Ball State Class of '09: Ethan Buckles will continue the tradition of highlighting each player that signs a letter of intent for a given class. This time around it is the class of 2009. Here is a brief scouting report on each of the 22 players in the class. Today we have the forth of those 22 installments.

Ethan Buckles, 6-7 225, DE, Indianapolis (Cardinal Ritter)

What he brings: Size and length. Ethan has a great wingspan and has the body to pack on more weight and remain athletic. Was a solid TE in high school, but projects as a DE and possibly could make a move down the road to DT or OT. Right now he has good backside pursuit and a solid get off. Good motor. Lacks strength at point of attack at this time, but with added weight will get better. Has a nice upside thanks to physical tools.

Areas of improvement: Ethan is a definite project at this time. Coming from a very small school and having a lot of weight to put on in order to mold into a position. He must get stronger at the point of attack and develop more as a pass rusher in order to make an impact. grade: It will probably be 2 years before Cardinal fans will see Ethan on the field, but my guess is that he will add the necessary weight to become a serviceable player up front. If he gets in the 250-260 range, he could become a very solid weapon for the Ball State defense. He has some work to do, but defensive lineman with his wingspan and athleticism don't come around often at this level.

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