Last years recruiting class saw a few true freshmen earn playing time this season. Normally you don't want to count on true freshmen at the division one level, but the high quality of the class made that possible. The most notable was the play of Tyson Devree at tight end, who filled in for the injured Tony Scheffler.
Last season, by most expert's accounts, was one of WMU's finest recruiting classes in several years. A big reason for that success was the newly finished indoor athletics building, the Seelye Center.
"One thing we are able to say with all truthfulness is that we practice in 72 degree weather," said Gary Darnell. "It is going to be 72 and dry when we practice. That makes a world of difference."
Several of the high level recruits WMU attracted last year attributed at least part of their decision to attend WMU with the facilities, specifically the Seelye Center.
In an interview with Broncos Illustrated's Bryan Knoll last year Antwain Allen said, "I think the facilities at Western were better than at Illinois."
In a similar interview Darryl McFadden also spoke highly of the facilities. "I felt everything was first class. The field, facilities and everything was great. The indoor facility was real nice."
Darnell hopes the completion of the Seelye Center will help lead to more high level recruiting classes. "Everything we do is substantiated now and everything is tangible. You cannot say that about many programs."
In the past Darnell has filled in immediate roster needs with junior college players. Darnell says not this year. "The only way I can see that happening is if it were a really unique situation. We made a huge junior college push about two years ago… We knew we were pretty good and felt if we put those extra spots in there, that would put us over the top. And it didn't happen, because of injuries and academics."
The obvious desire is to bring in players that are high profile both athletically and in notoriety. "We will be recruiting high quality guys this year," added Darnell.
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