Big Recruiting Weekend on Tap for Ball State

A look at the three players who will be visiting the pleasantly cold Muncie, IN this weekend as well as some other Cardinal musings.

Recruiting season is very much in full swing.

Fresh off the hirings of new Head Coach Stan Parrish and new Defensive Coordinator Doug Graber, Ball State is now on the hunt to fill its last 10 scholarships.

To recap, Ball State has 15 verbal commitments and 2 players who have already enrolled in school, thus making them part of the class of 2008.

This weekend brings three exciting players to Muncie, IN.

6-8 290 OT Will Lawson will be in attendance. The athletic OT holds offers from the Cardinals as well as Kansas State and New Mexico – where he will visit in the coming weeks. Lawson could potentially fill a large (no pun intended) void left at the tackle slot for the Cardinals were starters Robert Brewster and Andre Ramsey both graduated.

Also visiting is DB Sergio Perez of Lafayette, FL. Perez, a 6-0 170 athlete, is a largely unknown player. He holds a scholarship offer from Ball State, but I don't know if he has any others.

The final prospect visiting is DB Jason Pinkston of Cleveland Glenville. Pinkston is a 6-0 175 DB who hold a Ball State offer as well. Pinkston will also visit Toledo next weekend. Pinkston is a standout for the Tarblooders and he visits a few weeks after teammate Travis Freeman. Hopefully Ball State can continue the pipeline of Glenville standouts on their roster that was started with the signing of Torieal Gibson last season.

Perez and Pinkston are also very important in the future plans of the Cardinals as both can help fill the void at corner left with the graduation of the Cardinals top 3 players at that position (Trey Lewis, Trey Buice and BJ Hill).

Coaching News

There is still no official confirmation from Ball State for any assistant coach hirings, but it appears that Coach Parrish has added a total of three new faces so far. Already reported are the hiring of Defensive Coordinator Doug Graber as well as possible hiring of new Offensive Line Coach Pat Perles. Now The Star Press (Muncie, IN) is reporting that former Ball State QB and Ashland University QB Coach Joey Lynch will be returning to the Cardinals.

It is unclear what position Lynch, who was the starting QB until midway through his senior season, when he was replaced by Nate Davis, will take over, but more than likely he will either work with QBs or WRs.

More Recruiting Fodder

With the news this week of the visiting of three new prospects, coupled with the news that two players – QB Aaron Mershman and WR Seth White – are already enrolled in school at Ball State, it got me wondering about who is still out there on the Cardinals radar for the final 10 spots.

Obviously, there is a need at the aforementioned OL and DB, but also there are holes to shore up at DL and LB. So here is my take on those still possibly on the radar.

Offensive Line – Option #1 is Will Lawson. He is big and athletic (a double figure scorer on the basketball court) and has tons of potential. We have a battle on our hands for his services – so let's keep our collective fingers crossed. Also there are rumblings out there that Parrish might also entertain a JUCO or two for immediate help at OL. Some names that have been thrown out are Joe Ephrem, Darius Henderson, Jhabari Frazier and Michael McDaniel. I don't know if there is any truth to these rumors, but I will keep my eye on the situation. Also the name Kyle Bryant keeps passing through my eyes. The 6-7 280 OT from Detroit Southeastern has offers on the table from Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan, so maybe the Cardinals will get involved. Who knows?

Defensive Line – Cardinal fans over at BSUFans.com (visit them over at http://bsufans.com) are pumped over the recent news that the Cardinals have appeared on the radar of one Tyrone Dixon. Dixon is a 6-0 285 DT from Gainesville, FL (Eastside) who is highly rated on several recruiting sites including a 2-star distinction on our very own. Dixon is an athletic and quick, but undersized (read: short) DT. This is the main reason why a young man of his ability has slipped through the cracks so far. Dixon has an offer from Alabama State, but Ohio and the Cardinals are lurking. Let's hope we can get him next season. Also a possibility at DE is Terrance Lewis of Dublin, GA. Word on the street was that the Cardinals offered this young man as a RB way back in the summer, but he has yet to commit. Now, with the Cardinals stable chock full of talent at RB, Lewis might be better served to make a move to his other position – DE – for college. At 6-3 235 and having able RB vision on the D-line, Lewis could be scary. From what I have gathered, Lewis holds offers from Middle Tennessee State, Jackson State and Troy State as well as Ball State. Also possibilities on the D-Line are DE/DT Gerard Oriol – who reportedly had an offer early on from Ball State before injuring a knee and missing most of his senior year; DE Jamara Gray – who it was earlier reported to this site had an offer from Ball State & Liberty although that has never been confirmed; and finally DE Davon Coleman, another Glenville product who looks GREAT on film, but has yet to receive any offers.

Linebacker – Ball State reportedly is still trying to setup a visit with MLB Justin Jones of Tallahasee, FL (Godby). Jones is an athletic beast and very productive, yet undersized at MIKE at 5-11 205. He recently visited MTSU and might be leaning that way. Also at MLB is Ethan Armstrong of Ottawa, IL. Armstrong is a bigger and more classic MLB at 6-2 220. He holds offers from Ball State and Wyoming and should be visiting both schools soon. At OLB, option #1 is Travis Freeman from the aforementioned Cleveland Glenville. Again, Freeman is quick but undersized at 6-1 200. But he is a beast on film and would fit well in the Cardinals quick but small defense. Also available is Rashad Smith of Fort Walton, FL. Smith visited Iowa State in October, but has yet to commit, does this leave the door open for the Cardinals? Smith also lists an offer from Arkansas State and lots of other schools have expressed interest. Some other names of interest at LB are MLB Brad Sweatt (6-2 215) or Edgewater, FL – who reportedly had an offer per his local paper, from Ball State; LaRoyal Beard (5-10 220) a mighty mite MLB from Citra, FL (North Marion) who also has Purdue and Willie Scott (6-3 210) of Orlando, FL (Jones).

Safety – The Cardinals are strong at S. Back will be Sr. SS Alex Knipp and freshman All-American FS Sean Baker. Also back are reserves Derrick Henry, Joshua Howard and Kyle Hoke (the last one is not confirmed). But with that the Cardinals have apparently offered 3 players at the position, although the interest level may not be there on either side. First is Theon Dixon of Cleveland Glenville. The 5-11 180 S is another in the pipeline that I am sure Stan Parrish would LOVE to start with Coach Ted Ginn. Also on the list are Tyree Simpson of Charlotte, NC (Myers Park), a big SS who holds offers from Ball State and East Carolina, but whose recruiting has dropped out of the media's sight for a while now. S/WR Carvin Powell of Chesapeake, VA (Great Bridge) also has a Ball State offer, but with offers from North Carolina, West Virginia and East Carolina (all closer to home) it is not likely we will see him in a Cardinal uniform.

Defensive Back – Offers are on the table for the aforementioned Pinkston and Perez who are both visiting as well as 1/23 visitor Troy Smith of Indianapolis Pike. Smith, who also has an offer from Toledo, is visiting the Rockets this weekend. One other player who could factor in at this position is ATH Micha Hyde. Hyde is a 6-1 175 WR/DB/QB from Fostoria, OH. He has a slew of MAC offers and has visits scheduled for a couple of Big Ten teams, so this one is completely up in the air. Other names I have heard over the past few months tossed around are Sean Evans – a 5-11 170 DB from Fort Walton, FL; Sean Davis – a 5-10 160 DB from Luella, Ga; and Jordan Fulford – a 5-9 170 DB from Citra, FL (North Florida).

All I can say though is that I promise to do my best to bring as much news as quickly as possible to you all, so stay tuned to BallStateInsider.com as we continue the hunt for the class of 2009.


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