The re-up

Ferris football adds 29 new players on National Signing Day

The Bulldogs signed 29 new players in the 2017 class, with 25 of the athletes coming from Michigan. Torch File Photo

Ferris football Head Coach Tony Annese unveiled the 2017 recruiting class dominated by homegrown Michigan talent.

The Bulldogs stayed close to home with this year’s recruiting class with 25 of the 29 players hailing from the Great Lake State.

“We always make Michigan a top priority,” Annese said. 

Besides state ties, some incoming freshmen have blood ties in the Bulldog family. Incoming offensive lineman Adam Sieler is brother to All-American defensive end Zach Sieler. Adam Sieler was a Detroit Free Press All-State selection with the size of his brother at 6’5 335 pounds.

Incoming freshman Nic Huntey played quarterback and linebacker at Morley-Standwood High School earning All-Area at both positions. He is the brother of former Ferris volleyball and women’s basketball standout Alexis Huntey. Nic Huntey was a force in high school baseball and basketball as well earning All-State in the latter.

Sixteen players were added to the defense and 13 to the offense. On the defense, the recruiting class included six linemen, six defensive backs and three linebackers. Incoming linebacker Issa Kahlil was a player Annese emphasized.

Annese said, “Write his name down. Issa Kahlil. Look him up; put on his tape and you’ll go, ‘Wow!’”

Kahlil led his team in interceptions and tackles his senior year earning Detroit News All-Metro West on his way to earning a top-20 ranking on Max Preps. Fast and instinctive, this Dearborn product will add to an already formidable defensive front seven that led the GLIAC in stopping the run.

Ferris added four quarterbacks, receivers and linemen while adding one running back to the offense. The lone back is Jeremy Burrell from Benton Harbor, Michigan, who helped revive a starving southwest Michigan program from a decades long playoff drought. He helped them earn back-to-back playoff appearances while garnering 2,260 yards rushing in 2016.

The Bulldogs reached the NCAA Div. 2 National Semifinals in 2016 and are looking to go even further as they retain many key players. All-Americans Sieler and junior defensive back Tavierre Thomas return for the defense while quarterback Reggie Bell, running back Jahaan Brown and several receivers return for the offense.

Annese said that all of these players coming in will have a chance to compete with the starters of last year as well as the vacancies created by graduation. He hinted that the quarterback battle could involve three or four players in the spring.

The first time to catch next year’s edition of the Bulldogs in action will be the annual Crimson and Gold spring game to be held in April.

Check out the full 2017 class below!


Collin Alvesteffer

Cedar Springs – DB   

5’11, 200 pounds


Mohamad Amen

Dearborn Fordson – DL       

6’4, 235 pounds


Sy Barnett

Williamston – WR     

6’1, 195 pounds


Jovan Bayless

Mater Dei (Calif.ornia) – DB

6’0, 190 pounds


Amere Blake

Flint Hamady – DB    

6’0, 175 pounds


Amarr Blake

Flint Hamady – DB

6’0, 176 pounds


Jeremy Burrell

Benton Harbor – RB

5’10, 185 pounds


Cooper Clapp

Corunna – OL

6’2, 275 pounds


Evan Cummins

Livonia Churchill – QB          

6’3, 210 pounds


Ja’Len Edwards

Pima CC/Avon – WR

5’10, 183 pounds


Travis Frazier

Chelsea – DL  

6’6, 260 pounds


Luke Gorniak

Sterling Heights Stevenson – DL     

6’3, 265 pounds


Ian Hall

Grandville – DL

6’1, 240 pounds


Nic Huntey

Morley Stanwood – LB

6’2, 190 pounds


Jordan Jones

Dearborn Divine Child – DL

6’1, 270 pounds


Issa Kahlil

Dearborn – LB           

6’1, 200 pounds


Corey King

Plant City, Florida – QB        

6’2, 190 pounds


Marcus Matiere-Bey

Flint Southwestern – LB       

5’11, 225 pounds


Sam Neville

West Catholic – WR  

6’3, 201 pounds


Zein Obeid

Dearborn Fordson – OL       

6’6, 300 pounds


Mikey Phillips

Dearborn – QB          

6’0, 195 pounds


Carson Rosa

Traverse City West – QB

6’5, 235 pounds


JD Ross

DeWitt – DB   

6’0, 180 pounds


Ben Sherwin

Traverse City Central – OL

6’5, 260 pounds


Adam Sieler

Pinckney – OL

6’5, 335 pounds


Wes Smith

Pinckney – DL

6’3, 220 pounds


Jamil Thomas

Tampa Plant – DB

5’9, 166 pounds


Kelvyn Valdez

Godwin Heights – WR

6’3, 185 pounds


Price Watkins

Loyola – DB

5’10, 175 pounds