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Cards Add ECU, St. Joseph’s Transfers

Cardinal nation was in a bit of a tizzy when the most recent news of a player exiting the program hit the wires, but leave it to BSU to sate your growing concern with two -count ’em!!- TWO new players for us to fawn over and adore. Neither are as flashy, swagger-filled, or noteworthy as Eric Williams, but they’re additions all the same and worth a shout out.

The BSU release with the relevant bio and pertinent details:

Ball State head football coach Pete Lembo has announced two student-athletes have signed grant-in-aid papers to transfer and play football for the Cardinals.

Kenneth Lee, who played at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, Ind., is transferring to Ball State from St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind. Steve Spence is transferring to Ball State after spending the last four seasons at East Carolina. “We are pleased to welcome these two fine young men to the Ball State football family,” Lembo says. “Steve and Kenny are bright, articulate and thoughtful young men. Their maturity and leadership skills will help them with the transition to this new environment. We are confident they will fit in well with the current student-athletes in our football program.”

Lee led the Pumas in tackles in 2010 with 77, including 47 solos and 30 assists. He managed seven tackles for loss, including one sack, plus had two interceptions and one fumble recovery. Lee played in seven games in 2009, making 18 tackles and recovering one fumble. He will redshirt for the Cardinals in 2011 and have two years of eligibility remaining.

Spence graduated from East Carolina and will begin taking graduate courses at Ball State in the fall. He will have one season of eligibility remaining. Spence, who played in only one game in 2010, appeared in 13-of-14 games for the Pirates in 2009. He managed 15 tackles as a junior and tallied two sacks and one fumble recovery. Spence played in all 14 games in 2008 and redshirted in 2007 at ECU. A three-year football letterman and two-year team captain for Norfolk-Maury High School in Norfolk, Va., Spence also lettered as a wrestler.

Two more additions to the Cardinals, both of them on the defensive side of the football. Lee clocks in at 6’3″ and 206lbs, and played his snaps for the Pumas at linebacker. Whether that’s the position he lands in at BSU will ultimately depend on the rest of the personnel and his ability within the scheme, but at least there’s some experience coming in 2012 for the linebacking crew. Spence measures in at 6’2″ and 225lbs, and is also a linebacker.

Per the release, Lee is redshirting in 2011, though if my eligibility knowledge is correct, he would be eligible to play right away as he’s advancing up the ladder in division. That same eligibility knowledge, which admittedly has gotten a little bit hazier than it used to be when I worked with the MAC and the NCAA Clearinghouse on a semi-regular basis, leads me to believe that Spence isn’t able to play this season for the Cardinals and must sit out 2011. That may be able to be worked around with some sort of waiver or exception since he actually graduated, but again, basic understanding says 2012 will be when he can hit the field. Of course, only accumulating 21 tackles over three seasons at ECU doesn’t necessarily make my heart flutter. A non-factor at a major program like an Auburn, Michigan, or Alabama would be one thing, but last I checked, it isn’t like ECU is loading their depth chart with an abundance of talent 3-deep across the roster. I have to assume that if a player had talent and skill at a place like ECU, he would have seen the field, but here’s hoping Coach Lembo knows something that the stat sheet doesn’t show. Worst case scenario, as a former wrestler, perhaps he can throw a Stone Cold Stunner on an opposing QB and Rock Bottom their head coach. A guy can dream…


3 Responses

  1. Spence is eligible right away for his fifth and final year of eligibility. Since he already graduated from ECU, he’s granted a graduate student waiver from sitting out a season.

  2. I am really looking to see how fast the staff can get the defense solidified. It seems like we have some very good athletes on defense but can the defense hold things together until Lembo gets the no-huddle offense in full swing.

  3. For anyone prepared to dismiss Lee based on the fact that he transferred in from a D-2 school, please recall that one of the greatest players in BSU history, a guy who went on to play in four NFL Pro Bowls, did the very same thing. (Blaine Bishop reference in the house!)

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