That statement made by Stan Parrish at the conclusion of announcing the Ball State Class of 2009 was a ringing endorsement to the level of talent that can be found in not only Ohio (where the Cardinals scored 12 players including some of the states best) but also in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, places where the future classes of Cardinal football players will mainly come from.
"We want to recruit in a 5 hour radius," Parrish said. "And recruit that area well."
While Parrish did say that the future would see a more honed in approach to recruiting the home turf, the Cardinals did score players from other parts in this class (namely 2 from Florida and 2 from Missouri). Parrish also stated that the Cardinals would still continue to get players from other regions as necessary or in situational cases.
On to this class. Ohio is where the Cardinals have thrived over the past few seasons and their influence there seems to get stronger each year. While past players like Dante Love, Nate Davis, Briggs Orsbon, Bryant Haines and Sean Baker (just to name a very small few) have made a major impact on the program, the future looks bright as well as the Cardinals were able to tap the heavily recruited area of Cleveland to ink kids from powerhouses St. Ignatius (Connor Ryan) and Cleveland Glenville (Travis Freeman, Theon Dixon and Jason Pinkston). Getting in to these schools and developing a possible pipeline can only strengthen the Cardinals recruiting in the upper part of Ohio.
But the Cardinals didn't negelect other major football areas of the state. The Cardinals again dipped into the talent pools at Cincinnati Withrow and Wyoming where they signed Jelani Alford and Jacob Green.
As for Indiana where the talent pool isn't as well thought of, the Cardinals were able to sign a couple of surprises including tapping top program Warren Central of Indianapolis for RB Eric Williams (who had offers from 3 BCS schools) as well as mining the smaller school talent for playes like Kit O'Brien of Lewis-Cass, Ethan Buckles of Indianapolis Ritter and David Brown of Shelbyville.
Expect more in the coming years from these two areas as well as an expected focus on areas like Detroit and Chicago, where the Cardinals haven't had as much success in recruiting the past few season.