CMU to Host Key Football Recruits

The Central Michigan University football program just finished a winning season. Now the Chippewas focus turns to recruiting. This weekend, CMU will host some key recruits.

Central Michigan University is set to host five key recruits this weekend on official visits. The high school players scheduled to visit include three from Florida and two from Michigan.

The Chippewas will host fullback/linebacker Donald Connelly (6-0, 225) of Farmington Hills (Mich.) Harrison High School and offensive lineman Jeff Maddux (6-4, 295) of Monroe (Mich.) High School.

A three-year varsity starter for Harrison, Connelly led the Hawks to a 10-3 record this season. Defensively, he recorded 53 unassisted tackles and 78 total tackles. He also forced two fumbles, had three sacks and 12 deflections.

As a fullback, Connelly had 93 carries for 551 yards and nine touchdowns. He also caught 10 passes for 81 yards and one TD.

"He's our best leader and has excellent technique," Harrison head coach John Herrington told the Detroit News.

Maddux is rated among the best offensive linemen and top overall prospects in Michigan this season. He anchored the Monroe offensive line by recording 48 pancake blocks this year.

Maddux also reports scholarship offers from Western Michigan and Buffalo and recruiting interest from Michigan State and Brigham Young, where his brother Justin is a defensive lineman.

Three players are expected to join Maddux and Connelly from the Sunshine State, including cornerback Josh Wilkins (5-11, 175) of Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer.

Wilkins helped lead Dwyer to an undefeated season this year before the Panthers lost to No. 1 rated Miami Washington in the Florida Class 4A regional semifinals, 23-16.

Wide receiver Matt Torres (6-2, 185) and offensive lineman Hector Hernandez (6-5, 275), both of Naples High School, roundout the visitors this weekend.

Naples head coach Bill Kramer talked about his two standout players.

"Both Matt and Hector are very good players who bring a physicality to the game," Kramer said. "Matt was MVP at the Duke camp last summer. Hector is big and strong. He has offers from USF, UCF, Western Michigan and a few others.

"They both would be great in the spread offense even though we are a run first (option) team."

Hernandez said he expects to choose between his three finalists: CMU, USF and Clemson. The Tigers have not yet offered.

"I hope to make my decision in January," Hernandez said. "I like the coaches at CMU. They told me if I work hard I would have a chance to play right away. I also know that CMU has sent a lot of offensive linemen to the NFL.

Torres said he received his offer from CMU last week. He and Hernandez are both being recruited for the Chippewas by co-defensive coordinator Robert Diaco.

"When coach Diaco offered me he said he liked my route running and my ability to attack the football," said Torres, who had 23 catches for 327 yards and two TDs this sesaon. "CMU is my only offer, but I just sent out more tape last week."

Torres said he could be close to making a decision following his visit this weekend.

"I have a feeling I'll know for sure by Christmas where I want to play in college," Torres said. "Things I'll be looking for this weekend during my visit is how CMU gets ready for a game. I also want to find out how well the program is run."

The prospect of playing together at the next level could also factor in for Torres and Hernandez.

"It'd be great to play together in college," Torres said.

"We're pretty tight," Hernandez added, "Matt's one of my best friends."

The Chippewas currently have two verbal commitments. Cornerback Delvin Davis (5-11, 180) of Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Flanagan and defensive end Danny Richard (6-4, 220) of West Bloomfield (Mich.) High School. Another West Bloomfield product who considered playing football for CMU, Scott Szpyrka, recently signed to play baseball for the Chippewas and will focus on that sport instead.


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