On National Signing Day, the President’s Box of Wheeler Pavilion may not have been full, but it was certainly upbeat.
Head Football Coach Tony Annese announced the signing of 32 prep players and two junior college transfers.
While most division one schools hold a big press conference for signing day, Ferris State decided they would be competitive with many of the division one schools by not only holding their own press conference, but raking in one of the best recruiting classes in Michigan.
“We try to compete with the division one schools for recruits,” Annese said, “we think that we have to bring in division one players to improve this team.”
Among the recruits were junior college linebackers Terrell Porter and JP Grako. Porter won the junior college national title at Iowa Western last season, and played under Annese at Grand Rapids Community College two years ago. Grako, originally a Harvard commit, played last season at Scottsdale Community College.
The two will be immediate defensive impact players, as they will fill in for graduated All-American Linebacker Tayo Moss.
“Porter is a JUCO All-American, I think he’ll fit in fine,” Annese said, “Its fun to have guys around that you coached in the past.”
Defensive back Ryheem Stokes was the Western Michigan player of the year in 2012, was on the cover of the Grand Rapids Press, and featured by MLive.com. The Grand Rapids Catholic Central signee’s prep career included a four-touchdown performance against Holland Christian.
Though Annese’s class included size and speed, evidenced by the 6’7” Tight End out of Greenville, Greg Krusniak, Annese made it clear that size was not his number one aspect.
Manatee High School (FL) defensive linemen Marquis Dawsey is undersized for an NCAA lineman on either side of the ball. Dawsey stands 5’11” and is listed at 230 pounds. Despite his size, he lead one of the best prep defensive lines in the country, with 14.5 sacks in 2012, on the nation’s number one prep team for most of the season.
“Dawsey is an incredible athlete,” Annese said, “many of his teammates are going D1, but he stole the headlines in his town when he committed to Ferris State.”
Finally, quarterback Jason Vander Laan will get some extra weapons on the offensive side of the ball.
“I was talking to someone recently who told me I got the three best offensive backs in Detroit,” Annese said.
Malik Washington, Deshun Brown, and Demetrius Stinson are those backs, who will help solidify the offensive backfield that is losing Skyler Stoker to graduation.
Three-star signee Brandon Moore doesn’t just bring athleticism to the table, but size. At 6’3” and 200 pounds, Moore will add size outside the numbers, another offensive weapon, to add to Vander Laan’s favorite target of 2012, Jake Lampman.
“We don’t have time to redshirt good players,” Annese said, “I tell the guys, we’re recruiting to replace you. And I tell the recruits, if you work hard and are the better player, you’ll play.”
For the complete list of signees, follow the link below.