Cardinals hosting major weekend
BallStateInsider.com has learned that there will be 14 key faces in Muncie, IN this weekend. While most of these young men are verbally committed, there are also 5 big names that are still uncommitted among the group.
Cleveland St. Ignatius LB Jake Ryan might be the most notable of the group. Ryan, who holds offers from Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and Toledo as well as Ball State, is a 6-3 235 LB/DE prospect. Ryan, the brother of current Cardinal WR Connor Ryan, is a very athletic defensive prospect that has the speed to excel at LB, but has the size and might be a better prospect at DE. Also coming in on the defensive side of the ball are Austin Teitsma, a DE prospect from Glenbard South High School in Illinois, as well as the Chicago Morgan Park duo of S Brian Jones and DE Matthew Mosely.
Teitsma, 6-3 245, already has D1 size and comes with great athleticism too. He has played mostly LB and FB in his prep career, but given his size, he translates well to putting his hand in the dirt and playing DE. Several schools have offered or have interest in Teitsma including Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois and Illinois State.
Mosely is a 6-3 240 DE that also packs great size but has the frame to bulk up even more and be a force on the D Line. He has great speed and shows the ability to be a very good edge rusher in the future. He has offers from the Cardinals as well as Toledo and Wyoming.
Jones, who plays both DB & S for Morgan Park, has great speed and ball skills. Jones boasts 6 offers from Major College Programs including one from the Cardinals.
Offensively, WR Chase Hammond from Boardman High in Ohio will be in attendance. Hammond, 6-5 200, recently added offers from Ohio U and Western Michigan and has great size and the ability to play a role as a WR or even mold into a TE down the line. Hammond has great skill but has been largely unnoticed in recruiting due to breaking his leg early in his Jr. season.
All 5 of these young men have to surely be high on Stan Parrish's wish list this Christmas.
The 9 players who have committed that will be in attendance are Ben Davis, IN RB Phil Dudley, Westerville South, OH WR Jack Tomlinson, Xenia, OH OT Dakota Anderson, Spencerville, OH OG Tyler Obringer, Center Grove, IN LS/TE Garrett Mack, Padua Franciscan, OH DE Anthony Stryffeler, Mt. Carmel, IL DT Nathan Ollie, St. Edward's, OH DB Odis Prunty and Northmont, OH DB Quintin Cooper.
So, who IS left on the board?
Well, it is tough to say, the Cardinals could sign as many as 9 players who are still holding offers. Aside from the aforementioned Hammond, Ryan, Mosely, Teitsma and Jones, the Cardinals still have offers on the table for Glenville S Aaron Morris. Chaminade-Julienne OT Andy Jomantas, Maple Heights OG Dominic Flewellyn and Mayfield, OH K Carey Spear. So a class of 25 is not out of the realm of possibility.
If the Cardinals can sign all 9 still with offers, this should be rated as the best class in the Mid American Conference.
Morris, who leads his Glenville teammates into the state championship game in Ohio this weekend, has played LB due to the Tarblooders deep and talented secondary, but Morris will certainly be an instant force for the Cardinals as a S.
Jomantas, who has recently showed up on the recruiting scene, switched positions as a Sr. and was able to put out solid film from the switch. Jomantas is a project. He has long been thought of as an OT prospect, but after playing mostly DE and occasionally TE the past few seasons as a prep, he has made several coaches salivate at his upside as a OT prospect. Jomantas is a rangy and long athlete that can easily pack on the weight to play at 300+ in a few years.
Flewellyn, who has offers from a big chunk of MAC schools, is a very athletic, but slightly smaller OG. He is only 6-2 270, but he holds his weight well on his frame and moves his feet and hands well. Flewellyn could also make a move to DT if things don't work out on the O Line.
Spear is one of the higher rated placekickers in the nation and ranked #2 by many services in the state of Ohio. He has a strong and accurate leg.
Coaching changes effecting recruiting?
With the recent dismissals of the staffs at Louisville and Akron, one might conclude that Ball State might have an eye toward some of the verbal commits of those programs. While it is just mere speculation, maybe the Cardinals might be trying to contact Akron commit Chase Hoobler or possibly Louisville verbal commits like LB Tyon Dixon and/or TE Dylan Curry. All three claimed offers from the Cardinals (of Ball State) and could move given the current situation at each school – although Curry seems to be holding to his commitment the strongest per a story from InsideTheVille.com.
Transfer rumor mill in full swing
It has been a hot topic of Cardinal fans this offseason – BCS transfers. While the Cardinals landed transfers from Michigan (Artis Chambers and Kurt Wermers – who has already left the program at BSU) this past off season, the rumor mill has been busy at work already this offseason – namely on Mike Edwards, the former Tennessee Vol and Cleveland Glenville product who is looking for a home after being kicked off of the Tennessee team for his involvement in an alleged armed robbery. I guess given the Cardinals and Coach Parrish's pipeline of Glenville players recently, one would make the assumption that Ball State would be interested. But from everything I have heard, that will not be the case. So don't look for Edwards to be a Cardinal. Then again stranger things have happened.
Barker's career over
BallStateInsider.com also learned recently that So. DE Jeff Barker will no longer be able to play football. Reports are that the 6-5 215 DE, who had been a major part of the Cardinals defense early in the season playing an edge rushing DE in passing situations as well as being a standing out as a member of the special teams, tore a ligament in his neck on kickoff coverage against Northern Illinois. The injury unfortunately will end his career, but luckily Jeff was able to not only walk off the field after the injury, but did not suffer any paralysis.
Good luck Jeff and hopefully you can continue to get your education at Ball State!