BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - A total of 19 student-athletes will continue their football playing careers at Indiana University, head coach Bill Lynch announced on Wednesday.
"We are very excited about this class," Lynch said. "We feel like we addressed our needs and improved ourselves in areas we were hit hardest by graduation. There is no question we have improved our overall athleticism and team speed, which was a goal of ours when we started this recruiting process."
Lynch's first recruiting class includes six players from Indiana, three from Illinois, two each from Florida, Georgia,?Michigan and Ohio and single student-athletes from Tennessee and Wisconsin.
The Hoosiers bolstered their depth at both running back and wide receiver, signing a quartet of backs and of wideouts. Indiana also strengthened itself in the trenches, as four linemen on each side of the ball signed on with IU. The Hoosiers also added one quarterback, one linebacker and one defensive back for the incoming class of 2008.
Here's a look at the class:
Marc Damisch, OL, 6-6, 280, Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove
Offensive tackle for head coach Rich Roberts at Buffalo Grove High School ... collected all-state, all-area and all-conference honors his senior season ... also named team most valuable player in 2007 ... an academic all-conference selection ... ranked the No. 82 offensive tackle in the nation by ESPN.com and the 38th-best prospect in the state of Illinois by Scout.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... earned two varsity letters in football, one in track and one in baseball ... one of three members in the class from the state of Illinois ... parents are Craig and Janet Damisch ... born on November 4, 1989.
Coach Lynch on Damisch:
"Marc has great potential as an offensive lineman. He really developed through his high school years and we feel his best football is in front of him."
Shane Covington, RB, 6-1, 185, Milwaukee, Wis./Riverside University
Running back for head coach Patrick Wagner at Riverside University High School ... two-time all-conference and all-area honoree ... named utility player of the year and selected to the 2008 Wisconsin All-Star Game ... rushed for 504 yards and six touchdowns on 71 carries his senior season in addition to passing for 608 yards and seven scoring strikes ... Scout.com No. 3 prospect and Rivals.com No. 5 prospect in the state of Wisconsin ... listed as the No. 83 wide receiver nationally by Scout.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... an all-conference selection as a junior after rushing for 780 yards and eight touchdowns on 78 carries ... also caught 30 balls for 478 yards with two touchdowns ... team went 11-2 and became the first city school since 1976 to earn a trip to the state semifinals ... earned four varsity letters in football and four in track and field ... placed second in the 4x100 relay at state three years running ... finished third in the nation in the triple jump in 2006 (46-11) and fifth nationally in the long jump (22-02) ... a two-time student of the month ... lone member in the class from the state of Wisconsin ... mother is Angela Covington ... born on September 17, 1989 ... intends to study sport marketing and management.
Coach Lynch on Covington:
"Shane Covington is an outstanding athlete that is capable of playing any number of positions and is an excellent playmaker."
Cortez Smith, RB, 5-11, 190, Detroit, Mich./Cass Technical
Running back and cornerback for head coach Thomas Wilcher at Cass Technical High School ... an all-metro and all-city selection ... ranked 34th on the Fab 50 list and the 26th blue chip in the state of Michigan ... rushed for 1,050 yards with eight scores to go along with 200 receiving yards and four touchdowns as a senior ... rated the 16th-best prospect in the state of Michigan by Rivals.com and No. 23 by Scout.com ... ranked the No. 48 cornerback by Rivals.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... racked up 1,150 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns in 2006 ... earned four varsity football letters and four letters in track ... an all-state track selection in 2007 in the 100m, the 4x100 relay and the 4x200 relay ... parents are Robbie and Beverly Smith ... born on July 6, 1990 ... intends to study business ... brother, Jason, played football at Central Michigan University.
Coach Lynch on Smith:
"Cortez is a physical tailback with outstanding speed. There is no question he can be an outstanding player for us in the future."
Chad Sherer, LB, 6-0, 205, Cicero, Ind./Hamilton Heights
Running back and outside linebacker for head coaches Gene Starrett and Chuck Reeves at Hamilton Heights High School ... an all-state selection and a Mid-Indiana Conference first team honoree in both 2006 and 2007 ... recognized on the Indiana Football Digest Prime Time 25 and the Indiana High School Football Guide Tremendous 26 Teams ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... totaled 1,060 rushing yards and crossed the goal line 22 times ... holds school records in rushing yards, touchdowns, points scored and carries ... rushed for 1,260 yards and 20 scores as a junior ... selected to the Hamilton County All-Star Team and was named outstanding offensive running back junior and senior seasons ... Hamilton Heights earned MIC titles in 2004 and 2007 and sectional championships in 2004 and 2005 ... lettered in football (four years), baseball (four years) and basketball (one year) ... Hamilton Heights posted an 8-3 record before falling to No. 3 Bishop Chatard in the 2007 state playoffs ... one of six Hoosiers in the class ... parents are Devon and Carmelita Sherer ... born on June 10, 1989 ... intends to study business ... brother, Dustin, is a redshirt junior quarterback at the University of Wisconsin.
Coach Lynch on Scherer:
"Chad has been a two-way player that we see being a very athletic linebacker that can play in and out of the box."
Marquelo Suel, WR, 6-2, 180, Fort Wayne, Ind./Harding
Wide receiver for head coach Sherwood Haydock at Harding High School ... all-state selection played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back in 2007 ... rushed for over 600 yards, passed for over 500 and added 500 yards receiving ... also harnessed all-area and all-conference accolades and was named the team's most valuable player ... rated the 18th-best prospect in the state of Indiana by Scout.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... hauled in 50 receptions for 959 yards (19.2 average) and 12 touchdowns as Harding won the Class 2A state title in 2006 ... also recorded 80 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions ... earned all-conference honors ... three-year varsity letterwinner in football with two letters apiece in basketball and track ... first commitment of the 2008 recruiting class ... one of the six Hoosiers in the class ... mother is Patricia Suel ... born on June 20, 1989.
Coach Lynch on Suel:
"Marquelo is athletic and a great all-around athlete. He is a three-sport star and has all the tools to be a standout receiver."
Justin Pagán, OL, 6-5, 290, Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick
Offensive lineman for head coach Dan Galante at St. Patrick High School ... rated the 37th-best guard in the nation by ESPN.com and the 40th-best prospect in the state of Illinois by Scout.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... Pioneer Press All-Area selection and a member of the East Suburban Catholic All-Conference team ... named the St. Patrick Most Valuable Offensive Lineman ... collected three varsity letters in football and two in track and field ... one of three members in the class from the state of Illinois ... mother is Rozlyn C. Pagán ... born on July 20, 1990 ... intends to
study criminal justice.
Coach Lynch on Pagán:
"Justin Pagán is exactly the type of offensive lineman we are looking for. He has good size, is very athletic and has great feet."
Peter St. Fort, DB, 6-0, 180, Naples, Fla./Golden Gate
Defensive back for head coach Dave Tanner at Golden Gate High School ... first team All-Southwest Florida safety, all-district safety and all-conference defensive back ... rated as the No. 42 safety nationally by ESPN.com ... Prep Star All-Southeast Region selection ... in 2006, registered 39 solo tackles and two interceptions ... the first in his family to attend college ... honor roll student earned student of the month honors three times ... earned three varsity letters ... also played basketball and ran track ... led basketball team to a pair of district championships ... only second player from Golden Gate to sign with a Football Bowl Subdivision program ... one of two members in the class from the state of Florida ... the son of Yvance Jean-Louis was born on August 20, 1989.
Coach Lynch on St. Fort:
"Peter is a very versatile athlete and he gives us the flexibility to play him in any spot in our secondary."
Will Matte, OL, 6-2, 270, Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton-Warrenville South
Offensive lineman for head coach Ron Muhitch at Wheaton Warrenville South High School ... an all-state, all-area and all-conference selection ... 2007 Chicago Sun-Times All-Chicago Area selection ... rated the 20th-best prospect in the state of Illinois by Scout.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... Wheaton Warrenville South compiled a 39-2 record in his three seasons on the varsity, including a 2006 state title (14-0) and a state runner-up finish in 2007 (13-1) ... team reeled off 27 straight victories before falling in the 2007 state championship ... one of three members in the class from the state of Illinois ... parents are Bill and Peg Matte ... born on June 30, 1989.
Coach Lynch on Matte:
"Will can play anywhere across the offensive line. He is a quick, tough and very physical player."
Charles Love III, WR, 6-2, 200, Memphis, Tenn./Trezevant
Wide receiver for head coach Teli White at Trezevant High School ... named team's most valuable player and outstanding player junior and senior seasons ... team captain was selected to Memphis All-Star Game ... caught 28 passes for 475 yards and five scores in 2007 ... rated the 24th-best prospect in the state of Tennessee by Scout.com ... Prep Star All-Southeast Region selection ... hauled in 32 balls for 825 yards and seven touchdowns in addition to picking off a pair of passes in 2006 ... four-year starter at Trezevant ... also earned three varsity letters in track and field ... won the 2006 triple jump city championship (43-7) and finished second at state in the event ... honor roll student and a member of the leadership team ... the lone player in the class from the state of Tennessee ... born on September 27, 1989 ... cousin, Royce Love, played fullback at Vanderbilt.
Coach Lynch on Love:
"Charles is a big wide receiver that is very athletic and accomplished in track and field. He has a chance to do some great things for us on the outside."
Tyler Adetona, WR, 6-1, 200, Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville
Wide receiver for head coach Bruce Miller at Gainesville High School ... chalked up 75 receptions for 1,169 yards (14.9) and 12 touchdowns in 2007 ... also rushed for 389 yards and scored twice ... an all-state, all-region and all-county selection ... named receiver of the year ... Rivals.com ranks Adetona the No. 96 wideout nationally ... selected team MVP after recording 53 catches, 777 yards and eight scores his junior campaign... set school career records with 134 catches, 2,052 yards and 20 touchdowns ... Prep Star All-Southeast Region selection ... prince of an African tribe in Nigeria and is projected to be the next king ... one of two members in the class from the state of Georgia ... mother is Linda Earls ... born on May 28, 1990 ... intends to study business administration ... Linda played college basketball and ran track at UAB and his aunt, Brenda Hill, played basketball at Auburn.
Coach Lynch on Adetona:
"Tyler is an explosive athlete with great strength and he will bring a physical presence to our wide receiver position."
Mick Mentzer, DT, 6-4, 290, Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger
Defensive tackle and linebacker for head coach Chris Svarczkopf at Bishop Dwenger High School ... all-state, all-area and all-conference selection in 2007 ... recorded 90 tackles and led Bishop Dwenger to a 13-1 record and a runner-up finish at semi-state ... ESPN.com lists Mentzer as the No. 97 defensive tackle in the nation ... slated as the No. 20 prospect in the state of Indiana by Rivals.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... earned three varsity letters in football, three in basketball and one in track ... one of six Hoosiers in the class ... parents are Scott and Nancy Mentzer ... born on May 31, 1989 ... intends to study business.
Coach Lynch on Mentzer:
"Mick is a very versatile lineman that can play on either side of the ball. He adds toughness and athleticism on our defensive line."
Larry Black Jr., DT, 6-2, 250, Cincinnati, Ohio/Wyoming
Defensive tackle for head coach Bernie Barre at Wyoming High School ... all-state, all-city and first team all-league selection ... selected to play in the North-South Ohio All-Star Game and collected Anthony Munoz Lineman of the Year honor... team captain and most valuable player recorded 73 tackles in 2007 and led Wyoming to an 8-3 mark and an appearance in the state playoffs ... 55th-rated prospect in the state of Ohio by Scout.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... four-year letterwinner and honors student ... one of two members of the class from the state of Ohio ... parents are Larry Sr. and Tampala Black ... born on December 1, 1989.
Coach Lynch on Black:
"Larry is a physical and explosive defensive lineman. He has great speed and quickness that will make him a good player on the inside for us."
Tandon Doss, WR, 6-3, 185, Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis
Wide receiver and running back for head coach Mike Kirschner at Ben Davis High School ... hauled in 37 receptions for 538 yards (14.5) and scored four times as a senior ... carried 174 times for 1,164 yards (6.6) and 12 touchdowns ... returned 10 kicks for a 36.0 average and one score ... finalist for Indiana Mr. Football at wide receiver ... a first team all-state, All-Marion County and All-MIC Conference selection ... team's offensive most valuable player ... rated the 10th-best prospect in the state of Indiana by Rivals.com and 12th by Scout.com ... ranked as the No. 65 wide receiver nationally by ESPN.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... Ben Davis went 7-4 and advanced to sectionals before falling to No. 1 Pike ... earned three varsity letters ... one of six Hoosiers in the class ... mother is Nikki Doss ... born on September 22, 1989 ... intends to study business.
Coach Lynch on Doss:
"Tandon is a great athlete that we feel has the potential to be an outstanding wide receiver for us."
Alex Hunt, RB, 6-0, 205, Duluth, Ga./Buford
Running back for head coach Jess Simpson at Buford High School ... rated the No. 100 running back nationally by ESPN.com ... Prep Star All-Southeast Region selection ... averaged 10.0 yards per carry in 2007 ... as a junior at Duluth High School, was varsity MVP and was named the Atlanta Journal Constitution Player of the Week and the Gwinnett Daily Post Player of the Week ... helped Buford to a perfect 15-0 record in 2007 en route to the Division 2A Georgia State Football Championship ... named special teams player of the week ... one of seven players from Buford to sign with a Football Bowl Subdivision program this season ... three-year football varsity letterwinner also ran track ... a state qualifier in the 200m and a third-place finisher in the 100m at regionals ... Atlanta Journal-Constitution honor roll student ... one of two players in the class from the state of Georgia ... parents are Allen and Yvonne Hunt ... born on January 1, 1990 ... intends to study business ... cousin, Chris Jackson, was a wide receiver at Washington State University and is currently a wideout with the Arena Football League's Philadelphia Soul ... cousin, Ray Jackson Jr., was a defensive back at Washington State University and NFL Europe's Amsterdam Admirals.
Coach Lynch on Hunt:
"Alex is another playmaker with good size and speed that has a chance to be an outstanding back at Indiana."
Nicholas Sliger, DT, 6-3, 275, Cicero, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern
Defensive tackle and offensive lineman for head coaches Scott May and Rob Cutter at Hamilton Southeastern High School ... received Indiana Mr. Football - defensive line award (first place) ... named to the Indianapolis Star All-North (second straight year) and Super Teams ... Associated Press all-state selection and selected as one of the top 50 players in the state by the Indiana Football Coaches Association for the second consecutive year ... two-time all-conference and all-county selection ... recognized on the Bloomington Herald-Times Top 33, the Indiana Football Digest Prime Time 25 and the Indiana High School Football Guide Tremendous 26 Teams ... rated the 56th-best defensive tackle nationally by ESPN.com and the 73rd-best nationally by Scout.com ... ranked the 15th-best prospect in the state of Indiana by Scout.com and Rivals.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... Hamilton Southeastern finished 2007 season 10-3 with a loss to No. 1 Pike in the regional ... team won sectional and Hoosier Crossroads Conference championships ... Hamilton went undefeated during the regular season and won a conference title in 2006 and claimed sectional, regional and semi-state championships in 2005 en route to a 5A state runner-up finish ... one of six Hoosiers in the class ... earned three varsity letters in football and collected letters in wrestling and track ... parents are Bruce and Kathy Sliger ... born on July 30, 1989 ... intends to study criminology.
Coach Lynch on Sliger:
"Nick is another two-way player that has the ability to play on both sides of the ball. We feel he can be an anchor on our defensive line."
Adam Follett, QB, 6-4, 200, Caledonia, Mich./Alma
Quarterback for head coach Randy Lark at Alma High School ... 2007 Detroit Free Press All-State selection (first team) ... also named first team all-area and first team all-conference ... led Alma to its first district title, an undefeated regular season and its best season in school history (11-1) ... threw for 1,964 yards and 20 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 242 yards with six scores ... ranked the No. 88 quarterback nationally and the No. 40 prospect in the state of Michigan by Scout.com ... rated the 30th-best prospect in Michigan by Rivals.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... spent his first three seasons at Caledonia (Mich.) High School ... finished his high school career with a 36-2 record as a starter, including an undefeated conference record, a 2005 state championship, a trip to the semifinals in 2006 and a 61.1 completion percentage ... earned three varsity football letters, three varsity track and field letters and two varsity basketball letters ... averaged 10 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocks per game on the hardwood ... a member of the Executive Business Apprentice Program for "Executive Leaders of Tomorrow" ... one of two members in the class from the state of Michigan ... parents are Chuck and Lauri Follett ... born on July 26, 1989 ... intends to study business.
Coach Lynch on Follett:
"Adam is an outstanding passer with great size. He will continue to develop and we feel he is a great fit for our offense."
Darius Willis, RB, 6-0, 220, Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central
Running back for head coach Lance Scheib at Franklin Central High School ... played in the Under Armour All-American High School Game and placed second in the Marine Corps Skills Challenge ... rushed for 1,728 yards (6.0 average) and 28 scores en route to a runner-up finish for Indiana Mr. Football ... an all-state, All-Marion County and all-conference selection ... also caught 10 passes and scored a TD and returned 13 kickoffs for a 36.3 average and one touchdown ... named Indianapolis Star All-American County Player of the Year ... Franklin Central MVP was a member of the Indiana Football Digest Prime Time 25 and the Bloomington Herald-Times Top 33 ... rated the No. 41 running back nationally by Rivals.com and Scout.com and ranked the No. 48 running back nationally by ESPN.com ... the fourth-best prospect in the state of Indiana by Scout.com and the fifth-best in the state by Rivals.com ... Prep Star All-Midwest Region selection ... raced for 1,277 yards (5.5 average) and 15 touchdowns as a junior ... All-Marion County, a Tremendous 26 selection, a Best of the Best honoree and the team most valuable player in 2006 ... named to the all-city team in 2005 after rushing for 1,394 yards and 16 scores ... earned four varsity football letters and also collected letters in basketball, baseball, track and wrestling ... finished fourth in the 4x100 relay, setting a new school record at the 2007 state meet ... second at the 2007 Conference Indiana and sectional meets (200m) and set a new school record at regionals in the 200m en route to the Franklin Central Boys Track MVP award ... an honor roll student ... one of six Hoosiers in the class ... parents are Edward and Tracy Wynn ... born on October 12, 1988 ... intends to study business management.
Coach Lynch on Willis:
"Darius is a strong and physical back with outstanding speed. We are really excited for a top athlete from the Indianapolis area to join us in Bloomington."
Kyle Kozak, DL, 6-4, 235, Columbus, Ohio/Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy
Defensive lineman for head coach Robert Prunty (Hargrave Military Academy) and Jay Sharret (Pickerington Central) ... enrolled at IU in January and will participate in spring drills ... spent the 2007 season at Hargrave Military Academy ... played three years at Emmaus (Pa.) High School before attending Pickerington (Ohio) Central High School his senior season ... led Pickerington Central to a 13-2 record and a state runner-up finish ... earned four varsity football letters and two varsity basketball letters ... one of two members of the class from Ohio ... parents are Kevin Kozak and Lisa Hammond ... born on January 5, 1989 ... intends to study exercise science ... uncle, Kory Kozak, played defensive tackle at Rutgers.
Coach Lynch on Kozak:
"Kyle is a very explosive player that has great speed off the edge as a defensive end."
A.J. Thompson, OL, 6-2, 290, Lakeland, Fla./Kathleen
Offensive lineman for head coach Irving Strickland at Kathleen High School ... enrolled at IU in January and will participate in spring drills ... three-time all-conference selection earned all-county honorable mention as a senior ... Prep Star All-Southeast Region selection ... played at Crittenden City (Ky.) High School prior to his arrival at Kathleen ... collected honorable mention all-state recognition his junior season ... four-year letterwinner led Crittenden to back-to-back 9-3 records his freshman and sophomore seasons ... one of two members in the class from the state of Florida ... mother is Leiza Williams ... born on Oct. 8, 1989 ... intends to study sport marketing and management ... father, Shelton Thompson, played linebacker at Florida State and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Coach Lynch on Thompson:
"A.J. is another athletic offensive lineman with great size that can play any number of positions along the offensive line."
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