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      A New Wave at Western Illinois: Leathernecks announce 2014 Recruiting Class






      Western Illinois Football Adds 32 Recruits




      Head coach Bob Nielson had five recruits join in January, 27 to start in the fall



      Report Courtesy: WIU Athletic Media Services








      MACOMB, Ill. â?? Western Illinois University Football and head coach Bob Nielson announced that 32 recruits will join the program. The second year head coach discussed the 2014 signing class during Wednesdayâ??s (Feb. 5) afternoon press conference.







      Of the 32 recruits, five joined the program at the start of the Spring 2014 semester ready to participate in spring practice next month. Four of the five newest Leathernecks are linemen â?? two on offense and two on defense â?? and Western also signed a tight end.







      Overall, Western signed 17 recruits on offense, 14 on defense and one on special teams. Nielson and his staff concentrated on signing linemen on both sides of the ball, getting six on the defensive line and seven on offense along with four tight ends.







      â??This yearâ??s recruiting class is built around two things,â?? said Nielson. â??First, we needed to address our immediate needs with an emphasis on the offensive and defensive line positions. Secondly, we wanted to establish depth of talent necessary to compete for a Missouri Valley Football Conference championship. I want to congratulate the coaching staff on their hard work and tremendous job representing Western Illinois University and our Leatherneck Football program.â??







      Westernâ??s recruits hail from eight states: Illinois (12), Arizona (6), Missouri (5), Wisconsin (4), Indiana (2), Kansas (1), California (1), and Iowa (1).








      -More-









      2014 Western Illinois University Football Recruiting Class



      Name

      Pos Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School/JUCO)

      Jaelon Acklin WR 6-2 180 Mountain View, Mo. (Liberty)

      Michael Bishoff LB 6-2 190 Elk Grove Village, Ill. (Elk Grove)

      Brock Broughton RB 5-11 190 Kearney, Mo. (Kearney)

      Brody Carls OL 6-5 255 Pana, Ill. (Pana)

      DeVanteâ?? Clark DB 6-1 195 Jacksonville, Ill. (Jacksonville)

      Aaron Diggs DB 6-1 190 Goodyear, Ariz. (Millennium)

      David Griffith DB 5-11 190 Avon, Ind. (Avon)

      Brenden Jostes OL 6-4 265 Farmington, Ill. (Farmington Central)

      James Kalfas DE 6-3 255 Wheaton, Ill. (St. Francis College Prep)

      Grant Kasal DL 6-5 225 Westmont, Ill. (Downers Grove North)

      Thomas Kirsch OL 6-6 275 Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead)

      Isaiah Lesure WR 6-3 175 Mount Horeb, Wis. (Mount Horeb)

      Sean McGuire QB 6-3 205 Franklin, Wis. (Franklin)

      Cale McMakin LB 6-1 205 Overland Park, Kan. (Blue Valley West)

      Luke Otto P/K 5-11 215 Normal, Ill. (University)

      Drew Patterson RB 6-0 205 Sussex, Wis. (Hamilton)

      Jordan Robinson DE 6-2 245 Jefferson City, Mo. (Jefferson City)

      Xavier Rowe DB 6-0 185 Oak Park, Ill. (Oak Park-River Forest)

      Khalen Saunders DL 6-2 280 St. Louis, Mo. (Parkway Central)

      Luis Sharpe DB 6-2 195 Phoenix, Ariz. (Mountain Point/Glendale CC)

      Macae Skaggs TE 6-3 230 Farmington, Ill. (Farmington Central)

      Tyler Slamans TE 6-3 226 Sugar Grove, Ill. (Kaneland)

      Stacey Smith, Jr. ATH 5-8 160 Schaumburg, Ill. (Schaumburg)

      Timothy Smith DB 6-1 185 Chicago, Ill. (Morgan Park)

      Pete Swenson TE 6-3 225 Mason City, Iowa (Clear Lake)

      Robert Young OL 6-4 295 St. Louis, Mo. (Kirkwood)

      Nick Ziegenbein OL 6-9 335 Phoenix, Ariz. (Pinnacle/Glendale CC)



      Enrolled in January

      Tyler Bode OL 6-7 305 Fountain Hills, Ariz. (Fountain Hills/Scottsdale CC)

      Cole Griffin TE 6-4 255 Yorba Linda, Calif. (Yorba Linda/Santa Ana CC)

      Kris Harley DL 6-1 270 Indianapolis, Ind. (Warren Central/Virginia Tech)

      John LaChapelle DL 6-1 290 Apache Junction, Ariz. (Apache Junction/Glendale CC)

      Martin Woods OL 6-3 280 Glendale, Ariz. (Independence/Glendale CC)







      Jaelon Acklin â?¢ WR (6-2, 180) Mountain View, Missouri (Liberty)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, basketball and track/fieldâ?¦ earned All-State honors in football at three different positions in three different yearsâ?¦ earned All-State honors in basketball, joining his schoolâ??s 1,000-point clubâ?¦ five times earned All-State honors in track/field between the hurdles, 4x400, 4x200 and 4x100 relaysâ?¦ scored 65 touchdowns his senior year and 139 in his careerâ?¦ eight of those TDs came in a game versus the No. 3-ranked team in stateâ?¦ totaled 10,208 yards all-time (receiving, passing, rushing and returns)â?¦ team won four district titles and three conference titlesâ?¦ helped the basketball team win a district and conference titleâ?¦ three-time district and conference champion in trackâ?¦ played for coach Darin Acklinâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born August 10, 1995 in Springfield, Missouriâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was scoring 46 points with two dunks the night his mom underwent breast cancer surgery, â??Itâ??s the only game she has ever missed.â??â?¦ his parents have been a major influence, â??They have taught me to live up to my potential and to never take anything for granted.â??â?¦ most admires his dad as a coach, â??He has always been there for me and played a big role in guiding my way through life and my athletic career.â??â?¦ his dad played football at Carthage, his uncle played football at Missouri and another relative played football at Avilaâ?¦ enjoys sports, learning about World War II history and playing X-Boxâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Indiana Pacersâ?¦ favorite musician is Drakeâ?¦ son of Darin and Tina Acklinâ?¦ MAJOR: Criminal Justice









      Michael Bishoff â?¢ LB (6-2, 190) Elk Grove Village, Illinois (Elk Grove)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Two-time All-Conferenceâ?¦ two-time Academic All-Stateâ?¦ Daily Herald All-Areaâ?¦ twice named team captainâ?¦ played for coach Larry Calhounâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born March 31, 1996 in Elk Grove Villageâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was catching a Hail Mary on Homecoming of his senior year. The play made the #2 on MaxPreps â??Top 10â?? HS football plays of the yearâ?¦ enjoys snowmobiling, jet skiing, 4-wheeling and water skiingâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Chicago Bearsâ?¦ son of Mike and Denise Bishoffâ?¦ MAJOR: Criminal Justice









      Brock Broughton â?¢ RB (5-11, 190) Kearney, Missouri (Kearney)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered three times in football, twice in track and once in baseballâ?¦ twice selected as the programâ??s Most Valuable Playerâ?¦ two-time First Team All-Conference, and earned All-League honors three yearsâ?¦ Offensive Most Valuable Player his senior yearâ?¦ First Team All-Metroâ?¦ two-time First Team All-Districtâ?¦ two-time First Team All-Stateâ?¦ twice selected to the KKWR-KMRN Radio All-Star teamâ?¦ named KMZU radio Offensive MVP in Class 5Aâ?¦ finalist for the Simone Awardâ?¦ received the Kearney Irondog Award with a 3.5 or higher GPA three timesâ?¦ received the schoolâ??s Nathan Scheelhaase Award for Career Achievementâ?¦ rushed for a school record 352 yards in a game his junior year versus Leeâ??s Summit then in his senior year rushed for a record six touchdownsâ?¦ set season records with 2,065 rushing yards, 318 attempts, 11.57 yards per play, and 38 touchdowns in a seasonâ?¦ broke the school record with 4,289 yards and 72 touchdowns (63 rushing/9 receiving)â?¦ ended his senior year with 29 receptions totaling 469 yards and four scoresâ?¦ team won conference title in 2011 and 2013â?¦ won district twice and advanced to the state semifinals in 2013â?¦ played for coach Greg Jonesâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born January 16, 1996â?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was running the wildcat due to the quarterback being out sick and ran for 352 yardsâ?¦ his father has been a major influence, â??He taught me many things and always believed in me no matter what.â??â?¦ most admires Michael Jordan and Tim Tebow, â??These two men went hard all the time. They did things that people did not believe they could do.â??â?¦ enjoys playing sports, lifting weights, hanging with friends and outdoor activitiesâ?¦ favorite professional teams are Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Saintsâ?¦ enjoys many different music groupsâ?¦ son of Len and Kelly Broughtonâ?¦ MAJOR: Undecided









      Brody Carls â?¢ OL (6-5, 255) Pana, Illinois (Pana)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered four times in football and twice each in basketball and track/fieldâ?¦ selected to the South Central All-Conference teamâ?¦ Decatur Herald and Review All-Areaâ?¦ twice received the Leadership Awardâ?¦ Varsity Big Brother Awardâ?¦ his senior year recorded 36 tackles at defensive end with one forced fumble and two fumble recoveriesâ?¦ team twice won conferenceâ?¦ played for coach Al Stupekâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born October 10, 1995 in Springfieldâ?¦ member of the Pana FFA and Pana Fellowship of Christian Athletesâ?¦ his uncles Hal Call and Butch Nowack have been a major influenceâ?¦ most admires his football coaching staff, â??They teach you discipline, how to become a good man and expect nothing but the best from you.â??â?¦ his uncle Butch was an All-American at Illinois and Hal set a record for longest punt return at Southern Illinoisâ?¦ enjoys hunting, fishing, sports and spending time with family and friendsâ?¦ favorite professional teams are Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and Cubsâ?¦ son of Rodney and Nikki Carlsâ?¦ MAJOR: Criminal Justice









      DeVanteâ?? Clark â?¢ DB (6-1, 195) Jacksonville, Illinois (Jacksonville)



      HIGH SCHOOL: All-Conference honors in both football and trackâ?¦ twice voted team Defensive MVPâ?¦ recorded 204 career tackles, 11 interceptions, 10 pass deflections, three forced fumbles and five fumble recoveriesâ?¦ won the conference high jump titleâ?¦ sectional title in the 200 metersâ?¦ member of the 2013 Class 2A state championship 4x100 relayâ?¦ has placed in the state â??Top 10â?? in the high jump two straight yearsâ?¦ played football for coach Mark Groundsâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born March 2, 1996 in Springfieldâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was a 90-yard return off a blocked field goal for a touchdownâ?¦ his mom has been a major influence, â??Sheâ??s always supported and pushed me to be a better athlete and person.â??â?¦ most admires former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis, â??For his passion of the game and the way he overcame all obstacles to be one of the best in the game and reach his goal.â??â?¦ enjoys fishing, golf and video gamesâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Chicago Bullsâ?¦ favorite musician is Ace Hoodâ?¦ son of Lawrence and Linda Jacksonâ?¦ MAJOR: Criminal Justice









      Aaron Diggs â?¢ DB (6-1, 190) Goodyear, Arizona (Millennium)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, track/field and baseballâ?¦ earned Division I All-State honorsâ?¦ voted the conferenceâ??s Defensive MVPâ?¦ First Team All-Conference at safetyâ?¦ selected to Arizonaâ??s â??Top 25â?? All-Star teamâ?¦ USA Today All-Stateâ?¦ helped set the school record in the 4x100 relayâ?¦ recorded eight interceptions, setting a season recordâ?¦ ended his career with 214 tackles and 13 interceptionsâ?¦ played for coach Jason Randelsâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born February 18, 1996 in Gainesville, Floridaâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was finishing his senior year with eight interceptions to break the school record and leading the state in interceptionsâ?¦ his dad has been a major influence, â??He taught me never to give up and always go after what I want.â??â?¦ most admires his HS coach Jason Randels, â??He really pushed me my senior year and pushed my name out there during the recruitment process.â??â?¦ his father Tony played Major League Baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals organizationsâ?¦ his aunt played in the WNBA for the Phoenix Mercuryâ?¦ enjoys football, track and baseballâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Dallas Cowboysâ?¦ son of Tony and Kim Diggsâ?¦ MAJOR: Undecided









      David Griffith â?¢ DB (5-11, 190) Avon, Indiana (Avon)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered three years each in football and basketballâ?¦ a three-year starter, earned All-County honorsâ?¦ voted All-Hoosier Crossroads Conferenceâ?¦ selected to Class 6A All-Stateâ?¦ MVP of skill players following his senior yearâ?¦ football team won Sectional title in 2011â?¦ basketball team won County championship in 2012 and 2013â?¦ received the Send-Me Award given by coach Mark Blessâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born August 18, 1995 in Indianapolisâ?¦ involved with his church group projectsâ?¦ National Honor Societyâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was season-opener his junior year when he returned a punt for a touchdown late in the game to tie the score and they eventually went on to winâ?¦ his father has been a major influence, â??He first got me involved in football and has been there to support me since day one.â??â?¦ most admires Kevin Kelly (director of college scouting for the San Diego Chargers), â??He first coached me in third grade football. I admire him for his love of the game and how passionate he is about it. He has helped me through a lot in my years of football.â??â?¦ enjoys working out, spending time with friends, doing landscaping, TV and fishingâ?¦ favorite professional teams are the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia Flyersâ?¦ favorite music group is Florida Georgia Lineâ?¦ son of Todd and Mitzi Griffithâ?¦ MAJOR: Exercise Science









      Brenden Jostes â?¢ OL (6-4, 265) Farmington, Illinois (Farmington Central)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, wrestling and track/fieldâ?¦ three times selected All-Conference in footballâ?¦ twice a unanimous pick as First Team centerâ?¦ All-State honors in footballâ?¦ played for coach Casey Martinâ?¦ in wrestling qualified for Sectionals and Stateâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born February 10, 1996 in Galesburgâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was making it to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs last fallâ?¦ everyone who told him that he couldnâ??t do it has been a major influence in his sports career, â??It made me want to succeed more.â??â?¦ most admires Houston Texansâ?? J.J. Watt, â??Walk-ons can still succeed even if not on a scholarship and hard work pays off.â??â?¦ enjoys 4-wheeling, tractor pulling and playing footballâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Chicago Bearsâ?¦ favorite musician is Eric Churchâ?¦ son of Christopher and Christina Jostesâ?¦ MAJOR: Undecided









      James Kalfas â?¢ DE (6-3, 255) Wheaton, Illinois (St. Francis College Prep)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, baseball and wrestlingâ?¦ named All-Conference and All-Area in footballâ?¦ selected as one of the Top 50 players in DuPage Countyâ?¦ started on both offense and defenseâ?¦ played for coach Greg Purnellâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born February 9, 1996 in Long Beach, Californiaâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was earning a starting role as a sophomore and being the only sophomore on the varsity teamâ?¦ most admires coach Nick Holt, â??For his enthusiasm for the game.â??â?¦ his father played football at Cal State Fullerton in the 1980sâ?¦ lists football as his hobbyâ?¦ favorite professional teams are the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Lakersâ?¦ favorite musicians are Kendrick Lamar and Dr. Dreâ?¦ son of Mark and Tracy Kalfasâ?¦ MAJOR: Communications or Criminal Justice











      Grant Kasal â?¢ DL (6-5, 225) Westmont, Illinois (Downers Grove North)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and footballâ?¦ named Academic All-West Suburban Conferenceâ?¦ team advanced to the quarterfinal round two years in a rowâ?¦ played for coach John Wanderâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born August 28, 1995â?¦ volunteers at the Loyola University Medical Center and at the Ronald McDonaldâ??s Children Centerâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was beating Wheaton Warrenville South 10-7 in the second round of the Class 7A state playoffsâ?¦ Bob Pinelli has been a major influence, â??He had always told me that being big is a good thing. He was my first defensive line coach.â??â?¦ most admires Houston Texansâ?? J.J. Watt, â??For his amazing work ethic.â??â?¦ his sister plays Division I volleyball at Green Bayâ?¦ enjoys spending time with family and friends, being active, playing cards and eatingâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Chicago Bearsâ?¦ favorite music is Eminem, Beach Boys and The XXâ?¦ son of Steve and Marilyn Kasalâ?¦ MAJOR: Pre-Dental











      Thomas Kirsch â?¢ OL (6-6, 275) Hartland, Wisconsin (Arrowhead)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, track and wrestlingâ?¦ Second Team All-Conference in footballâ?¦ helped team win the conference titleâ?¦ won consecutive state titles in football (2012 and 2013)â?¦ played for coach Greg Malingâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born January 10, 1996â?¦ his competitors have been a major influence, â??I know if Iâ??m not working hard somebody else is.â??â?¦ most admires his HS coach Greg Maling, â??He is organized to make the team work hard every day.â??â?¦ had an uncle Jim Duyser play baseball at Illinoisâ?¦ enjoys working out and eatingâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Green Bay Packersâ?¦ favorite music is Grouplove, Imagine Dragons and Twenty one Pilotsâ?¦ son of William Kirsch and Sally Didierâ?¦ MAJOR: Engineering











      Isaiah Lesure â?¢ WR (6-3, 175) Mount Horeb, Wisconsin (Mount Horeb)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered a combined 10 times in football, basketball and track/fieldâ?¦ First Team All-Conference on both offense and defenseâ?¦ Honorable Mention All-Stateâ?¦ Offensive MVP of the Badger Conferenceâ?¦ played for coach Travis Rohrerâ?¦ won a state title in track/fieldâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born November 6, 1995â?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was setting the school season record in receiving yardsâ?¦ the people around him everyday have been a major influence, â??People like my coaches, family and friendsâ?¦ they keep me rolling.â??â?¦ most admires Larry Fitzgerald, Jerry Rice, Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson, â??They are all explosive.â??â?¦ his dad played football at Loras Collegeâ?¦ enjoys dancing, singing, video games and modelingâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Chicago Bearsâ?¦ favorite musician is Justin Timberlakeâ?¦ son of Jermaine Williams and Nikki Lesureâ?¦ MAJOR: Sport Management









      Sean McGuire â?¢ QB (6-3, 205) Franklin, Wisconsin (Franklin)



      HIGH SCHOOL: First Team All-Stateâ?¦ twice named First Team All-Regionâ?¦ two-time First Team All-Areaâ?¦ three years chosen First Team All-Suburbanâ?¦ All-Conference honors three yearsâ?¦ voted SEC â??Player of the Yearâ??â?¦ Southeastern Wisconsin Regional â??Player of the Yearâ??â?¦ set records for the Wisconsin D1 state championship football game in passing completions, attempts and yardsâ?¦ set program records for yards in a season (3,004) and attempts (352)â?¦ ended his career with 6,008 passing yards, 47 touchdowns, 61 percent completion rate, surpassed 1,000 rushing yards and added 22 TDs on the groundâ?¦ turned in a 28-8 record as a starterâ?¦ team won the 2013 conference title and regional championshipâ?¦ lost in the state title gameâ?¦ lettered in basketball, track/field and footballâ?¦ played for coach Louis Brownâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born February 14, 1996 in Milwaukee, Wisconsinâ?¦ active in speaking at D.A.R.E. graduations across Milwaukee Countyâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was, â??Going into my senior year I wanted to leave a mark for underclassmen to follow and remember. After losing in the state championship game several of them stopped by and said that I made an impact on them and changed the way they thought about football and work ethic. I know they will be successful in the future, that means a lot to me.â??â?¦ his brother and nephew have been a major influence, â??They have been through so much in their own personal lives and they have made me so proud. I want to make them as proud as they have made me.â??â?¦ most admires his HS head coach Louis Brown, â??I have never played for a coach like him, and I would never have wanted to play for anyone else. He has impacted me in ways he will never know. He has instilled so much in me that started when I was so young that will continue to be a part of me until the day I die.â??â?¦ enjoys playing sports, spending time with friends, training, hiking, fishing and drivingâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Green Bay Packersâ?¦ favorite music is Dave Matthews Band and Zac Brown Bandâ?¦ son of Terrence and Deborah McGuireâ?¦ MAJOR: Business









      Cale McMakin â?¢ LB (6-1, 205) Overland Park, Kansas (Blue Valley West)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, basketball and trackâ?¦ twice named All-EKL at linebacker, including Second Team honors his senior yearâ?¦ set a record with 169 career tacklesâ?¦ K-Preps Class 5A All-State honorsâ?¦ played for coach Scott Wrightâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born September 21, 1995 in St. Louis, Missouriâ?¦ participated in a Polar Plunge fundraiser at school to fight cancerâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was beating a rival team on their senior night on a last second field goalâ?¦ his three older brothers have been a major influence, â??They have been my mentor since I was born and I respect them all very much.â??â?¦ most admires his HS coach Scott Wright, â??He is such a great man and really cares about me and my teammates. He is a great teacher of life.â??â?¦ his older brother Brett is a member of the UNI football teamâ?¦ enjoys basketball, music, reading, running and winning football gamesâ?¦ favorite professional teams are: Oklahoma City Thunder, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and Chicago Blackhawksâ?¦ favorite music is the Beatles, Kendrick Lamar and Alicia Keysâ?¦ son of Matt McMakin and Lisa Cullitonâ?¦ MAJOR: Undecided







      Luke Otto â?¢ P/K (5-11, 215) Normal, Illinois (University)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football and soccerâ?¦ First Team All-Conference honors as a kicker his senior year, Third Team honors as a juniorâ?¦ two-time Second Team All-Conference accolades at punter and was Honorable Mention after his sophomore yearâ?¦ Academic All-State following his senior yearâ?¦ his senior year 50 of his 99 kickoffs were touchbacksâ?¦ career-long 61-yard punt in the airâ?¦ named special teams MVP in 2011 and 2013â?¦ helped U-High win three consecutive Cornbelt Conference titlesâ?¦ played for coach Dusty Burkâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born October 4, 1994 in Normalâ?¦ chosen as an Illinois State Scholarâ?¦ worked on various school volunteer projects, including: Habitat for Humanity and Homes for Haitiâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was landing a 61-yard punt on the two yard line during his last playoff game, and kicking extra points out of Illinois Stateâ??s stadiumâ?¦ Ryan Hoffman has been a major influence, â??He spent hours upon hours of his own personal time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights just to work with me and even volunteered to be a coach at UHS last season.â??â?¦ enjoys pick-up games of soccer and basketball, and working out at the gymâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Chicago Bearsâ?¦ favorite music group is the Red Hot Chili Peppersâ?¦ son of Douglas and Jennifer Kleinâ?¦ MAJOR: Economics









      Drew Patterson â?¢ RB (6-0, 205) Sussex, Wisconsin (Hamilton)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, basketball, track/field and baseballâ?¦ twice earned All-State honors in football and was a three-time All-Conference selectionâ?¦ two-time GMC â??Offensive Player of the Yearâ??â?¦ ended his career as the schoolâ??s all-time leading rusher and career record holder in touchdownsâ?¦ played for coach John Damatoâ?¦ helped the 4x400 relay place fourth at the state track meetâ?¦ qualified for state in the 400 metersâ?¦ set school records in the 4x400 relay and open 400â?¦ PERSONAL: Born November 11, 1994 in Sussex, Wisconsinâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was beating top-seeded Manitowoc Lincoln in the playoffs his sophomore yearâ?¦ his brother Nick has been a major influence, â??We are so close and have a relationship where we are always pushing each other to do better. We consistently try to one up each other in whatever it is we are doing.â??â?¦ most admires Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers, â??Because of his relentless effort he gives on every play. He is a monster and plays the game how it should be played.â??â?¦ his brother Nick is a running back at Wisconsin-Whitewater while his sister Brooke runs track at Wisconsin-Eau Claireâ?¦ enjoys all sports, snowboarding and fishingâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Packersâ?¦ favorite music group is Aerâ?¦ son of Tim and Leah Pattersonâ?¦ MAJOR: Law Enforcement









      Jordan Robinson â?¢ DE (6-2, 245) Jefferson City, Missouri (Jefferson City)



      HIGH SCHOOL: First Team All-District honors in footballâ?¦ selected to the Blue and Grey All-America teamâ?¦ three-year letterwinner in footballâ?¦ led the team in sacks his final two seasonsâ?¦ recorded 168 career tacklesâ?¦ played for coach Ron Coleâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born October 3, 1995 in Columbia, Missouriâ?¦ worked with Habitat for Humanity in addition to a couple of other charitiesâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was playing Hickman HS, a game in which he recorded two blocked field goals, two sacks and seven tacklesâ?¦ his father has been a major influence, â??He basically taught me everything about sports.â??â?¦ most admires Chris Clemons, â??He overcame the odds of being deaf to play football.â??â?¦ enjoys music, video games and collecting shoesâ?¦ favorite professional teams are the Green Bay Packers, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Blackhawks and New York Yankeesâ?¦ son of Alfred and Terri Robinsonâ?¦ MAJOR: Business











      Xavier Rowe â?¢ DB (6-0, 185) Oak Park, Illinois (Oak Park-River Forest)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, track and basketballâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born November 9, 1995â?¦ son of Xavier Rowe and Annmarie Roweâ?¦ MAJOR: Undecided









      Khalen Saunders â?¢ DL (6-2, 280) St. Louis, Missouri (Parkway Central)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, wrestling and track/fieldâ?¦ earned All-Conference and All-State honors at defensive tackle and as offensive athleteâ?¦ team placed second in state during the 2013 football seasonâ?¦ was runner-up following his junior year in the state track meet in the shot putâ?¦ played for coach Mark Goldenbergâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born August 9, 1996 in St. Louisâ?¦ his parents have been a major influence, â??They support me and my brother, even though we have very different talents.â??â?¦ most admires his HS coach Mark Goldenberg, â??For giving me a chance to run the ball.â??â?¦ hobbies include the piano and tumblingâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Seattle Seahawksâ?¦ favorite musicians are Kanye West and Chance the Rapperâ?¦ son of Kenton Saunders and Kim Hamiltonâ?¦ MAJOR: Math Education











      Luis Sharpe â?¢ DB (6-2, 195) Phoenix, Arizona (Mountain Point/Glendale CC)


      Will have two years of eligibility remaining to play for the Leathernecksâ?¦ AT GLENDALE CC: Helped Glendale win the 2012 Valley of the Sun Bowl championshipâ?¦ HIGH SCHOOL: Named Honorable Mention All-State in Class 6Aâ?¦ lettered in football and trackâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born December 10, 1993 in Phoenix, Arizonaâ?¦ his mom has been a major influence, â??She supported me my whole life through thick and thin.â??â?¦ most admires Seattle Seahawksâ?? Richard Sherman, â??Heâ??s the best cornerback in the NFL.â??â?¦ his dad Luis was a three-time NFL Pro Bowl selection and played 13 years in the NFLâ?¦ enjoys lifting weights and playing basketballâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Arizona Cardinalsâ?¦ favorite musician is Drakeâ?¦ son of Luis and Kathi Sharpeâ?¦ MAJOR: Undecided











      Macae Skaggs â?¢ TE (6-3, 230) Farmington, Illinois (Farmington Central)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, basketball and baseballâ?¦ selected All-State in football following his junior and senior year by the Champaign News-Gazetteâ?¦ Peoria Journal Star Small School â??Player of the Yearâ??â?¦ earned All-Conference honors as a punter his senior yearâ?¦ twice earned All-Conference honors at running back and linebackerâ?¦ in his career totaled 3,116 rushing yards (5.8 yards per rush) and 31 touchdownsâ?¦ recorded 375 career tackles and 39 tackles for a lossâ?¦ averaged 37.5 yards on 24 puntsâ?¦ played football for coach Casey Martinâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born October 13, 1995 in Peoriaâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was winning their first state football playoff gameâ?¦ his father has been a major influence, â??From the age of 5 he has always coached or participated in my football career.â??â?¦ most admires his HS coach Casey Martin, â??He took a struggling football team and turned it around to a respectable program.â??â?¦ enjoys fishing, hunting, all sports and 4-wheelingâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Dallas Cowboysâ?¦ favorite musician is Thomas Rhettâ?¦ son of Jeff and Jamie Skaggsâ?¦ MAJOR: Criminal Justice









      Tyler Slamans â?¢ TE (6-3, 226) Sugar Grove, Illinois (Kaneland)



      HIGH SCHOOL: A two-year starter in footballâ?¦ lettered in football, basketball and track/fieldâ?¦ played for coach Tom Fedderlyâ?¦ team won the 2012 Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference football titleâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born January 16, 1996 in Genevaâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was winning their first round football playoff game versus Hampshire with three catches and a touchdownâ?¦ his father has been a major influence, â??He has always pushed me to be the best that I could possibly be.â??â?¦ most admires WIU Leatherneck standout and former NFL star Don Beebe, â??He was a great mentor with the House of Speed Football Academy. He helped me become the player I am today.â??â?¦ has a cousin Spencer Allen who runs track at Georgia Techâ?¦ enjoys hunting, fishing, church and spending time with family and friendsâ?¦ favorite professional teams are the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks and Indianapolis Coltsâ?¦ enjoys all musicâ?¦ son of Bruce and Susan Slamansâ?¦ MAJOR: Exercise Science











      Stacey Smith, Jr. â?¢ ATH (5-8, 160) Schaumburg, Illinois (Schaumburg)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Named to the Daily Herald Northwest All-Area team and was selected as the team captainâ?¦ MSL Conference MVP as a seniorâ?¦ IHSA All-Stateâ?¦ selected to the 2011 Tom Lemming/NCSA All-Area teamâ?¦ three-year starter at quarterbackâ?¦ helped the Saxons to the programâ??s best season since 1999â?¦ scored a touchdown in every game his senior yearâ?¦ twice had a four-touchdown performance as a seniorâ?¦ ended the 2013 season with 1,963 rushing yards on 191 carries (10.3 ypc) and 31 touchdownsâ?¦ passed for 474 yards and threw for four TDs with only one interceptionâ?¦ also returned a punt for a touchdown against Barringtonâ?¦ rushed for 193 yards on just 19 attempts against Glenbard West in the state semifinalsâ?¦ helped the team average more than 36 points per game and accounted for nearly half of the Saxonsâ?? rushing yards on the yearâ?¦ lettered in football, baseball, wrestling and track/fieldâ?¦ as a junior finished second in the MSL and second in sectionals in the long jumpâ?¦ won the conference and sectional title in the triple jump, placed 10th at state in the eventâ?¦ helped the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams qualify for state... became the first track athlete in Schaumburg history to qualify for state in four different eventsâ?¦ played for coach Mark Stillingâ?¦ as a freshman won a conference title in wrestlingâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born March 12, 1996â?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was scoring the game-winning touchdown against Fremd his sophomore year in overtimeâ?¦ his uncle LeSean Stallings has been a major influence, â??He played both quarterback and defensive back in high school as did I.â??â?¦ most admires the offensive line coach at Schaumburg Bill Lange, â??He has kept it real with me and never sugarcoated a thing. Iâ??ve looked up to him since I was 14 years old entering high school.â??â?¦ his relative April Sykes is a WNBA player for the Los Angeles Sparksâ?¦ enjoys listening to music, working out, sports, social media and playing Super Mario Brothersâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Pittsburgh Steelersâ?¦ favorite music artist is Big Lâ?¦ son of Stacey Smith, Sr. and Betty Stallingsâ?¦ MAJOR: Accountancy









      Timothy Smith â?¢ DB (6-1, 185) Chicago, Illinois (Morgan Park)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football and track/fieldâ?¦ earned All-City honors in footballâ?¦ recording nine passing touchdowns, one TD receiving, and six rushing touchdownsâ?¦ registered four interceptions and 41 tacklesâ?¦ during his junior year had nine interceptions and returned two for a touchdownâ?¦ played for coach Lexie Spurlock and coach Wesley Yatesâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born July 19, 1996 in Chicagoâ?¦ his older brother Josh is a member of the Leatherneck football program and has been a major influence, â??He started football a year earlier than me, and ever since then we have been competing to see who is the best. Also to make my mother and family proud.â??â?¦ most admires one of his former coaches Ron Moore, â??He was my foundation for everything. He made me tough and taught me how to never quit.â??â?¦ also admires former coach Alonzo Harris, â??He stayed in my ear pushing me and giving me motivation to improve in every aspect of life.â??â?¦ in addition to his brother Josh, he has another brother Russell who plays basketball for Kennedy King Collegeâ?¦ enjoys basketball, working out, football, playing spades and the X-Boxâ?¦ favorite professional teams are the Chicago Bulls, Bears, White Sox and Blackhawksâ?¦ favorite music is Meek Millâ?¦ son of Russell and LaTonya Smithâ?¦ MAJOR: Architecture/Construction Management











      Pete Swenson â?¢ TE (6-3, 225) Mason City, Iowa (Clear Lake)



      HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered four years in football and basketball, three in track and field, once in soccer and five times in baseballâ?¦ three-year starter at middle linebacker for the Lionsâ?¦ two-time All-Districtâ?¦ First Team All-State his senior year, earned Third Team honors as a juniorâ?¦ Globe Gazette Area â??Player of the Yearâ??â?¦ chosen Most Valuable Player at the state baseball tournament, helping the Lions to the Class 3A title last summerâ?¦ earned Second Team All-Conference honors in basketball last yearâ?¦ recorded 15 touchdowns on offense and 274 tackles and five interceptions defensively in his careerâ?¦ team went 30-3 with him as a starterâ?¦ invited to play in the Iowa High School All-Star Shrine Bowlâ?¦ played for coach Fred Weick... PERSONAL: Born June 23, 1995 in Mason City, Iowaâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was being named player of the game as Clear Lake defeated rival Mason City for the first time in more than 80 yearsâ?¦ his father has been a major influence, â??He has taught me everything I know about sports and given me every opportunity I couldâ??ve asked for.â??â?¦ his brother Robert is a catcher on the Chicago State baseball teamâ?¦ enjoys hanging out with friends, playing X-Box and listening to musicâ?¦ favorite professional teams are the Minnesota Timberwolves and Carolina Panthersâ?¦ favorite musicians are Kendrick Lamar and Kanye Westâ?¦ son of Scott and Rhonda Swensonâ?¦ MAJOR: Undecided







      Robert Young, Jr. â?¢ OL (6-4, 295) St. Louis, Missouri (Kirkwood)



      HIGH SCHOOL: First Team All-Districtâ?¦ Second Team All-Stateâ?¦ won state his junior yearâ?¦ received the Jay Leeuwenburg Award his senior year, given to the most outstanding linemanâ?¦ played for coach Matt Irvinâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born October 3, 1995 in St. Louisâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was winning the state football title his junior yearâ?¦ most admires Michael Jordan, â??For his ability to overcome adversity to win and work hard no matter what.â??â?¦ enjoys football, lifting weights and playing Maddenâ?¦ favorite professional teams are: St. Louis Rams, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Lakersâ?¦ favorite musicians are The Joker and Davo Flyâ?¦ son of Robert Young, Srâ?¦ MAJOR: Undecided











      Nick Ziegenbein â?¢ OL (6-9, 335) Phoenix, Arizona (Pinnacle/Glendale CC)


      Will have two years of eligibility remaining to play for the Leathernecksâ?¦ AT GLENDALE CC: Earned Second Team All-WSFL honors at Glendale following his sophomore yearâ?¦ helped Glendale win the 2012 Valley of the Sun Bowlâ?¦ HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in track (4) and football (3)â?¦ First Team All-Conference his senior year, and earned Second Team honors following his junior yearâ?¦ played for coach Dana Zupkeâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born September 23, 1993 in Colorado Springs, Coloradoâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was starting his senior year 8-0â?¦ his high school offensive line coach Terry Burke has been a major influence, â??He made want to play O-Line and taught me how to really play.â??â?¦ most admires his freshman basketball coach Dennis Hackworth, â??He coached with such passion for the game and love for the players and team.â??â?¦ his grandfather played football at Arizona State and his great-uncle was a baseball player at Nebraskaâ?¦ enjoys sports and spending time with friendsâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Denver Broncosâ?¦ favorite music group is the Zac Brown Bandâ?¦ son of Robert and Lori Ziegenbeinâ?¦ MAJOR: Broadcasting








      ENROLLED IN JANUARY






      Tyler Bode â?¢ OL (6-7, 305) Fountain Hills, Arizona (Fountain Hills/Scottsdale CC)


      Enrolled in January and will have two years of eligibility remaining to play for the Leathernecksâ?¦ AT SCOTTSDALE CC: Earned First Team All-America honors following his sophomore yearâ?¦ named First Team All-WSFLâ?¦ helped Scottsdale advance to the Valley of the Sun Bowl and won the WSFL titleâ?¦ played for WSFL â??Coach of the Yearâ?? Doug Madoski and helped block for the leagueâ??s â??Offensive Player of the Yearâ??â?¦ HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football and basketballâ?¦ First Team All-Conference three timesâ?¦ twice earned First Team All-State accoladesâ?¦ team won the 2008 and 2009 South Region title in football, and 2009 basketball region titleâ?¦ most admires Matt Johnson and Jeremy Brighem, â??For all the belief they have in me and for pushing me.â??â?¦ enjoys reading and footballâ?¦ favorite professional teams are the Miami Heat and Boston Red Soxâ?¦ favorite music is Old Crow Medicine Show, Johnny Cash and Eminemâ?¦ son of Patricia Bodeâ?¦ MAJOR: General Studies







      Cole Griffin â?¢ TE (6-4, 255) Yorba Linda, California (Yorba Linda/Santa Ana CC)


      Enrolled in January and will have two years of eligibility remaining to play for the Leathernecksâ?¦ AT SANTA ANA CC: Earned All-Conference honorsâ?¦ helped team win the SoCal Bowl titleâ?¦ during his sophomore year (eight games) caught 20 passes for 196 yards and three touchdownsâ?¦ all three TD receptions came during conference playâ?¦ HIGH SCHOOL: Named Second Team All-Leagueâ?¦ selected to the North-South All-Star gameâ?¦ led his football team to the first-ever playoff victoryâ?¦ lettered in football, basketball and volleyballâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born March 29, 1994 in Yorba Linda, Californiaâ?¦ volunteered at the Ronald McDonald cancer patient centerâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was being chosen â??Top 10â?? in state at tight endâ?¦ his grandpa and uncles have been a major influence, â??They have coached me in football since I was seven years old and always kept my dream of playing football alive.â??â?¦ enjoys working on his truck and spending time with family and friendsâ?¦ enjoys listening to country musicâ?¦ son of Mark Griffinâ?¦ MAJOR: Communications







      Kris Harley â?¢ DL (6-1, 270) Indianapolis, Indiana (Warren Central/Virginia Tech)


      Enrolled in January and will have two years of eligibility remaining to play for the Leathernecksâ?¦ AT VIRGINIA TECH: Spent three years with the Hokies programâ?¦ redshirted in 2011â?¦ played in 10 games as a redshirt-freshmanâ?¦ recorded six tackles and an interception (versus Cincinnati)â?¦ saw action versus Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowlâ?¦ made two tackles his sophomore year against Western Carolina, his only game action of the yearâ?¦ HIGH SCHOOL: Earned All-America honors by SuperPrep and PrepStarâ?¦ member of the ESPNU 150 squadâ?¦ three-year starterâ?¦ finished senior year with 46 tackles, including seven for a loss and six sacksâ?¦ First Team All-Class 5Aâ?¦ helped Warren Central win a state title in 2009â?¦ was a track state shot put champion in 2010â?¦ during his junior year recorded 91 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss and five sacksâ?¦ was ranked as the No. 12 defensive tackle by ESPN.com/Scouts, Incâ?¦ MaxPreps listed him as the No. 14 defensive tackle in the countryâ?¦ overall was the No. 22 player on the Midwest 144 by SuperPrepsâ?¦ played for coach John Hartâ?¦ lettered in football and trackâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born September 22, 1992 in Indianapolis, Indianaâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was winning the state football title in 2009â?¦ his mom has been a major influence, â??She is at every single one of my games.â??â?¦ enjoys listening to musicâ?¦ favorite professional team is the Indianapolis Coltsâ?¦ son of Eddie and Terilyn Hokeâ?¦ MAJOR: Communications







      John LaChapelle â?¢ DL (6-1, 290) Apache Junction, Arizona (Apache Junction/Glendale CC)


      Enrolled in January and will have two years of eligibility remaining to play for the Leathernecksâ?¦ AT GLENDALE CC: Spent two years at Glendaleâ?¦ helped team win the 2012 Valley of the Sun Bowlâ?¦ HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, basketball and baseballâ?¦ earned All-State and All-Conference honors in footballâ?¦ Honorable Mention accolades in basketballâ?¦ played football for coach Justin Macdonaldâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born October 3, 1993 in Apache Junction, Arizonaâ?¦ No. 1 sports highlight was beating Arizona Western College on a field goal in overtimeâ?¦ most admires his HS football coach Bob Harvey, â??He showed me what it takes to get to the next level and to make yourself better every day.â??â?¦ enjoys fishing, hiking, watching TV and spending time with familyâ?¦ favorite professional teams are the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Sunsâ?¦ son of John and Lori LaChapelleâ?¦ MAJOR: Undecided







      Martin Woods â?¢ OL (6-3, 280) Glendale, AZ (Independence/Glendale CC)



      AT GLENDALE CC: Played at Glendale CC, helping the 2012 team to an 8-3 record and â??Top 20â?? ranking nationallyâ?¦ defeated Mesa CC to win the Valley of the Sun Bowlâ?¦ selected Second Team All-WSFLâ?¦ HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football and track/fieldâ?¦ played for coach Adrian Orona and Kenny Storkleâ?¦ PERSONAL: Born June 17, 1992â?¦ his mother has been a major influence, â??She is the only person I want to take care of.â??â?¦ favorite professional teams are the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Rocketsâ?¦ favorite musician is Jay-Zâ?¦ son of Windy Davisâ?¦ MAJOR: Communications



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