Eight Florida players among 19 new Broncos Print E-mail
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Image KALAMAZOO, MI. - The Western Michigan football team welcomed 19 new Broncos to its program on National Signing Day.  The WMU coaching staff found its newest crop of student-athletes in nine different states with Florida and Michigan combining for 12 of the 19 signees.

The Broncos bring in eight signees from Florida, with three hailing from North Miami Beach High School, which leads the way in this years signing class.  Michigan ranks second among states with four signees hailing from Detroit, Big Rapids and Flint. 

The remaining seven signees are from California, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennesse and Virginia.  All four of the signees hailing from the state of Michigan appeared on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50 List of recruits.  John Jackson was listed at No. 35, Justin Currie was listed at No. 49, Jarrell McKinney ranked No. 47 and Kendrick Roberts topped the quartet, ranking No. 29.

Looking at this years signing class from each position, head coach Bill Cubit and his staff wanted to bolster the offensive line and it did, signing five new Broncos to protect the quarterback and open holes for WMU running backs.  The offensive line, led by newly-hired A.J. Ricker, leads the class in terms of number of signees, followed closely by strong safeties at four signees.  Western Michigan signed three linebackers, two of them being inside linebackers, and three defensive linemen, one of which is nicknamed Tank.

Western Michigan added to its experienced wide receiver corps with two speedsters from Virginia and Michigan, respectively.  Both Timmy Keith and Kendrick Roberts are three-star recruits according to Rivals.com and are two of the three signees rated at three stars by the recruiting web site that signed with Western Michigan, Rontavious Atkins at strong safety is the third.

We had needs at offensive line and I definitely feel that we filled them with the five guys we brought into the program, commented Cubit.  We knew we needed depth at the safety position and we addressed that need with four signees.  I know this will help to provide depth on the back end of our defense that loses some senior leadership from a year ago.

I cant say enough about the two wide receivers we had sign with us this class.  Roberts and Keith are fast and talented.  I feel they will add depth to our already seasoned corps of receivers and will be able to step in and make a difference if and when we need them to do so.  Finally, this may be the best defensive line class that we have brought to Kalamazoo since I have been here.

Once again I am very happy with the work our coaching staff did on the recruiting trail this season.  It is a very exciting time of the year and I hope our fans are excited to watch this team this coming spring and fall.

Western Michigan returns most of its starting line up from 2009, especially at the skilled positions.  The offensive line loses three starters and only Juan Nunez is not back on the offense among the wideout starters from a year ago.  The WMU defense loses only Jamail Berry and Mario Armstrong and returns freshman All-American Lewis Toler.

The 2011 Western Michigan spring football season begins on March 17, 2011.  The 2011 football season schedule will be officially released prior to that date but the Broncos are tentatively scheduled to play at Michigan, Illinois and Connecticut as a part of their non-conference schedule.

Rontavious Atkins, SS
5-11 // 175
Pahokee, Fla. (Pahokee)
High School: Ranked as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com ... received
two-star rating by both ESPN.com and Scout.com ... ranked 102nd among
safeties by ESPN.com ... member of state championship team in 2008
and district runner up team in 2009 ... ranked as No. 15 player in Palm
Beach County ... member of Sun-Sentinel Super 11 Team ... registered 80
tackles, two interceptions and 5.0 sacks in 2010 ... amassed 52 tackles,
3.0 sacks and forced fi ve fumbles as a junior.
Personal: Criminal justice major ... son of Ronald and Jamee Atkins ...
born on Jan. 1, 1993 in Pahokee, Fla. ... cousin of current Broncos Raheam
Buxton ... ran 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.

Eric Boyden, TE
6-3 // 236
Hamilton Square, N.J. (Notre Dame)
High School: Member of conference championship team as a senior ...
combined 25-5 team record including an undefeated regular season in
2009 ... earned fi rst team all-conference as a senior ... earned Third Team
All-South Jersey in 2010 ... recorded 425 yards and four touchdowns on
40 receptions as a senior.
Personal: Son of Alan and Cindy Boyden ... born on Oct. 18, 1992.

Devon Brant, ILB
5-11 // 224
Ocala, Fla. (North Marion)
High School: Two-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com ...
ranked 72nd among inside linebackers by ESPN.com ... ranked 83rd
among middle linebackers by Scout.com ... member of back-to-back district
championship teams and had a combined 52-9 team record during
career ... participated in North/South All-Star Game ... two-time all-state
selection ... district defensive player of the year as a junior ... two-time
fi rst-time all-area selection ... registered 137 tackles 20 TFLs and 6.5
sacks as a senior ... recorded fi ve forced fumbles and one interception
in 2010.
Personal: Sports management and sociology major ... sone of Anthony
Brant and Talvia Vereen ... born on Oct. 20, 1992 in Miami, Fla ... ran
40-yard dash in 4.66 seconds.

Donald Celiscar, SS
5-10 // 175
Winter Haven, Fla. (Winter Haven)
High School: Named second team All-County during junior season and
fi rst team All-County during seneior season ... particpated in East/West
All-Star game ... ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.59 seconds.
Personal: Sports medicine major ... born on Oct. 14, 1991 in Haiti ... son
of Sergot and Myrnese Celiscar.

Justin Currie, SS
6-2 // 192
Big Rapids, Mich. (Big Rapids)
High School: Two-star rating by Rivals.com ... ranked 128th among safeties
by Scout.com ... listed No. 49 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50 list
... earned fi rst-team all-conference ... named to all-area dream team ...
rushed for 1,226 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Personal: Criminal justice major ... son of Karol Frye and Steven Currie ...
born on Sept. 19, 1993 in Royal Oak, Mich ... ran 40-yard dash in 4.45

Nicholas Dance, LB
6-0 // 210
Nashville, Tenn. (Pearl-Cohn)
High School: Member of regional and district championship team in
2007 ... team reached state semifi nals in 2007 ... two-time all-metro selection
... All-Metro Class 3A-4A Defensive MVP ... two-time all-district selection
... district defensive most valuable player as a senior ... amassed
208 tackles, 18 sacks, fi ve interceptions and three fumble recoveries
during junior and senior seasons ... recorded 703 receiving yards and 10
touchdowns offensively as a junior and senior.
Personal: Business major ... son of Eric Dance and Nica Carter ... born
on Sept. 29, 1993 ... fi rst cousin (Lamar Divens) member of Baltimore
Ravens (2008-present).

Tyler Hrycak, QB
6-2 // 186
Wilmington, Del. (St. Marks // Valley Forge Military)
Junior College: Rated two-star recruit by Rivals.com ... rated No. 1 Prep
School QB by Max Preps ... amassed 2,125 passing yards and 25 touchdowns.
High School: Participated in Blue/Gold All-Star Game ... fi rst team allconference
and second team all-state in 2009 ... racked up 2,015 passing
yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior ... rushed for 384 yards as a
Personal: Business major ... son of Julie Burns and Terry Hrycak ... born
on June 9, 1992 in Wilmington, Del. ... father played football at the University
of Minnesota ... ran 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds.

Trevor Ishmael
, SS
5-11 // 185
Miami, Fla. (North Miami Beach)
High School: Rated a two-star recruit by Scouts.com ... second team
All-County senior season ... participated in the Miami Dolphin Dade vs.
Broward All-Star game ... ran a 4.6 40-yard dash time.
Personal: Business major ... born April 12, 1993 in Miami, Fla. ... son of
Darlene and Trever Ishmael.

John Jackson, OG
6-3 // 309
Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical)
High School: Ranked 117th among offensive guards by Scout.com ... listed
No. 35 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50 list ... member of Detroit Public
School League Divsion, city, district, regional championship teams.
Personal: Business major ... son of Gabrielle and Kevin Jackson ... born
on Dec. 23, 1992 in Detroit, Mich. ... cousin (Kevin Jackson) runs track
at Michigan State.

Timmy Keith, WR
6-0 // 181
Manassas, Va. (Osbourn)
HIGH SCHOOL: Rated a three-star recruit by Rivals.com ... rated a twostar
recruit by Scouts.com ... rated a two-star recruit and 171st WR by
PERSONAL: Born on Dec. 21, 1992.

James Kristof
, OG
6-4 // 303
Lake Barrington, Ill. (Barrington)
High School: Ranked as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com
and ESPN.com ... ranked 118th among offensive guards by ESPN.com
... ranked 120th among offensive guards by Scout.com ... named All-Mid
Suburban League as a senior ... earned all-area and received honorable
mention for all-state as a senior ... named to the Illinois Coaches Association
All-Star Game.
Personal: Business major ... son of Jim and Debbie Kristof ... born on Dec.
11, 1992 in Lake Barrington, Ill. ... ran 40-yard dash in 5.35 seconds.

Jarrell McKinney, DE
6-5 // 220
Detroit, Mich. (Cody)
High School: Two-star recruit and ranked 142nd among outside linebackers
by Scout.com ... Detroit Free Press First Team Defense ... Detroit
Free Press All-Detroit Team ... listed No. 47 on the Detroit Free Press
Fab 50 list ... earned fi rst team all-city and all-state in 2010 ... earned
second team all-city ... amassed 95 tackles and 10.0 sacks as a senior
and 96 tackles, 10.0 sacks, forced four fumbles and two blocked punts
in 2009.
Personal: Son of Stan and Karen McKinney ... born on July 1, 1992 in
Detroit, Mich.

Dustin Pringle, OG
6-5 // 285
Beaver Hills, Pa. (Blackhawk)
High School: Ranked as a three-star recruit and 82nd among guards by
Scout.com ... earned all-state and fi rst team all-conference in 2010 ...
named First Team Post Gazette ... earned First Team Pittsburgh Tribune
and named to the Post Gazette West Fabulous 22 Team.
Personal: Occupational therapy major ... son of Duane and Colleen Pringle
... born on Sept. 5, 1992 in Allentown, Pa. ... ran the 40-yard dash in
4.95 seconds.

Kendrick Roberts, WR
6-3 // 190
Flint, Mich. (Southwestern Academy)
High School: Ranked as a three-star recruit by both Rivals.com ad Scout.
com .... ranked as 29th best overall prospect in the state of Michigan by
Rivals.com ... 40 rec, 736 yds, 6 TDs in 2010 ... ranked as 178th best
wide receiver prospect by Scout.com ... listed No. 29 on the Detroit Free
Press Fab 50 list ... earned Second Team All-Valley Conference as a junior
and First Team All-Valley Conference during senior season ... named
team MVP as a senior.
Personal: Exercise science major ... son of Jackie and Kenneth Roberts
... born on Dec. 22, 1992 in Flint, Mich.

Cleveland Smith, ILB
6-2 // 230
North Miami Beach, Fla. (North Miami Beach)
High School: Second Team All-County during senior season ... participated
in North/South Dade County All-Star game ... participated in Nike
Dade vs. Broward All-Star Game ... four year letter winner in football, also
earned two varsity letters in wrestler.
Personal: Business major ... son of Marion Smith ... born on March 7,
1993 in Miami, Fla.

Damian Tank Thomas, DT
6-1 // 287
Pace, Fla. (Pace)
High School: Rated a two-star recruit by Rivals.com ... two-time all-state
selection ... two-time all-area selection ... racked up 130 tackles, 18.0
sacks, forced four fumbles and recovered two fumbles at Pace.
Personal: Business major ... son of Joseph Thomas and Melissa Boatman
... born on Sept. 21, 1992 in Milton, Fla.

Travis Turner, OL
6-5 // 275
Miami, Fla. (North Miami Beach)
High School: Four year starter ... second team All-County during senior
season and third team All-County during junior season .... two-star recruit
ranking by Rivals.com and Scout.com ... four year letter winner.
Personal: Business major ... son of Diane Brown ... born on Dec. 1, 1991
in Miami, Fla. ... brother of senior offensive lineman Anthony Parker.

Courtesy of Western Michigan Athletics

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