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2017 Signing Day Recap: Eastern Michigan Eagles

Eastern adds a talented group of players in the 2017 class.

Eastern Michigan v LSU Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Eastern Michigan Eagles had 26 players in this 2017 recruiting class. There are quite a few junior college recruits who will look to make an impact early.

Meet The Class

Tyler LaBarbera (two star DT 6’2” 310 lbs, College of DuPage (IL))

Samuel Dervil (two star OT 6’5” 295 lbs, Coffeyville CC (KS))

Jairus Grissom (three star QB 6’2” 204 lbs, River Rouge HS (MI))

Shaquille Jones (three star CB 6’2 175 lbs, Iowa Western CC (IA))

CJ Hunt (two star DT 6’2” 270 lbs, Avon HS (IN))

Preston Hutchinson (two star QB 6’2” 195 lbs, William Mason HS (OH))

Desean Boyd (two star OLB 6’1” 214 lbs, Cass Tech HS (MI))

Gregory Jean (two star WR 5’11” 164 lbs, Boyd Anderson HS (FL))

Karmi Mackey (two star RB 6’1” 210 lbs, Seffner Christian Academy (FL))

Blake Bogan (two star WR 6’2” 190 lbs, Grand Blanc Community (MI))

Bobby Brown III (DB 6’1” 175 lbs, East Bay HS (FL))

Carthell Flowers (DB 6’2” 195 lbs, Nottingham HS (NY))

Jeff Hubbard (DB 5’11” 185 lbs, Woodward Academy (GA))

Desmond Kelly (DL 6’1” 295 lbs, Overlea HS (MD))

Jesse Kelly (K 6’0” 195 lbs, St. Bonaventure (CA))

Terry Myrick (LB 6’0” 210 lbs, Woodward Academy (GA))

Johnnie Niupalau (WR 6’0” 228 lbs, San Mateo HS (CA))

Karmi Mackey (RB 6’1” 210 lbs, Seffner Christian Academy (FL))

Gunnar Oakes (TE 6’5” 210 lbs, Swanton HS (OH))

Antoine Porter (WR 5’8” 185 lbs, Mission HS (CA))

Dan Samuelson (OL 6’5” 297 lbs, Plymouth HS (IN))

Sidy Sow (OL 6’5” 315 lbs, J-H Leclerc-Champlain Lennoxville (Quebec))

Russ Vaden (DB 6’3” 195 lbs, Moore HS (KY))

Ville Valasti (DL 6’5” 260 lbs, Itakeskuksen Iukio (Finland))

Sal Velasquez (LB 6’1” 225 lbs, Bishop Amat (CA))

Quian Williams (WR, 5’11” 171 lbs, Southmoore HS (OK))


It is worth noting the following blurb from EMU’s official press release:

“The class of 2017 includes five players that were previously enrolled in the fall of 2016. Those student-athletes include: Jesse Kelly (Ventura, Calif.-St. Bonaventure-Oregon-Ventura College), Johnnie Niupalau (San Mateo, Calif.-San Mateo-College of San Mateo), Antoine Porter (San Francisco, Calif.-Mission City-College of San Francisco),Dan Samuelson (Plymouth, Ind.-Plymouth-Univ. of Michigan), and Sal Velasquez (La Puente, Calif.-Bishop Amat-Citrus College).”

Offense Breakdown

The Eagles bolstered many different positions on the offensive recruiting trail. They upgraded up front and also upgraded at the quarterback, running back and wide receiver. Two names to look out for are two WR’s Gregory Jean and Blake Bogan. Jean is the smaller of the two but they both seem like they could breakout, and both have great hands. Eastern also added two QB’s in the class, Jairus Grissom and Preston Hutchinson. They have two different styles, Grissom is a dual-threat QB as Hutchinson is a pro-style. Grissom is extremely athletic and will be able to extend the play in most instances. Meanwhile, Hutchinson is a pocket passer who possesses a relatively strong and accurate arm, and is a surprisingly good scrambler when he needs to be.

The Eagles also have added a Michigan transfer in OL Dan Samuelson. Despite not playing in a game at Michigan is three years, Samuelson comes to Ypsilanti excited for a fresh start and an opportunity to see the field for his final collegiate season.

Defense Breakdown

The Defense upgraded all around from the line to the secondary. Two names to look out for here are DT CJ Hunt who Eastern Michigan flipped from Bowling Green. Also DB Bobby Brown III. Hunt will bring size and should be ready to play right away and Brown III brings that ballhawk mentality.

Overall Breakdown

Overall this class is at the bottom of the MAC, but Eastern seemed to find the right guys for the system, and players that should surprise a lot of people in the MAC. As mentioned earlier EMU flipped CJ Hunt from BG. “The coaching staff still went after me when I was committed to Bowling Green that stood out. Also the experience the coaching staff has sticks out, and I know this is the place for me.” Hunt on why he flipped.

Commit Reactions

When asked about why they picked Eastern Michigan, the commits had a lot of good to say. They mentioned the coaching experience, the family like experience, and being able to compete early and helping the team win.