CMU signed 17 players from seven states.New coach Brian Kelly, who comes from Division II Grand Valley State and takes over for Mike DeBord, did a good job of keeping all of the previous ‘Chip verbals prior to the coaching change, and adding more talent.The prize recruit is QB Wisconsin native Brian Brunner.Armed with cannon for throwing the ball, CMU had to re-recruit him after the coaching change, and was able to keep the 6-2 215 pound QB prospect to sign with Central.He is the type of player the Chippewas have lacked at that position for a long time and should flourish in the new coaching staff’s more open offensive philosophy.Central also brought in some quality linemen and skilled players needed to turn around their fortunes.CMU still has a few scholarships available at the time of this article going to print and may add a few more defensive prospects from the junior college ranks to complete this class.
CMU brought in seven players from their home state, five of which are ranked by several recruiting sources as top-50 prospects in Michigan.Two high school offensive line teammates, Adam Benke and Andrew Hartline, are the type of long, lean, and strong players Coach Kelly is looking for in the trenches.Toss in Mark Barbaglia and Andrew Cribbs, and CMU found and signed four nice OL prospects.
CMU signed five players from Georgia.Cornerbacks Ronnie Jackson and Raeshon Ball (his brother Reggie Ball is Georgia Tech’s QB) bring speed and athleticism to that position.DT Temirez Williams is expected to contribute this year while DE Christopher Boss & Antroine Archer come from a high school program (Washington County) that has produced 63 division IA players over the past six years.
The five top-50 players from Michigan in this class are Hartline (#23) & Benke (#25), along with DE Steven Friend (#41), DB Vincent Hicks (#46) & FB Evan Brownie (#49).
Entering into relatively new areas of recruiting for CMU, the ‘Chips picked out some nice receiver prospects Darren Martin (Louisiana) and Jonathan Lapsley (Indiana), while going into Florida for DE Philip Telfer.
The Chippewas new coaching staff got off to a late start, but they did retain the original recruits under DeBord who were certainly sought after by several top MAC schools after the coaching change, along with bringing in more speed, athleticism and depth to this program.Kelly has won two-straight Division II national titles at near-bye Grand Valley State and looks to bring that winning thought pattern and tradition back to Mount Pleasant.Twice he was named coach of the year for that level.This class rates as VERY GOOD but when you consider what Brian Kelly and his staff have done in such a short amount of time, their efforts are really quite miraculous.
Antrione ArcherOLB6-3210Tennille, Ga./Washington County
William BallCB5-8170Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson
Mark BarbagliaOL6-5260West Windsor, N.J./Plainsboro
Christopher BossDE 6-3225Sandersville, Ga./Washington County
Brian BrunnerQB6-2215Hubertus, Wis./Hartford Union
Andrew CribbsOL6-5275Muskegon/Mona Shores
Steven FriendDE6-4260Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Northern
Pacino HorneFS6-1187Willow Run/Grand Rapids CC
Ronnie JacksonCB5-10165Warner Robbins, Ga./Windsor Academy
Jonathan LapsleyWR6-2195Fort Wayne, Ind./Concordia Lutheran