- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Middle Tennessee has signed 24 players as part of the Blue Raiders’ attempt to get back to a bowl game.

The Blue Raiders went 6-6 last season after winning eight games in 2013 and playing in the Armed Forces Bowl, and coach Rick Stockstill signed 12 defensive players and 11 on offense along with a punter Wednesday trying to improve.

Stockstill says they originally planned to sign 21 this year but expanded the signing class when some spots opened up.

The Blue Raiders’ class includes 18 signees from high school and five transferring from junior colleges. Redshirt junior running back I’tavius Mathers, who transferred to Middle Tennessee and his hometown after signing with Mississippi in 2012, is among six who already have enrolled.

Middle Tennessee added four linemen, three wide receivers, three running backs and a quarterback offensively. On defense, the Blue Raiders added four linemen and six defensive backs. Stockstill got an experienced pass rusher in end Peter Bailey who had spent the past two seasons at Hinds Community College.

“Defensive end was an immediate need as was cornerback where I thought we added some length, size and speed,” Stockstill said in a statement.

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MIDDLE TENNESSEE

Top 25 Class: No

Best in class: Ruben Garnett, RB, Hepzibah, Ga.

Best of the rest: Josh Fannin, OG, Hoschton, Ga.

Late addition: Jovante Moffatt, DB, Union City, Tenn.

One that got away: Cameron Watkins, CB, Nashville, Tenn., to Illinois.

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