When Chris Creighton was first hired in as Eastern Michigan's new head football coach, one question that reporters repeatedly asked him was, "how are you going to recruit players?" Taking his current team and visiting recruits to play paintball, broom ball, bowling and have a tug-of-war match during an EMU basketball game, Creighton has shown that he has a real niche for bringing in promising recruits.
Here's a look at the incoming class of 2014:
|EMU C/O 2014|
|Ka'John Armstrong||OT||6'4"||270||Detroit, MI|
|Jason Beck||CB||6'1"||195||Indianapolis, IN|
|Cameron Bouldin||DB||6'3"||170||Cincinnati, OH|
|Chris Bukoski||OL||6'5"||265||Dewitt, MI|
|Ian Eriksen||RB||5'10"||190||Clarkston, MI|
|David Francis||LB||6'3"||190||Opa Locka, FL|
|Tim Gordon||DB||5'11"||175||St. Paul, MN|
|Jeremiah Harris||DL||6'5"||235||Lambertville, MI|
|Chris Hendericks||OL||6'5"||270||Fruitport, MI|
|Jeremy Hickey||OL||6'4"||290||Troy, MI|
|Kenny Jones||WR||6'2"||190||Indianapolis, IN|
|Lion King||DL||6'4"||205||Southfield, MI|
|D'Marcus Moon||LB||6'1"||225||Fort Wayne, IN|
|Kyle Rachwal||LB||6'3"||215||Warren, MI|
|Dakota Tallman||OL||6'5"||300||LaGrange, OH|
|Shaq Vann||RB||5'10||195||South Bend, IN|
|Ross Williams||CB||5'11"||160||Birmingham, MI|
Probably the best player in this recruiting class is Kenny Jones. The 3-star recruit from Indianapolis had offers to play at Louisville, Iowa State, Indiana and Illinois. 247sports.com had Jones as the 11th-best player from Indiana, after having 25 catches for 400 yards and five touchdowns his senior year. At 6'2", he has good size with a good frame with plenty of room to bulk up.
Originally committed to Central Michigan, Jeremiah Harris ended up changing his commitment and signed with EMU instead. The Detroit Free Press has Harris as the 11th-best prospect in Michigan as a 6'5" 235 lb. defensive end, and highly recognized by the Associated Press and Toledo Blade. Only receiving two stars, but his highlight tape is pretty impressive. Some initial explosiveness off the line and is impressive when he has to change directions.
One guy that the coaches love is running back Ian Eriksen. MaxPreps has the two-star ranked as the third-best player from Michigan while the Detroit Free Press has him as the 14th-best and the Detroit News having him as the top running back in the state. While there's no real consensus as to how Eriksen ranks in Michigan, he's still very fun to watch. A one-cut back with a downhill style of running, He ran for 1,695 yards off of 232 carries (7.3 yards per carry) with 26 touchdowns as a senior, and helped his team win the MHSAA Division 1 State Championship game.
It's still amazing how Creighton pulled a class like this together. A lot of chatter was going on, expecting EMU to have a small class of around 10 or 11 players, but he sure did raise some eyebrows with a class of 17 players. He didn't just go out and find 17 random players to come play division 1 football, either. These players have good skill sets with a lot of potential. It wouldn't be surprising to see a number of these guys like Tim Gordon, Chris Hendricks, Ross Williams and Lion King be red-shirted their first year on campus. It also wouldn't be much of a surprise to see Jason Beck or Kyle Rachwal compete with the upper-classmen, either.
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