Six Transfers Join Illinois State Football Roster

Jan. 17, 2012

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State football program boosted its roster and filled some immediate needs Tuesday, with the addition of five Football Bowl Subdivision transfers and a junior college standout to its 2012 roster as announced by head coach Brock Spack.

The six players arrived on campus and began classes Tuesday and will join the program immediately and participate during spring practice. Each will have at least two years of eligibility remaining with the Redbirds.

Spack and his staff worked hard to fill some needs at specific positions and were pleased that they were able to accomplish that with the new transfers.

“We were looking for an offensive lineman if we could find one, and they’re hard to find as transfers,” Spack said. “We really wanted to find a tackle who we felt could play right away. And then we wanted to find a future quarterback and a bigger receiver. We also were looking for a safety or a cornerback. We feel like we hit on all of those things, and we feel very fortunate to have them all here right now. These guys are going to be here for at least two years, which is nice, so their maturity will help. This is a second chance for them to rekindle their college careers. These guys are excited for a new opportunity and it energizes the program.”


Josh Aladenoye | OL | 6-6 | 316 | Jr.-TR | Mesquite, Texas (North Mesquite HS/Oklahoma)



2011 at Oklahoma: Played in the first four games of the season as a backup offensive lineman. 2010 at Oklahoma: Appeared in the final 12 games of the season as a backup offensive lineman ... held a spot on the field goal team ... had a season-high 20 offensive plays vs. Florida State ... had five knockdowns on just 19 snaps vs. Iowa State. 2009 at Oklahoma: Redshirted. North Mesquite HS: Two-time all-district selection ... First team all-class, all-star "Super Team" compiled by Texas Football magazine ... PrepStar All-Midlands Region team as a senior ... ranked as the No. 36 offensive tackle prospect by Scout.com and the No. 42 offensive tackle by Rivals.com coming out of high school ... tabbed as the No. 76 player in Rivals' Texas Top 100 ... SuperPrep ranked him the No. 54 player in the Southwest region in 2008 ... recorded 80 pancake blocks as a senior and graded out at over 90 percent ... was given the Nike training camp offensive lineman MVP award. Personal: Son of Donna Scott and Josh Aladenoye ... majoring in communication ... pronounced uh-LAD-uh-noy.

Spack on Aladenoye: “He’s a real athletic giant and perfect for what we’re looking for. He was highly recruited and a smart guy who played at a high level. The door was still open for him to go back to OU, but he decided to come here and he fills a huge need for us at tackle.”

 

 


Kelvin Chatham | WR | 6-2 | 190 | Jr.-TR | Houston, Texas (Nimitz HS/Citrus College)

2011 at Citrus College: Was the team’s leading receiver with 49 catches for 724 yards and nine touchdowns ... averaged 14.8 yards per catch and 72.4 yards per game for the Fighting Owls ... had a season-long reception of 53 yards ... recorded two games with over 100 yards receiving and caught a touchdown in five games played ... tallied a career-high 136 yards and caught a touchdown in the season opener at West LA College ... caught a career-high three touchdown passes and finished with 127 yards against San Bernardino Valley College ... hauled in a pair of touchdown catches against LA Harbor College. 2010 at Citrus College: Redshirted. 2009 at Citrus College: Caught one pass for four yards. Nimitz HS: Prepped three varsity seasons for the Cougars and coach David Suggs ... earned first-team all-district honors as a junior and senior ... also participated in varsity basketball and track and field. Personal: Son of Angela Chatham and Matthew Ogue ... plans to majoring in physical education.

Spack on Chatham: “He’s a long, big receiver. He’s a very tough hard worker and I think we really need that at that position. We need a guy who’s going to come in here and show people what hard work looks like. That’s really exciting to us. I wouldn’t classify him as a burner, but I’d say he’s more of a classic receiver. He’s a tough guy who can block and he’s a tough competitor.”





Phil Dudley | RB/WR | 5-9 | 175 | Jr.-TR | Pittsburgh, Pa. (Indianapolis [Ind.] Ben Davis HS/Ball State)

2011 at Ball State: Played in three games for the Cardinals ... tallied his first kickoff return of the season at South Florida . . . returned the kick for a career-long 16 yards. 2010 at Ball State: Played in 10 games to earn his first letter ... recorded a career-high two catches against Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois ... posted a career-high 15 receiving yards at Iowa, including a career-long 15-yard reception ... finished the season with six catches for 37 yards ... managed six rushes for 20 yards. Ben Davis HS: Earned four letters in football for coach Mike Kirschner ... helped the Giants to two sectional and one regional title in career ... named an all-state, all-conference and all-county selection as a senior ... selected for the Indiana Football Coaches Association Top-50 ... tallied 1,177 rushing yards as a senior and 2,489 yards on the ground during four-year career ... completed his career ranked sixth all-time in Ben Davis history ... also competed in track, baseball and basketball in his career. Personal: Son of April Rue ... has two brothers and one sister.

Spack on Dudley:“We recruited him out of high school and really liked him. We think he could be a slot receiver, a tailback, a punt and kickoff returner, and he could even be a cornerback on defense. He can fill multiple positions for us and he comes from a great program, so we felt that everything was a great fit.”


 


Jonathan Miller | RB | 6-0 | 200 | Jr.-TR | Garland, Texas (Naaman Forest HS/Oklahoma)

2011 at Oklahoma: Played in one game for the Sooners ... gained 20 yards on seven carries in the season-opening victory over Tulsa. 2010 at Oklahoma: Redshirted. 2009 at Oklahoma: Saw action in seven games ... finished the year with 130 yards on 18 carries ... ran for first career touchdown from 36 yards out and finished with 88 yards against Idaho State ... suffered a season-ending injury against Texas A&M. Naaman Forest HS: Ranked as the No. 30 running back and No. 41 player in Texas by Rivals.com ... No. 42 player in the Southwest by SuperPrep ... first-team all-class, all-star "Super Team' compiled by Texas Football Magazine as a senior in 2008 ... PrepStar All-Midlands Region team ... 5A-10 Offensive District MVP ... all-district team selection ... named second team all-area ... Texas all-state honorable mention ... broke district records in career rushing yards (4,457) and touchdowns (51). Personal: Son of Keith and Bridget Miller ... related to former NFL cornerback Daylon McCutcheon ... majoring in communication.

Spack on Miller:I noticed him in the transactions one morning, and since we lost two tailbacks, I thought he’d be really good for us. I know a guy on the staff there, and he said Jonathan was a great kid and we should take him right away. He was their starting tailback going into the season, and he got beat out by a younger guy. I heard a lot of good things about him, and he hasn’t disappointed us in our meetings with him. He’s mature, he’s talented, he’s a hard worker and he’s a solid student. Hopefully it all meshes together and he becomes a leader and a real good player.



Adam Pittser | QB | 6-2 | 206 | Fr.-RS | Richmond, Ill. (Richmond-Burton HS/Wyoming)

2011 at Wyoming: Redshirted. Richmond-Burton HS: Ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 19 dual-threat quarterback in the nation coming out of high school in the spring of 2011 ... also ranked No. 5 in the nation among high school quarterbacks in terms of arm strength and No. 13 overall at all positions in the state of Illinois by Rivals.com ... Scout.com ranked him as the No. 25 best quarterback in the nation in the 2011 recruiting class ... gained national attention after an impressive showing at the ESPN RISE Elite 11 QB camp in the summer of 2010, where he was the runner-up for the camp’s MVP award ... named to the Chicago Tribune Honorable Mention All-State Team following senior season ... captained team to the quarterfinals of the 2010 Illinois Class 4A state playoffs, before losing by one point in the quarterfinals to eventual state runner-up Rock Island Alleman ... as a junior, Pittser led team to the semifinals of the 4A state playoffs and a 12-2 overall record ... played for head coach Pat Elder. Personal: Son of Tammy and David Pittser ... has a brother, Nick, and a sister, Emily ... also recruited by Colorado, Wisconsin, Ball State and Western Michigan.

Spack on Pittser:We were the first school to offer him in high school. He was our top quarterback recruit and we thought he was the best in our state. We’re very excited to have him come back. We need competition at that position, and he’ll definitely ratchet the competition up in my opinion. He has a great arm, and he can run, but he isn’t a runner first. He fits in really well here, so we’re really excited about him.”

 


Ezra Thompson | S | 6-2 | 207 | Jr.-TR | Tinley Park, Ill. (Lincoln-Way East HS/Colorado State)

2011 at Colorado State: Played in six games for the Rams ... recorded 23 tackles, including a half tackle-for- loss, and added one pass breakup. 2010 at Colorado State: Played in all 12 games (three starts), with 29 total tackles and two passes broken up ... saw action in the secondary during the second quarter and registered his first career tackle in the season-opener vs. Colorado ... earned first career start at Miami (Ohio). 2009 at Colorado State: Redshirted. Lincoln-Way East HS: Was an Illinois High School Coaches Association, Chicago Tribune, Champaign News-Gazette and Rivals.com first-team all-state selection as a senior... was the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year in the Class 8A Southwest Suburban Blue League ... received all-area recognition from the Chicago-Sun Times, Southtown Star, and the Joliet Herald ... selected as an all-conference performer as a junior and senior... as a senior, helped lead the Griffins to an 8-1 record and the second round of the state playoffs before losing to Mount Carmel ... tallied 80 tackles, 16 pass breakups and two interceptions as a senior and finished his career with 140 tackles, 30 passes broken up, four interceptions, six forced fumbles and one blocked field goal ... also contributed on special teams with 205 career yards in punt returns...as a freshman, was a member of the school's 2005 state championship team ... mentored by head coach was Rob Zvonar, who also was head coach at the 2006 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Personal: Son of Ezra L. Thompson and Beverly L. Pleasant ... father, Ezra, played football at Truman State, and mother, Beverly, played basketball at Florissant Valley Community College ... majoring in economics ... also received offers from Ball State, Miami (Ohio), Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois State, Akron, Central Michigan and Western Michigan.

Spack on Thompson: “He’s a long, big safety and he looks to be a good tackler on tape. He’s a big guy who can strike and that is what we are looking for out of our defense. He has good character, and he’s a good player and I look forward to seeing what he can do in our defensive backfield.”


GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.