Sports
Feb. 2, 2000

Ferris Signs 20 Grid Prospects

Several are All-State Recruits

Ferris State University football head coach Jeff Pierce and his staff announced the signing today of 20 student-athletes to national letters of intent to attend and play football at FSU.

Included in the list are five offensive linemen, four running backs and four defensive backs.

"This is definitely one of the top recruiting classes we've been able to attract here," said Pierce, who enters his sixth season at FSU this fall. "We're fortunate to be bringing in a lot of good student-athletes and this helps insure the future of our program with this type of recruiting class."

The 20-member group, which is comprised of 12 individuals on offense and eight on defense, features 16 prep student-athletes from Michigan and two from Illinois. The list also includes one apiece from Indiana and Ohio.

"We have a well-balanced class in that we were able to get players at nearly every position," stated Pierce, who signed 16 prep recruits a season ago. "Our emphasis was on speed, especially at the skilled positions and on defense. We signed a number of young men with great speed.

"Having a number of speed-type kids at these positions will give us the depth to remain competitive in the future."

Offensively, Ferris landed a five-member down linemen group consisting of Matt Desmarais (Jackson/Lumen Christi), Ben Lucas (Middleville/Thornapple-Kellogg), Quentin Russell (Oak Park), Jason Shaheen (Flint/Carman-Ainsworth), and Andy Szatkowski (Bolingbrook, Ill./Benet Academy). The Bulldogs also added depth in the backfield with the additions of fullback Whitney Bell (Sault Ste. Marie/Sault Area), an Associated Press Class B All-State and Detroit News Class B All-State Honorable Mention selection, along with Corrice Burns (Wheaton, Ill./Warrenville South), John Hazle (St. Johns), and Andrew Terry (Grand Rapids/Creston), a Class A All-State pick by the Associated Press.

The Bulldogs also signed wide receiver Andrew Thwaites (Stanton/Central Montcalm), quarterback Chris Woods (Warren/Cousino), and tight end Kevin Park (Goshen, Ind.).

Defensively, Ferris State shored up its secondary with the addition of four defenders in Bruce Cook Jr. (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic), Jason Machalak (Clinton Township/Clintondale), Kevin Myers (Midland), and Michael Owens (Taylor/John F. Kennedy). Machalak was both an Associated Press and Detroit News Class B All-State Honorable Mention honoree as a senior. Linebackers coming to FSU are Brad Bigelow (Alma), Robert Mida Jr. (Chelsea), and Brad Morris (South Lyon) along with defensive lineman Brian Brinsden (Northville/Farmington). Bigelow garnered both Associated Press and Detroit News Class B All-State Honorable Mention accolades during his senior season.

Park and Morris have direct ties to the football team as their older brothers, junior quarterback Kyle Park and senior defensive tackle Ryan Morris are current team members. Desmarais' older sister, sophomore Angie Desmarais, is presently a member of FSU's women's volleyball team.

The Bulldogs, six-time GLIAC champions (1992-96, 99), concluded the 1999 campaign at 7-3 overall and 7-2 in the conference (first-place tie).

Pierce, who expects to announce several more recruits next week, points to a number of factors in the Bulldogs attracting such a quality group.

"We offer a number of good opportunities for students here at Ferris," said Pierce. "The education, coupled with the recent success of our program and the improvement of facilities, puts us in an enviable position to attract quality kids. I'm also fortunate to have a great support group within the university community."


	Name		Pos	Ht	Wt	Hometown/High School	Head Coach
	Whitney Bell	FB	6-2	230	Sault Ste. Marie	Barry Pierson
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	Brad Bigelow	LB	6-2	200	Alma			Randy Lark
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	Brian Brinsden	DL	6-2	250	Northville/Farmington	John Bechtel
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	Corrice Burns	RB	6-0	186	Wheaton, Ill./
						Warrenville South	John Thorne
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	Bruce Cook, Jr.	DB	5-8	165	Toledo, Ohio/
						Central Catholic	Tom Santoro
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	Matt Desmarais	OL	6-1	230	Jackson/Lumen Christi	Herb Brogan
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	John Hazle	RB	6-2	215	St. Johns		Bob McConnell
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	Ben Lucas	OL	6-5	225	Middleville/
						Thornapple-Kellogg	Tim Penfield
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	John Machalak	DB	6-0	180	Clinton Township/
						Clintondale 		Jim Scarcelli
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	Robert Mida Jr.	LB	6-2	193	Chelsea			Brad Bush
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	Brad Morris	LB	6-2	215	South Lyon		Bob Scheloske
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	Kevin Myers	DB-LB	5-11	185	Midland			Terry Wilczek
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	Michael Owens	DB	5-11	175	Taylor/JFK		Tom Mall
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	Kevin Park	TE	6-7	220	Goshen, Ind.		Brad Park
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	Quentin Russell	OL	6-5	260	Oak Park		Keith Stephens
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	Jason Shaheen	OL	6-4	235	Flint/Carman-Ainsworth	Dave Larkin
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	Andy Szatkowski	OL	6-3	270	Bolingbrook, Ill./
						Benet Academy		Gary Goforth
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	Andrew Terry	RB	5-9	186	Grand Rapids/Creston	Sparky McEwen
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	Andrew Thwaites	WR	6-3	195	Stanton/
						Central Montcalm	Bill Thwaites
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	Chris Woods	QB	6-1	195	Warren/Cousino		Mike Powell