The SVSU football and men’s soccer teams recently had their signing days as they finalized their recruiting process for class of 2017 recruits.
The football team brought in nearly 30 players as part of their recruiting class. The coaching staff expanded its reach outside of Michigan, pulling players from Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“The many hours of evaluation and time spent building relationships with these student-athletes and their family members is what outstanding recruiting is all about,” head football coach Jim Collins said.
At quarterback, SVSU is bringing in two signal callers. Bruce Mann is a graduate of H.H. Dow High School in Midland, and is the first early enrollee in SVSU athletics history, taking several courses this semester. Mann was a two-time All-State recipient and led Dow High to two outstanding seasons. Brett Droski, the other quarterback signee, is coming in from football powerhouse Macomb Dakota High School.
At running back SVSU is bringing in Nate Hankerson from Novi High School, Nate McCrary from Reeths Puffer High School, Nolan Genilla from South Park High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Jack Morris is coming in from football power Detroit Catholic Central and Alex Whittaker from Medina, Ohio.
Collins stressed that him and his coaching staff focused on going beyond highlight tapes this year, and focused more on overall game film.
“Our goals with this recruiting class were the same as any other year,” Collins said. “We look for outstanding student-athletes of character, who have the talent and work ethic to compete at a high level in the classroom and on the football field, and are passionate about our university and the football program.”
At offensive line, the Cardinals added Jack Doyle from Homewood, Illinois, Daijon Parker from Westland John Glenn High School and Ean Purcell from Trenton High School. Collins said it was a key to bring in a center, guard and tackle in this year’s class.
SVSU also brought in three receivers will a lot of speed and big play capabilities. Walker Christofferson comes in from MHSAA Division 8 power Muskegon Catholic Central, while Mike Hill will graduate from Livonia Churchill High School. Also, Casey Williams will join the program out of Michigan Lutheran Seminary High School .
With the Cardinals graduating a four-year long snapper, the team brought in Tanner Curry to fill the void. Curry comes from Martin High School, and may have a chance to play right away.
The defensive line features Torey Barclay from Southfield A&T High School, Christian Mallinger from Hazel Crest, Illinois, Dillon Webb from Grosse Pointe North High School and Elijah Davis from Portage Central High School.
At linebacker, Ryan Cornejo, out of Alma High School, will be joining the program along with Trevor Nowaske from Salem High School and Duke Angers from Glen Lake High School.
Rounding out the class are the defensive backs. Ryan Flaherty comes in from Birmingham Grove High School, Simeon Kemp spent time at the Milford Academy before deciding to continue his playing days at SVSU, Austin McKinney comes in from Battle Creek Central High school and Jalen Perkins joins the program from Simeon High School. Rounding out the class are defensive backs Raine Potts and Andrew Smith from Portage Central and Romeo high schools respectively.
Overall, Collins is pleased with the class and looks forward to these players developing along with a program looking to build off a much improved 2016 season.
“We are excited to report that these young men are true student athletes and leaders with approximately one-third of the class being eligible for SVSU academic scholarships and over two-thirds having high school playoff experience under their belts. As a staff, we look forward to working with all of them.”
From a soccer perspective, head coach Andy Wagstaff and his staff brought in several new players who will join the team in 2017. Jake Rosen, a right back and center-mid player from Schoolcraft College will be making his way to University Center along with Alex Gloshen, an attacking midfielder from Traverse City West High School.
“We’re extremely excited with the incoming class for fall 2017,” Wagstaff said. “We have searched all over the United States and throughout the world of soccer to find key pieces we needed to complete our jigsaw puzzle for this fall.”
Wagstaff also noted that last year’s GLIAC Championship team was very young, starting as many as six freshman at times throughout the season. SVSU will return all six of those players as it looks to repeat, and to win the GLIAC tournament championship.
Next, Bradley Debien, a powerful right back player from Spring Lake High School will join the program. Andrew Person, a center-back out of East Lansing High school joins the team with Alberto Teatin, a dynamic midfielder from Italy.
Rounding out the recruiting class is Josh Logan, a center-back from Manchester, England who is joining SVSU from Ancila College, where he was an All-American at the junior college level.
“What we have added with this incoming class is experience, leadership, character guys and talented soccer players,” Wagstaff said. “Needless to say we as a staff are very excited for the fall season.”