Redbirds Sign 16 Players on National Signing Day 2013
Feb. 6, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - The fax machine was buzzing and excitement surrounded the Kaufman Football Building at Illinois State Wednesday, as ISU head coach Brock Spack and his staff announced the newest additions to the Redbird football team on National Signing Day.
A total of 16 high school student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) Wednesday morning to continue their collegiate and athletic careers as Redbirds. When added to the three mid-year additions, 19 new names have been added to the 2013 roster.
"I think we addressed our needs and fit our priorities with this class and the three mid-year additions," Spack said. "We have to be smart and selective with our scholarships, and I think we managed that well. I think we solidified our depth and filled some holes on the roster left by graduation. Overall, it was a good year recruiting wise for us and we look forward to working with all of our new players."
The group of NLI signees includes four defensive ends, two wide receivers, a pair of tight ends, two safeties, two offensive linemen, a linebacker, a running back, a defensive back and a kicker/punter. Players hail from each coast, with one from Florida and one from California. As with past classes, the 2013 class was full of prospects from the state of Illinois with seven total players signing from the Chicago area and close to home in Bloomington, Ill.
"We are continuing to target the best players in the state of Illinois, but we are also widening our scope around the country," Spack said. "We tried to hit our state very hard, particularly the city of Chicago. We thought we had very good success there, but we also spread out a bit this year to other areas here in the Midwest and to other regions of the country that could help us."
Coming off a 2012 NCAA FCS quarterfinal playoff appearance and a nine-win season, the program is headed upward under the direction of Spack. He believes that is because of the type of players his staff has been able to recruit over the past four years and sees several positive themes among this year's additions to the program.
"I think there are some common themes in this class," Spack stated. "Many of these players come from successful programs that made playoff runs and won state championships. It is very important for us to bring players into the program that expect to win and despise losing, and I think these players fit that mold well. You also see several long, tall, multi-sport athletes that can boost our size and athleticism. Obviously, we will have to see how they look when they get here, but we think there is a lot to be excited about this with this class."
Coach Spack and the Redbirds will return to the field Tuesday, March 26, for the first of 15 practices during the spring workout period. ISU will practice every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday up until the annual Spring Game, which is scheduled for April 27 at Hancock Stadium.
2013 ILLINOIS STATE FOOTBALL SIGNING DAY BIOGRAPHIES:
Jon-Marc Anderson | WR | 5-10 | 170 | Fr.-HS | Newburgh, Ind. (Castle HS) Castle HS: Rated as a two-star recruit by Scout.com ... three-year letterwinner at wide receiver ... ended career as the school's all-time leader in receiving yards ... two-time Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA) All-State selection and two-time all-conference pick ... helped team to back-to-back conference championships ... named an Associated Press All-State selection as a senior ... finished senior season with 78 receptions for 1,323 yards and 20 touchdowns ... set a school single-game record with 12 catches for 226 yards and four touchdowns ... also had a school-record 99-yard yard touchdown on a screen pass ... recorded 48 catches for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior, when he also earned all-metro team honors ... caught 24 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore at the varsity level ... played for head coach Doug Hart ... was also a state qualifier on the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams three years in a row. Personal: Born May 19, 1995, in Topeka, Kan. ... son of Deborah and Marcus Anderson ... has one older brother, Christopher ... his father played football at Tulsa ... plans to major in exercise science.
Jared Barnett | QB | 6-1 | 205 | Jr.-TR | Garland, Texas (Iowa State) Iowa State: Played in seven games and started three for the Cyclones in 2012 ... threw for 624 yards and six touchdowns, while also rushing for 130 yards on the ground ... started six games, leading Iowa State to victories over No. 19 Texas Tech, Kansas and No. 2 Oklahoma State in 2011 ... despite starting just six games, still earned honorable mention honors from the league's coaches for Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year ... earned Iowa State's Ray Scott Award, given to the Cyclones' outstanding offensive player ... finished the season with 1,201 yards passing and six touchdowns ... was second on the Cyclones in rushing with 437 yards and a touchdown ... put together one of the greatest stat lines in Iowa State history against OSU, completing 31-of-58 passes for 376 yards and three touchdowns, along with rushing for 84 yards ... the 376 passing yards ranks as the fifth-most in a single game in school history, while his 460 yards of total offense ranks third ... earned first career start at Texas Tech, throwing for 144 yards and a touchdown on 14-of-26 passing ... also rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown to help take Iowa State to its first-ever win in Lubbock ... threw for 175 yards and rushed for 125 in a win over Kansas, becoming first ISU quarterback since Bret Meyer in 2004 to run and throw for at least 100 yards in a game ... also started for the Cyclones at Oklahoma, Kansas State and against Rutgers in New Era Pinstripe Bowl ... redshirted in 2010. Garland HS: Three-star recruit ... coached by Jeff Jordan ... ranked 27th nationally among dual-threat quarterbacks according to Rivals.com ... 69th-ranked player in Sports Day's Area 100 by the Dallas Morning News ... chose Iowa State over Houston and Kansas State ... led the Garland Owls to a 9-1 record as a senior ... threw for 2,134 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2009. Personal: Born March 29, 1992 ... son of Duke and Laura Barnett ... pre-business major.
Jalen Battle | S | 6-1 | 185 | Fr.-HS | Plantation, Fla. (University HS) University HS: Ranked as a three-star recruit by Scout.com and two-star recruit by Rivals.com ... two-year starter for head coach Roger Harriot ... Sun Sentinel Honorable Mention Class 3A All-State selection as a senior ... helped team to a perfect 14-0 record and a class 3A state championship in Florida and a small-school national championship ... recorded 53 tackles, including 21 solo stops ... also recorded three interceptions, two sacks and five pass breakups ... also forced a fumble and recovered two more ... had 25 tackles and two pass breakups as a junior ... helped team to a district championship that year ... also competed in basketball and track ... originally committed to Kentucky, before offer was pulled and signed with Illinois State. Personal: Born April 3, 1995, in Plantation, Fla. ... son of Tressa and Fred Battle ... his father played basketball at Florida Memorial ... has one brother, Jordan ... plans to major in pre-pharmacy.
Tyler Brown | OL| 6-3 | 260 | Fr.-HS | Peoria, Ill. (Richwoods HS) Richwoods HS: Two-year starter for head coach Roland Brown ... named an all-state honorable mention selection ... also named an all-area and all-conference pick ... helped team win a conference championship and advance to the second round of the IHSA state playoffs ... also named an all-conference selection as a junior ... member of the IHSA Class 6A state runner-up team that season ... also a two-time all-conference selection in track and field in the discus ... helped team win two conference championships in track. Personal: Born July 15, 1994, in Peoria, Ill. ... son of Renee and Roland Brown ... has two brothers, Ryan and Cole ... his father, Roland, competed in track and field at Western Illinois ... member of the National Honor Society ... plans to major in renewable energy.
Michael Clements | TE | 6-7 | 205 | Fr.-HS | Indianapolis, Ind. (Roncalli HS) Roncalli HS: Two-year varsity starter for head coach Bruce Scifres ... named an all-state honorable mention selection and an Indiana academic all-state pick ... earned all-county honors as well ... caught four passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns ... also recorded 93 tackles on defense ... added eight sacks, three forced fumbles and four interceptions ... as a junior, had 51 tackles, four sacks and three interceptions ... also competed in basketball. Personal: Born February 15, 1995, in Indianapolis, Ind. ... son of Vicki and Jeffrey Clements ... has an older sister, Megan, and a younger brother, Matthew ... his sister played volleyball at Belmont ... plans to major in business.
Jareid Combs | DE | 6-4 | 240 | Fr.-HS | Minneapolis, Minn. (De LaSalle HS) De LaSalle HS: Labeled as a two-star recruit by Scout.com ... two-year starter for coach Sean McMenomy ... named an all-state, all-metro and all-conference selection ... helped lead team to a conference championship and a 10-1 record ... started all 11 of those games, recording 14 sacks ... also had nine receiving touchdowns and 585 receiving yards ... started 10 games as a junior, recording 13 sacks ... all-metro honorable mention selection and all-conference pick ... also competed in track and field. Personal: Born January 6, 1995, in Columbus, Ga. ... son of Christale (deceased) and James Combs, Sr. ... one of three siblings ... plans to major in sport management.
Adam Conley | DE | 6-5 | 230 | Fr.-HS | Franklin, Wis. (Franklin HS) Franklin HS: Four-year player for head coach Louis Brawn ... named a first-team All-Southeast Conference selection as a senior ... also named a first-team all-region and all-suburban (Milwaukee County) selection ... Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) Honorable Mention All-State pick ... team captain. Personal: Born October 30, 1994, in Milwaukee, Wis. ... son of Pat and Larry Conley ... has two brothers, John and Nate, and a sister, Jennifer ... plans to major in biology.
Davontae Harris | DB | 6-0 | 190 | Fr.-HS | Wichita, Kan. (Wichita South HS) Wichita South HS: Three- year varsity starter ... coached by Kevin Steiner ... missed most his senior season, after having surgery to repair his small intestine following an injury suffered during the season-opening loss to Wichita West ... posted 40 tackles, five interceptions and 15 pass breakups as a junior ... also a standout on the track, where he was third in the state in the 100-meter dash and sixth in the state in the 200-meter dash. Personal: Born January 21, 1995, in Wichita, Kan. ... son of Sandra Baker ... has two brothers, Isiah and Shaquille ... plans to major in business.
Dean Helt | DE | 6-5 | 220 | Fr.-HS | Dane, Wis. (Waunakee HS) Waunakee HS: Two-year starter for head coach Pat Rice ... Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) Honorable Mention All-State selected ... named an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-State selection ... also an all-area and all-region selection ... helped team to a conference title and a division II state runner-up finish ... finished the year with 83 tackles, 14 sacks and 16 tackles-for-loss ... as a junior, helped team to a state championship and another conference title ... State Journal Honorable Mention All-State selection as an offensive lineman ... also named an all-region and all-conference pick. Personal: Born November 2, 1994, in Madison, Wis. ... son of Diane and Dale Helt ... has two brothers, Devin and Derek ... member of the honor roll ... plans to major agriculture.
George Hoselton | OL | 6-3 | 275 | Fr.-HS | Lexington, Ill. (Bloomington Central Catholic HS) Central Catholic HS: Two-year starter for head coach Bobby Moews ... helped team to a state playoff appearance ... team captain as a senior ... Pantagraph First-Team All-Area selection on the offensive line ... named an all-conference pick on both the offensive and defensive lines ... played seven games on defense, recording 57 total tackles ... added four sacks, two quarterback hurries and recovered two fumbles ... had 11 tackles, including four for loss, against Pontiac ... saw action in just seven games on defense as a junior, but finished the year with 34 tackles and three sacks ... named an all-conference pick on both the offensive and defensive lines ... led team to a Cornbelt Conference championship and a state playoff appearance. Personal: Born March 21, 1995, in Bloomington, Ill. ... son of Connie and Steve Hoselton ... member of the honor roll ... plans to major agriculture.
Dalton Keene | TE | 6-4 | 260 | Fr.-HS | Jacksonville, Ill. (Jacksonville HS) Jacksonville HS: Rated as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com ... four-year starter for head coach Mark Grounds ... holds school records for career receptions (160), receiving yards (2,765), receiving touchdowns (32) and points scored (302) ... Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) Class 5A First-Team All-State selection as a senior ... Central State 8 All-Conference and All-Academic Team pick ... Jacksonville Journal Courier All-Area Team member ... IHSFCA First-Team All-Academic selection as a junior ... IHSFCA Second-Team All-State selection that season ... also named a Central State 8 All-Conference and All-Academic Team pick as a junior ... set the school record for receptions in a game with 13 ... selected as a State 8 All-Conference and All-Academic Team pick as a sophomore as well ... was a four-year starter for the basketball team and coach J.R. Dugan. Personal: Born April 26, 1994, in Springfield, Ill. ... son of Rose and Steve Keene ... has two sisters, Meghan and Jaelyn, and one brother Sean ... undecided on plan of study.
Collin Keoshian | RB | 6-3 | 260 | Jr.-TR | Santa Clarita, Calif. (Glendale CC) Glendale CC: Rushed for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012 for the Vaqueros in 2012 ... averaged over 140 yards per game on the ground ... amassed a season-high 326 yards on the ground with three touchdowns in a 31-19 win at San Diego Mesa early in the season ... two weeks later, rushed for 186 yards and three scores against Santa Monica ... finished the year with games of 184 and 193 yards rushing, respectively ... played in 10 games at fullback, but did not receive any carries in 2011 at College of the Canyons ... originally enrolled at BYU, where he redshirted in 2010. Santa Clarita Christian School: Competed on an eight-man football program ... during four-year career, tallied 6,537 rushing yards and 102 touchdowns on the ground ... yardage total is second-most all-time in the state in eight-man football ... touchdown total is a state record in the eight-man division. Personal: Born April 10, 1991, in Los Angeles, Calif. ... son of Deedee and Craig Keoshian ... has three sisters: Nicole, Natalie and Christina ... his father, Craig, played football at Fresno State ... majoring in university studies.
Dennis Oxendine | S | 5-11 | 200 | Fr.-HS | Lexington, Ky. (Tates Creek HS) Tates Creek HS: Rated as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com ... three-year starter for head coach Mike Harmon ... first-team all-state selection as a safety and an honorable mention selection at running back as a senior ... first-team all-city pick on defense ... recorded four interceptions ... returned four kickoffs for touchdowns ... rushed for 16 touchdowns and over 800 yards on the ground ... also had 400-plus yards receiving ... as a junior, intercepted three passes and rushed for 14 touchdowns and over 1,200 yards on the ground ... also returned three kickoffs for touchdowns ... named to the Kentucky All-State team as a junior and named a first-team all-city selection at running back ... had eight interceptions, three of which were returned for touchdowns, during sophomore season. Personal: Born September 8, 1994, in Lexington, Ky. ... son of Lisa and Barry Stewart ... has two brothers, Cal and Cam ... his father, Barry, played football at Eastern Kentucky ... plans to major in marketing.
Will Pretty | DE | 6-2 | 205 | Fr.-HS | Quartz Hill, Calif. (Paraclete HS) Paraclete HS: Rated as a two-star recruit by Scout.com ... four-year starter for head coach Norm Dalhia ... division III all-state defensive selection as a senior ... all-valley defensive pick ... named the Alpha League Lineman of the Year and an all-conference selection ... recorded 78 tackles, 14 sacks and forced two fumbles ... All-Alpha League First-Team selection on defense as a junior ... totaled 53 tackles, 8.5 sacks and three pass breakups that season ... also forced three fumbles ... tallied 64 tackles, 15 sacks, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles, on way to being named an All-Alpha League First-Team selection on defense as a sophomore. Personal: Born March 3, 1995, in Raleigh N.C. ... son of Denise and William Pretty ... has one sister, Jessica ... his father played football at East Carolina ... plans to major in psychology.
D.J. Romero | LB | 6-1 | 195 | Fr.-HS | Crete, Ill. (Mount Carmel HS) Mount Carmel HS: Three-year starter for head coach Frank Lenti ... helped lead Mount Carmel (13-1) to its 11th state title and its first since 2002 ... played in seven games as a senior, recording 66 total tackles ... played in 14 games as a junior and recorded 90 total tackles ... saw action in 12 games as a sophomore and finished the season with 45 tackles. Personal: Born May 15, 1994 in Chicago, Ill. ... son of Deborah and Nestor Romero ... has two sisters, Janell and Sarah ... plans to major in kinesiology.
Sean Slattery | K/P | 6-0 | 180 | Fr.-HS | Rockford, Ill. (Boylan Central Catholic HS) Boylan Central Catholic HS: Three-year varsity kicker ... coached by John Cacciatore in final season ... named an all-conference selection at kicker as a senior... made seven field goals, with a long of 45 yards ... converted 49 extra point attempts ... recorded 48 touchbacks on kickoffs ... averaged 38.4 yards per punt, with a long of 65 yards ... member of the IHSA Class 7A state championship team that finished the season with a perfect 14-0 record ... kicked two field goals in the state championship game ... booted nine field goals, with a long of 44 yards ... tallied 57 extra point attempts and had 45 touchbacks on kickoffs ... averaged 37.2 yards per punt ... team won the IHSA Class 6A state championship as a sophomore ... handled all varsity kickoffs and had three touchbacks and a tackle in the championship game. Personal: Born October 5, 1994, in Rockford, Ill. ... son of Sue and Ed Slattery ... has a brother, Kyle, and a sister, Jessica ... his father, Ed, played collegiate golf at Illinois ... plans to major in marketing.
Dion Starnes | DB | 6-1 | 180 | Fr.-HS | Calumet City, Ill. (Bremen HS) Bremen HS: Two-year starter for head coach Dan Stell ... named an all-conference selection as a senior ... named Edgy Tim's Fastest Man winner as a junior ... also a standout on the track, where he was a two-time all-state selection ... placed second in the state in the 110-meter hurdles as a senior ... was also the sectional champion in the hurdles and the long jump ... placed fifth in the state in the hurdles as a junior. Personal: Born June 10, 1994, in Chicago, Ill. ... son of Louise Dye (deceased) and Clyde Dubose ... has one sister, Rashonda ... attended Air Force Prep prior to transferring to Illinois State ... plans to major in history education.
Jamal Towns | RB | 5-6 | 175 | Fr.-HS | Harvey, Ill. (Thornton HS) Thornton HS: Rated as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com ... three-year starter for head coach Bill Mosel ... named an all-area and all-conference selection as a senior ... helped the team win a conference championship and advance to the second round of the IHSA state playoffs ... rushed for 819 yards on 129 attempts and scored five touchdowns ... averaged 117 yards per game on the ground ... also named an all-area and all-conference performer as a junior ... also played baseball for four years at Thornton. Personal: Born October 8, 1994, in Chicago, Ill. ... son of Latonya and Rodney Towns ... one of four children ... member of the honor roll ... major is undecided.
Anthony Warrum | WR | 6-2 | 180 | Fr.-HS | Fishers, Ind. (Heritage Christian HS) Heritage Christian HS: Rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and a two-star recruit by Scout .com ... four-year letterwinner for head coach Ron Qualls ... set state of Indiana records for career receptions (269), touchdown receptions (62) and receiving yards (4,942) ... the yardage total also ranks ninth all-time nationally ... named an NCSAA All-American and an Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA) Top-50 player as a senior ... was also named the 2012 Indiana Mr. Football Position Award winner at wide reciver ... finished the season with 90 receptions and set a state single-season record with 26 touchdowns ... amassed 1,813 yards in final season, third most in a single season in the state of Indiana ... hauled in 71 passes for 1,268 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior ... named a first-team all-state, and all-city selection ... posted 59 catches for 1,233 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore to earn first-team all-state and all-city plaudits ... was also a standout on the basketball court, where he scored over 1,000 career points. Personal: Born July 10, 1994, in Indianapolis, Ind. ... son of Amy and David Warrum ... has one sister, Rachel Lynn ... member of the honor roll ... plans to major in business.
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