News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

February 5, 2014

Sanford excited about ISU's 2014 recruiting class

TERRE HAUTE — On Wednesday evening, a room full of Indiana State athletic supporters watched countless touchdowns, tackles and blocks being made by future members of the Sycamore football program.

All of those great plays appeared on game film, mostly from the 2013 season, but ISU coach Mike Sanford and his staff emphasized they expect more of the same from the 29 student-athletes who signed national letters-of-intent Wednesday to play football at Indiana State in 2014.

Among the 29 signees were Vigo County high school standouts Junior Berry, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound defensive lineman from Terre Haute South, and Lucas Comer, a 6-4, 275-pound offensive lineman from Terre Haute North.

The public announcement of the 2014 recruiting class took place in the Hulman Center Varsity Club Room prior to the ISU men’s basketball game against Wichita State.

“Our goal was to have the best class in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and in FCS [Football Championship Subdivision] football,” Sanford told the gathering. “And we’re very excited about the class that we have put together. … We set our goals very high and we set our standards very high and we didn’t back off those standards.”

The second-year ISU coach admitted that his team had holes to fill coming off a 1-11 campaign (0-8 in the MVFC) in 2013, but he thinks his staff did fill several holes with these 29 recruits.

“We went out and recruited what we think are winners, leaders and high-character guys,” Sanford said. “And that’s very important to us.”

Sanford mentioned that four of Indiana State’s signees are four-year transfers who will be eligible to play in 2014. The class also includes six junior college players.

“Our plan in recruiting is to start in the Wabash Valley and move out from there,” he explained. “We have accomplished that. We feel very good about what we did. … We feel very good about Junior Berry from Terre Haute South, who signed with us today, and Lucas Comer from Terre Haute North. … We signed 10 players from the state of Indiana.”

Sanford also pointed out that 10 of his signees turned down FBS [Football Bowl Subdivision, the former Division I-A] offers to come to ISU.

“I think that’s a real plus,” he noted.

From there, Sanford and his assistant coaches took turns showing video highlights of the recruits while mentioning the attributes of each athlete.

“Our No. 1 recruiting goal on defense was to find some girth,” Indiana State associate head coach/defensive coordinator Brian Cabral said. “Girth is defined by 300-pounders.”

The signee list provided by ISU shows three defensive linemen, including Berry, who weigh at least 300 pounds.

Another defensive signee praised by Cabral was Indiana University transfer Jordan Wallace, a graduate of Warren Central High School. Wallace is a 6-1, 230-pound linebacker.

“He’s very strong, very powerful,” Cabral said. “I believe he’s going to be a very heavy-hittin’ dude. He gives us some immediate help at the linebacker position.”

Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Brian Sheppard indicated the Sycamores received an immediate boost with the addition of 6-1, 235-pound quarterback Patrick Coyne, a transfer from Cincinnati.

“He was originally a four-star prospect out of Badin High School in Cincinnati,” Sheppard said. “He’s a guy who comes in and provides a little bit of maturity … also very dynamic and athletic. He brings some leadership and toughness too.”

Next up to the microphone was ISU running backs coach Jayden Everett, who praised 5-9, 215-pound signee Deionte Buckley, a former Warren Central product who left the Cincinnati program after seeing limited action in 2012.

“Deionte is a very, very gifted athlete,” Everett insisted. “He was the No. 1 [high school] running back in the state of Indiana [in 2011]. … Deionte brings big-time, big-play ability to the running-back group.”

Wallace, Coyne and Buckley are already enrolled at Indiana State, meaning they are eligible to participate in spring practices. Those will begin March 24 and conclude April 25.

For more information on each athlete who signed Wednesday, visit GoSycamores.com.

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SPT041714 WV BB shaffer.jpg

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High School
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SPT041614 SMWC jordan.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis In command: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods pitcher Brooke Jordan delivers a pitch early in the Pomeroy�s sweep of Rose-Hulman Wednesday afternoon on the Pomeroy�s diamond.

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Terre Haute Rex
SPT 041614 ROSSELLI REX.jpg

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