The more Cade Erwin learned about North Texas, the more convinced he became that the program is on the rise.
That trend helped convince the Flower Mound Marcus all-around athlete to commit to UNT on Monday, when coach Dan McCarney confirmed that wide receiver Fonzale Davis, one of the Mean Green’s top signees a year ago, will head to junior college.
Davis was a member of UNT’s 2014 class.
“The coaching staff and their mentality set North Texas apart,” Erwin said. “I like what coach McCarney has brought. North Texas is only going to go up. The coaches and players have a desire to win and put in the work to win. They want to do what it takes.”
Erwin is the fifth player in the class of 2015 to commit to UNT, which beat UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Erwin did a little bit of everything for Marcus last season, playing safety and wide receiver while making an occasional appearance at quarterback. Erwin caught 12 passes for 129 yards and rushed for 136 yards on offense, while intercepting two passes and averaging about eight tackles per game on defense.
Erwin, who is 5-11 and 180 pounds, earned first-team All-District 5-5A honors as a safety and second-team honors as a wide receiver as a junior.
Erwin said he chose UNT over offers from SMU, Texas State, Eastern Michigan and Air Force. UNT recruited Erwin as a safety.
Oral commitments are nonbinding. The first day recruits in the class of 2015 can sign national letters of intent is Feb. 4.
Erwin is a former teammate of UNT offensive lineman Ryan Rentfro, who helped sell him on the idea of playing for the Mean Green.
Playing with a high school teammate close to home helped UNT land Erwin, who was recruited by offensive coordinator Mike Canales. Erwin also said he was impressed by UNT’s new facilities, including Apogee Stadium and the Mean Green Athletic Center, and how closely those facilities are located to each other on campus.
“Staying close to home is an added bonus,” Erwin said. “My family will be able to come and see me play and I will be able to go home for dinner if I want.”
UNT lost a key member of its 2014 recruiting class in Davis at about the same time it added Erwin. Davis caught 77 passes for 1,651 yards and 18 touchdowns as a Dallas South Oak Cliff senior, when he received honorable mention on The Associated Press’ Class 4A all-state team.
Davis was one of four high school receivers UNT signed who were scheduled to report over the weekend. UNT also signed Jalen Adams of Moore (Okla.) Southmoore and Tee Goree and O’Keeron Rutherford of Carthage.
The rest of UNT’s freshmen, including that trio of receivers, reported as planned.
“We feel good about our freshman wide receivers,” McCarney said. “You never want anyone to not make it. We felt like his talent was worth a chance on seeing if he could make it.”
Davis signed with Kilgore College last winter at the same time he signed with UNT.
Former Snow College lineman Darren Denucci, who was a late addition to UNT’s signing class, has reported, McCarney confirmed. ... Backup wide receiver Mike Marshall, who would have been a senior this fall, is giving up football. The former South Grand Prairie standout caught one pass for 19 yards as a junior and has graduated.