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Toledo Signs 23 Future Rockets to Highly Regarded 2014 Recruiting Class

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 02/05/2014
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Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Head Coach Matt Campbell added 28 Rockets to his program, including five preferred walk-ons.

Coach Campbell's comments on 2014 recruiting class (video)

            TOLEDO – University of Toledo Head Coach Matt Campbell unveiled his 2014 recruiting class on Wednesday and once again the Rockets have signed a class rated as one of the best in the Mid-American Conference.

            Scout.com and 24/7Sports rank Toledo’s 2014 recruiting class as No. 2 in the MAC, while Rivals.com ranks the Rockets third in the league. In 2013, all three scouting services ranked Toledo’s class as the best in the MAC. In 2012, Scout and Rivals ranked Toledo’s recruiting class as No. 2 in the conference. In 2011, UT’s recruiting class was ranked No. 1 by Scout and Rivals, and in 2010 Toledo’s class was ranked No. 1 in the MAC by Rivals and No. 2 by Scout.

            The list of 23 includes two players--Tré James and Cameron Mattison--who signed NLIs last semester and are currently enrolled at UT. In addition, the Rockets announced that another five players have joined the program as preferred walk-ons.

            Campbell, who enters his third full season as head coach of the Rockets, said this recruiting class has the potential be the finest since he arrived on campus as an assistant coach in 2009.

            “I think this may be the best and deepest class we’ve signed since I’ve been here,” said Campbell, who is 17-9 as head coach of the Rockets after serving for three seasons as UT’s offensive coordinator. “We specifically tried to bolster the depth on both sides of the ball. We’ve recruited young men with great character who are committed to academics. We have players who will play a big role for us in the future, as well as some guys who could see action for us next fall.”

            Toledo’s 2014 class includes seven players from the state of Ohio and five from Florida. Other states represented in the class are Pennsylvania (2), Texas (2), Maryland (2) and one each from Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Virginia and North Carolina.

            “We will always get the bulk of our players from within a four-hour radius of Toledo, but we’ve created a good niche in the Tampa Bay area ever since we signed Bernard Reedy out of St. Petersburg four years ago,” said Campbell. “The Baltimore/DC area has been good for us lately, as well, and we are starting to recruit the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We’re always going to defend our home turf, but we’re in a situation now where we can go out and bring in players into our program from areas that have great football traditions and coaching.”

Olasunkanmi Adeniyi
Defensive End/Linebacker, Freshman, 6-2, 225, Richmond, TX-Fort Bend Bush
High School Coach: Allen Aldridge
Anticipated Major: Physical Therapy
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: John Walters, Associate Athletic Trainer

Coach Campbell: “Ola is an extremely explosive outside pass rusher. He’s a dynamo. He has a chance to play at the Leo outside linebacker position for us. He’s only 16 years old so he has lot of room for growth.”

Olasunkanmi Adeniyi accumulated 76 tackles, 18.0 TFL and 5.0 sacks as a senior at George Bush High School in Houston. Adeniyi, who has not yet turned 17 years old, had 48 tackles, 14.0 TFL and 3.0 sacks as a junior.

Devin Alexander
Defensive Back, Freshman, 6-0, 205, St. Louis, MO-Ritenour
High School Coach: Hoyt Gregory
Anticipated Major: Pre-dentistry
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Andy Jorgensen, Chemistry Department

Coach Campbell: “Devin played quarterback and safety in high school. He has great athleticism and has the ability to play the ball extremely well. He’ll probably start off his career here playing safety.”

Devin Alexander made first-team all-conference, all-metro and all-state as a senior linebacker, totaling 50 tackles and one interception. On offense, Alexander threw for 1,783 yards and 13 touchdowns, and rushed for 1,415 yards and 20 TDs. As a junior, Alexander carried the ball 116 times for 846 yards, averaging 7.3 per carry, and caught 17 passes for 385 yards. On defense, he was credited with 15 tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery, garnering first-team all-district and second-team all-conference honors. Alexander was a member of the St. Louis Rams squad that was selected to participate in the NFL High School Player Development 7-on-7 National Tournament. He ran track in high school, competing on a 4x200 relay team that finished second in the state in 2013.

Yazeed Atariwa
Defensive Lineman, Freshman, 6-4, 257, Sterling, VA-Dominion
High School Coach: Karl Buckwalter
Anticipated Major: Criminal Justice
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Mick Dier, University of Toledo Police Department (retired)

Coach Campbell: “Yazeed is a huge, physical presence. He’s a run-stopper inside. He runs sideline-to-sideline really well. He’s an impressive athlete for his size.”

Yazeed Atariwa racked up 76 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior, earning first-team all-conference and second-team all-region honors at defensive tackle. As a junior, he made all-district. Atariwa also plays basketball and is a sprinter on his high school track team, running on the 4x200 relay team.

Mike Berry
Outside Linebacker, Freshman, 6-3, 205, Beavercreek, OH-Beavercreek
High School Coach: Scott Clodfelter
Anticipated Major: History
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Bruce Way, Department of History

Coach Campbell: “Mike is a young man who played high school quarterback. He’s a big, physical athlete. He will probably start his college career as a linebacker in our system. He really impressed us during camp.”

Mike Berry played quarterback in high school but is slated to play outside linebacker for the Rockets. He also made all-conference as a punter. Berry also wrestled in high school.

Dedric Brinson
Cornerback, Freshman, 6-2, 180, Lake Wales, FL-Lake Wales
High School Coach: Rod Shafer
Anticipated Major: Business
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Clint Longenecker, College of Business

Coach Campbell: “Dedric is physical corner. He had tremendous success in high school. We’re excited about what his future looks like.”

Dedric Brinson had eight interceptions, 48 tackles and one forced fumble as a senior, earning his school’s Most Valuable Player award. As a junior, Brinson tallied six interceptions and 36 tackles. He made first-team all-conference in his junior and senior seasons, and made second-team all-league as a sophomore. He also plays basketball, helping Lake Wales to a state title in 2012.

Andrew Davis
Wide Receiver, Freshman, 6-4, 185, St. Petersburg, FL-Lakewood
High School Coach: Cory Moore
Anticipated Major: Undecided
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Stacy Bowers, Athletics Academic Coordinator

Coach Campbell: “Andrew is a big, physical receiver with a lot of potential. He can really go up and get it.”

Andrew Davis caught 30 passes for 500 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. He was named to the Piniellas County All-Star Game. Davis went to the same high school as former two-time Rocket All-MAC receiver Bernard Reedy.

Anthony Davis
Linebacker, Freshman, 6-0, 210, Tampa, FL-Chamberlain
High School Coach: Cam Jones
Anticipated Major: Undecided
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Stacy Bowers, Athletics Academic Coordinator

Coach Campbell: “Anthony is an explosive, violent football player. He really brings some great assets to our program. He’s a young man who can do multiple things on the football field. He will start off at linebacker for us.”

Linebacker Anthony Davis is listed as a 3-star recruit by Rivals.com. He earned second-team all-state and first-team all-conference honors as a senior, racking up 85 tackles, 18 TFL and nine sacks. Davis, who played in the Blue-Grey All-American game, was ranked as the No. 34 in the Tampa Bay Times “Home Team 100.” He also lettered in track & field.

Tré James
Linebacker/Defensive End, Junior, 6-1, 250, Baltimore, MD – Baltimore City College/
Snow College (Utah)
High School Coach: George Patrecks
Junior College Coach: Britt Maughn
Anticipated Major: Psychology
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Stacy Bowers, Athletics Academic Coordinator

Coach Campbell: “We are very pleased to add Tré to our 2014 recruiting class. With the loss of (seniors) Jayrone Elliott and Christian Smith, the recruitment of a high-end pass rusher became a primary focus for us in this recruiting class. Tré gives us an immediate-impact talent. He is also a young man with great character and work ethic that will help lead this program in the future.”

Tré James is a linebacker/defensive end who hails from Baltimore and attended junior college at Snow College in Ephraim, UT. He will have junior eligibility for the Rockets in 2014. James had 34 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks in 11 games as a sophomore at Snow. In nine games as a freshman, he had 15 tackles and 6.5 sacks. At Baltimore City College High School, James earned first-team all-state honors as a senior, racking up 63 tackles and 23 sacks. As a junior, James had 59 tackles and 13 sacks, earning all-city honors.

Jon’Vea Johnson
Wide Receiver, Freshman, 5-11, 183, Gary, IN- West Side
High School Coach: Jason Johnson
Anticipated Major: Physical Therapy
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: John Walters, Associate Athletic Trainer

Coach Campbell: “Jon’Vea is an explosive wide receiver who’s had a tremendous high school career. He has the ability to come in and be a very dynamic wide receiver in our offensive system.”

Jon’Vea Johnson caught 73 passes for 1,428 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior. He earned first-team all-state honors, and was named one of the top 22 players in the state by Indiana Preps. Scout.com ranks him as a three-star recruits, while 24/7 Sports ranks him as a three-star recruit and the No. 11 player in the state. As a junior, Johnson 47 passes for 1,054 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior, earning first-team all-area accolades. Johnson also played basketball and is a two-time all-state sprinter in track, finishing third in the 100 meters at the 2013 state finals.

Trevon Mathis
Cornerback, Freshman, 5-11, 168, Pittsburgh, PA-Woodland Hills
High School Coach: George Novak
Anticipated Major: Communication or Civil Engineering

Coach Campbell: “Trevon is a physical corner who runs extremely well. He’s a kick returner and punt returner who can make a big impact on special teams.”

Trevon Mathis was a first-team all-conference and second-team all-state selection at cornerback. A “Fab 22” pick by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Mathis had 62 tackles and three interceptions as a senior. As a junior, he had three interceptions and earned second-team all-conference honors.

Cameron Mattison
Defensive Back, Freshman, 6-1, 190, Charlotte, NC – Mallard Creek
High School Coach: Mike Palmieri
Anticipated Major: Business
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Clint Longenecker, College of Business

Coach Campbell: Cameron is a talented and athletic player who will have a chance to compete for playing time in our secondary next season. By graduating early, he will be able to participate in our winter workouts and spring practices. That will give him a big advantage as he battles for a spot in the playing rotation next fall.”

Cameron Mattison led Mallard Creek High School to the 4AA state championship as a senior, earning first-team all-conference and all-county honors as a cornerback. A team captain, Mattison had three interceptions and played in the NC/SC Shrine Bowl. As a junior, Mattison led the conference with six interceptions. He graduated from high school in December and has enrolled in classes at UT this semester. He is participating in winter workouts and will take part in practice this spring.

Richard Olekanma
Linebacker, Freshman, 6-1, 217, Downers Grove, IL-North
High School Coach: John Wander
Anticipated Major: Bioengineering

Coach Campbell: Richard had a tremendous high school career. He really impressed us at our camp last summer. His best football is ahead of him.”

Richard Olekanma made all-area as linebacker who had 3.5 sacks as a senior. On offense, Olekanma caught 15 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns. As a junior, Olekanma caught 25 passes for 350 yards and three TDs. A member of the track & field team, Olekanma ran the 200 and 4x200 in high school.

Alex Pfeiffer
Offensive Lineman, Freshman, 6-5, 281, Cincinnati, OH-Anderson
High School Coach: Jeff Giesting
Anticipated Major: Education
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Stacy Bowers, Athletics Academic Coordinator

Coach Campbell: Alex is a big, physical offensive lineman. He’s a really good basketball player, so he brings a lot of athleticism to our offensive line.”

Alex Pfeiffer earned first-team all-conference honors as a senior at Cincinnati Anderson, the same high school current Rocket All-MAC offensive lineman Greg Mancz. He also played basketball in high school.

Brandon Reynolds
Defensive End, Freshman, 6-2, 207, Solon, OH-Solon
High School Coach: Jim McQuide
Anticipated Major: Business
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Stacy Bowers, Athletics Academic Coordinator

Coach Campbell: Brandon is a dynamic outside pass rusher who has the ability to get after the quarterback. He had a very good career at an outstanding high school football program.”

Brandon Reynolds had 19 tackles for loss as a senior, making second-team all-district. He was a three-year letterwinner and team captain as a senior. Reynolds also ran track and played basketball in high school.

Davi’on Riley
Tight End, Freshman, 6-3, 207, Lake Wales, FL-Lake Wales
High School Coach: Rod Shafer
Anticipated Major: Sports Management/Marketing
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Clint Longenecker, College of Business

Coach Campbell: Davi’on has great explosion and can catch the football. He has a chance to be a big asset to the tight end position.”

Davi’on Riley caught 37 passes and scored seven touchdowns as a senior, earning all-county and honorable mention all-region honors for a Lake Wales squad that made it to the 5A championship game.  Riley also had 23 tackles and five sacks on defense. Riley had 19 receptions and four TDs as a junior, and 10 catches and three scores as a sophomore. He also played basketball and ran track in high school.

Bernard Rogers
Cornerback, Freshman, 5-11, 170, Tampa, FL-Plant
High School Coach: Robert Weiner
Anticipated Major: Undecided
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Stacy Bowers, Athletics Academic Coordinator

Coach Campbell: Bernard is an explosive, violent defensive back. He could probably play anywhere in the defensive backfield. He was an outstanding kick returner and punt returner in high school, as well.”

Bernard Rogers had 79 tackles, 19.0 tackles for loss and nine pass deflections as a senior, earning honorable mention all-state honors As a junior, Rogers had 46 tackles and 5.0 TFL.

Mykale Rogers
Wide Receiver, Freshman, 6-1, 180, Lima, OH-Central Catholic
High School Coach: Jerry Cooper
Anticipated Major: Business
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Brandon Cohen, College of Business

Coach Campbell: Mikale has all the tools to be a great wide receiver. He’s explosive with the ball in his hands. He’s a state long jump champion so that speaks to his athleticism.”

Mykale Rogers earned first-team all-district honors as a senior and honorable mention all-district as a junior. He was second-team all-conference as a sophomore. Rated as a three-star signee by Rivals.com and Scout.com, Rogers also played basketball and was the state long jump champion in 2012 and 2013. He was part of the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams that won state titles in 2013.

Noah Spielman
Defensive Lineman, Freshman, 6-0, 278, Upper Arlington, OH-Upper Arlington
High School Coach: Mike Golden
Anticipated Major: Marketing
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Brandon Cohen, College of Business

Coach Campbell: Noah is a winner. He runs sideline-to-sideline as well as any defensive lineman we’ve recruited. He plays with great attitude and effort.”

Noah Spielman earned first-team all-conference and all-state special mention honors as a senior. Spielman, the son of former NFL linebacker Chris Spielman, also earned second-team all-conference accolades as a junior.

Terry Swanson
Running Back, Freshman, 5-9, 183, Aliquippa, PA-Aliquippa
High School Coach: Mike Zmijanic
Anticipated Major: Business
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Brandon Cohen, College of Business

Coach Campbell: Terry comes from a tremendous high school football program. He’s one of those tailbacks that does everything well. He can run, he can catch the ball and he’s a good blocker. We’re really excited to add him to our backfield.”

Terry Swanson finished his career as the third all-time leading rusher in Aliquippa history with 4,333 yards on 466 carries. As a senior, he rushed for 1,783 yards and 25 touchdowns, to go with 1,546 yards and 19 scores as a junior. He made all-state and all-county, and was selected to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette “Fab 22” Team in both his junior and senior seasons. Swanson, who also played basketball, also rushed for 950 yards and 13 TDs as a sophomore.

Cody Thompson
Wide Receiver, Freshman, 6-1, 187, Huron, OH-Huron
High School Coach: Tony Legando
Anticipated Major: Undecided
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Stacy Bowers, Athletics Academic Coordinator

Coach Campbell: Cody is as good an all-around athlete as we have in this class. He played quarterback the last two years. He will probably start his college career as a wide receiver. We expect great things from him.”

Cody Thompson played quarterback in high school, but he will be a wide receiver at Toledo. Thompson threw for 1,883 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior, and also rushed for 1,139 yards and 22 scores. A second-team all-conference and second-team all-district selection, Thompson also made academic all-conference. He totaled 1,574 passing yards and 1,001 rushing yards as a junior, throwing for 22 TDs and rushing for 14 more, earning second-team all-conference accolades. He also served as the team’s punter, averaging 44.6 yards per punt as a senior. He played wide receiver as a sophomore, catching 48 passes for 865 yards and 11 touchdowns. Thompson was an honorable mention all-district player in basketball as a junior.

Bill Weber
Offensive Lineman, Freshman, 6-4, 325, Coppell, TX
High School Coach: Joe McBride
Anticipated Major: Sports Management
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Brandon  Cohen, College of Business

Coach Campbell: Bill is a big, physical, strong offensive lineman. He comes to Toledo from an exceptional high school football program. He has tremendous attitude and effort and will be a great asset to our offensive line.”

Bill Weber was a 5A all-district, second-team all-area and honorable mention all-state selection as a senior. He also made all-district as a junior.

Marcus Whitfield
Wide Receiver, Freshman, 5-11, 165, Massillon, OH-Washington
High School Coach: Jason Hall
Anticipated Major: Business
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Brandon  Cohen, College of Business

Coach Campbell: Marcus has good athleticism. He runs track so he can really go get it.”

Marcus Whitfield, a three-star recruit by Scout.com, was an all-county and third-team all-state selection at wide receiver as a senior. He racked up 546 yards receiving and 997 all-purpose yards. He also had 36 tackles on defense.  As a junior, Whitfield had 32 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns. He was selected to play in the Ohio vs. Michigan All-Star Game.

Jamaal Woodland
Cornerback, Freshman, 6-2, 190, Lanham, MD-Duval
High School Coach: Dameon Powell
Anticipated Major: Business
UT Faculty/Staff Recruiting Assistant: Brandon  Cohen, College of Business

Coach Campbell: Jamaal is long and physical. He’s athletic and has the ability to play any of the defensive back positions.”

Jamaal Woodland was a first-team all-county and first-team all-state selection as a senior. He had 27 tackles and one interception to go with 18 receptions at wide receiver. As a junior, Woodland  recorded 36 tackles, four interceptions and 10 pass breakups, and added five catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns on offense. A standout in track, Woodland was chosen to play in the Big 33 Game (Pennsylvania vs. Maryland/DC).

Preferred Walk-ons
Blake Bengela - Toledo, OH (Whitmer)
Sam Bruno - Whitehouse, OH (Anthony Wayne)
Corey Durbin - Fremont, OH (St. Joseph)
Jimmy Stroker -  Washington Court House, OH- Miami Trace
Derich Weiland - Toledo, OH (Central Catholic)

           

 

 

 

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