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A Brief Signing Day Recap

Yes, we know National Signing Day was a couple weeks ago. As has been the case on this blog sometimes, real life, real careers, and work that actually pays us does sometimes intercede and make blogging take a backseat. Strange how DirecTV, my landlord, and Ford don’t take Ball State love and passion as a means of payment for services rendered. That would be awesome. Here’s the BSU release on the National Signing Day goings on for the Cardinals…

Ian Anderson 6-3 277 DL Greensboro, N.C. (Reagan) Greg King
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned three letters in football . . . earned two letters at Mount Tabor High School before playing his senior season at Reagan High School for head coach Greg King . . . helped Mount Tabor to conference championships as a sophomore and junior . . . helped the Mount Tabor to an undefeated conference season as a sophomore and a second round appearance in the state playoffs as a junior . . . All-Northwest North Carolina and all-county as a senior . . . all-conference as a junior . . . tallied 78 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and one blocked extra point as a senior . . . managed 200 tackles, 21 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and two blocked extra points in career . . . set the school record for tackles by a defensive lineman with 78 as a senior . . . set school weightlifting records for bench (405 lbs.), squat (600 lbs.), clean (320 lbs.) and front squat (455 lbs.) . . . PERSONAL: Son of Ray and Lisa Anderson . . . one brother and one sister . . . father played football at Wake Forest and brother, Ryan, played football at Concord . . . born Nov. 13, 1992, in Greensboro, N.C. . . . full name is Arthur Ian Anderson.

Avery Bailey 6-1 190 DB/LB Cleveland, Ohio (St. Edward) Rick Finotti
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned three letters in football for head coach Rick Finotti . . . helped team to a 15-0 record and the Ohio Division I State Championship as a senior . . . helped the team to a 24-12 record in his varsity career . . . managed 95 tackles and six interceptions as a senior . . . both were single-season school records . . . PERSONAL: Son of Al and Barbara Bailey . . . two sisters . . . named to the school’s Merit Roll as a junior . . . born March 13, 1993, in Cleveland, Ohio . . . full name is Avery Lee Bailey.

Horactio Banks 5-10 185 RB Chicago, Ill. (Simeon) Dante Culbreath
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned four letters in football for head coach Dante Culbreath . . . helped team to a 13-1 overall record, including an 8-0 mark in the Prairie City Public School League, as a senior . . . helped the Wolverines to a 44-6 mark in career . . . all-state as a senior . . . all-city as a junior . . . rushed for over 2,100 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior . . . PERSONAL: Son of Joyce Dorsey . . . one brother . . . born June, 1, 1992, in Chicago, Ill. . . . full name is Horactio Banks.
Julian Boyd 6-2 194 DL Roswell, Ga. (Roswell) Leo Barker
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned three letters in football for head coach Leo Barker . . . helped team to a 7-5 mark as a senior, including a 5-1 record in the conference . . . helped the Hornets to a 22-12 mark in his career . . . all-region second team as a senior . . . tallied 30 tackles with five sacks as a senior . . . managed 56 tackles with 10 sacks in career . . . PERSONAL: Son of Steven and Kim Boyd . . . two brothers . . . brother, Chris, played football at Vanderbilt, and brother, Steven, played football at Hampton . . . owns a 3.0 grade-point average on the school’s 4.0 scale . . . born March 16, 1993, in Atlanta, Ga. . . . full name is Julian Michael Boyd.

Christopher Calloway 5-11 187 DB Bradenton, Fla. (Palmetto) Dave Marino
HIGH SCHOOL: Played for head coach Dave Marino . . . helped team to a 6-5 record as a senior . . . all-area as a senior . . . named Palmetto’s Most Valuable Defensive Back as a senior . . . registered 45 tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks and two interceptions as a senior . . . also competed in track and field . . . had a career best time of :49.81 in the 400-meter run . . . PERSONAL: Son of Chris and Latoya Calloway . . . three sisters and two brothers . . . born Sept. 19, 1992, in Bradenton, Fla. . . . full name is Christopher Lacae Calloway.

Jahwan Edwards 5-10 232 RB Matthews, N.C. (Butler) Mike Newsome
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned four letters in football for head coach Mike Newsome . . . helped team to a 16-0 record, including a 7-0 conference mark, as a senior . . . helped the Bulldogs to a 56-3 career mark . . . helped the team to back-to-back state championships as a junior and senior . . . competed for Butler’s nationally ranked football team as a senior . . . the Bulldogs were ranked as high as eighth by ESPN, ninth by Rivals.com, 13th by PrepNation.com and 16th in the USA Today Poll . . . all-state as a senior . . . named Most Valuable Player of the state championship game as a junior and senior . . . three-time all-conference . . . rushed 256 times for 1,652 yards plus tallied 21 receptions for 296 yards as a senior . . . totalled 33 TDs as a senior . . . rushed 475 times for 2,979 yards and managed 30 receptions for 463 yards in career . . . totalled 62 TDs in career . . . PERSONAL: Son of Consulla Edwards . . . born July 27, 1992 . . . full name is Jahwan M. Edwards.

Bryan Ford 6-3 273 OT Southfield, Mich. (Southfield Christian) Harold Macks
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned four letters for head coach Harold Macks . . . also competed in basketball and track and field . . . won the conference championship in the shot put and placed second in the discus as a junior . . . PERSONAL: Son of Willie Joe Ford and Charmain Jefferson Ford . . . two sisters . . . born March 6, 1993, in Southfield, Mich. . . . full name is Bryan Joseph Ford.

Matt Fox 6-4 230 DE West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West) Larry Cox
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned two letters for head coach Larry Cox . . . helped team to 10-4 record in the Greater Miami Conference in his two seasons . . . helped the Firebirds to the school’s first-ever conference championship as a junior . . . all-conference as a senior . . . academic all-league as a junior and senior . . . received honorable mention on the All-Southwest Ohio team as a senior . . . received the Anthony Munoz Award as the Defensive Lineman of the Year as a senior at Lakota West . . . selected for the Ohio North-South All-Star Game after his senior season . . . managed 35 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery as a senior . . . tallied 66 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, three sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his two varsity seasons . . . also competed in basketball . . . PERSONAL: Son of Michael and Christina Fox . . . two brothers and one sister . . . mother competed in basketball at the College of Mount St. Joseph’s . . . owns a 3.86 grade-point average on the school’s 4.0 scale . . . received high honors at Lakota West . . . born May 21, 1993, in Cincinnati, Ohio . . . full name is Matthew Thomas Fox.

Trey Gardner 6-4 210 WR Petersburg, Va. (Dinwiddie) Billy Mills
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned four letters in football for head coach Billy Mills . . . helped Dinwiddie High School to a 12-1 record as a senior and a 30-7 mark in his career . . . helped the team to a 10-0 record in the Central District as a senior . . . helped team to two district championships and two regional titles in his career . . . all-district, all-region and all-metro as a senior . . . tallied 28 receptions for 507 yards for an 18.1 yards-per-catch average with six touchdowns as a senior . . . managed 70 catches for 1,229 yards with 12 touchdowns in his career . . . set a school record with four career blocked punts . . . invited to the 2009 National Underclassmen Showcase and the 2008 National Underclassmen Combine . . . also competed in basketball and earned four letters . . . averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds per game in midst of his senior season . . . named team’s Most Improved Player as a junior . . . PERSONAL: Son of James Gardner and Thersea Gardner . . . two brothers and one sister . . . born May 20, 1993, in Petersburg, Va. . . . full name is Trey Jamel Gardner.

Ben Ingle 6-1 214 OLB/SS West Harrison, Ind. (LaSalle) Tom Grippa
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned three letters for head coach Tom Grippa . . . helped team to a 9-1 record as a senior and a 36-8 mark in career . . . helped the team to its first ever 9-1 record . . . all-conference and All-Southwest Ohio as a senior . . . team captain as a senior . . . PERSONAL: Son of Steve and Terri Ingle . . . three brothers and one sister . . . uncle, Rick Ingle, played basketball at Denison . . . received academic honors at LaSalle . . . born Feb. 15, 1993, in Cincinnati, Ohio . . . full name is Benjamin P. Ingle.

Anthony Kukwa 6-3 217 TE/DE Perry, Ohio (Perry) Matt Rosati
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned three letters for head coach Matt Rosati . . . helped team to a 6-5 record as a senior and a 32-13 career mark . . . helped squad to the state playoffs in 2007, 2008 and 2010, and an appearance in the regional finals in 2008 . . . three-time All-Chagrin Valley Conference . . . All-Ohio in football, baseball and basketball . . . tallied 35 catches for 659 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior . . . averaged 18.8 yards per catch as a senior . . . managed 82 catches for 1,647 yards with 23 TDs and a 20.1 yards-per-catch average in career . . . Basketball: Earned three letters . . . all-conference as a junior . . . scored over 1,000 points in career and averaged over 14.0 rebounds per game . . . set the school record for most rebounds in a season as a junior . . . helped team to the conference championship as a junior . . . Baseball: Earned four letters . . . all-conference as a junior . . . batted .500 with 17 homeruns plus struck out 100 as a pitcher . . . helped team to conference title as a junior . . . PERSONAL: Son of Tony Kukwa and Mary Turner . . . one sister . . . born Oct. 30, 1992, in Euclid, Ohio . . . full name is Anthony Joseph Kukwa IV.

Nick Miles 6-2 255 DE Burlington, N.C. (Eastern Alamance) John Kirby
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned four letters in football for head coach John Kirby . . . helped Eastern Alamance to a 13-3 record as a senior and a 49-7 career mark . . . helped the team to a 5-2 mark in the Mid-State 3A Conference as a senior . . . helped squad to two conference championships, two regional titles and two Class 3A runner-up finishes in state playoffs . . . North Carolina Preps All-State as a senior . . . all-region as a senior . . . conference and regional Defensive Player of the Year as a senior . . . all-conference as a junior and senior . . . participated in the Shrine Bowl All-Star Game after his senior season . . . managed 98 tackles, 17 sacks and three forced fumbles as a senior . . . tallied 250 tackles, 27 sacks and seven forced fumble in his career . . . set the school record for sacks in a season with 17 as a senior . . . set the school standard for sacks in a game with three as a junior . . . PERSONAL: Son of Vernon and Hope Miles . . . two sisters . . . owns a 3.6 grade-point average on his high school’s 4.0 scale . . . received the school’s Minority Academic Achievement Award . . . born Sept. 28, 1993, in Raleigh, N.C. . . . full name is Nicholas Chase Miles.

Keenan Noel 6-1 255 FB Columbus, Ind. (North) Tim Bless
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned four letters in football for head coach Tim Bless . . . helped the Bulldogs to a 7-4 overall record as a senior and a 29-16 career mark . . . all-region as a senior . . . received the National Underclassmen Leadership Award . . . tallied 37 rushes for 262 yards with three touchdowns as a senior . . . added 11 catches for 132 yards and completed 5-of-11 passes for 63 yards as a senior . . . rushed 52 times for 347 yards and four TDs in career . . . added 27 receptions for 282 yards and one TD plus completed 7-of-13 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns in career . . . also competed in track and field in the shot put . . . PERSONAL: Son of Ray Gipson and MeShelle Noel . . . one sister . . . owns a 3.12 grade-point average on the Columbus North 4.0 scale . . . uncle, Andre Barnett, competed in football at Ball State and lettered for the Cardinals from 1986-89 . . . grandfather, Hayward Gipson II, played football at Princeton . . . cousin, Duwyce Wilson, plays football at Indiana . . . born Feb. 26, 1993, in Columbus, Ind. . . . full name is Keenan Michael Noel.

Jacolby Owens 6-3 205 WR South Holland, Ill. (Thornridge) Michael Morrisey
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned three letters in football for head coach Michael Morrisey . . . all-conference as a senior . . . managed seven catches with one touchdown as a senior . . . totalled 20 TDs in career . . . also competed in track and field as a sprinter . . . owns career best times in the 200 with a :21.9, in the 100 with a :10.5 and in the long jump with a mark of 22.5 feet . . . PERSONAL: Son of Warren and Joy Owens . . . one brother and one sister . . . born June 4, 1993 . . . full name is Jacolby Dominique Owens.

Tyler Rayburn 6-3 274 OL Columbus, Ind. (East) Bob Gaddis
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned three letters in football for head coach Bob Gaddis . . . helped team to a 9-2 record as a senior and a 31-5 mark in career . . . helped team to Hoosier Hills Conference Championships as a sophomore, junior and senior . . . helped the squad to a semistate appearance as a sophomore and an appearance in regionals as a junior . . . all-conference as a junior and senior after receiving honorable mention as a sophomore . . . all-state second team as a senior . . . Indiana Football Coaches Association Top 50 after senior season . . . Columbus East Offensive Lineman of the Year as a junior and senior . . . PERSONAL: Son of Steve and Darla Rayburn . . . . . . one brother . . . owns a 3.0 grade-point average on the school’s 4.0 scale . . . born Feb. 5, 1993, in Columbus, Ind. . . . full name is Tyler Alan Rayburn.

Jalen Schlachter 6-5 301 OL Corunna, Mich. (Corunna) Chris Curtiss
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned three letters for head coach Chris Curtiss . . . two-time All-Capital Area Activities Conference . . . two-time recipient of Corunna High School’s Pat Boyer Award for most outstanding offensive lineman . . . Detroit Free Press All-State . . . ranked No. 32 on the Detroit Free Press Michigan Top 50 list . . . ranked No. 22 on the Lansing State Journal “Catch 22” Michigan Top Football Prospect List . . . also competed in basketball and track and field . . . averaging 10.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in basketball . . . all-state and regional champion in the shot put . . . career best throw of 51-feet, 8-inches.

Chris Shillings 6-1 200 WR Columbus, Ind. (North) Tim Bless
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned four letters in football for head coach Tim Bless . . . helped the Bulldogs to a 7-4 overall record as a senior and a 29-16 career mark . . . All-Conference Indiana as a junior . . . also competed in track as a long jumper . . . PERSONAL: Son of Kristy Moore . . . one sister . . . born Jan. 20, 1993, in Indianapolis, Ind. . . . full name is Christopher James Shillings.

Willie Snead 5-11 182 WR Norton Shores, Mich. (Muskegon) Willie Snead
Graduated from high school in December of 2010 and joined Ball State for the second semester of the 2010-11 academic year . . . HIGH SCHOOL: Earned four letters for head coach and his father, Willie Snead . . . helped the Tigers to a 6-5 record as a senior and a 30-8 career mark . . . helped team to four district championships, three regional titles and one state championship . . . all-state as a junior and senior . . . selected the Michigan Player of the Year as a senior . . . all-conference as a junior and senior . . . passed for 2,500 yards with 10 touchdowns plus rushed for 1,320 yards and 13 TDs as a senior . . . passed for 4,000 yards with 40 touchdowns and rushed for 2,500 yards and 29 TDs in his career . . . set the school record for total yards in a single game with 489 . . . set the school standard for total passing yards with 3,100 as a junior . . . PERSONAL: Son of Willie and Sofia Snead . . . one brother and one sister . . . owns a 3.5 grade-point average on the school’s 4.0 scale . . . born Oct. 17, 1992, in Winter Park, Fla. . . . full name is Willie Lee Snead IV.

Trent Toothman 6-0 235 QB/LB Salem, Ohio (Salem) Mike Kopachy
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned three letters in football for head coach Mike Kopachy . . . helped the Quakers to an 8-3 record as a senior . . . member of first Salem High School team to advance to the playoffs and helped the school to its first-ever playoff win in 2009 . . . also helped team to state playoffs as a senior in 2010 . . . All-Northeast Ohio as a junior and senior . . . All-Ohio Second Team as a senior . . . all-county as a junior and senior . . . Salem’s Offensive Most Valuable Player as a junior and senior . . . managed 87 tackles, rushed for 1,407 yards and 20 touchdowns and passed for 1,588 yards and 12 TDs as a senior . . . compiled 4,540 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards in career . . . set the school record with 4,540 passing yards in a career . . . first player in Salem history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season . . . set the school record for touchdown passes in a career with 42 . . . also competed in track and basketball . . . Track: Earned three letters . . . two-time state qualifier as a member of the 400-meter relay team . . . placed third in the state in the 400-meter relay as a junior . . . member of the school record-setting 400 relay team (42.49) as a junior . . . Basketball: Earned two letters . . . all-conference as a junior . . . . . . PERSONAL: Son of Brian Toothman and Kristin Toothman . . . one brother and one sister . . . owns a 3.5 grade-point average on the school’s 4.0 scale . . . Academic All-Ohio in football and track . . . born July 22, 1992, in Salem, Ohio . . . full name is Trent Daniel Toothman.

We’ll be digging into this recruiting class in depth now that the hustle and bustle of actual life has calmed down a bit. Look forward to that. No, really, look forward to that like nothing you’ve ever looked forward to in your life.

An Interview with Dakota Anderson

Each year we at OTP attempt to reach out to the incoming Cardinals to try and pull back the curtain a bit on the future of this program. Last season, we were fortunate to touch base with the likes of Connor Ryan, Zane Fakes, Kitt O’Brien, Jason Pinkston, Ethan Buckles, and Eric Williams, and this season, it begins again anew with the current group of recruits chomping at the bit to get into Cardinal and White.

Today’s guest in the OTP interview spotlight is Dakota Anderson, the 6’5″ 245-lb offensive tackle from Xenia, OH. Anderson brings not only size, but athleticism as well, as in high school he also played TE and even QB. This is not your father’s offensive lineman where size and mass trumps speed and athleticism.

A 2-star recruit on both Rivals and Scout, Anderson is largely heralded as a sleeper and hidden gem in this recruiting class, and was receiving interest at one point or another from major college football factories. Anderson continues the building of an offensive line for Jason Eck and Stan Parrish that should be solid for years, protecting the QB and also opening holes for the stable of running backs that BSU seems to be building.

OverThePylon: Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest?
DakotaAnderson: What is there to say! It was a wild interesting ride being recruited by D 1 schools seeing that so many teams wanted you. Coach Jay Hood And Jason Eck were my two main coaches. Schools that showed interest in me were Akron, Air Force, Brown, Princeton, NC State, EMU, Bowling Green, UK, Northwestern. BSU, Air Force, Akron were the frontrunners.

OTP: Everyone knows last season was a challenging one for the Cardinals. How does that motivate you going forward for success on the gridiron?
DA: I still look forward to every moment because that was a young team and you can really only go up from there so you work harder to surpass the past.

OTP: You’re projected to be an impact player on the offensive line, perhaps even at the TE position. But that wasn’t your natural position in high school, having played QB. What are the coaches telling you about your role at BSU?
DA: They are telling me mainly OT. I played some QB but mostly line. Soph and Senior year I was on the O-Line. I see myself successful where they are placing me.

OTP: What was the deciding factor for Ball State to be able to land you?
DA: I went to summer camps all four years at BSU which made me just love the school atmosphere. Also, I liked the coaches more at BSU than other schools and another big impact was talking with Mr. Gary Pavlechko (Director, Teaching Technology).

OTP: What do you feel like is the biggest adjustment you’ll need to make to be successful in the transition from the high school level to the collegiate level?
DA: Strength especially, speed, and talent.

OTP: This incoming class is another in a long line of solid recruiting classes for the Cards. What are your thoughts about class chemistry?
DA: We have great chemistry, I already talk with Cooper and Obringer.

OTP: What things are you considering majoring in at Ball State? Looking forward to the academic side of the house?
DA: Math Education and still hesitant on that. I hope the schooling transitions well with already being academically sound and strong throughout my schooling.

OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
DA: I love racquetball, I played basketball and can dunk a basketball. I grew up playing soccer playing goalie which I feel helped with most of my football abilities such as catching, punting, and place kicking that I did for my high school team. I’m a 4yr varsity letterman.

OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years?
DA: Thanks for all your love and support in the upcoming years. I’m excited for the crowd to go wild. GO CARDS!!!

Big thanks to Dakota for touching base with OTP and giving us a glimpse into the future of the O-line!

Other 2010 Recruit Interviews: QB: Keith Wenning | S: Aaron Morris | TE: David Schneider | OL: Jordan Hansel | LB: Matthew Mosley | CB: J.C. Wade

An Interview with J.C. Wade

Each year we at OTP attempt to reach out to the incoming Cardinals to try and pull back the curtain a bit on the future of this program. Last season, we were fortunate to touch base with the likes of Connor Ryan, Zane Fakes, Kitt O’Brien, Jason Pinkston, Ethan Buckles, and Eric Williams, and this season, it begins again anew with the current group of recruits chomping at the bit to get into Cardinal and White.

Today’s guest in the OTP interview spotlight is J.C. Wade, who comes to the Cardinals from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Madisonville North Hopkins High School. The defensive back certainly brings two valuable commodities in both size and speed, clocking in with a 4.5 40 and 6’1″ and 185 lbs. J.C. uses that speed for track as well, a standout sprinter in his high school, as well as on the Madisonville North Hopkins basketball team.

Scout.com rated Wade as a 2-star prospect and ranked him the #170 corner in this entire class. Rivals also has Wade listed as a 2-star, and he generated interest from multiple MAC programs as well as some BCS automatic qualifying conference members. Wade brings talent, speed, and strength to a defensive backfield that will be one to keep your eyes on over the next several years.

OverThePylon: Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest? What were the schools you considered heading to?
J.C.Wade: The recruiting process for me was very long and stressful yet fun at the same time. Coach Melvin was my top recruiting coach. Some of the schools recruiting me were Ohio University, WKU, Louisville, Austin Peay, and Vanderbilt. I was considering all my choices but Ball State just felt like the best fit for me.

OTP: Everyone knows last season was a challenging one for the Cardinals. How does that motivate you going forward for success on the gridiron?
JCW: It’s a big motivation now that we’re the underdogs we gotta start at the bottom and come all the way back to the top where this program should be. The top of the MAC.

OTP: You were receiving interest from some fairly impressive BCS conference programs. What was the tipping point to make you become a Cardinal?
JCW: When I met the coaching staff and when I was on campus I could just picture myself spending my career here.

OTP: In high school, you were quite the multi-sport talent. A basketball star and impressive sprinter on the track team at Madisonville-North Hopkins. Any interest in becoming a multisport talent at the next level?
JCW: Not really. That seems like a fun thing to do… play a lot of sports but football is the sport I really love and I can see myself focusing on that.

OTP: With the level of experience and depth at the corner and safety roles, what sort of immediate impact are you looking to make for BSU?
JCW: I’m willing to step in and play any role the team needs. If that’s a true freshman that’s great, but if they just need me to play scout team and redshirt a year that’s fine too.

OTP: This incoming class is another in a long line of solid recruiting classes for the Cards. What are your thoughts about class chemistry? Have you been able to connect with many of your fellow future Cardinals?
JCW: I think we’ll all be fine. Most of us have seen each other or know each other from Facebook or from our official visit.

OTP: What things are you considering majoring in at Ball State? Looking forward to the academic side of the house?
JCW: Maybe physical therapy or something in business, I’m not completely sure. But I know Ball State is one of the top in academics and that’s a great thing.

OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
JCW: Not really. I do things most high school kids do. I love music and sports, I read a lot and a lot of different kinds of books.

OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years?
JCW: Just that I look forward to playing in front of them and to watch out for us for the next few years because we’re going for top in the nation not just the MAC.

Big thanks and kudos to J.C. for the interview and good luck as he brings that speed and size to the MAC!

Other 2010 Recruit Interviews: QB: Keith Wenning | S: Aaron Morris | TE: David Schneider | OL: Jordan Hansel | LB: Matthew Mosley

An Interview with Matthew Mosley

Each year we at OTP attempt to reach out to the incoming Cardinals to try and pull back the curtain a bit on the future of this program. Last season, we were fortunate to touch base with the likes of Connor Ryan, Zane Fakes, Kitt O’Brien, Jason Pinkston, Ethan Buckles, and Eric Williams, and this season, it begins again anew with the current group of recruits chomping at the bit to get into Cardinal and White.

Today’s guest in the OTP interview spotlight is Matthew Mosley, who joins the Cardinals from Chicago’s Morgan Park High School. The 6’2″ 231-lb. LB/DE was instrumental in the success of Morgan Park this season, leading the Mustangs to a 9-3 record, a 6-0 conference record, and a city and conference championship. For his efforts, Mosley was also selected to the All Prairie State Conference team and was honorable mention on the All State selections. When it comes to athletics, Mosley is far from limited to football, as he also placed 4th in the state as a junior discus hurler on the track team.

Mosley garnered a two star ranking on Scout.com as well as Rivals.com, and he joins his teammate Brian Jones who also committed to the Cardinals after a successful Morgan Park career.

OverThePylon: Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest? What were the schools you considered heading to?
Matthew Mosley: It was exciting having so many people feel that I can be a part of something that they feel is so great, but tough to make the decision on the school. Ball State, Toledo, Central Michigan, Wyoming, and San Jose State are schools that pushed, and called wanting me up on campus. I’m very happy with my final choice of becoming a Cardinal!!

OTP: Everyone knows last season was a challenging one for the Cardinals. How does that motivate you going forward for success on the gridiron?
MM: Yes, makes me want to work to come in and actually contribute as a freshman. Young teams tend to be the best teams in the future, Ball State will be that team.

OTP: As an athletic defensive end, a position where the Cards lost a ton of talent last season, do you see yourself contributing right away for BSU?
MM: I feel my work ethic can put me on the field early. Just have to come through being hard-nose, explosive and smart while still being a student of the game, and in the class room.

OTP: Your teammate Brian Jones also committed to the Cardinals. Can you talk a little bit about what it will be like having a familiar face around as the rigors of D1 football start?
MM: It won’t be a particular feeling, I met everyone on my official visit, but it’s great to have him on my side in college as well.

OTP: What do you feel like is the biggest adjustment you’ll need to make to be successful in the transition from the high school level to the collegiate level?
MM: Speed, speed, and speed!! And using more technique because on this level I’m not the biggest guy anymore.

OTP: This incoming class is another in a long line of solid recruiting classes for the Cards. What are your thoughts about class chemistry? Have you been able to connect with many of your fellow future Cardinals?
MM: Honestly couldn’t say. We were together on official and everyone gelled great. Doubt if we have any friction. As soon as we get on field those my brothers ride or die as well as off; These my brothers for the next four years, we will need each other more than we know.

OTP: What things are you considering majoring in at Ball State? Looking forward to the academic side of the house?
MM: Sports med is a major that catches my eye, and psychology. I’m really looking forward to academics, and how I handle it.

OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
MM: I just started learning the piano a little bit, and I sing in my school chorus!

OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years?
MM: I won’t let you down I will work hard day in and out to be an impact on this team. And I will give you versatility at both the linebacker and defensive end position. Go Cards!!

A large and in charge football player who plays the piano and sings… could this be LaVar Charleston reincarnated? Time will tell, but kudos and thanks to Matthew for the interview. After watching some film on him, this is one of those players who has landed at Ball State at a great time, where the defensive end position has some shifting, and he possesses a wealth of talent. Keep on eye on him… and to do that, look into the opponent’s backfield.

Other 2010 Recruit Interviews: QB: Keith Wenning | S: Aaron Morris | TE: David Schneider | OL: Jordan Hansel

An Interview with Jordan Hansel

Each year we at OTP attempt to reach out to the incoming Cardinals to try and pull back the curtain a bit on the future of this program. Last season, we were fortunate to touch base with the likes of Connor Ryan, Zane Fakes, Kitt O’Brien, Jason Pinkston, Ethan Buckles, and Eric Williams, and this season, it begins again anew with the current group of recruits chomping at the bit to get into Cardinal and White.

Today’s guest in the OTP interview spotlight is Jordan Hansel. Hansel comes to the Cardinals from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, where as an offensive lineman he guided Simon Kenton High School to the round of 8 in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s 6A state tournament. Dave Berk, Scout.com’s midwest recruiting analyst said of Hansel, “This is a solid pickup for Ball State as Hansel plays hard and with toughness. He does a good job of using his feet and hands and has the ability to reach second tier defenders to help make for bigger plays.”

A two-star Rivals and Scout prospect, the 6’4″ 290-lb. Hansel chose the Cardinals over the likes of Louisville, Cincinnati, and Kentucky, and offers from FCS powers like Appalachian State.

OverThePylon: Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest? What were the schools you considered heading to?
JordanHansel: The recruiting process was crazy. I had schools such as UK, UC, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Murray State, Appalachian State, and a lot more. My only actual offers came from Ball State, Murray State, Louisville, and App. State. I really liked the idea of staying in KY with Louisville, but Ball State just had so much more to offer.
(Ed. Note: This is like manna from anti-Louisville heaven. Yahtzee. Jordan Hansel just became my new favorite BSU footballer.)

OTP: Everyone knows last season was a challenging one for the Cardinals. How does that motivate you going forward for success on the gridiron?
JH: I can not WAIT to be a part of the Cardinals growing process, I think it will be an awesome experience.

OTP: The offensive line is perhaps the most important, yet unappreciated positions on the field. What would you say are your best attributes as an offensive lineman?
JH: I think I have pretty good footwork for a big guy. My specialty last year was pulling. I loved getting to the hole before our running backs (especially on the opposite side of our line) and knockin’ the crap out of someone who was in the way.

OTP: As a Louisville native myself, I can appreciate this more than probably any other… but your high school, Simon Kenton, made quite the run in the Kentucky high school 6A championship. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, they gave eventual state champion St. X their closest game in the playoffs. How does that sort of success and execution at the high school level prepare you for D1?
JH: I think playing with such skilled players as St. X had helps tremendously. They were a great team and I enjoyed the competition, even though we came up just a little short

OTP: Are you looking to stay at the guard role? Potentially any movement to other positions for you?
JH: I actually played left tackle all through my career so far. I am looking forward to the switch to guard.

OTP: This incoming class is another in a long line of solid recruiting classes for the Cards. What are your thoughts about class chemistry? Have you been able to connect with many of your fellow future Cardinals?
JH: I hung out with a few of them on my official visit and they are all great guys. The recruiting staff at Ball State is doing an incredible job and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

OTP: What things are you considering majoring in at Ball State? Looking forward to the academic side of the house?
JH: I am going to major in communications. I believe that I have very good speech and social skills. So I figured if I can speak pretty well, I might as well do it for a living.

OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
JH: Actually I am pretty good at basketball. People get shocked when they see me play. The most common comment I get would probably be “Dang big boy! I didn’t expect you to move like that!!” And if I’m not playing basketball, I love being in the water. Swimming is a big hobby of mine.

OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years?
JH: Just that I hope they will be there supporting us. I know that we will all be working hard for them!!

Kudos and thanks to Jordan for sitting down with the OTP crew. Personally, and I don’t want to speak for everyone here, but when an offensive lineman loves to pull and knock the stuffing out of people, that bodes well. Very well.

Other 2010 Recruit Interviews: QB: Keith Wenning | S: Aaron Morris | TE: David Schneider

An Interview with David Schneider

Each year we at OTP attempt to reach out to the incoming Cardinals to try and pull back the curtain a bit on the future of this program. Last season, we were fortunate to touch base with the likes of Connor Ryan, Zane Fakes, Kitt O’Brien, Jason Pinkston, Ethan Buckles, and Eric Williams, and this season, it begins again anew with the current group of recruits chomping at the bit to get into Cardinal and White.

Today’s guest in the OTP interview spotlight is David Schneider. Schneider makes his way to Muncie from Cincinnati, OH and Moeller High School, where he helped lead the team to a 9-2 senior season record. Most in Ohio, or those that follow Ohio sports will tell you that Moeller is one of the powerhouse programs in the Cincinnati area and David certainly made the most. While there, Schneider has received First Team All Conference, MVP for the Crusaders 2008 football season, Honorable Mention All City, Honorable Mention All Tri-State, and was a co-captain for the 2009 Crusader season. Oh… by the way… the young man carried a 3.7 GPA through all that football success, proving yet again that BSU not only recruits talent, they also don’t ignore the “student” in student-athlete.

Two stars from both Rivals and Scout, Schneider had offers from     . OhioVarsity.com said of Schneider, “Big, physical tight end can be a factor in both the passing and running game” and ranked him the #9 TE prospect in the state. The 6’3″ 230 lb TE chose Ball State over fellow MAC brethren Northern Illinois, Kent, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, and a slew of others.

OverThePylon: Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest? What were the schools you considered heading to?
DavidSchneider: When I first started to get recruited by BSU is was when Coach Deion Melvin came to Moeller and saw me in the weight room. My coach told me he liked what he saw and would be in touch. We talked a little bit here and there but once I got my first offer from Toledo, Ball State offered me within the next week. The recruiting process was a lot of fun and a lot different than what I would have ever expected it to be. I visited a lot of places the biggest ones being Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame. I knew that I had no desire to go to a school where playing time was going to be extremely hard to obtain as an underclassman and I knew that if I played in the MAC I would be setting myself up for success. I looked at most of the schools that ended up offering me and I narrowed it down to really Northern Illinois and Ball State. I visited Northern first and I liked it but I didn’t know if it fit me very much because of its location. But when I went to Ball State, I knew right away that this felt like me. I made a list up before I started this process that consisted of what i would like to get out of a school and BSU had everything and more.

OTP: Everyone knows last season was a challenging one for the Cardinals. How does that motivate you going forward for success on the gridiron?
DS: Last season was hard to watch but when you take a step back and really evaluate the season before it was easy to get past. When you lose that many great seniors it’s hard to win the MAC two years in a row. It really gives me a drive to do as much as I can to help the Ball State program because I saw the year before and what it was all about. I’m extremely motivated to get up there this summer and lift with the team because I can’t wait to be a Cardinal. I hope that having me there will fill a missing piece of the puzzle because I’m coming to play.

OTP: You held offers from several other MAC schools, but clearly made the right choice. What was the tipping point for you that made you become a Cardinal?
DS: The part that really sold me was the coaching staff. They are such a great group of guys that really seemed to care about the kids. I know that whenever my coach called me he had already made a nickname for me and always wanted me to talk about what I’m doing and not just tell me about why I should come there. They were really a trustworthy group and I knew every word that they told me was 100% true. I’m extremely happy with my decision and know it was the right one.

OTP: Can you tell us what you think will be the hardest thing adjusting to playing in the MAC and for BSU?
DS: The hardest thing to adjust to will definitely be the speed of the game. They always say that college is ten times faster than high school and coming up to see some games that fact held true. Another thing that is going to be an eye opener is the new offense that I will have to learn because I’m used to the names we have given different formations and steps and routes and they run a whole new offense I’m not used to. So just studying offenses and learning what I should be doing at what time and where.

OTP: What sort of tight end have you been up to this point? A move behind the line sort of pass catcher? A hand in the dirt blocker? A hybrid of the two? Any word from the coaching staff about what you can expect next fall?
DS: So far in my career I’ve been a hand in the dirt blocker and at times a slot tight end. As a junior I was more of a receiving tight end when I caught 32 balls but as a senior we really stressed running the ball so it would open up the pass but we became so successful running the ball we really got away from passing. This really helped me because I wasn’t a great blocker as a Junior but when we started running the ball and I started getting to be a really physical blocker I really enjoyed it. Coach Parrish and I have talked on 2 occasions about my role as a tight end and he tells me that I will be on the line most likely back side where we run the ball most of the time. We are going to run 2 tight ends and I will run patterns like outs, corners, digs and so on. He is really excited about how big and mature I am right now and says that I will hopefully see time this coming season.

OTP: This incoming class is another in a long line of solid recruiting classes for the Cards. What are your thoughts about class chemistry? Have you been able to connect with many of your fellow future Cardinals?
DS: This recruiting class is really a great one. I have watched numerous highlight tapes and read a lot of stuff up on my fellow teammates. I have them all as friends on Facebook but not much communication between us yet. I have talked to Odis [Prunty] quite a few times since we matched up against his team on the field this year. Hopefully once the spring game comes along the recruits will get together and we can become a closer group because I see the ability of these guys and it’s crazy.

OTP: What things are you considering majoring in at Ball State? Looking forward to the academic side of the house?
DS: I have been looking into business stuff as a major but not sure which category yet. My dad is a successful business man and I’ve just always looked up to him. I have a really outgoing personality so I think the sales world would be a good fit for me.

OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
DS: One of my favorite things to do off the field is to fish. It has always been a hobby of mine and next to football it’s one of my favorite things to do. I always really like to play basketball also. I was never a football player till my freshman year in high school because I traveled so much for basketball but I had to give up playing on the high school team so I could live up my dream of playing a D1 sport.

OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years?
DS: If I could tell the fans one thing it would be to not lose hope on this team because Coach Parrish is a great coach. He told me from day 1 my junior year that last season could be a rough one because the players didn’t have much experience at the college level but he has molded this team all last year and I know from talking to him that this year is going be a huge year for the cardinals. I hope to meet all the great people who support BSU and get to know everybody.

A heartfelt thanks to David for taking time out to sit with OTP and give some phenomenal insight into the recruiting process and the future of this program. As a personal note, and putting on my fan hat, it sort of keeps things in perspective about this coaching staff when I meet people like David or really any of the incoming recruits. Despite the challenge of a less than expected record last season, Coach Parrish is universally lauded by most that meet him. The young men he’s bringing in are talented on the field, and off it, and far from the sort of problems that other programs deal with on a daily basis. Kudos to the staff, and thanks again to David for the great interview.

Other 2010 Recruit Interviews: QB: Keith Wenning | S: Aaron Morris

An Interview with Aaron Morris

Each year we at OTP attempt to reach out to the incoming Cardinals to try and pull back the curtain a bit on the future of this program. Last season, we were fortunate to touch base with the likes of Connor Ryan, Zane Fakes, Kitt O’Brien, Jason Pinkston, Ethan Buckles, and Eric Williams, and this season, it begins again anew with the current group of recruits chomping at the bit to get into Cardinal and White.

Today’s guest in the OTP interview spotlight is Aaron Morris, the latest pipeline recruit from Glenville (OH) High School, and someone many are expecting to come in and contribute right away considering his position of safety, and the lack of experience for the Cards at that spot. Morris at 6’0″ and 190 lbs, not only provides coverage but also the ability to knock the stuffing out of unsuspecting pass catchers… something the Cardinals will need in spades as more and more offenses in the MAC continue to light up scoreboards.

The 2-star prospect on both Rivals and Scout will join fellow Glenville and head coach Ted Ginn Sr. products Torieal Gibson, Travis Freeman, Theon Dixon, Jason Pinkston and Xavier Hines on the BSU roster in the fall.

OverThePylon: Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest? What were the schools you considered heading to?
AaronMorris: Getting recruited to play D1 football was an amazing and crazy ride. It was frustrating at times but I got through it with a lot of help from my family and Coach Ginn. I was recruited by Coach Lynch. He started recruiting me right at the end of my junior year. I was recruited by Syracuse, Maryland, NIU, Toledo, Ohio, and Bowling Green. It came down to NIU and Ball State. And I fell in love with Ball State.

OTP: Everyone knows last season was a challenging one for the Cardinals. How does that motivate you going forward for success on the gridiron?
AM: The challenging season Ball State had last year is very motivating for me because I think I can be a great help to the program. And help lead this team back to the MAC championship. It’s just making me work even harder.

OTP: The safety corps for the Cardinals, short of Sean Baker, is a relatively inexperienced group. Do you plan on coming in and contributing right away?
AM: I do plan on contributing to the secondary right away. But I know it’s not just going to be given to me. I will have to work very hard this summer and show everybody what I can do and that I deserve that spot.

OTP: You’re the most recent addition from Glenville High for the Cardinals. What makes Glenville such a football powerhouse, and more importantly, why does BSU have such success with the talent that comes from there?
AM: Glenville is a special place. Special because it teaches us to be men first then play football. Coach Ginn is a great man who has been through some things so know he puts knowledge into our heads. He is also a great coach. A hard coach. If we didn’t practice hard we would be at practice until the street lights came on. That’s why we are a successful football team.

OTP: Ball State was competing with some very major BCS level programs for your talent and services. What made you choose the Cardinals over the likes of Maryland, Syracuse, or any of the other large programs that wanted you?
AM: I chose BSU over the others because none of the others showed me as much love as BSU did. I love all the coaches and the players. The campus was beautiful. I just felt at home.

OTP: Can you give us a well known defensive back that you would compare yourself to. Additionally, what sort of players do you admire or idolize?
AM: Well I like hard nose players so I would have to say Sean Taylor. He loved to hit people. And that’s what I do best.

OTP: This incoming class is another in a long line of solid recruiting classes for the Cards. What are your thoughts about class chemistry? Have you been able to connect with many of your fellow future Cardinals?
AM: This class is a good class. I met of couple of the guys while I was on my visit. I talk with Odis Prunty a lot. We played against each other a lot so yes, our chemistry should be good as a class.

OTP: What things are you considering majoring in at Ball State? Looking forward to the academic side of the house?
AM: I’m going to major in education. Ball State has a very good education program and they have great teachers that can help me reach that degree.

OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
AM: I have a lot of hobbies, I like to hoop a lot during the off season. I can play Madden all day. Or sometimes I just like to relax and listen to music.

OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years?
AM: To all the cardinal fans out there… Get ready to see some helmets get knocked off…GO CARDINALS!!!

A big thanks to Aaron for touching base with us, and after watching some highlight reels on this young man I truly do not envy the first receiver that reaches high for a ball in his general vicinity. I hope their internal organs were fun while they lasted.

Other 2010 Recruit Interviews: Keith Wenning

An Interview with Keith Wenning

Each year we at OTP attempt to reach out to the incoming Cardinals to try and pull back the curtain a bit on the future of this program. Last season, we were fortunate to touch base with the likes of Connor Ryan, Zane Fakes, Kitt O’Brien, Jason Pinkston, Ethan Buckles, and Eric Williams, and this season, it begins again anew with the current group of recruits chomping at the bit to get into Cardinal and White.

Today’s guest in the OTP interview spotlight is none other than Keith Wenning, the 6’4″ 222 lb. QB from Coldwater (OH) High School, and someone most of Cardinal nation is looking toward as the future (if not the present) next big thing at BSU. Scout.com lists Wenning as a 2-star prospect, Rivals has him as a 3-star and both agree that Wenning is a prospect not to be ignored. Wenning certainly has made the pundits take notice as well, as Dave Berk, Midwest Recruiting Coordinator for Scout.com said of Wenning, “He’s got above average physical skills and may be the biggest sleeper in the Class of 2010 out of Ohio’s deep talent pool.” High praise for the incoming freshman, but after sitting down with Keith, we’re inclined to agree.

OverThePylon: Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest? What were the schools you considered heading to?
Keith Wenning: The recruiting process was fun and interesting talking with all different coaches. Coach Hood was my recruiting coach and was the one I talked to on a regular basis and met with him on some occasions, with coach Parrish and coach Lynch talking to them by phone on different occasions. Some schools that showed major interest were West Virginia, UCONN, Toledo, Cincinnati, and Air Force.

OTP: Everyone knows last season was a challenging one for the Cardinals. How does that motivate you going forward for success on the gridiron?
KW: Last year was a bit of a struggle but every season is a new season. That is great motivation because you want to be the best you can be and do anything to help your team be successful.

OTP: The QB slot for the Cardinals is a deep one, with Aaron Mershman, Kelly Page, and now you. Do you anticipate coming in and putting up a fight for playing time? Is redshirting something that’s being considered?
KW: The QB spot is going to be very competitive which will make it very interesting. I feel I am capable to compete for playing time. I was told redshirting was not going to happen with me.

OTP: Most that follow the Cardinals have labeled you as the potential gem of this class. Those that don’t know point to the smaller division of high school ball you played in as a reason to be pessimistic. How does dealing with folks who assume the worst and try to ding your talent motivate you to succeed?
KW: Well first off if you know anything about Division 5 and the Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) you know it’s arguably the toughest conference in the state. I don’t think any questions about my talent would be asked if you saw me play with the great competition our high school team faces. Not to mention being ALL-STATE ALL-DIVISIONAL QB in Ohio, setting multiple quarterback records for the my high school and state, I don’t think anyone would “ding” my talent if they understood that.

OTP: At 6’4″, 225, you’re definitely the “prototypical” QB. What sort of QBs would you compare your game to? Any particular QB that you idolize or admire?
KW:I would compare my QB throwing to someone like a Peyton Manning. I can throw the ball all over the field with accuracy as well as decision making. My arm strength is something I was blessed with and allows me to thread the needle along with putting finesse on throws when needed. I would compare my QB running to someone like Tim Tebow. I am pretty quick and am capable of running at times and am not easily taken down. With both these players (Peyton and Tim) I’m not saying I’m as good as them by any means, just kind of comparing.

OTP: This incoming class is another in a long line of solid recruiting classes for the Cards. What are your thoughts about class chemistry? Have you been able to connect with many of your fellow future Cardinals?
KW: I think this class will be a very good and athletic class. Some coaches have said this is the best recruiting class they have ever had come in. I have talked to a couple guys by internet and through text such as Jack Tomlinson and Phil Dudley who are also on the offensive side of the ball, along with some current players as well.

OTP: What things are you considering majoring in at Ball State? Looking forward to the academic side of the house?
KW: I’m planning on going in undecided. I’m not sure what I want to do as of right now. I wish I could major in football. But for my first year I’ll be undecided.

OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
KW: I also play baseball and basketball. I am a 4 year all conference player in baseball and a 2 year all conference player in basketball. I like any kind of competition and hanging with my friends. I like music all the time.

OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years?
KW: I am excited to start the next step of football in my career at ball state and ready to get ball state back to the top.

Major league thanks and kudos to Keith for kicking off our OTP Recruit Interview Series for the 2010 season. And seriously, Stan… get President Gora to create a curriculum for a football major. If you want to succeed like the SEC, you have to educate like them as well.

Ball State’s Signing Day Release

Per the Cardinals…

MUNCIE, Ind. — Ball State head football coach Stan Parrish has announced 21 student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to attend the school and compete on the Cardinals’ football team.“We are extremely excited about this year’s recruiting class and the future of Ball State football,” Parrish says. “This is an outstanding group of young men who are excited about playing for the Ball State Cardinals. Our staff did a great job of identifying prospects and then signing those student-athletes who we know will be a good fit for our program and Ball State University. We are looking forward to their arrivals on campus, and looking forward to the 2010 season.”

Ball State will open the 2010 football season Thurs., Sept. 2 vs. Southeast Missouri State at home in Scheumann Stadium.

Dakota Anderson
OL/DL
6-5
250
Xenia, Ohio (Xenia)

Quintin Cooper
DB
5-9
175
Clayton, Ohio (Northmont)

Phil Dudley
RB/WR
5-9
175
Indianapolis, Ind. (Ben Davis)

Jeffery Garrett Jr.
DB
5-9
170
Indianapolis, Ind. (Ben Davis)

Jimmy Graves Jr.
S
6-0
210
Indianapolis, Ind. (North Central)

Jordan Hansel
OL/DL
6-4
300
Covington, Ky. (Simon Kenton)

Brian Jones
DB
5-10
175
Chicago, Ill. (Morgan Park)

Garrett Mack
TE/LS
6-5
215
Greenwood, Ind. (Center Grove)

Aaron Morris
DB
6-0
195
South Euclid, Ohio (Glenville)

Matthew Mosley
OLB/DE
6-2
231
Chicago, Ill. (Morgan Park)

Tyler Obringer
OL
6-3
279
Spencerville, Ohio (Spencerville)

Nathan Ollie
DL
6-1
290
Chicago, Ill. (Mount Carmel)

Derek Orr
TE
6-6
225
Marshallville, Ohio (Smithville)

Odis Prunty
DB
5-10
175
Cleveland, Ohio (St. Edward’s)

Scott Secor
PK
5-9
155
New Lenox, Ill. (Lincolnway Central)

David Schneider
TE
6-3
250
Cincinnati, Ohio (Moeller)

Tory Squires
DE
6-4
240
Chicago, Ill. (Gordon Tech)
Bill Jeske

Anthony Stryffeler
DE
6-4
220
Sagamore Hills, Ohio (Padua Franciscan)

Jack Tomlinson
WR
5-9
160
Westerville, Ohio (South)

J.C. Wade
DB
6-1
180

Keith Wenning
QB
6-4
220
Coldwater, Ohio (Coldwater)

So what does this mean for the Cardinals? 21 athletes heading Muncie’s way, 13 of which are primarily defensive players. That’s good news considering the offense has 11 starters returning, once the MAC gets off its ass and actually announces Quale’s status.

In terms of class rankings, we’ll be delving into that in great detail in the near future, but initially, the class itself isn’t the disaster that some were predicting considering the record that BSU clocked in with last season. So far, the national rankings place BSU 4th in the MAC and 86th overall (Scout.com) or 9th in the MAC and 108th overall (Rivals.com). That’s a huge deviation, but one that can certainly be expected considering the level of attention that these national recruiting services pay to the MAC and BSU. ESPN doesn’t go past the Top 25 classes, and suffice to say, BSU wasn’t in them.

Now that signing day came and went, we’re really in sort of the wasteland between signing day and the spring game. We will hopefully be touching base with each of our new Cardinals and bringing some more coverage to the entire class. Stay tuned to OTP.

An Interview With Kitt O’Brien

OTP is fortunate to continue our interview series with new recruits for the Cardinal and White with today’s guest… Kitt O’Brien. Kitt comes to Muncie after a ridiculously successful career at Lewis-Cass high school in Walton, IN. The 6-6 300lb. guard was totally dominant in his high school career, and for someone his size, is remarkably quick and agile.

As most BSU fans will tell you, the offensive line over the next season or two will be the linchpin for continuing the success of the last several years. A dominant line that replaces the starters lost with players capable of opening holes for MiQuale Lewis and protecting Kelly Page will be almost a necessity for the Cardinals to continue Bowling, and competing for the MAC. Kitt O’Brien certainly plans to figure into that equation…

From OTP…

OverThePylon:Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest? What were the schools you considered heading to?
KittO’Brien: The recruiting process for me was like a roller coaster ride, with the majority of Ball States coaches leaving. as for other schools I was considering Purdue, and Miami(OH). Coach Faulkner was my main recruiting coach and Coach Parrish was the one who actually offered me my scholarship.

OTP: As a former guard, and a massive one at that, do you anticipate moving to any other positions or being able to fill in any other holes in the o line?
KO: Right now I am going to play wherever I can get to the field fastest. At this point that is looking like the right guard position, but in future years I would love to move out to tackle.

OTP: The offseason has been a transitional period for BSU, with a coaching change, a ton of talent leaving, etc. How did that sit with you as a future Cardinal? Any worries or thoughts about not coming?
KO: There was a point after Coach Hoke Left when I got worried, but the only time I had a second thought about coming was when Coach Funk left. He was a big reason for my scholarship offer and when he left I had some second thoughts, but I was confident Coach Parrish would make a good hire to fill the position.

OTP: This incoming recruiting class has been widely heralded as the best class in years at BSU. Have you had any contact with other incoming recruits? Is the class going to gel?
KO: I moved into a house at Ball State the day after I graduated and I have gotten to know everybody really well. All of us freshman are figuring out exactly what is expected of us and we are all working really hard.

OTP: The offensive line positions are some of the most important in football. What are your favorite things about playing such a vital role?
KO: Just the fact that the offense runs through me. If one of us messes up it can cause the whole offense to fail. Having that much pressure on you to succeed makes me love my position that much more.

OTP: What things are you considering majoring in at Ball State? Looking forward to the academic side of the house?
KO: I’m keeping my options open, but I am really considering Business or Natural Resource Management.

OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
KO: I used to raise sheep and show them at the county fair. Most people are shocked to hear that when I tell them. I also was a Basketball player in high school.

From our readers…

Readers: What does he anticipate his biggest challenge will be stepping up to D1 from a smaller school? Speed? Level of talent?
KO: In high school my team would throw the ball about 14 times a game. So learning the pass blocking technique isn’t going to be the biggest challenge but it will be the most important thing for me to learn. And of course the speed is going to take some getting used to.

Readers: What sort of weight has the coaching staff asked you to gain? How do you plan on doing that?
KO: I weigh 312 right now and that is where the coaching staff is wanting me to stay. I plan on maintaining my weight through our training program.

Readers: Are you training on campus right now? If not, when will you be training?
KO: Yes. I have been training here since June 1st.

Finally, one last one from OTP…

OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years, Kitt?
KO: I plan on living up to high expectations, and hopefully starting all four years.

Big thanks to Kitt for taking the time out of his schedule, training, and field work to answer some questions from us and the readership. Like those that came before him, and hopefully those that come after, Kitt is further proving that regardless of on-field results, this program is stocked full of high character young men that we, as fans, should all be proud of. Good luck, big fella!