The Miami RedHawks continued their rebuild Wednesday with the signing of 21 student-athletes to football National Letters of Intent. Although MU, like other collegiate programs, was hit with a few surprises along the way, it earned a No. 2 ranking among MAC teams, according to Scout.com.
As it has been since Day One of head coach Chuck Martin's time at the RedHawks helm, adding talent and building depth along the lines remained a focus. MU is bringing in four offensive linemen and two on the defensive side.
Martin, heading into his third season with the RedHawks, noted the lines are gaining needed strength and size, including among incoming recruits. Among Wednesday's signees were . . .
With "our first class, they were almost all tight ends, and we were trying to make O-linemen out of them," Martin said. "But that is what you get when you take over a job in January, and some of those kids are becoming great players for us. ... (But) last year and this year, we are getting more kids that are physically read to compete. ... We've improved our size greatly. We've improved our strength greatly. Some of our linemen and linebackers, they are throwing around some serious weights already."
Miami also added five receivers and four defensive backs. The latter could find their way into action sooner rather later as the RedHawks address a thin area of the roster. Travion Banks (6-0, 175) and and Tay Gowan (6-3, 175) have some strong cornerback credentials on tape.
"They're long. They're athletic," Martin said. "They have all the traits that good corners have. They're raw. They need to be developed, but we're pretty excited about those kids."
Martin and Miami fans will be hoping the development comes quickly as the defensive backfield was a key area of need.
"We have depth issues at corner. We lost one corner and we didn't have many in our program," Martin noted. "We're barely two-deep at corner, and just getting two young kids that are as talented and genetically (fifted) as those two (are) -- at a position where I know we've got to play a lot better football -- (is a big plus).
Asked about the slippery slope of flips and surprises that is part of recruiting, Martin indicated he was somewhat anxious about bringing both Banks and Gowan all the way into the fold after early verbals.
Gowan, along with receiver Tyler Fleetwood (6-3, 200) are two of five recruits from Georgia, where Miami has recently made some significant inroads. Two of three linebackers signed are also from the Peach State.
One area Miami failed to ink a signee in was running back. However, Martin noted that the RedHawks are very young at the position and used a pair of promising freshmen last year. "They've just scratched the surface," Martin said, adding he was very optimistic about their future."
Nearby Indiana provide receiver Stori Emerson (6-3, 210) and quarterback Noah Wezensky. The latter missed much of his senior season at Fort Wayne's Bishop Luers High School due to an injury, but as a junior he threw for 2,879 yards and 30 touchdowns while completing 63.5 percent of his passes. Emerson is part of a five-player haul for the receiving corps.
"We didn't feel like we had a ton of wideouts," Martin said. "I think we've got eight wideouts going to spring camp, which if you're going to play three or four wideouts at different times, we need to add to that (group)."
Travion Banks, CB, 6-0, 175, Evanston, Ill. (Evanston) High School: Currently attends Evanston High School ... coached by Mike Burzawa ... team captain ... earned first team all-state by the Chicago Tribune ... named 8A all-state by the IHSA ... was his conference’s off ensive player of the year ... recorded 44 catches for 705 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior.
Kobe Burse, DB, 6-2, 210, Muskegon Heights, Mich. (Mona Shores) High School: Currently attends Mona Shores High School ... coached by Matt Koziak ... team captain ... earned first-team all-area and all-conference as a senior.
Doug Costin, DL, 6-3, 255, West Chester, Pa. (Bishop Shanahan) High School: Currently attends Bishop Shanahan High School ... coached by Paul Meyers ... team captain ... earned first team all-state as a junior and senior ... was named his league’s Defensive Most Valuable Player ... recorded 120 tackles, 14 sacks and three touchdowns in 2015.
Tommy Doyle, OL, 6-7, 275, Edina, Minn. (Edina) High School: Currently attends Edina High School ... coached by Reed Boltmann ... team captain ... was invited to compete in the Minnesota All-Star Game ... earned preseason All-Metro League honors ... led his team in sacks in 2015 ... also lettered in hockey.
Stori Emerson, WR, 6-3, 210, Indianapolis, Ind. (Ben Davis) High School: Currently attends Ben Davis High School ... coached by Mike Kirschner ... team captain ... had 54 catches for 722 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior ... set school records in catches (56) and yards (883) his junior season, helping his team win a state championship ... owns the school record with 111 career catches.
Tyler Fleetwood, WR, 6-3, 200, Lilburn, Ga. (Parkview) High School: Currently attends Parkview High School ... coached by Eric Godfree ... team captain ... recorded 44 catches for 631 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior, earning first-team All-Gwinnett County ... set a school record with three touchdowns in a game in 2015 ... is second in school history in career receptions.
Danny Godlevske, OL, 6-3, 290, Indianapolis, Ind. (Bishop Chatard) High School: Currently attends Bishop Chatard High School ... coached by Vince Lorenzano ... team captain ... helped lead his team to a state championship in 2015 ... that same year he earned all-county and all-state honors by the IFCA ... named Small School All-American by MaxPreps
Quentadrian “Tay” Gowan, DB, 6-3, 175, Covington, Ga. (Newton) High School: Currently attends Newton High School ... coached by Terrance Banks ... team captain ... earned first team all-state as a senior ... had four interceptions and 15 pass breakups in 2015.
KJ Hancock, WR, 6-2, 195, Suwanee, Ga. (North Gwinnett) High School: Currently attends North Gwinnett High School ... coached by Bob Sphire ... team captain ... averaged 21.0 yards per catch in his high school career ... recorded nine receptions for 150 yards and three touchdowns in the Elite Junior Classic back in 2014.
Andrew Homer, TE, 6-5, 220, Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier) High School: Currently attends St. Xavier High School ... coached by Steve Specht ... was named an Ohio Fall all-star selection ... earned first team all-conference honors and second team all-district honors ... recorded 79 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and one interception as a linebacker in 2015.
DeAndre Huff , WR, 6-0, 190, Covington, Ga. (Newton) High School: Currently attends Newton High School ... coached by Terrance Banks ... team captain ... selected first team all-region as a senior ... was named his team’s Most Valuable Player ... earned special teams player of the year for his region ... ended his career with over 1,500 yards receiving and 22 receiving touchdowns ... returned six kickoff s for touchdowns in his career.
Benjamin Kimpler, DE, 6-6, 240, Libertyville, Ill. (Libertyville) High School: Currently attends Libertyville High School ... coached by Mike Jones ... team captain ... finished first team all-state as a senior ... recorded 77 tackles and 10 sacks in 2015 ... two-year varsity starter ... also lettered in baseball and basketball.
Trent Maynard, OL, 6-5, 325, Indianapolis, Ind. (Decatur Central) High School: Currently attends Decatur Central High School ... coached by Justin Dixson ... team captain ... earned first team all-conference honors ... was named all-state and all-Marion County ... also lettered in basketball.
Myles Reid, LB, 6-2, 206, Atlanta, Ga. (Mays) High School: Currently attends Mays High School ... coached by Corey Jarvis ... team captain ... earned first team all-region and first team all-city as a senior ... that same season recorded 92 tackles, eight sacks, 17 tackles for loss, six pass breakups and scored two touchdowns.
Jack Sorenson, WR, 6-1, 185, Kildeer, Ill. (Adlai Stevenson) High School: Currently attends Adlai Stevenson High School ... coached by William McNamara ... team captain ... earned first team all-state as a junior ... caught 64 passes that same season as his team won the state championship ... played quarterback as a senior, throwing for 1,800 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Tyrece Speaight, DB, 5-11, 183, Columbus, Ohio (Upper Arlington) High School: Currently attends Upper Arlington High School ... coached by Joel Cutter ... earned first-team all-state as a senior ... team won a pair of state championships ... four-year starter in football.
Kyle Speas, TE, 6-5, 220, Plainfield, Ill. (Plainfield North) High School: Currently attends Plainfield North High School ... coached by Tim Kane ... team captain ... three-year starter ... was a two-time first team all-conference and all-area honoree ... finished his career with 38 receptions for 756 yards ... missed most of his senior season due to an injury.
Dalton Strunk, OL, 6-6, 290, Liberty Township, Ohio (Lakota East) High School: Currently attends Lakota East High School ... coached by Rick Haynes ... team captain ... earned first team all-conference honors in 2015.
Cameron Turner, LB, 6-0, 205, St. Louis, Mo. (Hazelwood East) High School: Graduated from Hazelwood East High School ... coached by Aaron Whittington ... team captain ... earned first team all-state honors as a junior and senior ... was his team’s most valuable player in 2015 ... is a three-time all-conference performer ... was named a St. Louis All-American ... finished his career with 386 tackles and 18 sacks ... currently enrolled at Miami University.
Noah Wezensky, QB, 6-3, 195, Fort Wayne, Ind. (Bishop Luers) High School: Currently attends Bishop Luers High School ... coached by Kyle Lindsey ... team captain ... missed most of his senior season due to an injury ... as a junior, threw for 2,879 yards and 30 touchdowns while completing 63.5 percent of his passes, earning first team all-state, first team allconference and second team Northeast Indiana ... finished his career with 5,149 yards and 46 passing touchdowns.