FSU

FERRIS STATE FOOTBALL SIGNS 21 TO NATIONAL LETTERS-OF-INTENT

Bulldogs' Recruiting Class Includes Focus On Offensive & Defensive Lines

The Ferris State University football program has signed a total of 21 student-athletes, which includes 17 from the state of Michigan, to National Letters-of-Intent this Wednesday (Feb. 6) as Bulldog head coach Jeff Pierce and his staff announced FSU's 2008 recruiting class on National Signing Day.

Jeff Pierce
Ferris State head coach Jeff Pierce announced the names of 21 student-athletes who have joined the Bulldog football program
“As a whole, we've added a great group of young players to our program,” said Pierce, who will embark on his 14th year at Ferris State this coming fall and is the program’s all-time winningest coach with a 83-60 (.580) career mark. “They'll provide a great future for us as we continue to compete in one of the nation's strongest conferences."

“This class also gives us a good mix of student-athletes who are committed to success both on and off the field,” added Pierce.

The Bulldogs' recruiting class is a balanced one with nine individuals on offense and 12 on the defensive side of the ball. In addition to the 17 Michigan recruits, FSU's class includes three from Illinois and one from Indiana. The average weight of the 21 newcomers is 221.3 pounds.

On offense, Ferris State signed a pair of quarterbacks in West Michigan's Robert Banaszak (Rockford), a dual threat at the position, and 2007 Detroit Free Press All-Metro West Honorable Mention selection David Freeman (Westland/Wayne Memorial) to go along with two skilled out-of-state wide receivers in Markham Green (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) and Kevin Guirand (Antioch, Ill./Lakes Community).

The Bulldogs also inked standout running back Arshaun Hall (Novi), who ran for 1,173 yards and 12 touchdowns this past fall to earn All-Metro North kudos out of the backfield.

FSU added four offensive linemen as Taylor Phillips (Orion/Lake Orion), Dean Roberts (Grass Lake/Chelsea), Trevor Smolinski (Battle Creek/Marshall) and Taylor Sprague (Saranac/Lowell) all signed to play for the Bulldogs. Sprague helped Lowell High School to a Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) State Semifinal berth while claiming Associated Press Division 1-2 All-State and Grand Rapids Press All-Area Dream Team recognition. Together, the four offensive linemen average 268 pounds and all four stand between 6-2 and 6-7 in height.

"One of the most impressive things about this class is the volume of big guys we were able to add on the offensive and defensive lines," said Pierce. "It's one of the best recruiting classes we've had in recent years based on the number of guys we've added who can play up front on the line of scrimmage."

Defensively, the Bulldogs focused on the defensive line where two starters concluded their eligibility and two others will be seniors in 2008. FSU added seven defensive linemen including tackles Lyle Bass (Detroit/University Prep), Traverse City Record-Eagle Dream Teamer Matthew Miller (Williamsburg/Elk Rapids) and Ricky Spratt (Detroit/Southeastern), who was an All-Detroit Second Team choice and a Michigan Top 40 recruit by SuperPrep.com. Bass picked up Associated Press Division 5-6 All-State Special Mention laurels.

In addition, the Bulldogs welcomed four defensive ends in Nick Guajanian (Brighton), Brad Iskow (Bad Axe), Jordan Morgan (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel) and Avery Washington (Flint/Grand Blanc) to help fill the outside positions up front on the Bulldogs' defensive unit. Iskow, an all-conference first team choice, is the biggest of the group standing at 6-4 and weighing 250 pounds.

Ferris also received committments from linebackers Alexander Brajak (Munster, Ind.), Mike Elias (Ann Arbor/Huron) and Brett Kopkau (Cedar Springs). Elias posted 70 tackles and had four interceptions as a senior while West Michigan product Kopkau netted 122 stops in earning all-area dream team accolades.

Two talented defensive backs were signed as Jonathan Bryant (Detroit/Oak Park) and Cody Groulx (Montrose/Hill McCloy) elected to join the Bulldog program. Groulx was a Detroit Free Press Division 5 All-State pick.

"The combination of last year's recruiting class in addition to this year's group is exciting for the future of Bulldog football," Pierce said. "We added some quality kids both years and that should help us tremendously as we move down the road ahead."

Ferris State placed a focus on fertile metropolitan recruiting areas near Detroit and Chicago. The Bulldogs signed five players from the immediate Detroit area along with three out of Chicago and surrounding areas of Illinois. The out-of-state effort was aided by Ferris State University's new Chicago Area Scholarship initiative providing in-state tuition rates to all first-time students enrolling at FSU from Cook, DuPage or Lake County in Illinois.

Along with today's signees, the Bulldogs expect to add several additional recruits to this year's class in the days ahead.

The Bulldogs posted a 6-5 overall record on the field during the 2007 campaign, which represented the program's eighth winning campaign in 13 years under Pierce and marks the 13th time in the last 19 years the Bulldogs have finished above .500 for the year. However, the record was recently changed to 7-4 overall in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) standings, reflecting Saginaw Valley State's decision to forfeit four games this campaign. FSU placed tied for fourth in the conference as the school's final league record was 6-4 following the earned forfeit.

Below is FSU's 2008 recruiting class:

First Name

Last Name

City

ST

High School

Head Coach

POS

HT

WT

Robert

Banaszak

Rockford

MI

Rockford

Ralph Munger

QB

6-3

195

Lyle

Bass

Detroit

MI

Univ. Prep

Antonio Ragland

DT

6-3

255

Alexander

Brajak

Munster

IN

Munster

Leroy Marsh

LB

6-1

210

Jonathan

Bryant

Detroit

MI

Oak Park

Tim Hopkins

DB

5-8

173

Mike

Elias

Ann Arbor

MI

Huron

Joel Przygodski

LB

6-2

205

David

Freeman

Westland

MI

Wayne Memorial

Craig Hnatuk

QB

5-9

190

Markham

Green Jr

Skokie

IL

Niles North

Scott Smith

WR

6-3

205

Cody

Groulx

Montrose

MI

Hill McCloy

Dennis Reinhart

DB

6-1

195

Nick

Guajanian

Brighton

MI

Brighton

Bill Murray

DE

6-1

215

Kevin

Guirand

Antioch

IL

Lakes Community

Luke Mertens

WR

6-1

195

Arshaun

Hall II

Novi

MI

Novi

Tab Kellepourey

RB

6-0

170

Brad

Iskow

Bad Axe

MI

Bad Axe

David Rowland

DE

6-4

250

Brett

Kopkau

Cedar Springs

MI

Cedar Springs

Brian Busen

LB

6-2

205

Matthew

Miller

Williamsburg

MI

Elk Rapids

Ed Schindler

DT

6-2

255

Jordan

Morgan

Chicago

IL

Mt Carmel

Frank Lenti

DE

6-4

220

Taylor

Phillips

Orion

MI

Lake Orion

Chris Bell

OL

6-3

255

Dean

Roberts

Grass Lake

MI

Chelsea

Bradford Bush

OL

6-2

275

Trevor

Smolinski

Battle Creek

MI

Marshall

Rich Hulkow

OL

6-7

260

Taylor

Sprague

Saranac

MI

Lowell

Noel Dean

OL

6-6

280

Ricky

Spratt

Detroit

MI

Southeastern

Danshel English

DT

6-4

240

Avery

Washington

Flint

MI

Grand Blanc

Joe Delaney

DE

6-2

200



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