Cardinal verbal commits weight in on change

Fresh off the recent hiring of Ball State offensive Coordinator Stan Parrish as the new head coach for the Cardinals, BallStateInsider.com was able to catch up with a handful of the future Cardinals to get their take on the hiring.

Aside from getting ready for the upcoming GMAC Bowl in Mobile, AL, newly anointed Ball State Head Coach Stan Parrish's next biggest challenge may be to hold onto the 18 young men who have already verbally pledged to play next season for the university.

Although that challenge might be hard, a handful has already maintained their stance that they will be in Muncie, IN next season.

One such player, Cleveland St. Ignatius WR Connor Ryan, was on of the first people Parrish reached out to after the announcement. Ryan, is fresh off a dominating season for St. Ignatius that saw him catch 50 balls for over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns (a school record for a WR) while leading St. Ignatius to the Ohio State Championship.

"I am very excited about Coach P's hiring," Ryan said. "I was the first person he called after his press conference and he told me that he was the new head coach. Then we just talked about my official visit and some other business. But overall, I think it is a great move by Ball State, he's the perfect man for the job."

Echoing the sentiments of Ryan was the man who may one day be throwing the ball to him, QB Aaron Mershman.

"I couldn't be more excited to be a Cardinal," Mershman said.

One player with a decision to face still about next season is Otis Brown, the 5-9 WR made a big splash by posting over 100 yards on only 2 catches including a long touchdown in the Florida North/South All-Star game. He is still leaning towards being a Cardinal, but his father said that staff retention is a key.

"I haven't had chance to talk with Otis, but he is aware of the coaching change, and he has not said anything about not attending [Ball State]," the elder Otis Brown said."[Offensive Line] Coach [Darrell] Funk has been talking to him and myself and keeping us abreast on things. They need to keep him [Funk] around because he is a good, honest, forthright individual."

One other player who is still committed, but weighting his future on assistant coaching moves, is Park Hill Central, MO LB Tony Martin.

"I am still committed to play football at Ball State," Martin said. "I think it's great that Coach Parrish got the job. I was hoping someone on the staff would get it and I hope most of the staff stays. I was worried about a whole new staff coming in because if they did, I wasn't sure about my future at Ball State. I just don't know how comfortable I would be with playing for a staff that didn't recruit me. So Coach Parrish being named Head Coach made me feel a lot better about the whole situation.

"This could still change depending on who stays and who goes, so I'm just waiting to see."

Stay tuned to BallStateInsider.com as we track down more of the future Cardinals to see if they are planning on staying committed.


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