16 young men have made the decision to continue their collegiate and athletic careers at Illinois State University and we couldn't be more happy to have them. The heavy snow and blizzard conditions in the Midwest did not slow things up at all, however it did force the cancellation of our annual signing day press conference and the signing day party at Alexander's. Here's hoping next year won't be as exciting weather wise.
We hope you enjoyed our coverage throughout the day and congratulate all of our signees. This Signing Day Central page is a lot of work (especially when trying to work around a foot of snow) and I would personally like to thank ISU Athletics Media Relations Graduate Assistants Lauren Hutchcraft and Megan Thompson for all of their hard work with the website. I would also like to thank Sean Strauch from the ISU Athletics Compliance for letting us know as soon as the NLI's were received so we could release the information to you, the fans.
Lastly, I would like to thank the ISU football coaches and video coordinator Rick Geitz for all of their help throughout the process. The coaches work tirelessly to keep me updated on what is happening on the trail and are instrumental in getting me student-athlete information sheets. Rick and his video staff do a great job with all of the highlight films and we wouldn't be able to provide those today without his stellar efforts.
Well, it's been a fun day and now that National Signing Day is over, the countdow begins until the Redbirds take the field for the start of spring practices in March. After 15 practices, the 'Birds will show off their new look and the hard work at the annual Red-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 23, at Hancock Stadium.
Hope to see you all there and in the stands on Saturdays in 2011. Two winning seasons in a row, combined with 17 starters returning and talented recruits coming in could make for a very exciting football season.
Better late than never they say. We just recieved the 16th and final NLI of the day, this one from junior college transfer Brandon Newbern. The 6'4", 205-pound wide receiver from Grand Rapids Community College had to battle the weather to find somewhere to submit his paperwork, but he managed to get it done and he completes the 2011 ISU football recruiting class.
Brandon caught 11 passes in seven games as a sophomore for GRCC in 2010, but recorded 249 receiving yards for an eye-popping 22.6-yard average and three touchdowns. He helped team to a 10-2 overall record and a berth in the Mississippi Bowl, where it lost in a shootout with Mississippi Gulf Coast. As a freshman, he tallied 11 catches for 249 yards and a touchdown during his freshman season in 2009.
Justin Lane and Joe Farmer will have more company on the roster from one of their in-state counterparts, as Alex Donnelly has officially signed a NLI with the Illinois State football team. A 6'0", 200-pound defensive back from Kirkland, Wash., and Lake Washington High School Donnelly brings a lot of athleticism to the defensive secondary for the Redbirds.
Alex was named a Second Team All-King County selection as a senior after helping team turn around two losing records. He was also named a top-100 prospect by the Seattle Times, as he averaged 7.5 tackles-per-game and led the league in tackles-for-loss, despite playing with a cast and missing three games. Alex also intercepted three passes and led the team in tackles during his final season of play.
Add a fourth state to the scope of signing day with the addition of St. Louis, Mo., product Teddy Corwin. The 6'5", 225-pound tight end from DeSmet Jesuit High School has become the 14th signee of the day for the Redbirds.
Tabbed as a two-star recruit by Scout.com, Teddy was named as the No. 23 ranked recruit in the Saint Louis area by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was limited during his senior season by an ankle injury, but he still managed 40 tackles, a team-high seven sacks, eight tackles-for-loss and two fumble recoveries while catching 12 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns. As a junior, he caught 20 passes for 290 yards and nine touchdowns and added 32 tackles, 15 sacks and three fumble recoveries on defense that season.
Make it two in a row from the Evergreen State! Justin Lane, a 6'2" 200-pound quarterback from Arlington, Wash., and Lakewood High School has signed his NLI and will travel East this summer to play quarterback for the Redbirds. He becomes the third Redbird on the 2011 from the state of Washington.
Justin is ranked as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com. He amassed 8,030 career yards passing and threw for 83 career touchdown passes during his prep career and was named an Associated Press All-State Class 2A selection after his final season. Justin also helped lead his team to the district playoffs for the first time in 16 years and threw for over 2,300 yards and recorded 23 touchdown passes.
The run on signees from Florida and Illinois is over, as 6'6", 235-pound tight end Joe Farmer from Snoqualmie, Wash., and Mount Si High School has submitted his NLI. Despite signing from the West Coast, Farmer will not be alone in Redbird Land as he joins fellow Washington natives on the roster including sophomore running back Cameron Hunt and coaches Luke Huard and Taylor Stubblefield.
Joe is ranked as a two-star rating by Rivals.com and Scout.com and was named a Washington Class 3A All-State Honorable Mention selection by the Associated Press following senior season. A 2010 First-Team All-King County selection at tight end, Joe caught 15 passes for 118 yards and five touchdowns and averaged 7.9 yards-per-catch during his senior season.
Another standout from the Chicago area has submitted his NLI. Mike Banks, a 5'7" 160-pound speedster has signed on the dotted line to continue his collegiate football career at Illinois State. The University Park, Ill., and Mount Carmel High School product could prove to be a dynamic athlete for years to come in the Redbird offense.
Mike helped his team to an 11-3 record and advance to the IHSA Class 8A State Championship game, where it was defeated by Maine South in 2010. A Chicago Tribune All-State Honorable Mention selection, Mike was also named an all-conference and all-area selection after rushing for over 20 touchdowns and averaging over ten yards per carry on the ground. One of his best performaces came against Lyons Township, when he carried the ball 17 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns in Mount Carmel's 41-10 state quarterfinal win over Lyons Township.
Don't let the size fool you folks! Mike is a very elusive athlete and could make a big difference in the slot in the passing game much like Marvon Sanders did in his first season in a ISU uniform in 2010.
Dontae McCoy, a 6'0", 200-pound defensive back brings the number to 10 signees with the submission of his NLI. McCoy was a very talented and versatile athlete at Shepard High School and will bring a lot of speed and athleticism to the Redbird secondary.
Rated as a one-star recruit by ESPN.com , Dontae amassed a school-record 2,182 passing yards in his career and led his team to back-to-back state playoff appearances. He was named to the Chicago Tribune All-State Honorable Mention team at quarterback as a senior, after throwing for 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he rushed for 768 yards and 10 touchdowns. Dontae was also a standout on defense, posting 79 total tackles, two sacks and an interception as a senior.
Just to pile it on for Marshall, he has a new teammate from Wheaton Warrenville South High School in Will Davis. The 6'2", 190-pound defensive lineman will add some more speed and physicality to the defensive line for the Redbirds. He, along with Marshall will compete for playing time when they arrive on campus this summer.
Will was selected as an Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) Class 7A all-state selection and was named to the Champaign News-Gazette All-State Special Mention 100 selection. He was also named an all-area, all-conference and academic all-conference selection as a senior after helping lead his team to it second-straight IHSA Class 7A State Championship and a perfect 14-0 record.
Zack Marshall, a 6'3", 220-pound defensive lineman from Glen Ellyn, Ill., and Glenbard West High School just submitted his NLI to bring the count to eight signees so far. Zack is the type of speed rush end that Coach Spack was looking for to help rush the passer on the defensive front.
He named an all-West Suburban Silver Conference selection as a senior and helped his team advance to the IHSA Class 7A quarterfinals, where it was defeated by eventual state champion Wheaton Warrenville South. Zack registered 14 sacks as a junior and helped histeam to the IHSA Class 7A state title game, where it fell to eventual state champion Wheaton Warrenville South.
Something tells me Zack and his new teammate Rocco Ammons, who sat out the 2010 season as a redshirt offensive lineman for the Redbirds and is a Wheaton grad, will have some spirted exchanges on the practice field as they continue the rivalry between the two schools.
Dunn just got a little help in the running game, with the addition of H-back Tyler Barnes from Rock Falls, Ill., and Rock Falls High School. The 6'1", 235-pound hybrid back will serves as a combination fullback/tight end in the Redbird offensive system.
Tyler was named a first-team all-conference and academinc all-conference following his senior season. He carried the ball 77 times for 554 yards and seven touchdowns in his final season and also caught a pair of passes for 63 yards and touchdown. In addition, Tyler was named a NCIC First Team All-Conference selection as junior and sophomore.
The 2011 signing class has added a little local flavor with the signing of Bloomington native and Iowa Central Community College transfer Darrelynn Dunn. The 6'1", 205-pound running back had a standout season at Iowa Central as a sophomore and he will have two years of eligibilty remaining for the Redbirds.
Darrelynn was named a Second-Team All-America selection by the NJCAA in 2010 and was the main force behind the sixteenth-ranked Tritons potent ground attack. He led Iowa Central with 1,244 yards rushing, a 138.2 yards-per-game average and 18 rushing touchdowns. Dunn led the Midwest Football Conference in each of those categories and ranked second nationally in rushing touchdowns and third nationally in yards per game. He wasl also a teammate of Redbird defensive lineman Tim Dawson at Iowa Central, who signed in December with ISU.
During his prep career at Bloomington High School, he rushed for 1,113 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior and was selected to play in the Illinois Coaches Association Shrine All-Star Football Game.
Another Illinois high school standout has signed with the Redbirds, as 6'1", 195-pound linebacker Pat Meehan just submitted his NLI. Pat is rated as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com and ESPN.com and was an Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) Class 7A and Champaign News Gazette First Team All-State selection as a senior. He also received Chicago Tribune All-State Second Team selection recognition and was named a Southtown Star and Frankfort Station All-Area pick.
Pat was tabbed as the Southwest Suburban Blue Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, after recording 123 tackles, 14 tackles-for-loss, three sacks, eight forced fumbles, an interception and three fumble recoveries. As a junior, he led his team in tackles with 77 , which earned him Daily Herald All-Area plaudits.
Jake Wienhoff, a 6'3", 275-pound offensive lineman from nearby Glenwood High School in Chatham, Ill., has also joined the fold. Jake missed most of his senior season due to an knee injury suffered during the offseason at summer camp, but he was healthy enough to return for the final two games of the season, which happened to be the team's state semifinal and championship game appearances.
Glenwood eventually lost in the IHSA Class 5A to Montini Catholic, but in Jake's two games played, he started on the offensive line and also recorded 18 tackles, four tackles-for-loss and two sacks on defense. During a healthy junior season, he played in all 11 games as a junior, registering 53 tackles and six sacks on defense, and earned Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (IHSFCA) Class 5A All-State honorable mention honors.
The first defensive player of the day has signed with the Redbirds in the form of 5'9" defensive back Tevin Allen from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School. High school football in the state of Florida is second to Texas in the amount of talent it produces, if not more, and Tevin comes from one of the most prestigous programs in the state.
Last season, Tevin helped lead his team to a perfect 15-0 record, a 2010 Florida Class 5A State Championship and a National Championship during senior season. He recorded 40 tackles, two interceptions and broke up six passes in the secondary and was was invited to play in the Nike Broward vs. Dade and Public vs. Private all-star games in Florida.
We just received an NLI from James Marrishow, a 6'5", 270-pound offensive lineman from Orlando and Colonial High School. So, ISU head coach Brock Spack is focusing on the future of the offensive line here early on Signing Day. For those of you that may not know, the Redbirds will have four seniors start on the offensive line this year which bodes well for 2011, but some of the young players signed today and some of the freshmen currently on the team will need to step up after that.
James should be a good candidate to help fill those holes in the upcoming years. James was a two-year starter for head coach Steve Brietbell and started every game on the offensive line as a senior while helping the team to a 4-6 record, after the team posted a 1-9 mark during his junior year.
Our first signee to send in his National Letter of Intent (NLI) is Daniel Donnelly, a 6'4", 295-pound offensive lineman from Coconut Creek, Fla., and Monarch High School. Daniel is labeled as a two-star recruit by Scout.com was selected to play in the prestigious Nike Dade-Broward All-Star game following his senior season. He was also named the No. 20 prospect in Broward County by the Miami Herald.
Welcome to the 2011 Redbird Football Signing Day Central Page! I'm ISU Assistant Media Relations Director Mike Williams and I will be with you all day providing up-to-date coverage of all of our signees. Things this year may not work as smoothly as year's past due to the Blizzard of 2011, but will do our best to provide the best coverage we can.
Throughout the day, I will post updates when the ISU compliance office has received signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) from recruits. We will then make their full bio, highlight film and coaches' comments on each player in the grey sidebar to the right.
To access all the video content, you must be a current subscriber of Redbird All-Access. If you are not a current member, you can purchase Redbird All-Access for as low as $9.95 per month, or a yearly subscription for $79.95. The yearly subscription allows you to view all home games and matches for the Illinois State football, volleyball, women's soccer, men's basketball, women's basketball, women's gymnastics, swimming and diving, baseball and softball teams. It also gives you exclusive free value-added features, such as: live video and audio coverage of select road games; on-demand video coverage of ISU Athletics press conferences; student-athlete and coaches interviews; and much more!