“I am really excited about this class because, while we didn’t have a lot of scholarships to work with, I thought we really filled a lot of needs and brought some great talent into the program,” Bonamego said. “We felt like the quarterback position and really in the secondary and the defensive line are areas that we needed to address in looking at our roster numbers moving forward. We also . . .
Central Michigan’s class is made up of 11 student-athletes from Michigan, two from Illinois and one from Kentucky.
CMU also added in December junior college quarterback Tommy Lazzaro of Monument, Colo.
Hunter Buczkowski • FB • 6-0 • 237 • Mount Pleasant, Mich./Mount Pleasant
Named Associated Press and Detroit News First Team Division 3-4 All-State in 2015 … earned AP Division 3-4 Special Mention in 2014 … selected the No. 45 recruit in Michigan by the Detroit Free Press … two-time Mount Pleasant Morning Sun Dream Teamer … two-time Saginaw News Dream Teamer … three-year letter winner … in three-year varsity career, led Oilers to 26-9 record, three playoff appearances including two district titles … credited with 388 career tackles including 108 solo stops … averaged 11.4 career tackles per game … rushed for 965 career yards on 156 carries … averaged 6.2 yards per carry for career … had 13 100-yard rushing games in career … made four interceptions as a senior … earned four letters in baseball … Second Team All-State pitcher in 2015 … helped lead Mount Pleasant to state championship in 2014, state runner-up finish in 2015 … played for coach Jason McIntyre.
Coach Bonamego says: “Tough, hard-nosed player with a legacy. His grandfather coached here and is still part of the community. Lot of CMU pride in that family. We feel like his toughness and his physical size makes him a great fit for our fullback position.”
Dante Cleveland • DL • 6-3 • 245 • Hoffman Estates, Ill./ Hoffman Estates
Made 33 tackles including eight sacks while playing five games during senior year … credited with 55 stops including 12 sacks as a junior … two-time all-area and all-conference selection … Three-year starter … two-time team captain … member of the honor roll … earned academic all-conference honors … played for coach Michael Donatucci.
Coach Bonamego says: “Dante is an athletic defensive lineman who shows a high upside. He can play multiple positions and is a high-motor athlete who also excels as a basketball player.”
Bailey Edwards • WR • 6-1 • 183 • Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea
Totaled 84 receptions for 1,485 yards in his career … Named First Team All-State in Division 3 by the Detroit Free Press, First Team in Division 3-4 by the Detroit News … two-time Ann Arbor News Dream Team pick … led team to Division 3 state championship game and Southeastern Conference championship in 2015, and back-to-back district titles in 2014-15 … two-time letter winner in track and field … earned All-State honors in track in 2015 in the 200-meter dash and the 800 and 400 relays … played for coach Brad Bush.
Coach Bonamego says: “Bailey’s a long, fast wide receiver who is still growing. He has great bloodlines. His brother (Braylon) played in the NFL, and his dad (Stanley) played in the NFL. He’s got a great combination of length and speed.”
Josh Eldridge • DL • 6-2 • 252 • Detroit, Mich./Clintondale
Named Associated Press Division 5-6 First Team All-State … Macomb Daily All-Macomb County First Team … First Team All-Macomb Area Conference … named Detroit Free Press All-Metro East … Four-year varsity starter … two-year captain … led team to three playoff berths, two league championships … earned four varsity letters in track and field and three in baseball … played for coach Dave Schindler.
Coach Bonamego says: “A defensive lineman with a big frame who is going to be able to put on weight. He has a lot of growth potential and he moves very, very well for a big man. He’s also a starter on the Clintondale basketball team.”
Kumehnnu Gwilly • RB • 6-1 • 219 • Shelby Township, Mich./Utica
Three-year starter … named to Associated Press and Detroit News Division 1-2 First Team All-State squads … selected the No. 35 recruit in Michigan by the Detroit Free Press … rushed for 4,175 yards and 38 touchdowns, both school career records … team captain during senior season … set school record with 1,944 rushing yards as a senior … set school record with 397 yards rushing in 41-31 win vs. Fraser on 8/28/15 … holds school record with six touchdowns in a game (twice) … holds school record with 20 rushing TDs in a single season … scored five TDs in one half, tying the Michigan high school state record … two-time First Team All-Macomb Area Conference White … named Detroit News First Team All-Metro East … earned three letters in basketball … earned two letters in track and field … played for coach Anthony Smith.
Coach Bonamego says: “Big running back who runs very, very well. We started recruiting him pretty early and he was one of our first commitments, then went on to have a tremendous senior season. He also starts on their basketball team and very, very good all-around athlete.”
Tee’ondre Harvey • DB • 6-0 • 161 • Detroit, Mich./Mumford
Made 12 career interceptions … served as a team captain during senior season … Second Team All-Detroit as a junior and as a senior … earned All-City honors in senior season … played for coach Donshell English.
Coach Bonamego says: “Two-way starter at defensive back and wide receiver and has good length and a frame to add bulk. We’re projecting him as a cornerback, he’s also got the frame and the size to be a potential safety as well.”
Austin Hergott • QB • 6-3 • 220 • Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands
Completed 139 of 253 of pass attempts for 1,722 yards and five touchdowns during senior season … also ran for five TDs … named a Best of Bluegrass All-Star … helped team to 2014 state championship … also lettered in basketball … played for coach Brian Weinrich.
Coach Bonamego says: “Pro-style quarterback who ranked among the top 20 players in Kentucky. He’s a good-sized kid and a very, very accurate thrower with a strong arm.”
Jakkar Jackson • DB • 5-10 • 191 • Farmington Hills, Mich./Farmington
All-Oakland Activities Association (OAA) in 2015 … All-Oakland County in 2015 … Second Team All-Oakland County Dream Team in 2015 … Named to Detroit Free Press All-Metro North Second Team in 2015 … In senior season, was credited with 70 tackles, two forced fumbles, five pass deflections and scored five touchdowns … one of his TDs came on defense and covered a school-record 82 yards … led team to 2014 OAA Blue Division championship … also lettered in track and field … played for coach John Bechtel.
Coach Bonamego says: “He’s a safety who can play on the back end and also down in the box. He’s an aggressive, nose-for-the-ball tackler. Very heady player with good instincts. He’s tough and physical and projects very well at one of our safety positions in the future.”
Kaden Keon • K/P • 5-9 • 180 • St. Louis, Mich./St. Louis
Averaged 40.3 yards per punt on 43 punts during senior year … 50 percent of kickoffs went for touchbacks … made four of seven field goal attempts during senior year … kicked a career-long 47-yarder during senior season … caught 22 passes for 577 yards, a 26.2-yard average, during senior year … scored 10 touchdowns during senior year … named Mount Pleasant Morning Sun and High School Sports Scene Dream Team punter in 2015 … received All-State honorable mention from Detroit Free Press … two-time First Team All-Tri-Valley Conference West punter … Morning Sun Dream Team punter and Gratiot County Herald All-Area in 2014 … played for coach Aaron Munderloh.
Coach Bonamego says: “He kicked off, punted and kicked field goals in high school. He’s a very strong-legged guy with sound fundamentals. I expect him to battle for our kickoff and punting duties right away.”
Gage Kreski • DB • 6-2 • 195 • St. Ignace, Mich./St. Ignace
Named to Detroit Free Press Division 8 All-State First Team … earned First Team All-State honors in Division 7-8 from the Detroit News and the Associated Press … earned All-State honors as a sophomore, junior and senior … two-time All-Upper Peninsula Player of the Year … two-time Ski Valley Conference Player of the Year … led team to four Ski Valley Conference championships … team compiled a 36-6 record during his four years on varsity … led Saints to two state semifinal appearances … made 20 career interceptions … set school record with 11 picks as a junior … two-time captain … three-time basketball All-Stater … three-time conference basketball player of the year … played for coach Marty Spencer.
Coach Bonamego says: “Great all-around athlete who, statistically, has been one of the most dominant players to come out of that region. We had him in camp in Kingsford and he really impressed us with his intelligence and toughness. He is also a fantastic basketball player.”
Alonzo McCoy • DB • 5-10 • 180 • Detroit, Mich./Thurston
Earned First Team Division 3 All-State honors from the Detroit Free Press … named to Detroit News All-State and the Associated Press All-State teams in Division 3-4 … selected the No. 47 recruit in Michigan by the Detroit Free Press … amassed 2,469 yards and 26 touchdowns in career … made 12 career interceptions including a school-record seven in one season … made 186 career tackles … forced nine fumbles in career … earned three letters in track and field … played for coach Bob Snell.
Coach Bonamego says: “A cornerback who has great hips and is a tremendous all-around athlete. He will have an opportunity to contribute and add depth at the corner position, possibly as a freshman.”
Leon Page • DL • 6-2 • 233 • Detroit, Mich./Martin Luther King
Earned First Team Division 2 All-State honors from the Detroit Free Press … selected the No. 37 recruit in Michigan by the Detroit Free Press … earned All-State honorable mention from the Associated Press and the Detroit News … helped lead King to Division 2 state championship … earned All-City and All-Metro honors as a senior … earned King’s Defensive Lineman of the Year Award … team captain as a senior … recorded 73 tackles including 12 sacks as a senior in 2015 … posted 34 career sacks … played for coach Dale Harvel.
Coach Bonamego says: “He won a state championship at Martin Luther King High School. He’s a strong, long-armed guy with the frame to put on size. Very good quick-twitch off the football and a good tackler.”
Tony Poljan • QB • 6-7 • 240 • Lansing, Mich./Lansing Catholic
Selected by the Detroit Free Press as the No. 17 ranked recruit in Michigan … ranked No. 20 in the state on the Lansing State Journal Catch-22 list … Completed 390 of 670 pass attempts for 6,090 yards and threw 58 touchdown passes in career … ran for 3,118 yards on 500 carries and scored 58 touchdowns … named the Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year in 2015 … earned a spot on the ESPN 300 as a senior … Named to Detroit News Division 5 All-State First Team … First Team Detroit Free Press Division 5 All-Stater … First Team Associated Press Division All-Stater … named the Lansing State Journal player of the year in 2015 … led team to two district championships, two regional titles, a state championship game appearance (2014) and a state semifinal berth (2015) … four-year letter winner … basketball standout scored more than 1,000 career points … four-time all-league selection in basketball … named to Mr. Basketball Watch List prior to senior season … was named to Lansing State Journal Dream Team three times … earned four letters in track and field and three in basketball … played for coach Jim Ahem.
Coach Bonamego says: “May be the most highly recruited player to sign at CMU in quite some time. He had multiple offers from Power Five schools. He’s a tremendous athlete, and he also had Division I basketball offers. He will compete with the other quarterbacks in the class to be the successor to Cooper Rush.”
Jonathan Ward • RB • 6-0 • 180 • Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara
Three-year starter holds school career records for touchdowns (83) and rushing yards (5,689) … also set single-season records for yards (2,400) and TDs (36) … scored seven TDs in one game, a school record … Earned All-State honors as a senior … led team to 13-1 finish and Class 3A state title in 2015 … earned Chicago Catholic League White Division Tony Lawless Award after both junior and senior seasons. The Lawless is the highest individual honor the league bestows … three-time All-Catholic League selection … two-time team MVP … placed second in Illinois state high school track meet in the long jump in 2015 … played for coach Rich Zinanni.
Coach Bonamego says: “Jonathan is a dynamic athlete with the ability to play multiple positions at the college level. He’s a high school running back and that’s what we’re projecting him as. He also has the skill to play slot receiver and also go over and play defensive back. Very quick, very well put together. A 6-4 high jumper. The type of athlete who can do pretty much whatever you ask him to do.”