Southern Stars Highlight Visit Weekend

The Central Michigan University football program is looking to finalize its 2005 recruiting class. To do so, the Chippewas are looking southward to some talent-laden states.

Central Michigan has 12 scholarships remaining to fill in its 2005 recruiting class. Finding the talent to fill those slots has taken the Chippewas southward into Dixieland.

Chippewas Insider has learned that CMU will host at least 11 recruits this weekend, including five from Texas, four from Florida and one each from Georgia and Michigan.

The lone Georgia player is cornerback Rashaad Montgomery (5-11, 175) of Calhoun High School. He was recently named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class AA All-State team. Montgomery is also a state champion long-jumper. In addition to CMU, he is considering offers from Eastern Kentucky and Georgia Southern.

Linebacker Julian Smith (6-4, 220) of Plymouth Canton High School is the lone Michigan player visiting this weekend. Smith is a three-year varsity starter and consensus Class A (big school) All-State safety. He led the Chiefs defense this season, making 72 tackles and three interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Smith is being recruited as a linebacker by CMU.

Linebacker Barron Miles (6-2, 210) of DeSoto (Texas) High School leads the contingent from the Lone Star State.

The other Texas players include safety Aaron Carr (6-0, 185) of Arlington Bowie H.S.; running back Elrick Jones (5-10, 180) of Clear Lake H.S.; and two players from Houston Westfield High School, cornerback Joseph Fontenot (5-8, 165) and linebacker Chris Mitchell (6-1, 215).

Miles garnered 54 tackles, including six for a loss, and one interception this season in leading the Eagles to a 9-2 record.

"Barron runs a 4.6 or better 40," DeSoto head coach Dave Meadows said. "He is a hard hitting fast guy who chases the ball very well."

Meadows said Miles is being recruited by CMU, Ohio University and New Mexico State, among others.

Mitchell and Fontenot led Westfield to a 13-2 record this season and the Texas Class 5A, Division I Championship game. Mitchell is also considering an offer from SMU, while Fontenot reports an offer from TCU in addition to the Chippewas.

Carr is rated one of the top safeties in the Lone Star State. He visited UTEP last weekend (Jan. 7) and has a visit scheduled to Toledo next weekend. All three of his finalists have offered a scholarship.

Jones is a two-time all-district performer. This season he rushed 109 times for 1,090 yards (10 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns in leading Clear Lake to a 13-2 record and the Class 5A state semifinals. He also caught three passes for 82 yards (27.3 yards per catch) and another TD.

Visiting CMU this weekend from the Sunshine State are linebacker Melvin Black (6-2, 215) of Apopka High School; defensive end Harland Bower (6-4, 210) of Clermont East Ridge H.S.; cornerback Antwane Cox (5-11, 160) of Miami Killian; and safety Antonio Cox (6-0, 190) of Miami Southridge.

Black teamed with fellow linebacker Quentin Taylor this season to give Apopka one of the most formidable defenses in the state. The Blue Darters finished 9-2, losing in the Florida Class 6A, Region I final.

Bower was a two-way starter at wide receiver and linebacker this season for East Ridge. He excelled on defense though, garnering 68 tackles, including 16 for a loss, and seven sacks in leading the Knights to an 11-1 record. Bower also recovered three fumbles this year. He is being recruited as a defensive end by the Chippewas.

Antwane and Antonio Cox are brothers and reportedly plan to play together in college. Antwane will graduate this year from Killian after transferring from Southridge High, where older brother Antonio played last year. The two of them are considering offers from CMU and Rutgers.

Another player who was scheduled to visit this weekend, offensive lineman Grant Nemeth (6-3, 250) of Wheaton (Ill.) Warrenville South High School, reportedly had his visit canceled late this week. Nemeth still has visits scheduled to Western Michigan next weekend and New Mexico the following weekend.

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