Western Michigan recruiting class ranks first in MAC

Western Michigan recruiting class ranks first in MAC

News

Western Michigan recruiting class ranks first in MAC

By

Southfield's Matt Falcon signed with Western Michigan after Michigan pulled his scholarship offer because of injuries.

Southfield’s Matt Falcon signed with Western Michigan after Michigan pulled his scholarship offer because of injuries.

P.J. Fleck keeps “Rowing the Boat” in a big way as the head man of the Western Michigan football program.

First came the program’s first bowl win, against Middle Tennessee in the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl this past season.

And Fleck has followed that up by securing the 66th-best recruiting class in the nation for 2016, according to Rivals.com.

Most importantly, though, Fleck has amassed the best recruiting class in the Mid-American Conference and the conference’s only top-75 recruiting class. It’s the third straight year in which Fleck can lay claim to having the best recruiting class in the MAC.

In fact, only two other MAC schools finished among 2016’s top 100 recruiting classes, with Miami (Ohio) coming in at No. 79 and Toledo coming in at No. 82.

Western Michigan’s 2016 recruiting class is led by eight three-star recruits (according to Rivals) — two more than WMU’s 2015 recruiting class.

“Last year’s recruiting class was about building depth,” Fleck said. “This year was about finding the right players to fill needs and continuing to bring in incredible talent.”

Fleck’s current 25-player class, consisting of 13 players from Michigan, includes 19 multi-sport athletes, 18 all-conference players, 14 all-state players and seven individuals who won state titles.

Perhaps the most notable three-star recruit brought in by Fleck and his coaching staff is Southfield running back Matt Falcon (6 feet 1, 210 pounds), who had his football scholarship pulled by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh in October after he suffered a knee injury in workouts prior to the start of the 2015 campaign.

Falcon’s 2014 season was also marred by injury, as he played in just six games after returning from another knee injury.

“One man’s trash is another’s man’s treasure,” Fleck said. “Somehow, some way, he got let go. We stuck with him through his injury.

“We expect him to be an impact player for us. (But) we want to make sure he comes back 100%, and we’re going to wait until he’s 100% and then another 100%.”

As a result of Falcon’s trouble with staying on the field, he landed with Fleck at Western along with four other Michigan-based three-star players: Detroit King defensive back Dontre Boyd (5-10, 160), Chippewa Valley defensive back Stefan Claiborne (6-0, 173), Warren De La Salle linebacker Eric Rogers (6-0, 224) and Romeo defensive back Brad Tanner (6-2, 182).

“This is an outstanding class,” Fleck said. “Last year, we were focused on creating depth. Now, we know what fits and what doesn’t.”

He compared his recruits to the dynamic of having children, as he doesn’t have any favorites going into his fourth year as a college head man.

With that being said, Fleck did note that Hunter Broersma (5-11, 189), an “incredible multi-sport athlete” from Muskegon Mona Shores; Spencer Kanz (6-5, 285), an “incredible O-lineman” from Luxemburg (Wis.) Casco; Ron George (6-0, 204), a “big-time linebacker” out of Pittsburgh Central Catholic; and D’Wayne “Dee” Eskridge (5-9, 181) from Bluffton (Ind.) stick out to him as the potential biggest catches from WMU’s 2016 class.

However, he said he is committed to playing the “best people,” as he aims to lead the Broncos to a third straight winning campaign.

Biggest catch

Fleck listed four players: Wide receiver Hunter Broersma (5-11, 189), an “incredible multi-sport athlete” from Muskegon Mona Shores; Spencer Kanz (6-5, 285), an “incredible O-lineman” from Luxemburg (Wis.) Casco; Ron George (6-0, 204), a “big-time linebacker” out of Pittsburgh Central Catholic; and D’Wayne “Dee” Eskridge (5-9, 181) from Bluffton (Ind.).

Sleeper

Jaylon Moore, a 6-3, 272-pound tight end from Detroit Consortium. “He’s a kid that didn’t have many offers, but he came to (WMU’s “Big Man” camp) and was outstanding,” Fleck said.

Could Play in 2016

Fleck said it was “too early to tell” but did list linebacker Tristian Pipp (6-1, 216) from Greendale, (Wis.) and kicker Butch Hampton (6-0, 170) from Piedmont, (Okla.) because they’re both already enrolled at WMU.

Class of 2016

PLAYER

POS

HT

WT

FROM

RK

Ken Aguirre 

DT

6-1 

296

Plainfield (Ill.) Joliet Catholic 

 

Jordan Asbury

DL 

6-3

275 

Warren De La Salle 

 

Brett Borske

TE 

6-5 

225 

Naperville (Ill.) Neuqua Valley

 

Dontre Boyd

DB 

5-10 

160 

Detroit King

 

Hunter Broersma 

WR 

5-11

189 

Muskegon Mona Shores

 

Mark Brooks 

OL 

6-6 

255 

Portland (Mich.)

 

Jaylen Brown 

DB 

6-2

205 

Houston Mayde Creek

 

Mike Caliendo 

OL 

6-3

273 

Brookfield (Wis.) East

 

Stefan Claiborne

DB 

6-0

173

Clinton Tsp. Chippewa Valley

 

Jared Culp

LB

6-2

202

New Carlisle (Ind.) New Prairie

 

D’Wayne (Dee) Eskridge 

RB 

5-9 

181 

Bluffton (Ind.)

 

Matt Falcon 

RB 

6-1 

210 

Southfield

 

Ron George 

LB 

6-0 

204 

Pittsburgh Central Catholic

 

Rodney Graves

WR 

6-2

190 

Detroit Cody

 

Kailen Guillory 

DE 

6-4 

240 

Indianapolis Davis

 

Butch Hampton 

K

6-0

170

Piedmont (Okla.)

 

Mitchell Heimbuch 

TE

6-2 

215 

Romeo

 

Emanuel Jackson 

DB

5-11

171

Novi

 

Spencer Kanz 

OL 

6-5 

285 

Luxemburg (Wis.) Casco

 

Matt Little 

QB

6-3

226

Evanston (Ill.) Township

 

Jaylon Moore 

OL

6-3

272

Detroit Consortium

 

Kalebb Perry 

WR

6-2

175

Mt. Pleasant

 

Tristian Pipp 

LB

6-1

216

Greendale, Wis.

 

Eric Rogers 

LB

6-0

224

Warren De La Salle

 

Brad Tanner

DB

6-2

182

Romeo

 

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports