There are 27 new faces set to make their debut next season for the Ball State football program and Head Coach Mike Neu, and it is a class that both the staff and recruiting gurus alike are fond of.
At the end of the day the class shook out like this - 9 different states were represented. There were 15 defensive players, 11 offensive and 1 punter. Of those, there a bevy of linebackers (6), defensive backs (6) and wide receivers (5).
"Obviously this was a much-anticipated morning and I'm happy for all of these young men to join our family," Neu said via press release. "I think it's a great day for all of us. We were able to take a full class and address a lot of areas where we can really upgrade and create competition throughout our football team. It truly is an exciting day."
Among the 9 different states, the most represented area was the south, especially Georgia, who will send 10 athletes north to Indiana as part of this class. Also representing the south were 3 players from Louisiana and one from Alabama.
The midwest also played a prominent role in the class as 5 players will stay in state to compete for the Cardinals as well as 3 from football hotbed Ohio, two from Kentucky and one each from Illinois and Michigan.
Surprise of The Day: It was truly a last second decision for Plaquemine (LA) RB Kevin Dominique. After reopening his recruiting late in process and decommiting from Army West Point, Dominique was down to choosing between the Cardinals and Western Kentucky as his final destination. Then, at the 11th hour, Purdue offered the RB seemingly making them the front runner, but this morning, news came that Dominique, a 6-1 207 RB, had picked Ball State.
Size and Length: Coach Neu addressed not only the need for increased skill and competition at several spots on the team, but also the need for the Cardinals to get bigger and longer at some positions. This meant signing guys that were taller and rangier than in the past few classes. In all, 13 players measure at 6-2 or taller and the Cardinals added three WRs that measure at 6-2 and three defensive linemen all 6-3 or taller. The Cardinals, who switched from a program under the prior staff that went after smaller offensive linemen, nabbed 3 linemen all 6-4 or taller and all weighing in at or above 275.
Our Pick For Class Stud: There are several players that we feel can potentially be all-MAC players in this class, so this was a tough call. At the end of the day though, we reached a consensus on Grovetown (GA) WR Justin Gibbs. At 6-2 208, Gibbs is long and athletic and is also a bigger framed guy. He has better than average speed and solid hands. You can see his ball skills and ability to high point the ball in coverage and is a load against any DB in man coverage. We expect huge things out of Gibbs.
Our Pick For Class Sleeper: DE Jordan Williams was not the most highly recruited guy in the class, but he could, potentially, be one of the best. At 6-4 235, Williams has the length and frame that college coaches desire. He can easily put on 20-30 pounds and remain agile and athletic. Speaking of athleticism, Williams is very athletic, fast and moves fluidly. He is still learning his position, but the sky is the limit.
More To Come: Over the course of the next few days, we will breakdown film of each of the recruits and post our thoughts on the individual players and what we see in them. Stay tuned.