and Smith expects more signings to follow.

“The signing class will be limited in numbers, but the recruiting will continue,” said Smith, who doesn’t officially begin his new post until March 1.

“Even though our signing class is very limited, that class will continue to grow and develop as we get through spring ball into the summertime. We are not stopping recruiting with what we have to sign. There will be an addition of a lot more kids to next year’s roster.

“It’s quality – very, very quality in the few numbers that we have,” Smith said. “We expect that quality to grow as well as the numbers to grow.”

heraldsports@durangoherald.com