November 24, 2009

Recruiting picks up for Golden Flashes

Kent State's success on the football field, coupled with the hard work from the coaching staff and the early impact from several of the Golden Flashes' underclassmen, has helped jumpstart the team's recruiting efforts.

Head coach Doug Martin said the Flashes have secured verbal commitments from eight players and he plans to sign as many as 25 when signing day rolls around in February.

"We've got about eight commitments right now, but we'll sign, this is going to be a big class," he said. "We'll sign probably 24 or maybe up to 25 in this class. But we're doing really well; we like where we are, particularly in the state, but we got quite a bit more to go."

Kent State loses several seniors, including several starters. Front-line players the Golden Flashes have to replace include offensive lineman Dante Campbell, H-Back Jameson Konz, defensive linemen Kevin Hogan, Aaron Hull and Sam Frist, linebacker Anthony Mirando and cornerback Danny Sadler.

The Golden Flashes always emphasize the offensive and defensive lines in recruiting and this year they'll look to add several defensive backs.

"We've got to get to where we can play the ball and play some man coverage and get up there and compete better at the corner position," Martin said. "Of course you're always looking for linemen on both sides of the ball. We'll sign several offensive linemen in this class. We signed several last year that we really like that have been redshirted this year. Defensive line is obviously always a premium."

With the injury to true freshman quarterback Spencer Keith last week at Temple, and with the graduation of Anthony Magazu and Jon Brown, who spent his season as a student coach, the Flashes suddenly have become very thin under center. Giorgio Morgan is just a redshirt sophomore, but the Flashes are prepared to bring in at least two quarterbacks in the 2010 class.

"We've got two committed right now already, so we've done very well in that area," Martin said. "The recruiting of quarterbacks has gone really good. We lose Magazu and Jon Brown's a senior; we'll bring in at least two."

Three-star prospect Gabriel Henderson is one of the quarterbacks already committed to Kent State. Henderson threw for over 2,500 yards and rushed for over 1,000 in 2009 for Southeast Raleigh High in North Carolina.

Helping the Flashes' recruiting efforts has been the contribution from so many underclassmen. High school prospects see that success and know they'll have the chance to compete for early playing time. That success also signals that the Kent State program is on the rise.

"That's made an impact when recruits are looking at us and see how we've improved the program as a whole since we've been here and then they look at all the guys coming back next year," Martin said. "We really don't lose very much in this class, particularly if we get Eugene Jarvis back, which we hope we will and should. We get him back you've really got a nice nucleus here next year."

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