The SVSU football team announced its recruiting class Wednesday, Feb. 7.
The 32-member class features 19 student-athletes from Michigan, eight from Ohio, three from Indiana and one from both Illinois and North Carolina.
“The recruiting focus this year started with the continued emphasis on building our team up front with linemen on both sides of the ball who have size, power, toughness and quickness,” head football coach Jim Collins said. “We also targeted speed and playmaking ability at the skill and big skill positions. Finally, it was critical that we bring in a versatile and proven kicking specialist.”
The lone quarterback in the class is Bowling Green State University transfer Elijah Cunningham, who is already taking classes at SVSU. The Cardinals also added running back Moise Guerrier, previously of H.H. Dow High School in Midland, who will graduate from Forest Hills Central High School in Grand Rapids.
“There are no words that could describe how excited and happy I am to have the opportunity of a lifetime to play football at my dream school,” Guerrier said.
The class featured five receivers. Jalen Thomas from Henry Ford High School, Nick Whiteside from Avondale High School, James Schelke from Harbor Beach High School and Patrick Tesho of Royal Oak High School will all be joining the Cardinal program next fall. Rounding out the receiver class is Jaylen Riley of Zebulon B. Vance HS, located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“To get someone from the state of North Carolina to come this far says a lot about what we have to offer here at Saginaw Valley,” Collins said.
Kicker Connor Luksic from Springboro, Ohio, was an especially attractive recruit due to his ability to handle kickoffs, punts and field goals.
“We’re excited about Connor,” Collins said. “He had a string of 12 made field goals in a row for Springboro (High School) this past year.”
Six offensive lineman will be joining next year’s team, including three from outside of Michigan. Marcellus Anderson (Culver, Indiana), Steven Worlds (Goshen, Indiana) and D.J. Summerville (Gainesville, Virginia) will all be moving north and working with new offensive line coach Drew Burton, who was hired this offseason.
SVSU also added Jalen Howard from Thurston High School in Redford, Daniel Shaheen from Flushing High School and Ben Spiker from Clarkston, who spent last year enrolled at Bridgton Academy in Maine.
“Our offensive line recruiting was really on delay for a while,” Collins said. “We wanted to wait to hire Coach Burton and have him get an opportunity to evaluate guys, and we really think we did a great job in the offensive line area.”
SVSU added three tight ends in this year’s recruiting class, all from in-state. James Faulkner from West Bloomfield High School, Jacob Dorn from St. Johns High School and Zach Jacobs from Frankenmuth High School will all compete for reps at a position very important to the SVSU spread offense attack.
After graduating one of the most decorated linebackers in program history in Bryan Jones, the Cardinals added four linebackers in their 2018 class. Chris Galloway from Yorkville, Illinois, Joe Poelking from Springboro, Ohio, who turned down multiple Division 1AA FCS offers to come to SVSU, Quincy Dawson from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Joseph Wharton from Hammond, Indiana, round out the linebackers joining the program.
“All four of those guys we’re excited about,” Collins said. “They’re all great leaders and were all great students in high school.”
Defensive backs Ben Reilly (Walled Lake Western High School), Donovan Williams (Cass Tech High School), Ross Garrett (Centerville High School in Ohio), Chase Swoope (West Bloomfield High School) and Keion Harris (Livonia Franklin High School) will join the Cardinal secondary in 2018.
Finally, the program added six defensive linemen. Macolm Boyd from Barberton, Ohio, Hayden Makad from Painesville, Ohio, and Cameron Piper from Springboro, Ohio, will head north for their college football careers. Michigan natives Hunter Sauve from Wyandotte-Roosevelt High School, Kyle Dotson from Portage Central High School and Antonio Simley from Michigan Collegiate High School join them.
“We feel very strongly that we have met our needs in every area and are enthusiastically awaiting the day these young men report for their first practice in August,” Collins said.