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Ball State Announces Roster Additions, Sources Confirm Subtractions

New addition and New Edition are not the same thing

As we reference most every offseason, the news coming out of the Cardinals’ nest after the last game of the year slows to a snail’s pace. One of the unfortunate things of covering a smaller market team is that there is not the rabid following like the Alabamas and LSUs of the world to fawn over each and every little trickle of information. At those schools, someone’s twitter posting can set the fanbase in a tizzy, whereas in Cardinal land, it’s usually a player leaving, a player getting added, or a major rules violation that moves the needle at all in the long cold winter known as the offseason. Today, there’s a lot of column A, a little of column B, and thankfully none of column C. Yet.

Coach Lembo has certainly made use of the post-season transfers, as we saw this past season with the stable of running backs that seemingly came out of nowhere to carry the load left by the void of Eric Williams and Cory Sykes. So when it comes to roster additions outside the normal scope of recruiting and such, I certainly trust the talent evaluations being done in Muncie these days. The 2011 season is just a week or so in the books, but we already have our first bit of news about new faces for next fall. From the BSU release…

Pete Lembo has announced the addition of three mid-year signees plus the return of one student-athlete for the 2012 roster.

Joining the program at mid-year are Selwyn Frazier (Independence Community College), Oga Igbinosun (Rahway High School) and Chris Pauling (T.W. Andrews High School), while Matthew Mosley returns to the Cardinals after sitting out the 2011 season to concentrate on academics.

“We are pleased to welcome these new student-athletes to the university for the spring semester, while also glad to have Matthew Mosley return to the program,” Lembo says. “Selwyn, Oga and Chris are quality young men who are excited to be at Ball State. They have a great opportunity to acclimate themselves academically, athletically and socially this spring. They will also help to create greater internal competition on our defense at positions where we need to improve. Matthew is a quality young man who loves Ball State and is passionate about the game of football. He did a nice job staying connected during his hiatus from the program. We are hopeful he returns as a more focused and mature student.”

Frazier earned two letters while playing for Independence Community College in 2010 and 2011. A graduate of Wichita East High School in Wichita, Kansas, Frazier is expected to play safety for the Cardinals. As a team captain in his second year at ICC, Frazier ranked second on the team with 63 tackles. He earned All-Jayhawk Conference honors in his second season, while helping the team to its first ever playoff appearance in his first campaign. At Wichita East, Frazier was a team captain as a senior and earned all-conference honors in his final season. He helped Wichita East to a 5-5 mark in his senior season and earned four letters for Coach Brian Byers.

Igbinosun earned three letters at Rahway High School in New Jersey for Coach Gary Mobley. He helped his team to a 6-5 mark as a senior and a 24-10 record in his career. Igbinosun, who graduated from Rahway in December, is expected to play defensive end for the Cardinals. At Rahway, Igbinosun managed 98 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 12 sacks as a senior. He set a school record with six tackles for loss, including four sacks as a senior. Igbinosun managed 18 career sacks. He was selected to the New Jersey North-South All-Star Game and was named the New Jersey Game Most Valuable Player. A second-team all-state selection as a senior, Igbinosun earned all-area first team honors and was a Super 100 New Jersey selection in his final season. In addition, he was named the Mid-State 39 Defensive Player of the Year in his final season. Igbinosun, the son of Solomon and Mercy Igbinosun, also competed in wrestling, track and basketball at Rahway.

Pauling, a December graduate of T.W. Andrews High School in North Carolina, has joined the Cardinals and is expected to play safety at Ball State. Pauling earned three letters for Coach Rodney McKoy at Andrews and heoped the Red Raiders to an 8-3 mark as a senior and a 32-12 record in his career. Pauling managed 86 tackles, two forced fumbles and one blocked punt, which he returned for a touchdown in his senior season. He totalled 260 tackles, eight forced fumbles, three blocked punts, 20 sacks and two interceptions in his career. Pauling was an All-PAC 6 Conference selection as a junior and senior. He was named all-area and selected to play in the South Carolina/North Carolina Shrine Bowl as a senior. The son of Chris and Rosalyn Pauling, he managed a 3.1 grade-point average in high school and was a three-time selection to the Academic All-PAC 6 Conference team.

Mosley played in all 12 games as a true freshman during the 2010 season and earned his first letter. He recorded his first career tackle vs. Southeast Missouri State and tallied a career high two tackles in six games. A graduate of Morgan Park High School in Chicago, Ill., Mosley played outside linebacker for the Cardinals.

These sorts of additions are absolutely critical for several reasons, first and foremost because of the added depth it provides to some very critical positions for the Cardinals. Two safetys and a DE to go along with the returning LB Matthew Mosley means that one of the areas of consternation for 2011 and outright concern for 2012 has at bare minimum more warm bodies to fill in for the nicks and scratches that arise over the course of a season. As we saw on the field, heard in the coach’s comments, and read in the various program communications, there is perhaps no more critical an area of improvement for the Cards than depth. I would say it’s safe to say it’s not where Coach Lembo would prefer it to be, but it’s better than last year and seemingly getting better by the day. Perhaps the thing that will be overlooked but in my opinion is quite impressive is the geographic location of the new additions. Kansas, New Jersey, and North Carolina all get added to the roster footprint, and in case you haven’t been paying attention, BSU has never had a real national base from which to recruit. Each and every state that gets added to the roster gives a better recruiting advantage for players from that particular region and ideally means the Cardinals can branch out a bit from their pre-established stomping grounds of Indiana, Ohio, and the general rust belt area.

It isn’t all sunshine and roses, though, as mentioned above, that pesky column B means there’s some subtraction to go along with the additions. Multiple independent sources have confirmed to OTP that sophomore Aaron Morris did not return to Ball State for the spring semester because of academic issues. Whether that is a permanent outcome or a short-term time away to correct some areas of need a la Matthew Mosley is unclear, but OTP wishes Aaron all the best as he gets his academic house in order. Morris was a stalwart in the linebacking crew who had a bright future, a nose for the ball, and an ability to make the critical tackle but without the “student” piece of the student-athlete, the “athlete” portion becomes moot. Here’s hoping that this is more roadblock than derailment and we see Aaron back in Cardinal and White soon.

Go Cards!


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