Recruiting 2013 - MAC West Needs & Concerns
Posted Feb 6, 2013

What does each MAC West team need and what are the concerns?

Recruiting 2013 

MAC West Recruiting Rankings

CFN Top Prospects for 2013
- No. 1 to 50 | No. 51 to 100 | No. 101 to 150
- No. 151 to 200No. 201 to 250 | No. 251 to 300
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards & Centers 
- Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Corners | Safeties 

- MAC East Recruiting Needs & Concerns

Ball State | The 2013 Recruiting Class  

Team Concerns For 2013: The Cardinals need to get more out of the defensive line. They've been able to get by with a great offense and solid special teams, but the D hasn't been pulling its weight, especially up front. The front four isn't making enough stops behind the line, and the pass rush hasn't been effective enough to help a secondary that gives up yards in bunches. The run defense has suffered, too, giving up 208 yards per game.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. The Cardinals are getting a few nice linebackers in Anthony Winbush out of Indianapolis and JUCO transfer Stephan Martin, and the offensive line has the talent. Massive tackle prospect Haris Vrabac is the star of the bunch, but JUCO transfer P.J. Scott could push for a starting job right away and guard Vinnie Palazeti will eventually be a key part of the puzzle. Quarterback Jack Milas is an interesting get to develop for a 2016.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 93. That Class Was Heavy On ... Here come the defensive linemen. Past coaching staffs worked on several areas, and it started to pay off last year with a strong 6-6 season, but the defensive line needs more help in a hurry. It's asking too much for the defensive tackles being brought in to play right away, but they need to bulk up the depth soon. The offensive line is getting a nice class of options for the interior. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 115. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. New head man Pete Lembo inherits a team with plenty of promising defenders, and while he isn’t ignoring the defensive side, especially at outside linebacker, the team is cranking up the passing game with several new targets. The best of the lot might be 5-11, 175-pound Willie Snead, but the rest of the class, like the 6-1, Chris Shillings, the 6-5 Trey Gardner, and the 6-3 Jacolby Owens, is literally big.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 95. That Class Was Heavy On ...
The secondary. This was a nice class considering the disastrous freefall of last season. There wasn't a need for a lot of young skill players, so the class focused on defense and mostly the defensive backs with four nice corner prospects signed led by Jeffery Garrett, who should probably have taken a longer look at a bigger name school, and the speedy Quintin Cooper. Brian Jones should grow into a good nickel or free safety.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 93. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players and linebackers. The defense got three interesting linebackers for the inside, led by Jacob Green, while the outside was addressed with a few players. It’s strength in numbers time for the offense with several running backs and receivers to go along with QB Aaron Mershman. RB Eric Williams is the best prospect of the bunch.

Central Michigan | The 2013 Recruiting Class  

Team Concerns For 2013: The pass rush has to show up. 100th in the nation in sacks, the front four failed to do nearly enough to bother the quarterback, while there weren't enough tackles for loss to help out a mediocre run defense. The offense was fine, but the ground game needs to be more effective behind a solid offensive line. The punt return game has to improve after averaging a miserable 2.58 yards per try. The punting could stand to be better after netting just 35.6 yards per try.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. Getting defensive tackle Michael Steinhauer and safety Josh Cox should help out a defense full of decent prospects. The defensive backfield should turn out to be one of the biggest keys to this class, while linebackers Jeffrey Perry and Joey Ostman will eventually be factors. Mark Chapman leads an excellent haul of receivers, and Darrien Boone is a good looking passer, but the class is most helped by the offensive linemen. Derek Edwards is a terrific guard prospect and tackle Jack Ford and guard J.P. Quinn should eventually be a key part of the puzzle.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 77. That Class Was Heavy On ... The secondary needs a lot of help. Head coach Dan Enos has struggled in his first few seasons and needs as many options as possible to battle for jobs right away. This is a huge class with a little something for all spots, but safety will be the strongest position and the offensive line will get a big boost. The receiving corps is apparently set with just a few prospects coming in. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 90. That Class Was Heavy On ... Tight ends. Apparently, head coach Dan Enos thinks the team needs more options for the offense with four tight ends coming in to go along with Jason Wilson and some nice wide receivers. Ben McCord, Blake Serpa, and Ben Randle are good pickups, but there should be some moving around of positions. The spotlight, though, will be on QB Alex Niznak, a 6-4, 225-pound passer who could get a long, long look right away. Defensive tackle was a target led by 6-1, 300-pound Shafer Johnson.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 112. That Class Was Heavy On ... The defensive front seven. New head man Dan Enos had roughly ten minutes to work, and it showed with a mediocre class that will need some developing. The one positive area was up front on defense with Kevin Henry a near-certain all star end with the potential to bulk up into a tackle. Caleb Southworth is a nice speed rushing prospect, while linebackers Tyler Lombardo, Andy Phillips, and Nores Fradi will be a big deal in three years.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 75. That Class Was Heavy On ... Running backs. The idea is to get as many good athletes as possible and find positions for them, and the Chippewas have brought in four good backs, led by the small, but speedy, Malek Redd, along with two good receivers in Cody Wilson and Ronny Kennedy who aren’t all that big, but can be used in a variety of ways.

Eastern Michigan | The 2013 Recruiting Class  

Team Concerns For 2013: The Eagles have to figure out the defense again after finishing dead last in the nation against the run partly because the pass rush was the worst in the conference and the plays in the backfield were almost non-existent. The D couldn't seem to stop anyone with an offense, while the EMU attack didn't have enough of a passing game to keep up the pace. Finishing last in the MAC in total offense and total defense equaled a 2-10 overall record, and having to replace six starters on defense means the team has to start from scratch in several areas. That might not be a bad thing.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Brogan Roback. There were some decent players brought in with corner Jaleel Canty an eventual No. 1 shutdown corner and end Deshai Powell the type of pass rush the team could've used last year, but quarterback Brogan Roback is the key get. With the talent to go anywhere in the MAC, and with some mild interest from the FBSers, he needs to be the signature star of the program in the near future. Brandon Bossard and David Pulliam are quarterback prospects who'll be there to get their shot in a few years in case Roback isn't up to snuff.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 79. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive line, defensive line, defensive line. After a stunning turnaround season, EMU and head coach Ron English is going after defensive linemen … again. The Eagles went hard after defensive linemen in the last few classes, and they're going after even more with more athleticism, more options, and better depth. The offense isn't being ignored, but outside of WR Quincy Jones, almost all the talent is for the D. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 111. That Class Was Heavy On ... JUCO defenders. After loading up for the defensive line over the last two recruiting classes, and with little to show for it, head coach Ron English is trying to win immediately with five JUCO transfers including linebackers Justin Cudworth, Blake Poole, and Sean Kurtz, who could all be immediate starters. However, the team’s best defensive pickup was true freshman Sean Cotton, a versatile safety who could’ve gone somewhere with a bigger profile.

re much bigger. 2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 116. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive Tackles. Ron English and his staff didn't exactly restock the shelves after a horrendous season, but there was an influx of immediate help for the defensive line with three JUCO transfers to throw into the interior. Jeremey Cutler is a 6-1, 275-pound fireplug, and he's the lightweight of the trio. 310-pound Jasper Grimes and 290-pound Jabar Westerman aren't considered star prospects, but they should help gum up the works.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 113. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive line. The last few classes have addressed the offense with a bulk of prospects coming in, and this year’s smallish class got a little bit of help on the ends. Melvin Crews is more of a tweener and Devon Davis should be moved to linebacker early on until he hits the weights, but Orlando McCord could grow into a player early on.

Northern Illinois | The 2013 Recruiting Class  

Team Concerns For 2013: The Huskies have work to do on defense after losing seven starters including three up front. The run defense is going to need a little bit of help, and replacing linebackers Tyrone Clark and Victor Jacques will be a problem. The punt return game needs a little more production from Angelo Sebastiano, but it wasn't that bad. The same goes for a passing game that was efficient, but didn't come up with too many big yards. When Jordan Lynch can run the ball like he does, the passing game takes a backseat.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Running backs. The Huskies are loading up on receivers with Mycial Allen and Blake Holder two good-sized targets to develop. Corner Brandon Mayes was a decent get, and William Lee is a good-sized tackle out of Indianapolis, but it's the running back corps that's getting the most talent with Kendall Short a big runner out of Kansas and Draco Smith a darting speedster to add more flash.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 100. That Class Was Heavy On ... This year is about the lines; next year will take care of the skill players. Dave Doeren came up with a MAC title in his first season and now he's pulling in a decent class, but not a great one. The quarterback situation is being addressed for the future and the always great Huskie offensive line is getting more prospects. Defensively, the stars are in the linebacking corps that should pay off relatively soon. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 94. That Class Was Heavy On ... 2012. New head coach Dan Doeren came to the party a bit late, but he didn’t need to do too much for a team already loaded up with young prospects. Doeren and his staff will have to do far more with his next class, but this one has a few decent players here and there like pounding JUCO transfer Jamal Womble, who should be a part of the rotation right away. Big offensive tackle Matt Killian will be an all-star sooner than later.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 114. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. The one area that didn't need an instant impact was the offensive backfield, yet two of the key players were QB Casey Weston and RB Jasmin Hopkins to upgrade the talent level. However, Jerry Kill loaded up mostly on defensive backs bringing in Demetrius Stone from the JUCO ranks and DeChane Durante to be a part of the safety rotation. Akeem Daniels isn't a big corner, but he can fly.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 91. That Class Was Heavy On ... The passing game. Head coach Jerry Kill got a full recruiting season to work, and he brought in some playmakers to beef up a passing attack that struggled last year. Quarterbacks A.J. Hill and Jordan Lynch are strong prospects, and while there aren’t any receiver standouts, there are a lot of them and they can move.

Toledo | The 2013 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2013: With eight starters gone on a defense that finished last in the MAC against the pass and 109th in overall yards allowed. Three starters are gone on the defensive front and three are gone in the secondary. After allowing 291 yards per game through the air, the Rockets have to tighten up with all the new starters, and it would help to get a bit more out of the pass rush. The offense that was so strong at times died in the bowl loss to Utah State, but it gets back nine starters.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The secondary that struggled so much last season might be looking for a little bit of instant help from Austin Niswander and Delando Johnson at safety, while DeJuan Rogers is a great get at corner. The defense got the most help up front with JUCO transfer Robert Zimmerman a decent pickup for the depth and Marquise Moore and end Daniel Davis brought in for a few years from now. It's a deep class of linemen with several other options to play around with. On offense, quarterback Logan Woodside has excellent upside with the perfect tools to fit the Rocket attack.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 58. That Class Was Heavy On ... New head coach Matt Campbell is getting most of the players former head man Tim Beckman went after, and he's bringing in a huge class led by a great group of linemen. The lines hadn't been addressed for a few years, and now Campbell is making up for it with plenty of offensive tackles to develop for the near future and some ready-made defensive tackles who can step in and contend for jobs right away. The Rockets need them. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 80. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. Last year might have been a success, but the offense struggled and the passing game was hit-or-miss. With four strong receivers, led by 6-4 instant-impact producers Justin Olack and Alonzo Russell along with JUCO transfer tight end Colby Kratch, the Rockets are looking to throw it around a bit more. This is the second straight huge class with plenty of prospects with a little of everything being addressed, and while the receivers are the stars, offensive tackle and defensive back also got a boost.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 75. That Class Was Heavy On ... Bulk. There was little specific targeting for Tim Beckman with a year to recruit, and he and his staff did a fantastic job of upgrading the overall talent level. RBs Cassius McDowell and David Fluellen provide a potential thunder and lightning tandem, and Taylor Miller will be an all-star blocker before he's done. Defense has been a huge problem over the last few seasons but LBs Jayrone Elliott and Zac Rosenbauer should shore things up soon while JUCO transfer Taikwon Paige and Keith Suggs bring more athleticism to the secondary.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 109. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. There are several decent incoming defensive ends/linebackers, and the passing game got a boost for the future, but it’s the secondary that got the most help with four corner prospects, led by the lightning fast Byron Best, and safety Jermaine Robinson, who might be ready to play right away.

Western Michigan | The 2013 Recruiting Class  

Team Concerns For 2013: The Broncos have to be better at hanging on to the ball. Miserable in the turnover margin, WMU gave it up 31 times on the season while the defense came up with a mere 17 takeaways. That wasn't the only reason for losing five of the final six games, but it didn't help. Seven starters are gone on offense including quarterback Alex Carder and four starters up front to a decent line that struggled to get the running game going. The punting game that averaged an abysmal 33.65 yards per try needs more out of J. Schroeder.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Offensive linemen, especially guard. The Broncos might have a future star in outside linebacker Caleb Bailey, and end Andre Turner is a terrific pass rushing prospect, but the offense got the biggest boost with two terrific guards - Shakier Carr and Josh Bass - to go along with a few other options. Receivers Corey Davis and Darius Phillips should be among the MAC's best new pass catchers. Daryl Chestnut out of Miami will one day lead the team in rushing, and it'll help to have this class of linemen.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 98. That Class Was Heavy On ... Wide receivers. Lots and lots of wide receivers. The Broncos have spent years on the line, and now it's time for the pass protection to shine while giving Alex Carder time to work to all the new options. The receiving corps loses a ton of talent, and it'll be a must for JUCO transfers Justin Collins and Darrin Duncan, among others, to become ready to play right off the bus.  

22011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 103. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. The last few classes have mostly addressed the offense, but outside of three-star receiver Kendrick Roberts, this class is mostly trying to load up on the offensive front. While there might not be any ready-made starters, 6-10, 290-pound Ben Davidson is an extremely intriguing tackle option and 6-5, 260-pound versatile guard Dustin Pringle has excellent upside. 6-5, 220-pound outside linebacker Jarrell McKinney could quickly grow into a whale of a pass rushing />
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 81. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive potential. The Broncos beefed up the line with last year's class creating the foundation for this year's haul of skill players to potentially roll. Mike Perish and Zack Wynn will battle it out for the starting quarterback spot sooner than later, while running backs Dareyon Chance, Tevin Drake, and Weston Ross all provide something difference and should all the offense to be more ground oriented than in the past.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 86. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. Ben Samson has the potential to be an anchor at one tackle spot, while the guard prospects, particularly Mark Zielinski and Josh Hadel, have big-time potential. The defense didn’t get a whole bunch of help.

- MAC East Recruiting Needs & Concerns