Hazel anticipates 'exceptional things' from new KSU recruits Print E-mail
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ImageKENT, OH Just a little over six weeks since being introduced as Kent State's head football coach, Darrell Hazell announced his first recruiting class Wednesday. The 18-member class features 13 high school seniors from the state of Ohio. Sixteen high school student-athletes and one junior college player signed National Letters of Intent, while one member of the incoming class is already enrolled at Kent State.

"I'm so excited about this recruiting class," says Hazell. "There is a lot of talent, great character and guys that have done an outstanding job in the classroom. We fully anticipate that these players are going to do exceptional things for Kent State in the near future."
Hazell's inaugural class was split fairly evenly on both sides of the ball, with 11 players on offense and seven on defense. The offensive signees include three quarterbacks, three running backs, a pair of wide receivers, one offensive linemen, a tight end and an athlete. The defensive commitments were comprised of three linebackers, two defensive ends, a cornerback and a strong safety.
"I couldn't be more proud of my staff," says Hazell. "In a very short period of time, they've done a phenomenal job of evaluating talent and going out and cultivating relationships with high school coaches, players and parents. We started three weeks ago by taking a good hard look at the current players on the team and put together a plan from there. Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work."
In addition to the 13 Ohio signees, the class also includes one player each from Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Virginia.
Kent State wrapped up the 2010 campaign with a 5-7 overall mark and a 4-4 record in the MAC. The Golden Flashes, who will have to replace two starters on offense and six from defense, are scheduled to open the 2011 campaign Sept. 3 at Alabama.
 Name  Pos.  Ht.  Wt.  Hometown/Previous School

  •  Terrell Bates RB  5-9  205  Cleveland, Ohio/St. Edward
  •  Jason Bitsko OL  6-4  260  Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne
  •  Tristin Boykin RB  6-0  188  Centerville, Ohio/Centerville
  •  Josh Boyle ATH  5-10  165  Venice, Fla./Venice
  •  Trayion Durham RB  6-2  240  Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain
  •  Chris Humphrey WR  6-1  175  Solon, Ohio/Solon
  •  Joe Kenn LB  5-10  205  Gilbert, Ariz./Perry
  •  C.J. Malauulu LB  6-1  235  Oceanside, Calif./Palomar C.C.
  •  Jeremy McCoy WR  6-2  189  Columbus, Ohio/Marion-Franklin
  •  Chevin Meadows CB  5-11  185  Akron, Ohio/Buchtel
  •  Andre Parker LB  6-1  215  Ruckersville, Va./Fork Union
  •  Kyle Payton TE  6-3  245  Dublin, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson
  •  Anthony Pruitt DE  6-3  270  Columbus, Ohio/Groveport Madison
  •  Evan Shimensky* QB  5-11  182  Kent, Ohio/Roosevelt
  •  Luke Smurthwaite QB  6-2  190  Grove City, Ohio/Grove City
  •  Devante' Strickland SS  6-2  215  Columbus, Ohio/Marion-Franklin
  •  Jordan Tarve  QB  5-11  195  Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson
  •  Nate Terhune DE  6-4  230  Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Orange

* Already enrolled at Kent State at the beginning of the Spring 2011 Semester
Terrell Bates
RB 5-9 205 Cleveland, Ohio/St. Edward
Prior to Kent State
Gained 1,369 yards and scored 19 touchdowns to help lead St. Edward High School to a perfect 15-0 season and a state title in 2010was a second team all-district selection as a seniorhad 633 yards and four touchdowns en route to being named a Sun News All-Star as a juniorcoached by Rick Finotti.
Born Oct. 7, 1991son of Cathy Bateshas two siblings, Temeka Hayes and Bernard Munelplans to major in sports management. 
Jason Bitsko
OL 6-4 260 Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne
Prior to Kent State
Second team all-conferencerecipient of the conference Academic/Athlete Awardmember of the 2010 state runner-up team at Wayne High Schoolcoached by Jay Mintonalso lettered in basketball.
Born May 6, 1993son of Randy and Pam Bitskohas two siblings, Ryan and Caitlin.
Tristin Boykin
RB 6-0 188 Centerville, Ohio/Centerville
Prior to Kent State
First team all-conference as a senior after recording 1,004 all-purpose yards (833 rushing, 171 receiving) and 11 touchdownswas a second team all-conference selection as a junior at Centerville High Schoolplayed for Ron Ullery.
Born June 22, 1992son of Trista Douglas and Matt Boykinplans to major in marketing.
Josh Boyle
ATH 5-10 165 Venice, Fla./Venice
Prior to Kent State
First team all-area as a wide receiver his senior and junior seasonswas the team offensive MVP in 2009 after totaling 1,117 all-purpose yards (646 receiving, 471 rushing) and nine touchdowns646 yards was a school record for receivinglettered four years at Venice High Schoolcoached by John Peacockalso lettered four years in baseball.
Born Oct. 9, 1992son of Jeanett Bowdellhas an older brother, Steaven, and an older sister, Ashleyvolunteered with Challenger baseball for handicapped childrenplans to major in physical education.
Trayion Durham
RB 6-2 240 Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain
Prior to Kent State
Was an all-state, all-conference, all-southwest Ohio and all-city selection after rushing for 1,096 yards and 15 touchdowns as a seniorselected to play in the 2011 Big 33 Classicthird-ranked player at his position in the nation according to ESPN.comwas an all-league selection as a junior and sophomore at Colerain High Schoolrushed for 1,113 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2009 and 1,294 yards and nine scores the previous seasonfinished as the second-leading rusher in school history with 3,503 yardsaccumulated 38 career touchdownscoached by Tom Bolden.
Born May 15, 1992son of Arlando and Danille Durhamplans to major in computer science.
Chris Humphrey
WR 6-1 175 Solon, Ohio/Solon
Prior to Kent State
First team all-state and all-district senior yearfirst team all-conference junior and senior year2010 NOC Conference Offensive Player of the Year2010 Plain Dealer all-star senior yearaccounted for over 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns senior yeartwo way starter for Solon High School as a quarterback and safety, in addition to handling punt and kick return dutiesguided Solon to consecutive undefeated seasons and conference championshipsplayed for Jim McQuaidealso lettered in lacrosse.
Born June 6, 1992son of Richard and Joetta Humphreyhas an older brother, Michaelplans to major in marketing/design.
Joe Kenn
LB 5-10 205 Gilbert, Ariz./Perry
Prior to Kent State
Was an honorable mention all-region selection as a senior at Perry High Schoolpreviously played quarterback and safetycoached by Preston Jones his freshman and senior years at Perrywas coached by Ken Whalen as a sophomore and junior at Eastern High School.
Born Jan. 22, 1993son of Joseph and Angela Kenn has a younger brother, Peterfather played football at Wake Forest from 1984-88plans to major in sports administration.
C.J. Malauulu
LB 6-1 235 Oceanside, Calif./El Camino/Palomar C.C.
Prior to Kent State
Defensive captain at Palomar Community Collegeposted 47 tackles (27 solo), two tackles for loss and a blocked kick in nine games in 2010recorded 10 stops in the final game of the seasoncoached by Joe Early at Palomarwas first team all-league and defensive MVP his senior season at El Camino High Schoolalso played basketball, volleyball and rugby.
Born Jan. 9, 1991son of Casey Sr. and Janet Malauuluis the oldest of seven siblings, Quincey, Kameron, Kenidy, Camille, Connor and Carter.
Jeremy McCoy
WR 6-2 189 Columbus, Ohio/Marion-Franklin
Prior to Kent State
Named first team all-city senior year and second team as a freshman, sophomore, and juniorfour-time all-district selectionjunior year recorded 45 receptions for 605 yards and nine touchdownssenior season started at wide receiver, cornerback, kicker, and punteraveraged 17.6 yards per catch senior seasonhelped lead Marion-Franklin High School to an 11-1 record in 2010 and the school's fourth straight city titleplayed for Brian Haffele with fellow Kent State signee Devante' Stricklandalso lettered in basketball and was named all-city twice.
Born July 12, 1992son of Jerry Ward and Denise McCoyhas three brothers, Jerry, Carlos, and Jason.
Chevin Meadows
CB 5-11 185 Akron, Ohio/Buchtel
Prior to Kent State
Was a second team all-state selection as a seniorhelped team to an 11-4 mark and a berth in the Division III state title gamegarnered honorable mention all-state accolades as a juniorwas a three-time all-city honoreeplayed running back and cornerback for Buchtel High Schoolcoached by Ricky Powersalso lettered in basketball and track.
Born Oct. 30, 1992son of Veronica Meadows and Leonard Shepherdplans to major in sports management.
Andre Parker
LB 6-1 215 Ruckersville, Va./Fork Union
Prior to Kent State
First team all-state at linebacker and running backnamed the Virginia Prep League Player of the Year and the All-Central Virginia Defensive Player of the Year by the Daily Progressled for Fork Union Military Academy to a state title, recording 101 tackles 10 sacks, five forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and a pair of interceptionscoached by Micky Sullivanalso lettered in basketball and track
Born July 31, 1992guardian is Katherine Johnsonhas two older siblings, Leanna and Leonplans to major in criminal justice or education.
Kyle Payton
TE 6-3 245 Dublin, Ohio/Hilliard Davidson
Prior to Kent State
Second team all-conference honorable mention junior and senior season2010 all-metro and all-district special mentionjunior year helped lead Hilliard Davidson High School to 14-1 record and a 2009 state championshipsenior year team finished 13-1 en route to finishing as state runner-upalso lettered in track and fieldplayed for Brian White.
Born Dec. 12, 1992son of Brian and Samantha Paytonhas an older sister, Staciplans to major in applied engineering.
Anthony Pruitt III
DE 6-3 270 Groveport, Ohio/Groveport Madison
Prior to Kent State
Second team all-state selection senior seasonfirst team all-conference his senior year and was a second team pick as a juniorall-district junior and senior seasons2010 Spielman Classic MVPsecond team all-city sophomore season2010 Big 33 nomineeas a senior recorded 19 tackles and 3 sacksalso lettered in track and field and basketballplayed for Tim Brown.
Born Feb. 9, 1993son of Alisa Timothyhas two sisters, Asheli and Amberplans to major in sports medicine.
Evan Shimensky
QB 5-11 182 Kent, Ohio/Kent Roosevelt
Prior to Kent State
Was first team all-state, district player of the year and conference MVP as a senior after compiling 3,002 yards of total offense (2,202 passing and 800 rushing)had 28 passing touchdowns and seven on the groundthrew for 1,800 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior, while rushing for 650 yards and six scores en route to earning honorable mention all-state honorswas also first team all-conference and all-districtsecond team all-league as a sophomore when he tallied 2,000 total yards (1,500 passing, 500 rushing) and 26 total touchdownsled Roosevelt High School to a 24-6 mark in three seasons, finishing his career with 5,502 yards and 67 touchdowns passing and 1,950 yards and 20 scores on the groundcoached by John Nemec.
Born June 18, 1992son of Steve and Terri Shimenskyhas one sibling, Coryplans to major in education.
Luke Smurthwaite
QB 6-2 190 Grove City, Ohio/Grove City
Prior to Kent State
Was an all-conference and all-district selection as a senior, while also being named to the Columbus Super 25 Teamwas 168-288 for 2,369 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2010added 477 yards and 11 touchdowns on the groundselected to play in both the North-South All-Star Game and the Central Ohio All-Star Gamewas an all-district safety as a junior for Grove City High Schoolcoached by Matt Jordanalso lettered in baseball.
Born March 7, 1992son of Gregg and Michelle Smurthwaitehas two brothers, Elijah and Christianplans to major in justice studies.
Devante' Strickland
SS 6-2 215 Columbus, Ohio/Marion-Franklin
Prior to Kent State
First team all-state, all-district, all-metro and all-city selectionnamed district defensive player of the yeartallied 80 tackles, six interceptions and a pair of forced fumbleswas a first team all-city pick after posting 70 stops and eight forced fumbles as a junioralso had 50 tackles and five forced fumbles as a sophomorehelped lead Marion-Franklin High School to an 11-1 record in 2010 and the school's fourth straight city titleplayed for Brian Haffele with fellow Kent State signee Jeremy McCoy.
Born March 24, 1993son of Amanda Stricklandhas a sister, Dajanae'plans to major in education.
Jordan Tarver
QB 5-11 195 Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson
Prior to Kent State
Team's offensive player of the year and MVPthrew 17 touchdowns as a seniorposted 1,000 yards passing and rushing and 26 touchdowns through the air as a juniorled Stephenson High School to a 20-3 record in two years as the starting quarterbackcoached by Ron Gartrellwas also a four-year letterwinner in baseballposted a .375 batting average with 14 home runs as a junior to go along with 56 strikeouts on the mound.
Born Dec. 14, 1992son of Lacretia and Jeffrey Tarverhas an older brother, Jeffrey Jr.uncle is actor Chris Tucker.
Nate Terhune
DE 6-4 230 Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Orange
Prior to Kent State
2010 first team all-statefirst team conference and all-region senior year and was conference and region defensive MVPall-conference honorable mention as a juniorholds Orange High School team record for sacks in a season (16)finished senior season with 118 tackles, 16 sacks, and 31 tackles for lossfinished high school career with179 tackles, 23.5 sacks, and 41 tackles for lossplayed for Adam Bechlemalso lettered in track and field.
Born Sept. 29, 1992son of Scott and Sindy Terhunehas an older brother, Dan, who plays football at the College of Wooster.

Courtesy of Kent State Athletics


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