Picking up exactly where they left off the last two recruiting cycles, P.J. Fleck, and the Western Michigan coaching staff have once again added an elite group of prospects to the Broncos roster. Signing their national letters of intent on Wednesday, 25 heavily recruited high school standouts rowed the boat, and put ink to paper, closing the door on their recruiting process.
Meet The Class
|Tristian Pipp||Greendale,WI (Greendale)||LB||6'1/210||***||Yes|
|Kailen Guillory||Indianapolis, IN (Ben Davis)||DE||6'4/240||***||Yes|
|Matt Little||Evanston,IL (Evanston Township)||QB||6'4/225||***||Yes|
|Matt Falcon||Southfield,MI (Southfield)||RB||6'1/215||***||Yes|
|Stefan Claiborne||Clinton Township,MI (Chippewa Valley)||DB||6'1/170||***||Yes|
|Dontre Boyd||Detroit,MI (Martin Luther King)||DB||5'10/160||***||Yes|
|Eric Rogers||Warren,MI (De La Salle)||LB||6'1/225||***||Yes|
|Spencer Kanz||Luxemburg,WI (Luxemburg-Casco)||OL||6'6/275||***||Yes|
|Kalebb Perry||Mt. Pleasant,MI (Mt. Pleasant Senior)||WR||6'2/180||***||Yes|
|Emanuel Jackson||Novi,MI (Novi)||RB||6'0/175||***||Yes|
|Ron George||Pittsburgh,PA (Central Catholic)||LB||6'2/200||***||Yes|
|D'Wayne Eskridge||Bluffton,IN (Bluffton)||RB||5'10/190||***||Yes|
|Brett Borske||Naperville,IL (Neuqua Valley)||TE||6'6/230||***||Yes|
|Hunter Broersma||Muskegon,MI (Mona Shores)||WR||6'1/190||***||Yes|
|Darece Roberson||Muskegon,MI (Mona Shores)||WR||5'9/160||**||Yes|
|Brad Tanner||Romeo,MI (Romeo)||WR||6'2/185||**||Yes|
|Mitchell Heimbuch||Romeo,MI (Romeo)||ATH||6'3/220||**||Yes|
|Jaylon Moore||Detroit,MI (Voyageur Consortium)||OL||6'5/260||**||Yes|
|Butch Hampton||Piedmont,OK (Piedmont)||K||6'1/170||**||Yes|
|Jared Culp||New Carlisle,IN (New Prairie)||LB||6'3/205||**||Yes|
|Rodney Graves||Detroit,MI (Cody)||WR||6'2/185||**||Yes|
|Mike Caliendo||Brookfield,WI (Brookfield)||OL||6'4/275||**||Yes|
|Jaylen Brown||Houston,TX (Mayde Creek)||DB||6'2/205||**||Yes|
|Mark Brooks||Portland,MI (Portland)||OL||6'7/260||**||Yes|
|Jordan Asbury||Warren,MI (De La Salle)||OL||6'4/280||**||Yes|
|Ken Aguirre||Joliet,IL (Joliet Catholic)||DT||6'2/290||**||Yes|
Early enrollees: Butch Hampton, Matt Little, Tristian Pipp
Note: Darece Roberson is still a verbal commit to WMU. He has not officially signed, still plans to attend WMU and join the team as a walk-on.
Arguably the strongest class in the Mid-American Conference, there are numerous Western Michigan signees who might become household names on the defensive side of the ball during their time in Kalamazoo. Wanting to add depth at quite a few different positions on the field, Fleck, and crew locked up a solid group of defenders, including a few power five conference targets.
Led by early enrollee Tristian Pipp, a linebacker from Greendale, Wisconsin, and three-star defensive backs Dontre Boyd of Detroit Martin Luther King, and Chippiwas Valley's Stefan Claiborne, WMU showed that even though they might not receive the attention like many other schools, that they can still recruit with the big boys of college football.
Battling Big Ten programs such as Iowa, and Wisconsin for the aforementioned prospects, the chance of seeing early game action, family like setting, and playing for one of the hottest up-and-coming programs in the country was just to much to pass up even with offers on the table from much larger schools across the Midwest.
Three-star running back Matt Falcon, a former Michigan commit, who had had his athletic scholarship revoked by the Wolverines, stole the recruiting headlines last November when he announced he would look to prove his doubters wrong and suit up for Western Michigan. Missing most of his last two seasons with knee injuries, Falcon might not have seen the field much as of late, but is a special talent that could help the Broncos in a matter of different ways once his knee is healthy.
Like linebacker Tristen Pipp, early enrollee Matt Little, a three-star rated, dual-threat quarterback, is already on campus, taking classes and will have the opportunity to participate with the Broncos during spring drills in the coming months. With Zach Terrell, and others returning, Little might have to wait for his moment to shine, but with hard work could have every chance to be in the mix to replace Terrell once he graduates.
Even with decommitments throughout the process, the WMU staff bounced back, and ended its 2016 class off strong. While It's hard to tell how many of the new Broncos might have a first year impact, Western Michigan did a great job securing roster depth on both sides of the ball, especially along the offensive line, and defensive unit.
Coming off an 8-5 season, and a bowl bid, All eyes are on Western Michigan next season. Building the program one year at a time, if the Broncos continue their recent success on not just the field, but the recruiting trail, look for them to be towards the top of the Mid-American Conference for years to come.