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2005 MAC Football Recruiting - Ohio Bobcats


New head coach Frank Solich welcomes 27 new players in his first class at Ohio University. The former Nebraska head coach covered 11 states to bring new life into the Bobcat program. Twelve of these players come from Ohio, with the remaining players venturing into Athens from West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, Nebraska, Maryland, and Arizona. Fifteen of these players are slated for offense with a heavy emphasis on RB/FB and offensive line while twelve are listed as defensive players, focusing on DBs and defensive linemen. Solich signed a defensive linemen from his former state residence of Nebraska and used his recruiting ties to bring in several players from top high school programs.

Top Player - Spencer Farley, RB

- As a senior, rushed for 2,374 yards, 53 TDs and averaged 10-yards per carry
- Two-time first team All-State performer from Morgantown, WV
- Top-10 rated player in state 
- Drew interest from Big East, C-USA & MAC schools


  • Ohio signed four RB/FB prospects to bolster the rushing attack. Farley, highlighted above had absolutely monster numbers and brings good speed and balance to the position. Junior college TB Voncarie Owens was a preseason JUCO All-American. Fullback Jayson White is a load at 6-2 225 and received interest from Big East and ACC schools while Mitchell Morsillo is a battering ram at 6-foot 243. 
  • Brandon Jones is one of two QB prospects, was an all-state performer at Marietta, GA. He threw for nearly 3,000 yards as a senior, 22 TDs and just 4 INTs. Josh Febus is a talented athlete who can play many positions.
  • Ohio’s best area of recruits is likely their DB prospects. Idris Lawrence is a proven playmaker from Columbus, brings tremendous speed and coverage skills to the Bobcat secondary. Kentucky native Lee Renfro received C-USA offers and was named state player of the year by one published service. Michael Mitchell and Steven Jackson bring size to the defensive backfield.

Final Thoughts

Of all the analysis I have done for this recruiting report, I put the most time into the Ohio Bobcats. Many of these players came in under the radar screen that I could barely find data on outside of published reports by OU. That doesn’t mean that this is a bad class, but simply that Coach Solich and his staff searched far and wide for the players he wants to turn this program around. Overall this class rates as GOOD compared to other MAC classes this year but make no mistake, there are some quality football players listed below and it’s good to see OU re-establish themselves in Ohio high schools again. Linemen accounted for 35% of this entire class, so considering this new Ohio staff did not have a lot of time, it’s obvious they want to build from the ground/trenches up. Judging by many of these recruits and their specific talents, it looks like Ohio may be revisiting some sort of ‘option attack’ again soon with shorter and stout offensive linemen and athletic QB prospects such Josh Febus & Brandon Jones.

Name, 		  Pos.	Ht.	Wt.	Previous School
Spencer Farley	  TB	5-8	205	Morgantown, W.Va. (Morgantown)
Josh Febus	  QB	6-2	205	Dublin, Ohio (Dublin Coffman)
Dathan Ferrainolo OL	6-3	288	East Liverpool, Ohio (Beaver Local)
Christopher Garrett WR	5-8	175	Bristow, Va., (Stonewall Jackson)
Jameson Hartke	  DL	6-5	239	Centerville, Ohio (Centerville)
Ervin Jackson	  DB	6-0	189	Kiln, Miss. (Hancock HS/Pearl River JC)
Steven Jackson	  DB	6-2	180	Austin, Texas (Westlake)
Brandon Jones	  QB	6-2	195	Marietta, Ga. (Marietta)
Eric Kenkel	  DL	6-4	240	Cincinnati, Ohio (Elder)
Idris Lawrence	  DB	5-10	173	Columbus, Ohio (Brookhaven)
Josh Leuck	  DL	6-3	275	Omaha, Nebraska (Westside)
Brian Mellott	  DL	6-3	255	Austintown, Ohio (Austintown Fitch)
Jordan Meyers	  LB	6-1	218	Harrison, Ohio. (Harrison)
Michael Mitchell  DB	6-0	190	Ft. Thomas, Ky. (Highlands)
Mitchell Morsillo FB	6-0	243	Moon, Pa. (Moon Area)
Mark Parson	 DB	5-10	192	Richmond, Va. (Monacan High School/Fork Union Military Academy)
Voncarie Owens	 TB	5-10	185	Taylorsville, Miss. (Collins HS/Jones County JC)
Brandon Peterson WR	6-1	185	Gaithersburg, Md. (DeMatha)
Mike Philibin	 OL	6-4	290	Poland, Ohio (Cardinal Mooney)
Conor Reilly	 DL	6-3	240	Hudson, Ohio (Hudson)
Lee Renfro	 DB	5-10	202	Burnside, Ky. (Southwestern)
Chris Rodgers	 TE	6-4	228	Phoenix, Ariz. (Central)
Gary Schussler	 OL	6-2	264	Chardon, Ohio (Chardon)
Tommy Stuck	 OL	6-1	291	Lancaster, Ohio (Lancaster)
Thad Turner	 WR	6-0	169	Marietta, Ga. (Marietta)
David White	 OL	6-1	300	Chardon, Ohio (Chardon)
Jayson White	 FB	6-2	225	Erie, Pa., (McDowell)

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