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2004 MAC Football Recruiting - Ball State Cardinals


Ball State signed 25 players from 12 different states.  This has to be considered the most well represented class in terms of the areas/regions that the players come from, in BSU history.  The Cardinals have long been strapped in terms of a recruiting budget compared to other MAC programs, certainly went out and got quality talent from states like Virginia, Minnesota, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa and Missouri.  These would be non-traditional footprint states for Ball State recruiting.  The prize recruit is Adell Givens, a talented and tremendously fast RB/DB prospect from southwestern Ohio.  Givens was ranked as a top-30 player in Ohio and received a lot of recruiting interests from Big Ten & Big East schools.  In fact, this class has five players who come from the Buckeye state with only three players coming from Indiana.  Two 6-4 QB prospects also highlight this class along with LB Wendell Brown, a top-35 player from Detroit who choose Ball State over Toledo & Bowling Green.


  • Ball State went out and brought in some intriguing prospects at WR.  Darius Hill is a 6-6 205-pounder from Missouri who played on the state’s #1 ranked team.  He was an all-state performer as a senior.  Louis Johnson is a homegrown product from Muncie (IN) and had over 2,200 receiving yards and 20 TDs during his high school career.  Kenny Meeks is a big receiver at 6-2 220-pounds, but versitile enough that he may play TE, LB or DE at Ball State.  He was Indiana’s defensive player of the year award winner this past season. 
  • Ball State signed two big QB prospects to give the Cardinals better talent and depth at that position.  Cole Stinson is from Florida, but had Ball State ties through some of his coaches there, is 6-4, 235 and threw 13 TDs as a senior with just 2 INTs.  Warren Suess is from Iowa and was being looked at by Iowa and Iowa State before choosing BSU over Bowling Green.
  • Trying to get bigger and more physical players in the trenches, Coach Hoke signed an all-state performer from Kentucky, Jonathan Belcher, who is coming in at 6-2 270.  Amara Koroma 6-2 250 is a speed DE prospect from Illinois who has already enrolled in classes at Ball State.
  • With the MAC ever becoming more pass-happy, the Cardinals went out and brought in several DB prospects, and Adell Givens, who as an athlete, may end up on that side of the ball.  Almost all of these prospects are in the 5-10 180-pound range, and all posses a lot of speed and coverage skills.  Dominique Bryson, Jovens Degage, Lavell Mosley, Ryan Patrick, Dan Dunford, Hoshua Taylor and Trey Lewis are all players who may contribute this fall. Lewis comes from a military academy prep school while Taylor is the lone JUCO.

Final Thoughts

The Cardinals went out and found a lot talent to bring into their program this year and while most of it does not come with the fanfare and accolades that some of the other MAC schools brought in this year, this is still a solid class.  Ball State addressed their immediate needs at DB and QB, while bringing in some much needed speed across the board.  Ball State went head to head for a lot of this talent with the top schools in the MAC, something they have not done in a very long time.  Also, BSU is finally going to greater lengths, literally, to find talent.  This class rates as VERY GOOD compared to other MAC schools this year but there is a lot of potential here that four years from now, may become one of the better classes brought in for 2004.

Gonzalo Barinaga        LB      6-2     220     Milwaukee, Wis. (Marquette University)

Jonathan Belcher        DL      6-2     270     Somerset, Ky. (Pulaski Southwestern)

Wendell Brown           LB      6-0     215     Detroit, Mich. (Martin Luther King)

Dominique Bryson        DB      5-10    175     Chicago, Ill. (Hubbard)

Adam Cole               OL      6-6     275     Eden Prairie, Minn. (Academy of Holy Angels)

Jovens Degage           RB      5-11    180     North Miami, Fla. (North Miami)

Dan Dunford             RB/QB   5-10    175     Naples, Fla. (Naples)

Dan Gerberry            OL      6-3     275     Canfield, Ohio (Austintown Fitch)

Adell Givens            RB/DB      5-11    185     Hamilton, Ohio (Hamilton)

Bryant Haines           DB/WR   6-5     205     Piqua, Ohio (Piqua)

Darius Hill             WR      6-6     205     Blue Springs, Mo. (Blue Springs)

Louis Johnson           WR      6-1     17      Muncie, Ind. (Central)

Amara Koroma            DE      6-2     250     Homewood, Ill. (Homewood-Flossmoor)

Eric Larrimer           OL      6-5     285     Centerville, Ohio (Centerville)

Trey Lewis              DB      6-0     190     Raleigh, N.C. (Ravenscroft)

Kenny Meeks             WR/DL   6-2     220     Muncie, Ind. (Muncie Central)

Byron Miles             LB      5-10    220     Chicago, Ill. (Morgan Park)

Lavell Mosley           DB      6-2     185     Kenosha, Wis. (Tremper)

Ryan Patrick            DB      5-10    170     Trotwood, Ohio (Chaminade Julienne)

Jason Sippel            OL      6-4     245     Hawthorn Woods, Ill. (Lake Zurich)

Casey Sponseller        DL      6-2     230     Osceola, Ind. (Penn)

Cole Stinson            QB      6-4     235     Estero, Fla. (Dunbar)

Warren Suess            QB      6-4     190     Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Washington)

Joshua Taylor           DB      5-10    190,    Matteson, Ill. (Bolingbrook)

Brian Trowman           OL      6-5     315     Blue Springs, Mo. (Rockhurst)

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