Realistically, the 2015 recruits are Martin’s full swing at a recruiting class. After taking over the RedHawks in Dec. of 2013, Martin scrambled to create a staff, which got a late start on selling recruits on Miami football after a winless season.
"Last year we were scrambling. We had three weeks to do probably two years worth of work. Even in this class, we tried to do one year of work that really takes two years," Martin said. "We are still a year or two away from getting physically where we want to be as a Division I football program."
By his account, as well as other sources, this year’s class has the potential to be a good one. How good? “Ask me in three years and I will tell you,” Martin said with a grin.
Perhaps most importantly, the group addresses a variety of needs. It is heavy – figuratively and literally – with lineman.
The RedHawks have struggled mightily to run the ball and stop the run for several years. "You’ve got to win the game in the trenches. We did a lot of better things last year … than we had previously, but we still didn’t really win any battles in the trenches. ... We smoke and mirrored it a little with our perimeter play (last year)."
Martin was intent on addressing the trenches issue issue, and the RedHawks landed 10 high school linemen – five on each side of the ball. Four of the five offensive linemen are already 280 pounds, and Ian Leever out of Loveland High School in the Greater Cincinnati area is at 295 pounds. Nate Trawick, a defensive tackle out of Richmond, Indiana is 6-1 295. Matt Skibinsk, meanwhile, was ranked as the top offensive lineman in Michigan preps according to Scout.com.
"Our O-line is long and big. There is some 280- and 290-pound kids," Martin said. "The kids we’re bringing in would have been bigger than the line we lined up (with) last spring."
Another need was defensive backfield. Miami was thin in that position group last year and lost one-year wonder Quinten Rollins. The four-year Miami basketball player transitioned to football last year and ended up at MAC Defensive Player of the Year. He is projected to be an early pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
Among the personnel losses from 2014 was quarterback Andrew Hendrix. The transfer from Notre Dame turned a dormant Miami offense into one of the league’s better units despite having one of the nation’s least-productive running attacks. Just how good incoming quarterback Billy Bahl can be remains to be seen, but Martin was certainly pleased about landing the 6-4, 214-pounder who threw for 2,080 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior at Marian Central Catholic in Woodstock, Illinois.
If the RedHawks can continue to enjoy success throwing the ball, three new receivers could be beneficiaries in the near future. Luke Mayock (nephew of NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock) is a 6-5, 192-pound receiver out of Sugar Land Texas. Cedric Assey (6-2, 180) our of Loganville, Geogia and James Gardner (6-3, 197) from Fort Lauderdale, Florida also reflect lanky targets that Martin feels can be successful.
Among the other signees were linebacker Junior McMullen (6-2, 225, Oak Park, Michigan) and Carter Masek (6-2, 225, East Grand Rapids, Michigan).
Looking at the big picture, Martin said this class is another step forward in getting bigger, stronger and faster. Scouts.com, in fact, ranked the RedHawks recruiting class third among MAC teams. Western Michigan and Toledo were 1-2, while Miami was just in front of Northern Illinois.
(CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE . . . )
High School: Currently attends Victory Christian High School ... team captain ... coached by Dee
Brown ... helped lead his team to a pair of state championships, including a 10-2 season as a
senior ... is a two-time first-team all-state honoree ... combined for 3,592 yards and 47 touchdowns
as a junior and senior ... ran for 411 yards and six touchdowns (12 carries) in the D-III
state semifinal contest, which was a Mecklenberg County record.
Cedric Asseh, WR, 6-2, 180, Loganville, Ga. (Grayson)
High School: Currently attends Grayson High School ... coached by Mickey Conn ... set school
record in catches (47), yards (678) and touchdowns (9) as a senior ... returned a kickoff for an
88-yard touchdown in a state playoff contest ... finished fourth at the state track meet in the
Billy Bahl, QB, 6-4, 214, Woodstock, Ill. (Marian Central Catholic)
High School: Currently attends Marian Central Catholic High School ... team captain ... coached
by Ed Brucker ... team advanced to the state quarterfinals as a senior ... earned honorable mention
all-state as a junior and senior ... earned first-team all-area ... threw for 2,080 yards and 18
touchdowns as a senior.
Quinn Calcagno, DE, 6-6, 220, Wheaton, Ill. (St. Francis)
High School: Currently attends St. Francis High School ... coached by Mike Fitzgerald ... helped
lead his team to the state semi-finals ... named first-team all-state by the Chicago Tribune ...
named Chicago Green Division Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year as a senior ... finished
his senior campaign with 101 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks.
Nick Dowd, K, 5-9, 185, Westfield, Ind. (Westfield)
High School: Currently attends Westfield High School ... team captain ... coached by Jake
Gilbert ... earned all-state honors as a senior ... earned academic all-state that same year ...
converted on 7 of 11 field goals (long of 47) his senior year ... finished his career with 184 points
and 23 made field goals.
James Gardner, WR, 6-3, 197, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Fort Lauderdale)
High School: Currently attends Fort Lauderdale High School ... team captain ... coached by
Richard Dunbar ... was team MVP his senior year and Offensive MVP as a junior ... earned
third-team all-state as a junior ... four-year letter-winner for the basketball team ... averaging 26
points per game this season.
Jordon Hardwick, DE, 6-3, 235, St. Louis, Mo. (St. John Vianney)
High School: Currently attends St. John Vianney High School ... team captain ... coached by
Paul Day ... was part of a defense that led the state in sacks ... was named the Metro Catholic
Conference Defensive Player of the Year ... earned second-team all-state as a defensive end his
Isaiah Hill, RB, 5-11, 207, Duncan, S. Car. (Byrnes)
High School: Currently attends Byrnes High School ... team captain ... was named the MVP of
the Great American Rivalry ... is a two-time team MVP ... was selected to play in the North vs.
South Bowl Game ... is a two-time all-region honoree.
Allan Koikoi, DB, 6-0, 185, Randallstown, Mary. (St. Paul’s)
High School: Currently attends St. Paul’s High School ... team captain ... coached by Paul Bernstorf
... team won back-to-back state championships and appeared in three-straight title games
... earned first-team all-state and was named Maryland Rivals Elite All-State ... was a Baltimore
Touchdown Club Super-22 team selection ... selected to play in the Crab Bowl All-Star Game.
Kyle Kramer, QB/P, 6-3, 200, Glen Ellyn, Ill. (Glenbard West)
High School: Currently attends Glenbard West High School ... coached by Chad Hetlet ... helped
lead team to a regular season West Suburban Championship ... earned first-team all-conference
as a senior, helping his team to a 12-1 record ... earned academic all-state honor.
Ian Leever, OL, 6-6, 295, Loveland, Ohio (Loveland)
High School: Graduated from Loveland High School in 2014 ... team captain ... coached by Fred
Cranford ... team won the 2013 Ohio Division II State Championship ... was named to the Scout
Southwest Ohio Super Offensive Team as a junior ... two-year starter ... was named preseason
first-team by JJHuddle.com ... graduated with honors.
Dean Lemon, DE, 6-3, 231, Kettering, Ohio (Archbishop Alter)
High School: Currently attends Archbishop Alter High School ... coached by Ed Domsitz ...
three-year starter ... named GCL Defensive Lineman of the Year as a senior ... recovered nine
fumbles that same season ... earned first-team All-GCL as a junior and senior ... earned secondteam
all-area and second-team All-Southwest Ohio in 2014.
Carter Masek, LB, 6-2, 225, East Grand Rapids, Mich. (East Grand Rapids)
High School: Currently attends East Grand Rapids High School ... team captain ... coached by
Peter Stuursma ... three year starter ... earned first-team all-conference as a senior ... was named
first-team all-state by the Detroit News ... also lettered in basketball.
Luke Mayock, WR, 6-5, 192, Sugar Land, Texas (Clements)
High School: Currently attends Clements High School ... team captain ... coached by Keith
Knowles ... earned honorable mention all-state as a senior ... named first-team All-Greater Houston
wide receiver ... was named the All-Greater Houston Scholar Athlete of the Year ... had 77
catches for 1,098 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior ... is the nephew of NFL Network analyst,
Sam McCollum, OL, 6-3, 290, Dublin, Ohio (Coffman)
High School: Currently attends Coffman High School ... team captain ... coached by Mark
Crabtree ... team went 28-7 in three seasons as a starter, including an 11-1 campaign as a senior
... earned all-metro special mention and first-team all-conference as a senior ... selected to participate
in the North-South All-Star Game ... was named to the NBC4 Preseason team.
Junior McMullen, LB, 6-2, 225, Oak Park, Mich. (Oak Park)
High School: Currently attends Oak Park High School ... coached by Greg Carter ... earned firstteam
all-state ... named to the Detroit Dream Team ... selected to play in the Michigan vs. Ohio
Ryan Mullen, OL, 6-4, 280, Lake Villa, Ill. (Lakes Community)
High School: Currently attends Lakes Community High School ... team captain ... coached by
Luke Mertens ... team won its conference championship three consecutive years ... earned allstate
honorable mention as a senior ... earned first-team all-conference and all area that same
year ... earned academic all-state as a senior.
De’Andre Montgomery, DB, 6-2, 197, Hampton, Ga. (Dutchtown)
High School: Currently attends Dutchtown High School ... team captain ... coached by Mark
Myers ... selected to play in the DLSC All-Star Bowl ... was named first-team all-region ... led
his team in interceptions and was second in tackles ... selected to play in the Offense versus
Defense All-Star Game ... named team’s Defensive Most Valuable Player.
RedHawks By Position
Offensive Line - 5
Defensive Line - 5
Defensive Backs - 4
Wide Receivers - 3
Running Backs - 3
Quarterbacks - 2
Linebackers - 2
Tight End - 1
Kicker - 1
Sam Murrer, OL, 6-5, 280, Park Hills, Ky. (Covington Catholic) High School:
Currently attends Covington Catholic High School ... team captain ... coached by David Wirth ... team went on to win districts as a senior ... earned first-team all-state that same season ... was named a top-26 player by the Northern Kentucky Football Coaches Association ... was one of five finalists for the state’s “That’s My Boy” Award, given to the player that demonstrates good character, academic excellence and community
Leonard Ross, RB, 5-11, 195, LaGrange Park, Ill. (Lyons Township) High School:
Currently attends Lyons Township High School ... team captain ... coached by Kurt Weinberg ... earned first-team all-state as a senior ... was named his conference’s co-Offensive Most Valuable Player ... named team MVP ... earned all-area MVP.
Jack Schroer, DL, 6-5, 260, New Albany, Ohio (New Albany) High School:
Currently attends New Albany High School ... team captain ... coached by Pat Samanich ... team advanced to the 2013 state regional final ... as a sophomore his squad advanced to the Division II state final four ... earned second-team all-conference as a senior ... selected to play in the Ohio North/South All-Star Game.
Matt Skibinski, OL, 6-5, 275, Livonia, Mich. (Churchill) High School:
Currently attends Churchill High School ... team captain ... helped lead his team to a district finals appearance ... earned Dream Team honorable mention as a junior and senior ... earned first-team all-Detroit Metro and first-team all-conference as a junior and senior. ... ranked as the no. 1 offensive tackle in Michigan according to scout.com.
Maurice Thomas, RB, 6-0, 170, Oxford, Ohio (Talawanda) High School:
Currently attends Talawanda High School ... rushed for over 300 yards on three different occasions, including an Ohio High School Athletic Association state record 414 yards during his senior season ... finished the year with 2,780 yards rushing and 31 touchdowns to lead the state ... was named the Division III Player of the Year ... rushed for 4,749 yards and 65 touchdowns in his career.
Mckenzie Thomas, DB, 6-0, 185, Oxford, Ohio (Talawanda) High School:
Currently attends Talawanda High School ... team captain ... was a three-year starter, earning all-conference each year ... had 50 career solo tackles at the cornerback position ... was a two way starter as a junior and senior ... earned academic all-conference honors from 2012- 14.
Nate Trawick, DT, 6-1, 295, Richmond, Ind. (Richmond) High School:
Currently attends Richmond High School ... coached by Matt Holeva ... team captain ... team won the North Central Conference in 2013 and 2014 ... is a four-year all-area player ... was named his conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 ... was named one of the top-50 junior football players in the state by the IFCA ... earned first-team all-state as a senior ... was also a state qualifier in wrestling.
Alexx Zielinski, TE, 6-5, 230, Brighton, Mich. (Brighton) High School:
Currently attends Brighton High School ... team captain ... coached by Cliff Kiefer ... named first-team all-state by D-Zone ... three year letter-winner ... elected to play in the Michigan vs. Ohio All-Star Game ... is a four-year letter-winner in baseball ... named KLAA Scholar Athlete.