TERRE HAUTE —
With approximately 45 days on the job, Indiana State head coach Mike Sanford took advantage of an enthusiastic and technologically savvy young group of assistant coaches to assemble a quality recruiting class.
Recruiting coordinator Eric Brown, a holdover from Trent Miles’ staff, said he would summarize the Sycamores’ 2013 football recruiting class with the above hashtags — a keyword tool used heavily on the social media site if you’ve not joined the 140-characters-or-less club that is Twitter.
Sanford was also able to secure possibly the first national letter-of-intent in the United States. Sanford recruited Australian punter Rhys Felton with the aid of a conversation on Skype. Felton faxed his NLI at 6 p.m. Tuesday, which corresponds to the 7 a.m. Wednesday that recruits could submit their paperwork to colleges.
“It’s the first time I recruited a guy on Skype, which was exciting,” said the 57-year-old Sanford, who admitted he was a little concerned about putting a class together after being hired in mid-December.
Several players may have committed to prior to Miles’ departure, but Sanford’s enthusiastic coaching staff worked hard to retain those while finishing a class full of athletes that can help in short and long-term capacities.
“I was nervous about that, but we got guys hired, got them on the road recruiting, had high standards and were aggressive on it. I’m excited about the class that we’ve put together,” Sanford said.
After he unveiled his first class to supporters of the program Wednesday in Hulman Center, Sanford backed up Brown’s assessment: This is an explosive group of athletes that is hungry to help the Sycamores contend for Missouri Valley Conference and Football Championship Subdivision titles.
The highlight film of the class displayed five wide receivers, three running backs and several defensive backs with ball skills offensively or in the return game.
“There’s a lot of speed in this class. We’ve got a bunch of playmakers,” said Sanford, who repeated the fact that the foremost goal with this class was to add depth at wide receiver and linebacker. “We wanted to make sure people weren’t able to stack people in the box [to stop All-American running back Shakir Bell]. Of the two linebackers, one is a mid-year player and he’s already here.”
That linebacker is T.J. Tuuu, a Polynesian who grew up in California and played the last two years at Monterey Peninsula College. The other linebacker is Decatur Central product Jordan Jackson, a 6-1, 230-pounder that was an All-Marion County performer.
“He was first guy to send in his papers this morning. He loves football and he’s wanted to play for Indiana State for a long time,” ISU defensive coordinator Brian Cabral said. “He’s a physical player. This guy loves to hit. We see him making a big difference inside.”
Sanford added that the Sycamores were still in the process of recruiting more talent at linebacker.
Jackson was one of four recruits from the state of Indiana, as he’s joined by Sampson Levingston, a 6-1, 200-pound wide receiver out of three-time defending Class 4A state champion Cathedral.
The other Hoosiers are Aaron Killebrew (5-10, 165), a defensive back from Evansville Harrison and defensive tackle Weston Painter (6-3, 260) of Fort Wayne Snider.
The class includes six junior college transfers, with the idea being to strengthen a relatively small junior class. ISU will have five senior wide receivers for the 2013 season so players like Kayani Harris (5-10, 170) of San Fransico City College, Justice Berry (6-1, 209) of Coffeyvile Community College and Miguel Johns (5-11, 185) of Hutchinson Community College will add depth to that position. They’ll also have the potential to be relied upon seniors for the 2014 season.
ISU also added players at running back — with the goal to complement Shakir Bell in 2013 and to plan for life without the star back in 2014.
Logan Lanier, at 5-9, 215, could provide a strong complement to Bell next fall. ISU passing game coordinator Brian Shepard referred to him as a “bowling ball,” while offensive line coach Vince Natali said “he will fight for every yard, every inch.”
Lanier ran for 1,330 yards and six touchdowns for Sacramento City College in 2012.
“We know we had Shak. We’ve leaned on him. We wanted a 1-2 punch. We brought in the big bowling ball,” Shepard said. “He’ll be a senior type guy after that when we get Dimitri [Taylor] and Lemonte Booker going.”
Taylor is a 5-10, 190-pound back from Montini Catholic in Wheaton, Ill., and Booker (6-0, 180) displayed a long stride and breakaway speed running for Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Ill.
Offensively, the Sycamores also added a freshman quarterback that could fit into Sanford’s spread offense plans. Matt Adam (6-1, 210) of Camino Capistrano, Calif., passed for 1,500 yards and rushed for 800 yards as a senior.
Tight end Braxton Shirley (6-3, 245) is new to the position after switching from quarterback at California powerhouse Mission Viejo.
Zach Borens (6-8, 350) adds depth at offensive line. Juice Davis (5-10, 185) is one of three players recruited from Colerain High School in Cincinnati.
The other two are cornerbacks Lonnell Brown (5-7, 160) and Dejuan Lang (5-9, 181). Tyler Lee (6-2, 180) is another Ohio defensive back recruit, while Jameer Thurman (6-0, 195) will also join that group out of Chicago. Antonio Broadus (6-3, 230) of Aurora, Colo., will add depth at defensive end.
ISU football's new coaching staff worked hard to put first class together
TERRE HAUTE —
ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors
A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.
Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville
Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.
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Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
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Metro: Former Miss Softball joins Purdue staff
Terre Haute North graduate Megan Ciolli Bartlett, the state’s 2001 Miss Softball and a two-time All-American at Notre Dame, is joining the Purdue coaching staff.
Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco
Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.
A.J. Reed makes it 5 for 5 in college baseball awards with Golden Spikes Award
When it came down to it, college baseball’s electors agreed that there was no award Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed didn’t deserve for his remarkable 2014 season at Kentucky.
Reed was selected Thursday as the 2014 Golden Spikes Award winner, given annually to the top amateur player in the nation by USA Baseball, making Reed a unanimous pick as the national player of the year.
MVC to shift women's basketball tournament to Moline, Ill.
The Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament will move 90 miles farther from Terre Haute beginning in 2016, the league announced Thursday.
Metro: ISU-IU football game to be on ESPNEWS
Indiana University announced Wednesday that the season opening game between Indiana State and IU will be played at noon on Sept. 30.
Riley 10s go 4-1, place second in state tourney
Riley’s 10-and-under all-star team finished as runner-up over the weekend at the Cal Ripken baseball Central Indiana tournament.
Odum heads for Vegas with Kings summer team
Terre Haute native Jake Odum scored three points in the Indiana Pacers’ 84-74 victory on Thursday over the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League.
Odum has 5 points for Pacers in summer play
Former Indiana State standout Jake Odum contributed five points, three assists and a steal in 15 minutes on the court Wednesday for the Indiana Pacers summer league team.
MVC Tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018
Missouri Valley Conference men's tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018.
College report: Former Patriot runner Mundy is ‘proud to be a Hoosier’
After redshirting the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons this year, Chanli Mundy was eager to do one thing recently as she prepared to compete in the USATF Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Eugene, Oregon. “The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is being able to wear an IU uniform,” she said last week prior to making her cross-country trip.
Odum scores 2 points off bench for Pacers
Three of the top picks in last month’s draft are adjusting to NBA at different speeds at the Orlando Pro Summer League.
Terre Haute's A.J. Reed joins Manziel as an SEC Athlete of Year
University of Kentucky baseball star A.J. Reed of Terre Haute and Florida softball standout Hannah Rogers have been named 2013-14 Roy F. Kramer Southeastern Conference Male and Female Athletes of the Year, according to a voting by the league’s athletics directors.
“A.J. and Hannah are true examples of outstanding student-athletes,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said Tuesday. “They have competed at the highest level of collegiate athletics, and through their hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence, have been successful in their endeavors. They are fine representatives of their universities and this conference.”
A new era: ‘Bittersweet day’ as Loyd takes over for ailing Shaw as Rose-Hulman men’s basketball coach
Rose-Hulman President James Conwell couldn’t have been more accurate Monday afternoon when he called it “a bittersweet day” for his school.
Reed adds two-way award to collection
Seeking to become the third unanimous national Player of the Year in Southeastern Conference history, Terre Haute’s A.J. Reed has been named winner of the 2014 John Olerud Award, given annually to the nation’s top two-way player, according to an announcement Friday from the College Baseball Hall of Fame.
Metro: ISU’s Wise starts out well in USATF championships
Indiana State sprinter Katie Wise advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 100 meters as she ran 11.42 seconds in the opening heat of the event Thursday evening at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.
ISU's Odum talks about agreeing to play for Pacers' summer-league team
No team selected him in the two-round NBA draft Thursday night, but Terre Haute native and four-year Indiana State basketball standout Jake Odum agreed Friday to play for the Indiana Pacers’ summer-league squad next month.
Steady success: ISU continued to climb ladder with one of its best overall seasons ever
First of all, if you’re an Indiana State fan, stand up and applaud. The Sycamores collectively went where only one Sycamore athletic department went before in 2013-14. ISU finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy standings. ISU recorded a score of 3.538, its highest in school history.
Metro roundup: Odum to work out with Lakers
Terre Haute native and former Indiana State guard Jake Odum will have two more workouts before next Thursday’s NBA Draft. Odum will work out with the Los Angeles Lakers today. Odum will have a second workout with the Orlando Magic next week before the draft.
Terre Haute’s Reed earns 4th national honor
Recent University of Kentucky standout A.J. Reed has been named National Player of the Year and first-team All-America, according to an announcement made Wednesday afternoon by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
Swift breaks ISU hurdles record, takes fourth place at NCAAs
Senior Greggmar Swift broke the school record in the 110 meter hurdles, as Indiana State picked up two All-Americans in the final day of the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Swift’s five points in the event gave the men’s team five points for the meet and a 44th place finish in the nation. The women got 3 points from Mary Theisen in the shot put to place 51st in the nation.
A.J. Reed chosen as 28th Dick Howser Trophy recipient
University of Kentucky junior pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed, who enjoyed possibly the greatest individual season in UK history in 2014, is the 28th recipient of the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations, as college baseball’s Player of the Year.
The presentation was made Saturday during a national news conference at TD Ameritrade Park, site of the 2014 College World Series.
New ISU coach Parker makes first impression
Indiana State assistant coach Terry Parker hasn’t had too much time to make a first impression.
Officially hired in late April, but identified as Dave Ragland’s replacement on Greg Lansing’s staff long before that, there haven’t been many team activities for Parker to take part in since he joined ISU’s staff from Utah Valley.
Greggmar Swift advances to NCAA hurdles final
Greggmar Swift advanced to the finals of the 110-meter hurdles to highlight Indiana State’s performances during day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field.
Terre Haute's Mascari earns All-American finish in 10,000 meters
Indiana State sophomore John Mascari finished 11th in the NCAA Championships in the 10,000-meter run Wednesday night at historic Hayward Field.
Reed signs with Astros
A.J. Reed’s Wednesday was already pretty good when he was named Baseball America’s College Player of the Year in the morning. In the afternoon, it got even better for the Terre Haute native. The Houston Astros, who drafted Reed with the first pick of the second round in last week’s Major League Baseball draft, announced that they had agreed to a deal with Reed. According to several sources, Reed signed his deal for $1.35 million.
Metro sports: Cassell wins Lawrence County title
Chris Cassell put together two rounds of 4-under-par 68 for a two-shot victory for his first Albright Motors Lawrence County Open championship on Sunday.
Pair of Sycamores selected in Major League Baseball draft
Two Indiana State baseball players were chosen in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft Saturday.
Senior shortstop Tyler Wampler, a 2010 graduate of West Vigo High School, went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round (519th overall) and junior catcher Mike Fitzgerald went to the San Diego Padres in the 27th round (807th overall).
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- ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors