In the Nest: Today's Group – Skill Players

As the new and improved Ball State Insider takes shape, we start by taking a look back at what has already transpired for the Class of 2013.

While the Offensive Line makes up the heart and soul of a football team and its production is certainly paramount to the abilities of every other facet of offensive football, a team cannot move the ball effectively without skilled athletes at the Quarterback, Running Back and Receiver Postions.

Ball State Football Coach Pete Lembo lamented the lack of height when he arrived in Muncie after the end of the 2010 season. Instantly he began transforming the corps of WRs by adding 4 talented and almost completely larger athletes to the fray. With that accomplishment settled, the Lembo and the staff set out to find quality depth this time around and add another viable option at QB for down the road.

The play of QB Keith Wenning has been a strong point for sure this season for Ball State. Add to that the fact that Wenning is just a junior means the Cardinals are set a QB for another season, but development of replacements is also a need. Last season, Lembo found local Muncie (Delta) product Ozzie Mann to add to the roster of QBs along with capable redshirt Kyle Kamman, but with just one scholarship athlete slated at the position after 2013 there was a need for another, productive talent.

Enter in under-the-radar verbal commit Jack Milas of Rolling Meadows, IL

While Rolling Meadows is not a hotbed of FBS talent, Milas, a 6-2 200 prolific gunslinger, has all the tools necessary for success in Muncie. Milas plays in a wide-open spread attack and managed to complete of 68% of his passes as a senior for over 2,600 yards and 33 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions. Milas doesn't have BCS size at just 6-2, but he has an above average arm and can make all of the throws required in the Cardinals offense. Milas is a good field general who led his team to an x-x record as a senior. While not a big runner, Milas has good footwork that will help him buy time and move around in the pocket while also keeping defenses honesty by picking up yards on scramble situations. We think Milas has everything needed to be a top caliber QB in the Mid-American Conference in years to come.

While depth was certainly needed at the QB position, RB & TE both had plenty of depth coming back but are both positions that are top heavy with players in the upper classes.

At RB, Ball State received a verbal from Fort Zumwalt West RB Teddy Williamson to add to its stable of backs. Williamson has good size at 5-10 185 and has a frame that can play even bigger. Williamson is a tough, but fast, one-cut runner. He isn't one to dance and weave, he gets the ball, is patient and then finds his seem and hits it with gusto. While not breathtakingly fast, Williamson is sneaky fast and doesn't get caught from behind often. He is a glider and a long strider in the open field. His patience, his burst and his running style should fit nicely in Coach Rich Strosky's zone running game.

Williamson also adds the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and his high school team ran several screen plays for him over the year. He also was used as a Wildcat QB and even threw a touchdown pass this past season.

Tight End is another position with a wealth of upperclass talent with 6 scholarship players, but it is also a position that could see as many as 3 players on the field at one time in certain packages. So the Cardinals added a verbal commitment from what might be the best receiver of the group in Calvin Blank.

At 6-5 230, Blank is the prototypical size for a TE and is already a well-rounded and skilled player.

In high school, Blank was used as both a split WR and a normal TE with his hand in the dirt, expect the same from Ball State. With his size, speed and natural pass catching talent, Blank can be used in a myriad of ways and line up in a bunch of different places. He has the athleticism to get the ball over smaller defenders, the speed to abuse opposing LBs and the strength to make a big gain out of a short pass by running over DBs. Blank has great hands and is a great red zone target. While know more for his pass catching prowess, Blank is also a capable and reliable blocker. He moves his feet well and brings pop to his blocks. Blank will also block until the whistle. With his skill set, Blank will certainly push for playing time right away and has the ability to be a very productive player for the Cardinals.

Stay tuned to as we continue to take a look at the Cardinal Verbal Commitments.

Ball State Insider Top Stories