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      Hawking Talent: QU Football Recruiting Class includes 22 newcomers, local influence

      2014 Quincy University Signing Day

      Courtesy: QU SID Brendan Bittner

      QU Football Welcomes 22 New Hawks on National Signing Day

      QUINCY, Ill. â?? Quincy University football head coach Tom Pajic announced the first 22 players of the 2014 QU recruiting class on Wednesday (Feb. 5) â?? the first day of the NCAA signing period, otherwise known as National Signing Day.

      The new players hail from across the nation with five states represented in the class. The Hawks also welcomed multiple student-athletes from the Tri-States region. The class is evenly distributed on both sides of the ball with 10 offensive players, 11 defensive players and one specialist.

      "Weâ??re very excited about the group coming to campus this summer," Pajic said. "This is an extremely competitive class loaded with high-character young men who will help our program reach championship levels of competition.

      "We entered the recruiting season knowing we needed to add talented players across the board and we feel weâ??ve done that with this class," said Pajic.

      While Wednesday serves as the first day student-athletes can sign their National Letters of Intent, the signing period will continue over the next few months, during which the Hawks will continue to add to this 2014 class.

      This is Pajicâ??s third recruiting class since coming aboard with the Hawks in December 2011.

      The following are the 22 student-athletes signed to the 2014 QU recruting class.

      Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School Head Coach

      Mike Andrews FS 5-10 195 Algonquin, Ill./Huntley John Hart

      Ceyonte Bell CB 5-9 165 St. Joseph, Mo./Central Jeff Wallace

      Jared Carlton OL 6-2 290 Machesney Park, Ill./Harlem Scott Sholl

      T.J. Daniels LB 6-1 240 Florissant, Mo./St. Louis University HS Gary Kornfeld

      Ryan Finders WR 6-1 195 St. Charles, Mo./St. Charles West Gary Strauss

      Miguel Garcia DL 6-1 275 St. Louis, Mo./DeSmet Pat Mahoney

      Christian Geen LB 6-0 225 Columbia, Mo./Hickman Arnel Monroe

      Phillip Gegner OL 6-0 280 Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central Jayson West

      Dylan Handlin LB 5-11 200 Springfield, Ill./Rochester Derek Leonard

      Jacob Kaiser QB 6-0 190 St. Joseph, Mo./Central Jeff Wallace

      Robbie Kelley QB 6-3 205 Springfield, Ill./Rochester Derek Leonard

      Kyle Kling OL 6-3 285 Loves Park, Ill./Harlem Scott Sholl

      Alex Lance DL 5-10 240 Fenton, Mo./Rockwood Summit Michael Bellers

      Jacob Lounsberry DE 6-3 210 Sherman, Ill./Williamsville Abe Kunz

      Mason Murray QB 5-11 190 Columbia, Mo./Hickman Arnel Monroe

      Grant Oâ??Bryan DB 5-10 185 Monroe City, Mo./Monroe City David Kirby

      Mike Overstreet OL 6-6 275 Columbia, Mo./North Callaway Mike Emmons

      Jarrod Rockhold DB 5-11 200 Macomb, Ill./Lindenwood Univ.-Belleville Kelly Sears

      Avery Sims DE 6-2 220 Houston, Texas/St. Pius X Brian Ware

      Eli Thom OL 6-1 265 San Andreas, Calif./Butte College Jeff Jordan

      Sam Wilson LS 5-9 240 Collinsville, Ill./Collinsville John Blaylock

      Kody Wood WR 5-11 180 Jacksonville, Ill./Jacksonville Mark Grounds

      * The following pages contain further information on each of these future QU student-athletes. *

      2014 Quincy University Signing Day

      Head Coach: Tom Pajic SID Contact: Brendan Bittner

      Mike Andrews

      LB | 5-10 | 190 | Algonquin, Ill./Huntley Head Coach: John Hart

      Prior to Quincy: Andrews recorded 44 tackles, two interceptions, four quarterback hurries and a forced fumble in his senior season... He played also played baseball and competed in track & field at Huntley High School.

      Personal: Mike is the son of Mike Sr. and Jennifer Andrews.

      Ceyonte Bell

      DB | 5-9 | 165 | St. Joseph, Mo./Central Head Coach: Jeff Wallace

      Prior to Quincy: Bell was a two-year starter at Central High School... He was named to the all-conference and all-city teams as a senior, finishing with 35 tackles and three interceptions, including one for a touchdown.

      Personal: Ceyonte is the son of Cordell and Stacey Bell.

      Jared Carlton

      OL | 6-2 | 290 | Machesney Park, Ill./Harlem Head Coach: Scott Sholl

      Prior to Quincy: Carlton was named NIC-10 All-Conference in his final two seasons at Harlem... He was his teamâ??s offensive most valuable player, helping the Huskies to a 6-4 record and a trip to the IHSA 7A state playoffs... Carlton was a team captain as a senior... He also competed as a member of the wrestling and track & field teams at Harlem.

      Personal: Jared is the son of Tim Carlton.

      T.J. Daniels

      LB | 6-1 | 240 | St. Louis, Mo./St. Louis University HS Head Coach: Gary Kornfeld

      Prior to Quincy: Daniels was a two-way player at St. Louis University High School... He was named a first team all-conference and all-district linebacker and a second team all-conference offensive lineman... Daniels led his team with 108 tackles and four sacks last season... He also served as a team captain

      Personal: T.J. is the son of Anthony and Tonya Daniels.

      Ryan Finders

      WR | 6-1 | 195 | St. Charles, Mo./St. Charles West Head Coach: Gary Strauss

      Prior to Quincy: Finders was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at St. Charles West... He was named to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Area first team... In his career, Finders had 109 catches for 1,449 yards â?? both school records... He had nine receiving touchdowns in his senior season and also had eight interceptions as a defensive back.

      Personal: Ryan is the son of John and Beth Finders.

      Miguel Garcia

      DL | 6-1 | 275 | St. Louis, Mo./DeSmet Head Coach: Pat Mahoney

      Prior to Quincy: Garcia was a two-way, four-year varsity player at DeSmet, garnering MCC all-conference honors on the offensive and defensive lines... He recorded 25 tackles, two sacks and an interception as a senior.

      Personal: Miguel is the son of Gwen Peterson and Mark Garcia.

      Christian Geen

      LB | 6-0 | 225 | Columbia, Mo./Hickman Head Coach: Arnel Monroe

      Prior to Quincy: Geen received all-district honors in Class 6, District 3 as a junior, helping the Kewpies to a 9-2 record â?? their best showing since 2005... Throughout his career, Geen ranked among the top tacklers in mid-Missouri... He was a team captain as a senior.

      Personal: Christian is the son of Bill and Deedee Geen... An honor roll student, Christian plans to pursue a career in international business.

      Phillip Gegner

      OL | 6-0 | 280 | Indianapolis, Ind./Warren Central Head Coach: Jayson West

      Prior to Quincy: Gegner was selected to the Associated Press All-State team, All-Marion County team and MIC All-Conference teams as a senior... Gegner helped the Warriors to an IHSAA 6A State Championship in 2013 with an 11-3 overall record... Gegner was also an MIC All-Conference performer as a member of the track & field team at Warren Central.

      Personal: Phillip is the son of John Gegner.

      Dylan Handlin

      LB | 5-11 | 200 | Springfield, Ill./Rochester Head Coach: Derek Leonard

      Prior to Quincy: Handlin was a first team All-Central State 8 selection and was named an IHSA Academic All-State performer... Handlin led the 4A state champions in tackles with 115 and finished the year with 11 sacks and three interceptions... He was a three-time academic all-conference choice.

      Personal: Dylan is the son of Shawn and Renee Handlin.

      Jacob Kaiser

      QB | 6-0 | 190 | St. Joseph, Mo./Central Head Coach: Jeff Wallace

      Prior to Quincy: Kaiser was a two-year starter at quarterback for Central... He garnered All-Northwest Missouri, all-conference, all-district, all-city and All-News-Press laurels in his senior season, leading the Indians to the Missouri state playoffs for the first time in 25 years... Kaiser finished his career with 38 touchdown passes and eight rushing touchdowns... He was his teamâ??s most valuable player as a senior.

      Personal: Jacob is the son of Chuck and Misty Kaiser.

      Robbie Kelley

      QB | 6-3 | 205 | Springfield, Ill./Rochester Head Coach: Derek Leonard

      Prior to Quincy: Kelley guided Rochester to fourth consecutive IHSA 4A Illinois state championship as a senior... He garnered all-state honors after throwing for 2,919 yards and 31 touchdowns last season... Kelley was also named to the All-Central State 8 team and was a team captain.

      Personal: Robbie is the son of Jim and Pam Kelley.

      Kyle Kling

      OL | 6-3 | 285 | Machesney Park, Ill./Harlem Head Coach: Scott Sholl

      Prior to Quincy: Kling was named to the NIC-10 All-Conference team as a senior, helping the Huskies to a 6-4 record and a trip to the IHSA 7A state playoffs... Kling also throws the discus for Harlemâ??s track & field team.

      Personal: Kyle is the son of Jenny Zammuto.

      Alex Lance

      DL | 5-10 | 240 | Fenton, Mo./Rockwood Summit Head Coach: Michael Bellers

      Prior to Quincy: Lance was a three-year starter for the Falcons, serving as a captain last season... He is a two-time Suburban South All-Conference standout and was named to the all-district team his final two seasons... Lance had 61 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery in his senior year... The Falcons won back-to-back district titles in his sophomore and junior years.

      Personal: He is the son of Jeff and Sarah Lance.

      Jacob Lounsberry

      DE | 6-3 | 210 | Sherman, Ill./Williamsville Head Coach: Abe Kunz

      Prior to Quincy: Lounsberry was a two-way player, three-year starter and four-year letterwinner at Williamsville... He was a two-time first team All-Sangamo Conference selection as a defensive end and a second team selection at running back... Lounsberry finished his senior year with 60 tackles and five sacks on the defensive line... He also racked up 683 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns as a tailback... He served as a team captain last year.

      Personal: Jacob is the son of Eric and Valori Lounsberry.

      Mason Murray

      QB | 5-11 | 190 | Columbia, Mo./Hickman Head Coach: Arnel Monroe

      Prior to Quincy: Murray was a two-year captain for the Kewpies, leading the team to the Class 6, District 3 championship game as a junior... Last season, he compiled over 1,400 yards of total offense with 12 total touchdowns... he was also a two-time all-district punter at Hickman... Murray is also a starting guard on the top-ranked boys basketball team in Missouri.

      Personal: Mason is the son of Mike and Kelly Murray.

      Grant Oâ??Bryan

      DB | 5-10 | 185 | Monroe City, Mo./Monroe City Head Coach: David Kirby

      Prior to Quincy: Oâ??Bryan was a three-year letterwinner and two-time team captain at Monroe City... He was a two-way player for the Panthers at defensive back and quarterback... He finished 2013 with 87 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks and three interceptions... Oâ??Bryan was named to the Quincy Herald-Whig All-Area team and the KHQA first team All-Do or Die team.

      Personal: Grant is the son of Jeff and Stephanie Oâ??Bryan.

      Mike Overstreet

      OL | 6-6 | 275 | Columbia, Mo./North Callaway Head Coach: Mike Emmons

      Prior to Quincy: Overstreet was a two-way player, four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at North Callaway... Overstreet helped the Thunderbirds to the second round of the Missouri Class 2 playoffs as a junior... He currently holds the all-time bench press record at North Callaway.

      Personal: Mike is the son of Robert and Barbara Overstreet and the brother of Robbie Overstreet, who was a 2013 signee and is currently a tight end for the Hawks.

      Jarrod Rockhold

      DB | 5-11 | 200 | Macomb, Ill./Macomb/Lindenwood-Belleville Head Coach: Kelly Sears/Jeff Fisher

      Prior to Quincy: Rockhold transfered to Quincy from Lindenwood University-Belleville... He was a first team all-conference defensive back and running back at Macomb and was named to the Peoria Journal Star All-Area first team as a defensive back... Rockhold was a KHQA first team defensive choice as well... He finished his high school career with more than 100 tackles and nine interceptions... He also had 1,700 yards rushing.

      Personal: Jarrod is the son of Dale and Maureen Rockhold.

      Avery Sims

      DE | 6-2 | 220 | Houston, Texas/St. Pius X Head Coach: Brian Ware

      Prior to Quincy: Sims helped lead St. Pius X to a berth in the Texas state playoffs as a senior... He was honorable mention all-state and first team all-district... Sims led the district with 10.5 sacks to go with 12 quarterback hurries, eight pass deflections, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries... He also plays basketball at St. Pius X.

      Personal: Avery is the son of Angela Nickerson.

      Eli Thom

      OL | 6-1 | 265 | San Andreas, Calif./Calaveras/Butte College Head Coach: Jeff Jordan (Butte)

      Prior to Quincy: Thom was a two-year starter at center at Butte College... As a sophomore, Thom was the captain of an offensive line that helped Butte to an undefeated season and a share of the junior college national title... He finished his career at Butte with a 22-1 record... At Calaveras High School, he was named the conferenceâ??s Most Valuable Offensive Lineman as a senior and an all-conference performer in his junior year... He also played linebacker at Calaveras.

      Personal: Eli is the son of Brad and Christine Thom.

      Sam Wilson

      LS | 5-9 | 240 | Collinsville, Ill./Collinsville Head Coach: John Blaylock

      Prior to Quincy: Wilson is a nationally-ranked Top 40 long snapper by Jamie Kohl... Wilson has participated in Rubio and Jamie Kohlâ??s pro camps... He is graded out at 100 percent as a punt snapper in his high school career... He also recovered two fumbles.

      Personal: Sam is the son of Terry and Mary Wilson.

      Kody Wood

      WR | 5-11 | 170 | Jacksonville, Ill./Jacksonville Head Coach: Mark Grounds

      Prior to Quincy: Wood was an All-Central State 8 choice as a senior, helping Jacksonville to a state playoff appearance... He had 60 receptions for 1,151 yards and nine touchdowns last season... He was also named IHSA All-State honorable mention and a first team KHQA Do-or-Die selection... Wood was a member of the IHSA Academic All-State team.

      Personal: Kody is the son of Matt and Tammy Johnson and Danny Wood

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