From CMU Athletic Communications
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Central Michigan announced the addition of 18 student-athletes to the Chippewas' football program on Wednesday, in what NBC Sports has called “a small slice of amazing.”
“This is an excellent group of high-character student-athletes,” said interim head coach Kyle Nystrom. “The fact that they remained committed to CMU shows how much respect they have for Central Michigan and this football program. I am also very proud of the work our staff did over the past few weeks to sign this group.
“This class again shows our commitment to the state with 16 of our 18 signees from Michigan. Overall, we definitely filled some areas of need, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. We were also able to bring in some outstanding offensive skills players that will continue to bolster those areas.
“This program has been built on recruiting outstanding student-athletes who work hard and believe in doing things the right way, and this class continues that philosophy.”
Three different states are represented in the recruiting class, with 16 recruits hailing from Michigan and one each from Illinois and Georgia. Twelve of the newcomers are projected to play offense, 5 are on defense and one could play offense or defense.
One member of the class, Da'Quaun Jamison, is already enrolled at CMU for the Spring 2015 semester.
“I want to thank our entire football staff for the hard work and commitment they have shown during the entire recruiting process,” Director of Athletics Dave Heeke said. “The fact that our signees remained with us through this challenging situation shows how strong the foundation of our program is. I also want to thank our new signees for the trust and commitment they have had in us throughout the process. Today clearly illustrates the strength of our football program and the high-caliber student-athletes we have in it.“
Deshawn Baker-Williams • Offensive Line • 6-4 • 291 • Westland, Mich. • Westland John Glenn HS
Ranked No. 20 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50 and No. 26 on the Detroit News Blue Chip list … named to the 2014 Detroit Free Press Dream Team … named to the Division 1 All-State first team by the Detroit News … named to the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News All-West teams in 2013 and 2014 … earned all-conference honors as a junior and senior … led his squad to a pair of playoff appearances … helped John Glenn rush for over 3,000 yards his senior season … also tallied 35 tackles in 2014 … earned three varsity letters in football and one in track & field … high school teammate was current CMU running back Devon Spalding … currently has a 3.0 grade-point average … mother is Jennifer Baker … high school coach is Tim Hardin.
Coach Butch Barry says:
“Deshawn has got great power. He’s going to be a good left guard or right guard for us. Does a good job with his hands and a good job with drive blocks.”
Bobby Banks • Athlete • 5-11 • 186 • Detroit, Mich. • Southfield Christian HS
Earned All-Michigan Independent Athletic Conference honors three times (2012, 2013 and 2014) … named to the C&G News All-North first team in 2013 … led Southfield Christian to the MIAC championship in 2013 along with a district title en route to a 10-2 record … finished 2014 season with 65 tackles, three sacks and three forced fumbles … had over 1,000 yards rushing in 2013 (1,156) and 2014 (1,052) … tallied 11 total touchdowns in 2013 (10 rushing, 1 receiving) and six rushing TDs in 2014 … had 14 receptions for 348 yards in 2013 … team captain in 2014 … earned four varsity letters in football, three in track & field, and one in basketball … earned all-state honors in track & field in 2013 and all-conference honors in 2012 and 2013 … currently carries a 3.1 grade-point average … parents Robert Banks Sr. and Letitia Banks … high school coach is Larry Weiss.
Coach Joe Tumpkin says:
“Bobby’s a great football player. You watch him; he’s versatile on both sides of the ball. He’s played some running back, receiver and defensive back. He’s a tremendous athlete who will upgrade out program.”
Shahid Bellamy • Defensive Line • 6-1 • 289 • Detroit, Mich. • Oak Park HS
Ranked No. 35 on the Detroit News Blue Chip list and No. 36 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50 … earned honorable mention All-State recognition from the Detroit News in 2014 … earned All-North recognition from the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News in 2013 and 2014 … three-time all-conference selection … finished career with 201 tackles and 17.5 sacks … had 56 tackles, nine tackles-for-a-loss, three sacks and a forced fumble as a senior … helped squad to a conference and district championships in 2012, and three-straight playoff appearances … three-year starter, earning three varsity letters … parents are Muhsinah Sami and Gary Bellamy … high school coach is Greg Carter.
Coach George Ricumstrict says:
“Shahid is very, very powerful. He is really explosive on tape, very disruptive and fits the mold of the inside kid that we’re looking for.”
Brandon Childress • Wide Receiver • 6-3 • 200 • Baldwin, Mich. • Baldwin HS
Ranked No. 48 on the Detroit News Blue Chip list … earned first team All-State honors from the Associated Press, Detroit Free Press and Detroit News in 2014 … selected first team All-State by the Associated Press in 2013 … named to the 2014 and 2013 Muskegon Chronicle Dream Teams … selected to the Big Rapids Pioneer Dream teams in 2012, 2013 and 2014 … as a senior, finished with 1,647 passing yard, going 108-for-187, and rushed 109 times for 1,039 … tallied 48 total touchdowns in 2014 … also was 3-of-3 on extra points and made a 43-yard field goal in lone attempt … finished his career with 4,150 passing yards and 2,645 rushing yard … first quarterback in school history to pass and rush for 1,000 yards in two seasons … team captain for three seasons … holds school record with career passing yards, single season passing yards and single season rushing yards by a quarterback … earned all-conference recognition four times and was named conference MVP as a junior and senior … led his squad to the best record in school history, going 10-2 his senior season … also captured the first playoff victory and the first district title in 2014 … helped Baldwin win two conference titles and make three playoff appearances … ranked No. 11 in basketball by the Detroit Free Press … McDonald’s All-American nominee in basketball … earned All-State honors in basketball in 2013 and 2013 … four-year starter and varsity letterwinner in football, basketball and baseball … currently has a 3.82 grade-point average … parents Ben and Amber Childress … high school coach is Doug Bolles.
Coach Mose Rison says:
“Brandon is an outstanding person, student and football player. Great athlete who is very versatile; playing both quarterback and wide receiver in high school. Very high ceiling.”
Carlos Clark • Linebacker • 6-0 • 210 • Belleville, Mich. • Belleville HS
Named to the Detroit Free Press Division 1 All-State team in 2013 … selected to the Detroit Free Press all-area team and the Metro All-West team in 2013 … earned first team all-conference honors in 2013 … led his squad to a league title and a playoff appearance in 2013 … team captain junior and senior seasons … earned three varsity letters in football and track & field, and two in lacrosse … mother is Molly Jackson … high school coach is Matt Davenport.
Coach Kyle Nystrom says:
“Carlos is a very aggressive, instinctive linebacker. He’s got good suddenness and has good lower-body power. He is a great contact player.”
Mike Danna • Defensive Line • 6-2 • 223 • Detroit, Mich. • Warren De La Salle
Ranked No. 15 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50 and the Detroit News Blue Chip list … named to the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News and MLive Dream Teams in 2014 … earned All-State special mention from The Associated Press in 2014 … named to the 2014 Detroit News All-Metro East first team … selected first team All-Macomb County by the Macomb Daily in 2014 … led his team to the 2014 Division 2 state title … school records for tackles-for-a-loss (20) and sacks (10) in a single season in 2014 … also tallied 52 tackles in just nine games as a senior … two-year starter and varsity letterwinner in football … currently has a 3.2 grade-point average … parents are Cynthia and Vaughn Danna … high school coach is Paul Verska.
Coach George Ricumstrict says:
“Mike is a very long, very athletic. Had a very good (senior) year rushing the passer. Fits the mold of the student-athletes that we have brought in over the past couple of years at defensive end. Tall, athletic players who can rush the passer.”
Steve Eipper • Offensive Line • 6-4 • 267 • Greenville, Mich. • Greenville HS
Earned first team All-Region honors from the Grand Rapids Press as a senior … named first team All-Area by the Montcalm County Daily News in 2014 … selected to the all-conference first team in 2014 … named Greenville player of the year as a senior … selected team captain … invited to play in the Border Classic All-Star Game … earned two letters in football as a starter and two letters in track & field … currently holds a 3.6 grade-point average … parents are Steve Eipper Sr. and Tammie Waayenberg … high school coach is Dave Moore.
Coach Butch Barry says:
“Steve is a really good athlete. He is a long-armed kid who has got really good flexibility and balance.”
Austin Ervin • Tight End • 6-5 • 233 • St. Johns, Mich. • St. Johns HS
Earned Associated Press Division 3 All-State special mention in 2014 … selected to the 2014 Lansing State Journal All-Area first team … named to the All-Capital Area Activities Conference first team in 2014 … team captain as a senior … helped squad reach the playoffs in 2014, going 8-2 … tallied 34 career receptions for 499 yards and four touchdowns at St. Johns … two-year starter earning a pair of varsity letters … three-year starter in basketball, earning all-conference and all-area honors as a sophomore and junior … two-time team captain in basketball … currently averaging 13.0 point and 12.0 rebounds a game … currently has a 3.0 grade-point average … parents are Chris and Pam Ervin … high school coach is Dave Mariage.
Coach Sherrone Moore says:
“Austin is very athletic, very good bender. Not a lot of passes thrown to him during high school because of the offense that they ran, but took advantage of the chances he got. Also a tremandious blocker who is a good finisher.”
Louis Grigoletti • Offensive Line • 6-3 • 295 • Brookfield, Ill. • Riverside-Brookfield HS
Named to the Suburban Life All-Area team three times, earning first team honors in 2014 and 2013, and honorable mention in 2012 … selected the 2014 Metro-Suburban Conference Lineman of the Year … named to the All-Metro-Suburban Conference first team as a senior … earned academic All-State honors in 2014 and academic all-conference honors in 2013 and 2014 … led his squad to the conference championship game and the 6A playoffs in 2014 … team captain in 2013 and 2014 … earned four varsity letters in football and two each in wrestling and track & field … state qualifier in the discus in 2014 … earned all-conference honors in track & field in 2013 and 2014 … two-time sectional qualifier in wrestling and earned all-conference honors in 2013 … parents are Daniel Grigoletti and Laurine Grigoletti … high school coach is Brandan Curtin.
Coach Butch Barry says:
“Louis is a great finisher. He’ll be a guard or a center depending on what fits him. We look for good things out of him. He is very physical.”
Da'Quaun Jamison • Defensive Back • 6-0 • 180 • Leesburg, Ga. • Lee County HS
2014: Greyshirted. High School: Earned second team All-State honors in 2012-13 ... named to the All-Regiona 1 5A first team as a junior and senior ... selected to the Albany Herald All-Metro team in 2012 and 2013 ... helped his squad to the 5A-Region 1 title in 2013, just the second regional title in school history ... as a senior, made 67 tackles, had seven interceptions and notched 10 pass break-ups ... in junior season, tallied 115 tackles, three INTs, five sacks and 15.0 tackles-for-a-loss ... in 2013, set school record with three picks in a single game ... four-year starter (two at Lee County HS, two at Mitchell County HS) ... earned two letters in basketball ... high school coach was Dean Fabrizio ... parents are Tonya Jamison and Carl Williams.
Coach Archie Collins says:
“Da’Quaun is a very good athlete with great ball instincts. He has great change in direction and that’s what I always look for in a defensive back: How they change direction and how they go after the ball. He does a great job as far as tackling in space.”
Jake Johnson • Quarterback • 6-2 • 195 • DeWitt, Mich. • DeWitt HS
Ranked No. 18 on the Lansing State Journal Catch-22 list and No. 30 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50 … named to The Associated Press, Detroit News and Detroit Free Press All-State first teams in 2013 … earned all-area honors from the Lansing State Journal in 2013 and 2014 … selected to the all-conference first team as a junior and as a senior … earned honorable mention All-State honors from the Detroit Free Press in 2014 … helped Dewitt advance to the Division 3 state finals in 2013 and the state semifinals in 2012 … led squad to three conference championships … threw for 3,945 yards on 262-of-439 passing (60 percent) with 52 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his career … rushed for 1,370 and 14 touchdowns on 215 carries during his career … three-year starter at quarterback, going 21-4 in his high school career … earned three letters in football … parents are Johnny Johnson and Kellie Johnson … high school coach is Rob Zimmerman.
Coach Morris Watts says:
“Jake has got a quick drop from underneath the center and he plays in the gun some. I like his pocket poise; he seems to know when to take off, when to stay in there and he’s quick enough and a good enough runner that he can give you problems with his feet.”
Dakota Kupp • Quarterback • 6-1 • 200 • Waterford, Mich. • Waterford Mott HS
Ranked No. 53 on the Detroit News Blue Chips list … four-year varsity starter, starting 34 games … three-time first team all-conference honoree … named a Detroit News honorable mention All-State selection in 2014 … selected Mott offensive player of the year in 2012, 2013 and 2014 … threw for a school-record 6,111 yards and 61 touchdowns in his career … the 61 TDs is the third most in Oakland County history … three-year team captain … led squad to the third league title in school history and the fourth playoff appearance … earned four varsity letters in football and two in track & field … currently carries a 3.0 grade-point average … parents are Bill and Michelle Kupp … high school coach is Chris Fahr.
Coach Morris Watts says:
“Dakota has got good size. He runs the 4x100 relay in track and has had pretty good success in doing it too. He’s got a good drop and his pocket presence is good. He’s tough. You’re not going to bring him down with just an arm tackle.”
Michael Oliver • Linebacker • 5-11 • 234 • Detroit, Mich. • Cass Tech HS
Ranked No. 39 on the Detroit News Blue Chip list and No. 44 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50 … earned Division 1 first team All-State recognition from The Associated Press and the Detroit News in 2014 … named to the Detroit Free Press All-Detroit first team in 2014 … selected to the 2014 Detroit News All-Metro first team … tallied 105 tackles, 15 tackles-for-a-loss and five sacks as a senior … team captain as a senior … led squad to a state championship in 2012 and a state final appearance in 2013 … finished career with 10 sacks and 44 tackles-for-a loss … won a pair of Detroit Public School League titles … two-year starter and varsity letter winner … Cass Tech went 25-2 his junior and senior seasons … currently has a 3.1 grade-point average … parents are Michael and Tina Oliver … high school coach is Thomas Wilcher.
Coach Kyle Nystrom says:
“Mike is a prototypical mike linebacker. He’s got a big lower body, is a good hitter and has got good suddenness. He a leader and that’s what really attracted me to him the most. He’s a dynamic young man.”
Romello Ross • Running Back • 5-10 • 185 • Detroit, Mich. • Western HS
Ranked No. 16 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50 and No. 18 on the Detroit News Blue Chip list … earned all-state honors all four seasons of his career including first team recognition by the Detroit Free Press and the Associated Press in 2014 … selected to the All-Detroit first team by the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News all four seasons … named to the All-Detroit Public School League first time four times … three-time Proud Strong Learner Player of the Week honoree … finished high school career with 5,020 rushing yards, 84 rushing touchdowns, nine kick/punt returns TDs, and four interceptions for TDs … tallied 1,458 yards and 23 touchdowns in senior season, adding 26 catches for 323 receiving yards and four receiving TDs … also had three interceptions in 2014 … four-year starter and varsity letter winner … currently has a 3.3 grade-point average … parents are Louis and Myra Ross … high school coach is Andre Harlen.
Coach Gino Guidugli says:
“Romello can change direction, drop his weight, accelerate out of cuts. He shows tremendous ball skills out of the backfield. He has a great passion for the game and he really wants to be successful.”
Jamil Sabbagh • Wide Receiver • 5-10 • 198 • Dearborn, Mich. • Fordson HS
Ranked No. 31 on the Detroit News Blue Chip list and No. 37 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50 … earned first team Division 1 All-State honors from the Detroit Free Press in 2014 … named a Division 1-2 special mention All-State honoree by The Associated Press and a Division 1 honorable mention All-Stater by the Detroit News in 2014 … earned second team all-state honors in 2013 and honorable mention accolades in 2012 … three-time all-league and all-city selection (2012, 2013 and 2014) … named to the All-Metro West team by the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News as a sophomore, junior and senior … selected the Michigan Prepzone Player of the Year and the Joe Hoeskins Cityballer of the Year in 2014 … had 2,000 all-purpose yards (1,200 rushing, 500 receiving and 300 return) and 18 touchdowns as a senior … also tallied 31 tackles, five tackles-for-a-loss and one interception in 2014 … led his squad to an undefeated regular season, and league and city titles in 2014 … helped Fordson qualify for four-straight playoff births … four-year starter and varsity letter winner … earned four letters in baseball, three in track & field, and two in basketball … currently has a 3.0 grade-point average … parents are Jaymi Sabbagh and Hussein Sabbagh … high school coach is Fouad Zaban.
Coach Mose Rison says:
“Jamil spent the majority of 2014 as a running back and really played where he was needed. He is going to be an explosive football player and he’ll have the opportunity to do several things, especially in the kicking game as a punt returner and a kick retuner.”
Logan Slaughter • Offensive Line • 6-3 • 285 • Mendon, Mich. • Mendon HS
Ranked No. 24 on the Detroit News Blue Chip list and No. 35 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50 … three-time Associated Press Division 7-8 first team All-State selection (2012, 2013 & 2014) … named to the Detroit News Dream Team in 2014 … earned first team Division 7 all-state honors from the Detroit Free Press in 2014 and 2013 … named conference MVP as a junior and senior … named to the Kalamazoo Gazette Dream Team three-straight seasons … tallied 28 pancake blocks, 49 total tackles, nine tackles-for-a-loss and seven sacks as a senior … took part in the 2015 Blue-Grey All-American football game … led his squad to a state title in 2011 along with four conference and district championships and one regional crown … Mendon was 46-4 during his career … four-year starter and two-year team captain in football … earned four varsity letters in football and baseball, and three in basketball … two-time all-district in baseball … currently holds a 4.0 grade-point average … parents are Tim and Lori Slaughter … high school coach is John Schwartz.
Coach Butch Barry says:
“Logan may be the center, because the more and more I look at it -- he’s a really smart kid. He’s over a 4.0 GPA and for that position you always want a smart guy. He’s a very tough kid and has got really good power.”
Derek Smith • Offensive Line • 6-5 • 260 • Grand Rapids, Mich. • Kenowa Hills HS
Earned Division 1-2 honorable mention All-State recognition from The Associated Press in 2014 … selected to the Grand Rapids Press 2014 Dream Team … also named All-North first team by the Grand Rapids Press … named all-conference first team as a senior … team captain in 2014 … led his squad to the playoffs in 2012 … named to No. 1 prospect in West Michigan by Lake Michigan Football Report … tallied 28 tackles, seven tackles-for-a-loss and two sacks as a senior … earned three varsity letters in football and two in basketball … received an academic letter for honor roll … currently has a 3.56 grade-point average … parents are Bernie R. (Rick) Smith and Katherine M. Smith … high school coach is Scott VanEssen.
Coach Butch Barry says:
“Derek is very long. He’ll be a tackle type kid, maybe a left tackle type. Great feet, great balance and very physical.”
Damon Terry • Wide Receiver • 5-11 • 187 • Lansing, Mich. • Everett HS
Ranked No. 52 on the Detroit News Blue Chips list … earned Division 1 All-State honorable mention honors from The Associated Press, Detroit Free Press and Detroit News in 2014 … named to the Lansing State Journal Dream team in 2013 and honorable mention All-Area in 2014 … received all-conference honors as a junior and senior … selected the 2014 D Zone Mid-Michigan defensive player of the year … finished high school career with 75 receptions for 1,515 yards and 25 touchdowns … also tallied 65 tackles, two interceptions and one blocked punt … team captain as a senior … led his team to three-straight playoff appearances and a conference title in 2012 … earned three varsity letters in football and track & field, and two in basketball … garnered all-state and all-conference honors in track & field … mother is Tashan Terry … high school coach is Marcelle Carruthers.
Coach Mose Rison says:
“Damon is a tremendous player with good size who we think can be a very explosive wide receiver with an opportunity to have an impact as a freshman.”