On Wednesday, Kent State head coach Doug Martin announced the signing
of 19 high school prospects, as well as three others already enrolled in classes
at the school.
Included in the Golden Flashes' 2009 recruiting class are a total of
six players ranked by Rivals.com as 3-star prospects or better-one 4-star and
five 3-star prospects.
"I think that this class has exceeded our expectations," Martin
said. "We were able to land a few young men that we weren't sure
we'd be able to get. I really think the stadium improvements played a
big role in that--we're no longer showing recruits drawings and plans,
they're seeing the finished product."
The recruiting class included six prospects that project to play in the defensive
backfield, where Kent State loses standout Rico Murray, but has several
starters returning in 2009. The Flashes also signed four linebackers to help
replace All-MAC performer Derek Burrell, Cedrick Maxwell
and Stevon Moss.
"Defensively, linebackers and defensive backs were at a premium," Martin
said. "We really went after as many good athletes as we could sign at
Additionally, Kent State signed a pair of offensive linemen.
Offensively, Martin went heavy on wide receivers and offensive linemen, signing
three players at each position. He also added two running backs, a tight end
and a placekicker.
"Obviously offensively, we've been weak at wide receiver the past
couple of years and I think we've found a couple of playmakers with this
class," he said. "We're also bringing in a kicker who we
fully expect to compete for the starting job this fall."
Of the 22 signees, eight hail from the state of Ohio, bringing the total of
in-state recruits to 41 in the five years under Martin. The class is also made
up of student-athletes from eight different states outside of Ohio: Florida
(4), Georgia (2), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), New York (1), North Carolina
(1), Pennsylvania (2) and Virginia (2).
Some random facts about the Kent State recruiting class:
group includes six players from Hargrave Academy in Chatham, Va., including
three who enrolled in classes at the beginning of the spring semester. They
join five returners for KSU that are Hargrave alums.
- Two of Dri Archer's high school coaches--head coach John Peacock and assistant
Larry Shannon--played at East Carolina during Doug Martin's tenure
as an assistant coach/offensive coordinator with the Pirates. Peackock lettered
in 1994, Shannon from 1994-97.
- Luke Batton's father,
Ben, was a four-year letterwinner for the Golden Flashes from 1976-79, serving
as a team captain his senior year.
- Jacob Dooley's
father, Kevin, lettered at Kentucky in 1984, '85 and '87. Doug
Martin was a Wildcat from 1981-84. Dooley's .866 completion percentage
(13-for-15) Sept. 19, 1987 against Indiana still stands as the second-best
mark in school
- Kent Walker's father, Edward, played at
Wake Forest with Kent State Associate Head Coach Jerry McManus.
lettered in 1976 and 1977, while McManus lettered in 1975 and 1976.
Here's a look at all of Kent State's signees:
RECRUITING CLASS OF 2009
Dri Archer, RB, Venice High School, Laurel, Fla.
Prior to Kent State: Was team MVP, first team all-area and a second team
all conference pick his senior year at Venice High School
for 1,482 yards and 17 touchdowns on just 145 carries (10.2 ypc), while
adding 21 receptions for 402 yards and five scores
helped lead team
to back-to-back district titles and an undefeated 2008 regular season
returned kicks for the Indians, averaging 22.3 yards on both kickoffs and
returned one punt for a touchdown
also lettered in track
coached by John Peacock.
Personal: Born Aug. 9, 1991
of Valerie Hart
has two brothers, Aaron and Derek
major in business.
Coach Martin Says: "Dri can be a great return man - he has
Tyler Arend, OL, Paulding High School, Paulding, Ohio
Prior to Kent State: All-area, all-county, all-conference, all-district,
Top 100 prospect in Ohio, Scholar Athlete award winner and team offensive
line MVP as a senior at Paulding High School
three-year varsity letterwinner
with 93 career pancakes
named a top 100 prospect in Ohio as a junior
of National Honor Society and FFA
coached by Chris Etzler.
Personal: Born May 25, 1991
son of Dave and Joanna Arend
has two brothers,
Scott and Shaun, and a sister, Jackie
intends on majoring in exercise
physiology or business..
Coach Martin Says: "Tyler has tremendous upside because of his frame - we
think he's going to be a 320-pound lineman in no time. He also has
Luke Batton, LB, Nordonia High School,
Prior to Kent State: Second team All-Ohio selection and
conference defensive MVP his senior season when he recorded 130 tackles
for the second consecutive
special mention all-state as a junior
and all-district honoree
two-time team captain at Nordonia High School
MVP as a senior
helped team to region title as a sophomore and back-to-back
conference crowns in 2006 & '07
was also a three-year letterwinner
coached by Al Huge.
Personal: Born March 20, 1991
of Ben and Carolyn Batton
has three sisters, Christina, Melanie and
Monica, and a brother, Ben
father was a four-year letterwinner at
Kent State from 1976-79, serving as a team captain his senior year
played football at Malone and John Carroll
plans to major in physics
Coach Martin Says: "Luke is probably the most productive high school
player we saw all year. When you turn on his tape or watch him play, it
seemed like he was making every play."
Anthony Bowman, RB/ATH, Scottsdale CC, Detroit,
Prior to Kent State: Transfer from Scottsdale Community College where
he was a first team all-conference kick returner in lone season
by Doug Madoski
began his college career at Iowa
kicks for 76 yards in 2006 as a freshman for the Hawkeyes
26 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns to go along with 1,703 rushing
yards and 23 TDs on 219 attempts during career at St. Mary's High
helped guide the Eaglets to a Catholic League title in 2005
second-team all-state honoree as a senior
also enjoyed a standout
track career, winning 200-meter state championships his junior and senior
awarded three letters in football and track
state champion in the 200-meter dash and two-time runner-up in the 100-meter
coached by George Porritt.
Personal: Born April 24, 1988
are Anthony and Roxanne
has two sisters, Savannah and Macola
to major in English.
Coach Martin Says: "Anthony is a Big Ten talent who can come in
and impact our program immediately, between kick returns and possibly at
wide receiver or running back. He can be an electric player."
Dana Brown, DL, McKeesport Area High School,
Prior to Kent State: Second-team all-state pick as a senior and two-time
first-team all-conference member as a junior and senior
219 tackles 23 sacks, 6 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries during
service at McKeesport Area High School
posted 101 and 103 tackles
his senior and junior years, respectively
caused four and recovered
six fumbles during senior season
coached by George Smith.
Personal: Born Feb. 5, 1991
son of Dana Brown Sr. and Tracy Harrison
five siblings, Lauren, Tanaya, Daelin, Davon and Dalon
was on student
intends to major in education.
Coach Martin Says: "Dana has extraordinary quickness and is really
strong in his lower body. He'll be an interior lineman for us - probably
a nose guard."
WR, East Paulding High School, Dallas, Ga.
6-foot, 2, 180-pounds
Prior to Kent State: Totaled 30 catches, nine for touchdowns, en route
to earning all-region honors as a senior at East Paulding High School
in 50 receptions to garner first-team all-state accolades during his junior
Raiders complied a record of 33-6 during his career
in football and track
former teammate of fellow Flashes recruit Zack
played for John Reid.
Personal: Born April 11, 1991
are Edward and Vanessa
has a brother, Jeremiah
intends on majoring
lists winning SCLC Youth Speak Out Competition
as proudest achievement
hopes to work in the broadcasting field.
Coach Martin Says: "Ed has tremendous size and great speed. He's
one of those players who is most dangerous after the catch. We think he
can really help us out this year."
Freddy Cortez, K, Fort Meade High School,
Fort Meade, Fla.
Prior to Kent State: Was an all-state selection as a sophomore at Fort
Meade High School
three-time all-county honoree, both as a kicker
was 106-for-113 on extra point attempts in his career
and 13-for-22 on field goal attempts
nailed a career-long 52-yard
field goal as a sophomore
also lettered four years in baseball and
three in soccer
coached by Jemalle Cornelius.
Personal: Born Oct.
parents are Alfonso and Maribel Cortez
has three brothers,
Alfonso Jr., Jesus and Jack, and two sisters, Maria and Perlita
was a four-year letterwinner on the football team at Bethune-Cookman
to major in business
helped fix roofs of houses that were damaged
Coach Martin Says: "Freddy won a highly-regarded kicking camp in
Florida and was very impressive when we saw him in person. We're
excited about what he can bring here."
Mike Daniels, DB, Hargrave Academy, Greenville,
Prior to Kent State: Was an all-state selection his senior year at Southeast
Raleigh High School after recording 112 tackles, two interceptions, a
pair of forced fumbles and a sack
helped team to a 10-3 mark while
earning defensive MVP honors for the second time
finished his career
with 337 tackles, 15 interceptions, eight forced fumbles and three sacks
a two-time all-region selection
also lettered in basketball and
track, winning the state long jump title as a senior
Daniel Finn at Southeast Raleigh and Robert Prunty at Hargrave.
Personal: Born Jan. 4, 1989
son of Laura Daniels
has a brother, Brian
Daniels, and two sisters, Ebony Daniels and Krystal Cleveland
to major in business administration.
Coach Martin Says: "Mike is a great athlete. We think he can come
in here and play right away."
Jacob Dooley, LB, Mason High School, Mason,
Prior to Kent State: Earned all-league honors his senior season after
recording 102 tackles (40 solo) and eight tackles for loss
Mason High School's most outstanding defensive player and was a team
earned Academic Award for the highest GPA on the team
a teammate of Josh Kline, who redshirted for the Flashes last year
lettered three years in lacrosse
coached by Dave Sedmak.
Personal: Born May 16, 1991
parents are Kevin and Lori Dooley
has a brother,
Josh, and a sister, Rachel
father played football at Kentucky, lettering
in 1984, '85 & '87
uncle, Joe Dooley, played at Ohio
State from 1980-84
plans to major in business management or computer
Coach Martin Says: "Jake has tremendous upside in that he can play
three of the four linebacker positions here. He'll also contribute
on special teams because of his speed."
Zack Gonosz, DB, East Paulding High School,
Prior to Kent State: Two-time all-state honorable mention and all-region
selection following his junior and senior seasons at East Paulding High
selected as Paulding County's Player of the Year as
helped lead the Raiders to a region championship as a junior
and state semifinals as a sophomore
tallied 13 interceptions and
more than 350 tackles during his high school career
earned four football
and two baseball letters
former teammate of fellow Flashes recruit
was coached by John Reid.
Personal: Born Oct. 8, 1990
of Mark and Judy Gonosz
plans on majoring in
aspires to coach high school football.
Coach Martin Says: "Zack is the best tackler in the secondary that
we saw in recruiting. He's a very physical player."
Tyshon Goode, WR, Hargrave Academy, Syracuse,
Prior to Kent State: Was a two-time all-state and three-time all-league
honoree at running back for Nottingham High School
yards rushing and 40 touchdowns over his final three seasons, including
a 1,400-yard, 15-TD effort as a senior
played for Paul Sealy at
Nottingham and Robert Prunty at Hargrave.
Personal: Born Feb. 20, 1990
of Diedra Glenn
has two sisters, Cintia and Cinte Johnson, and
a brother, Tommy Checks
Cintia was a three-year letterwinner at
guard for the Syracuse women's basketball team
plans to major
in business management.
Coach Martin Says: "Tyshon is an incredible athlete with a great
vertical leap. He gives us true playmaking abilities at wide receiver."
Danny Gress, LB, Clayton Northmont High
School, Englewood, Ohio
Prior to Kent State: Racked up 221 total tackles (29 for loss) and 10
sacks at Northmont High School
first-team all-conference and all-division
selection following senior campaign when he compiled 119 stops
lead Thunderbolts to a 10-2 mark and berth in the 2008 region semifinals
captain and MVP as a senior
took down opposing quarterbacks 7.5 times
as a junior
twice earned a scholar-athlete nod
by Lance Schneider.
Personal: Born Oct. 3, 1990
parents are Dan and
has four siblings, Dana Burkett, Alicia Gress, Anna Coyle and
intends to major in sports administration.
Coach Martin Says: "Danny is a solid tackler with good speed and
agility. He should contribute right away on special teams."
DeVonte Helms, DL, Potomac High School,
Prior to Kent State: Two-time honorable mention All-Met selection
up 51 tackles (38 solo), nine sacks, one interception and four forced fumbles
as a junior at Potomac High School
part of 2005 state championship
squad that went 12-2
three-year varsity captain for Wolverines
by Chris Davidson.
Personal: Born June 27, 1991
son of Suzanne Helms
are Diamond and Dierra
plans to major in criminal justice.
Coach Martin Says: "DeVonte' was a great find. He has really
good agility and strength. We think he can come in and play right away
as a freshman."
Garrick Piggott, DB, Hargrave Academy,
Prior to Kent State: Twice earned all-region accolades
at Lafayette High School
was also a three-time all district selection
his career, tallied 1,353 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground while
posting 221 receiving yards and two scores
was a three-time all-state,
all-region and all-district selection on the track team
for Paul Wheeler at Lafayette and Robert Prunty at Hargrave.
Personal: Born Oct. 2, 1989
son of Cary Piggott and Richard Wiggins
to major in criminal justice.
Coach Martin Says: "According to the Hargrave coaches, Garrick
was one of their best athletes. He has played a variety of positions
and we think he'll be a very good defensive back because of his
Max Plunkett, OL, Archbishop Alter, Dayton,
Prior to Kent State: Was an All-Ohio honorable mention selection as a
senior, in addition to earning first team all-league, all-area and All-Southwest
helped Archbishop Alter High School to the 2008 Division
IV state title
team went 11-1 his junior year and 15-1 the year before
as the Division III runner-up
earned two varsity letters in football
as well as two in basketball
coached by Ed Domsitz.
June 15, 1990
son of Gail and Theresa Plunkett
has two siblings,
Sandy and Michael
plans on majoring in finance.
Coach Martin Says: "Obviously with Max, his size speaks for itself.
Down the road he's going to be an excellent offensive lineman for
Darius Polk, DB, Hargrave Academy, Lynchburg,
Prior to Kent State: Was a three-time all-state selection as a cornerback,
wide receiver and kick returner at Virginia Episcopal School
39 catches for 1,139 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior
in basketball and track, winning the state title in the 200 meters and
setting the school long jump record (22'-6") as a junior
for Kyle Alexander at V.E.S. and Robert Prunty at Hargrave.
Personal: Born July 18, 1990
son of Charlene Owens
has two brothers,
Martin and Malcolm Owen
volunteered at the Jubilee Family Development
Center in high school
hopes to major in business management or
Coach Martin Says: "Darius has tremendous speed and is a very
good man-to-man cover corner. We also think he can help us out in the
kick return game."
Fabrice Pratt, DB, Sunset High School,
Prior to Kent State: Earned All-Dade County honors his final three seasons
at Miami Sunset
also named the 21st best player in Dade County his
senior season after helping his team finish with a school-best 8-2 record
his high school career with 168 tackles, three interceptions, three forced
fumbles and three blocked punts for a touchdown
lettered in track for the Sunset Knights
coached by Jason Malkin.
Personal: Born Dec. 29, 1990
son of Mini Pratt
has two siblings,
Valerie and Taylor
on majoring in buisiness.
Coach Martin Says: "Fabrice reminded us of Usama Young when you
look at his body and the way he plays with speed. He's versatile
enough to play either safety or corner."
C.J. Steward, LB, Hargrave Academy, Jacksonville,
Prior to Kent State: Finished his career with 233 tackles, eight sacks,
36 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles, highlighted by a 130-tackle
effort his junior campaign
was a four-year letterwinner at Wolfson
also earned three varsity letters in soccer, two in
track and one in basketball, garnering all-state accolades in soccer
his junior year
played for Law Johnson at Wolfson and Robert Prunty
Personal: Born June 5, 1990
son of Anthony McClendon
and Celestine Holloway
has a sister, Celendra Williams
Vacation Bible School and served as a YMCA counselor
plans to major in anthropology.
Coach Martin Says: "C.J. has great range from sideline to sideline.
He's an extremely good tackler and is a very athletic linebacker."
Bryan Wagner, TE, Crestwood High School,
Prior to Kent State: Named All-Portage Trail Conference, all-district
and All-Ohio his senior year as a defensive end
also received the
Jack Lambert Award for being the team's defensive MVP
All-PTC his sophomore and junior seasons as a fullback
of the year his sophomore year with the Red Devils
lettered all four years of high school in track, including being named
team MVP three times
played for Tom Hannan.
Personal: Born Aug.
son of Dona and Brad Wagner
is a cousin of Alan Vanderink,
who is a sophomore wide receiver for the Flashes
plans to major
in physical education.
Coach Martin Says: "With Ryan, we got a tight end that can do
a variety of things and is a little bigger than what we currently have
on the roster. He was also a running back in high school, so is pretty
athletic despite his size."
Jeff Walker, WR, Coventry High School,
Prior to Kent State: Played wide receiver, running back and quarterback
for the Akron Coventry Comets
amassed 111 receptions, more than 1,500
yards receiving, 24 total touchdowns, 190.5 tackles, six interceptions
and four forced and recovered fumbles
his 111 receptions is a Coventry
earned honorable mention All-Ohio honors his senior
named first team All-Portage Trail Conference and second team
all-district his final three years of high school
as a Fox Sports player of the week his sophomore season
three years in football and one year in track for the Comets
by Jay Newcome.
Personal: Born Sept. 25, 1990
son of Lorraine Walker
one older sister, Erin
related to Rob Davis, who boxed professionally
for more than 10 years
is undecided on a major.
Coach Martin Says: "Jeff is a great athlete with tremendous jumping
ability and great hands. With his size, we think he can contribute right
Kent Walker, LB, Hargrave Academy, Kittanning,
Prior to Kent State: Went to Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia following
high school, where he was rated the fourth-best linebacker and was 20th
on the list of the Top 50 prep school players by Rivals.com for 2009
attending Kittanning high school, he was named first team all-conference
defensive end as a junior and senior
also named second team all-conference
his senior year as a tight end
tied a single-season school record
with 12 sacks in 2006
lettered in football and track with the Wildcats
for Sam Panchick.
Personal: Born Feb. 18, 1988
son of Edward and
has two older brothers, Karl and Kraig
to many current and former pro and collegiate football players, including:
Gus Frerotte, who currently is the starting quarterback for the Minnesota
Vikings; uncle Mitch Frerotte, a former guard at Penn State and a four-year
NFL veteran; father Ed played middle linebacker at Wake Forest with Kent
State assistant coach and running backs coach Jerry McManus and brother
Kraig plays for Division II Indiana of Pennsylvania University
undecided on a major.
Coach Martin Says: "Kent is really athletic. He has great instincts
and can play a variety of the linebacker positions. We're looking
for him to be an immediate contributor for us."
Brian Winters, OL, Hudson High School,
Prior to Kent State: Named All-Ohio and All-Northeast Ohio Conference
his senior season with the Hudson Explorers
also named all-conference
his sophomore and junior years
besides lettering in football twice,
also lettered three times in wrestling
named All-NOC in wrestling
his freshman and sophomore years
coached by Tom Narducci.
Personal: Born July 10, 1991
son of Stefani and Bill Winters
major is either criminal
justice or business.
Coach Martin Says: "We were impressed with Brian's aggressiveness.
We think he has a lot of upside and can play several different positions
on the offensive line."
Kent State Athletics Communications contributed to this report.
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