|MAC Recruiting Capsules|
The MAC has earned it's respect over the years, as the conference has produced several major NFL prospects and stars, pulled off upsets of BCS programs, and last year, put a team into a BCS game. All of that starts with recruiting, and here is a look at what each team has coming in.
The class is lead by two big, athletic defenders, 6'4 outside linebacker Jerome Lane (Akron, Ohio) and 6'3 safety Mykel Traylor-Bennett (Reynoldsburg, Ohio). Wide receiver Austin Wolf (Lebanon, Ohio) bring more size to the class at 6'4. He also has sure hands and good run after the catch ability. Immediate help comes in the form of several JUCO commits. Tallahassee CC linebacker C.J. Mizell is a former top recruit who was at Florida State and Washington State. He should help in a big way immediately. Keontae Hollis of Iowa Central is a 6'2, 285-lber with athleticism and Cedric Brittnum (Brooklyn, NY) is a 6'5, 315-lb road grader on the offensive line.
The offensive line class is a good one for the Cardinals. Vinnie Palazeti (Flint, Mich.) is a tough, rugged guard who did well on the camp circuit last summer. 6'7, 305-lb Haris Vrabac (Warren, Mich.) is relatively new to the game and is beginning to put it all together. Pat Maloney and Jarrid Lloyd are two Illinois products who could from good schools. We really like tight end Calvin Blank (Terre Haute, Ind.), an athletic 6'5, 220-lber with reliable hands. Defensive end Anthony Winbush (Indianapolis, Ind.) has shown he can get after the quarterback. A sleeper to look out for is running back Teddy Williamson, a Missouri native with elusiveness as well as speed and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
The high flying Falcons have some potential game-breakers in this class. Running back Fred Coppet had BCS offers and comes from one of the top programs in the Sunshine State. He is one of several talented Floridians in this class. Wide receivers Teo Redding (Warren, Mich.) and Mike Rogers (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) are both big time pass catchers. Redding is skinny, but has exceptional leaping ability and top notch ball skills. Offensive lineman Clark Clancy is mobile and physical. Tight end Logan Larson is a big kid at 6'4, 255-lbs with reliable hands. The Falcons have a good group of defensive backs coming in, lead by two long safeties in 6'3 Aaron Banks (Chicago, Ill.) and 6'2 Isaiah Gourdine (Farmington, Mich.). Sleepers in the class we like include Chicago Marist's disruptive defensive tackle Shannon Smith, 6'6 tight end Hunter Folkertsma, and tough, hard-nosed center Tim McAuliffe.
The star of the class might just be Jamarl Eiland, a high school quarterback with the elusivness to be a playmaker at wide receiver. The Bulls brought in another versatile athlete in 6'1, 200-lb James Coleman, an in-state guy (Brooklyn, NY) who has size, and has been a standout in both football and basketball in high school. Defensively, the Bulls should get immediate help from Butler Community College linebacker Blake Bean, who had 113 tackles last season. Michigan native Houston Glass (East Kentwood) has nice size (6'1, 185-lbs) and was a track guy as well. Linebacker Jarrett Franklin had 21 sacks as a senior.
It all starts in-state for the Chippewas, and they did well there again. Port Huron's Mark Chapman, a high school quarterback, is an exciting, elusive athlete who will make the transition to wide receiver. Defensive tackle Michael Steinhauer (Chelsea, Mich.) is quick and seemingly lives in the opposing backfield. He'll by joined by hard-nosed Don Kyre, a nice athlete with a great motor. Josh Cox (Warren, Mich.) brings size to the secondary. It was not just the in-state guys though, the Chips swung into Indiana and picked up Wesley Thomas, a nice sized receiver with good hands. A potential star, Corey Willis missed his senior year of football with an injury. If the Holland (Mich.) native regains his junior form, he's a steal of a slot receiver.
The Eagles made big waves landing four-star quarterback Brogan Roback (Toledo, Ohio), but don't sleep on the other quarterback in the class either as Philly native David Pulliam can beat you with his arm or his legs. They will have a couple of nice targets to throw to in Jacob King and Austin Stone, both good sized receivers. The Eagles dipped into Indianapolis and got a mauler of an offensive lineman in Dwayne Brown and Lawrence Central's bookend defensive ends Deshai Powell and Derrick Dunlap. They closed well down the stretch, landing former Cincinnati commit Jaleel Canty (Lansing, Mich.) a speedy cornerback. They also picked up another corner with cover skills in Cass Tech's Daquan Pace. A sleeper to watch out for is 6'2, 205-lb safety Mario Swann (Greenwood, Ind.), who is long and can run.
The headliner here is quarterback Nathan Strock (Dresden, Ohio), a 6'4, 190-lber with good athleticism and mobility. He will have a good back to hand off to in Roman Clay, who rushed for nearly 6,000 yards in his career. He also played safety and his tools make him a good fit for the Flashes. 6'7, 240-lb tight end Brock Macaulay may grow into an offensive tackle. The team was also able to head south and pull in commits from Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. Cornerback Demetrius Monday is an Atlanta native with good size. Terrance Waugh is a 230-lb defensive end who also comes up from the Peach State. He's joined by a pair of defensive tackles from Mainland High in Florida: Jontey Byrd, who had 13 sacks as a senior, and 325-lb Wayne Scott.
The highest rated recruit is defensive end Shane Huber of New Jersey. A high school outside linebacker, he often rushed off the edge and showed a knack for pressuring the quarterback. Size is the name of the game on offense. Help on the offensive line comes immediately from 6'5, 285-lb JUCO tackle Josh Burns, who is joined by big high schoolers in 6'7, 315-lb Tyshon Henderosn, 6'5, 295-lb Jordan Page, 6'7, 280-lb Terrel Correia, and 6'5, 275-lb Sam Zeff, both from New Jersey. Speaking of big, quarterback commit Todd Stafford (Greenwich, Ct.) stands 6'5, 240-lbs, and he'll be handing off to 6'1, 247-lb Daquan Mack. Stafford will have a good sized target to throw to in 6'2, 205-lb Florida product Shaquille Harris.
Speedy in-state defensive backs Airion Kosak and Heath Harding are two of the standouts in this class. Kosak fell a little under the radar, but both kids can legitimately run and are playmakers. 6'6, 285-lb offensive tackle Randy Heideman was a good get out of Illinois. He'll be joined by 6'5, 305-lb Southfield (Mich.) tackle Collin Buchanan. Quarterback Tommy Tupa has NFL bloodlines, a 6'4, 215-lb frame, and threw 53 touchdowns in his high school career. The linebacker class is a good one with productive Matt Smallbone and throwback Grant Niemiec leading the group. A sleeper? How about Jared Murphy, an undersized, but quick slot receiver.
On paper, the strength of this class is the skill positions, which means the Huskies' offensive output should continue. Detroit King (Mich.) receiver Mycial Allen had a fantastic year and interest from Big Ten schools before committing to NIU. The same goes for in-state product Blake Holder, a nice sized target with good ball skills. A name you may be familiar with is Chad Beebe, whose father Don played in the NFL, and watch out for 6'3 Georgia native Malik Mitchell. It isn't all offense though, as Indy defensive tackle William Lee switched from Ball State, and cornerback Brandon Mayes, Beebe's high school teammate, is a good athlete who also played running back. Aregeros Turner, from Akron Copley, held multiple division-1 offers and could be a corner or running back at the next level.
The Bobcats are laying the foundation on the offensive line with this class. We think 6'7, 295-lb tackle Tate Leavitt (Thornville, Ohio) was a steal. 320-lb Durrell Bristol (Groveport, Ohio) is your power guard, and Zach Murdock (Dublin, Ohio) can go inside or outside. Leon Alexander (Detroit, Mich.) is a 6'3, 190-lb kid who could project anywhere from safety to linebacker and receiver, but we see him growing into an H-Back. The tight ends are talented too. 6'5, 230-lb Mason Morgan is a kid we felt was a steal, and another big Ohioan, Troy Mangen (6'5, 237) was likewise, a good pickup. On defense, immediate impact can be found in two massive JUCO defensive tackles, 6'4, 310-lb Watson Tautuaki and 6'3, 285-lb Cameron McLeod.
The Rockets' class got a big boost from two talented quarterbacks in Michael Julian (Hilton Head, SC) who committed to them over several BCS offers and athletic Logan Woodside (Frankfort, Ky.). The secondary commits are long and athletic. 6'3 Delando Johnson from Maryland leads the way along with Detroit Cass Tech's Dejuan Rogers. Grand Blanc (Mich.) defensive end Daniel Davis is an explosive, disruptive player. He's joined by John Stepec, an in-state end who had a good senior year, and Adam Kulon, a 6'5, 240-lb kid athletic enough to have played middle linebacker in high school. Running back Kareem Hunt (Willoughby, OH) is another who has the look of a future difference maker. He'll have a chance to run behind Nate Jeppesen (Portage, Mich.), a tough, physical guard prospect.
Very nice job by new head coach P.J. Fleck and his staff to put together the class late. A former wide receiver, Fleck will have talented pupils in 6'3, 200-lb Corey Davis (Wheaton, Ill.) and speedy Darius Phillips (Dearborn Hts., Mich.). They will have a good line blocking for them lead by three-star prospect Josh Bass (Battle Creek, Mich.). They'll be blocking for Cameron Thomas, a mobile, accurate quarterback. The Broncos picked up some good talent on defense. Defensive ends Khairi Bailey (Chicago, Ill.) and Andre Turner (Harper Woods, Mich.) know how to get after the quarterback and they will have a rangy safety in 6'3 Miami native Edward Rolle behind them patrolling the secondary. Linebacker Caleb Bailey has a great nose for the ball.