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2004 MAC Football Recruiting - WMU Broncos

Overview

WMU brought in 21 solid players for Coach Gary Darnell’s 8th recruiting class.  This was a very balanced class and features players from nine different states, along with one player each from Canada & American Samoa.  Only three players came from the home state of Michigan while four come from New Jersey, but thirteen players are from the Midwest.  Alex Egram is the highlight of this class as he had reported over 25 college offers, including Nebrasa, Texas A&M, Kansas State, and several other Big 12 schools.  Prior to his senior year in high school, he moved from Texas to Warren, Ohio.  Most schools wanted him as an athlete or defensive back, but he wants to play QB, so that’s why he is in Kalamazoo.  WMU’s first rate football and athletic facilities helped attract much of this talent according to Darnell and his staff.  The Seelye Center is the nicest football facility in the MAC.

Highlights

  • Alex Engram is certainly the show stopper of the class.  A top-20 recruit from Ohio, he tossed 19 TDs with just 1 INT as a senior.  He is a dual threat QB, something totally different from WMU’s standard pro-set and spread offenses under Darnell.  Other top shelf talent includes Mark Monds, the big and fast RB from Indianapolis who was rated the 33rd best RB in the country by one recruiting service, Zach Davidson, a speedy DE who turned down reported offers from Colorado & Purdue, and Fernand Kashama, the 10th rated prospect in Canada.
  • The Broncos hit New Jersey hard for players and it paid off by getting some quality players from the garden state.  London Fryar is a speedy WR who was 1st team All South Jersey – he is the son of former Philadelphia Eagle and New England Patriot Irving Fryar.  Marc Orosz was chose the South Jersey POY after rushing for over 1,800 yards as a senior.  Nick Varcadipane & Mike Onaga are both big and fast DE/TE prospects.
  • The lone JUCO in this class is DT Endemann.  At 6-2 and nearly 285 pounds, he is a former QB and TE before becoming a DT in junior college.
  • WMU did a tremendous job at getting skilled position talent, especially with the five WRs brought in, the three RBs and five defensive backs.  There is a lot of speed and expertise in these areas recruited.

Final Thoughts

Western Michigan has struggled the past three years and has been hovering around the .500 mark during this time. Prior to that they were going head to head with Toledo for the MAC West divisional title.  This is the type of class to get Western back to the upper echelon. I am very impressed with the skilled positions. The biggest problem WMU has had recently is poor play from their offensive line. Only one player in this class is listed as an OL prospect, but WMU certainly got some potential Jason Babin’s with the defensive end prospects brought in this year. Overall, this class rates as EXCELLENT, bordering on outstanding. This is certainly the best overall class I can remember for the Broncos, and that includes their 2001 class, which I had dubbed #1 in the MAC that year. WMU beat out several BCS schools listed above, as well as Syracuse, Marshall and Boise State for a few of the players brought in this year.

Brian Bell              SS      6-2     210     Arlington Heights, Ill. (Prospect HS)

Mark Bonds              RB      5-10    220     Indianapolis, Ind. (Warren Central HS)

Brandon Brady           RB      5-11    210     Bloomington, Minn. (Academy of Holy Angels)

Zach Davidson           DE      6-3     235     Racine, Wis. (Washington Park HS)

Andy Endemann           DT      6-2     284     Pago Pago, American Samoa (Coll of the Canyons)

Alex Engram             QB      5-11    205     Warren, Ohio (Warren Harding HS)

Cory Flom               DT      6-4     275     Prior Lake, Minn. (Academy of Holy Angels)

Londen Fryar            WR      6-0     181     Jobstown, N.J. (Holy Cross HS)

Quentin Gray            LB      6-3     250     Detroit, Mich. (Pershing HS)

Fernand Kashama         WR      6-3     206     Toronto, Ont. (Notre Dame SS)

Ryan Lecher             TE      6-4     240     New Berlin, Wis. (Eisenhower HS)

Brandon Ledbetter       WR      6-4     205     Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Saint Thomas Aquinas HS)

Scooter McIntosh        S       6-2     210     McHenry, Ill. (McHenry HS)

Mike Onaga              TE       6-4    250     Matawan, N.J. (Saint John Vianney HS)

Marc Orosz              RB      5-11    180     Marlton, N.J. (Cherokee HS)

Cornelius Robinson      FS      6-3     190     Atlanta, Ga. (Booker T. Washington HS)

Jamarko Simmons         WR      6-2     216     Flint, Mich. (Flint Central HS)

Blake Sims              CB      6-1     203     Detroit, Mich. (Martin Luther King HS)

Jerome Vann             WR      6-4     195     LaPorte, Ind. (LaPorte HS)

Nick Varcadipane        DE      6-2     250     Totowa, N.J. (Passaic Valley HS)

Matt Williams           OL      6-3     270     Frishers, Ind. (Hamilton Southeastern HS)

 

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