English to bolster program with recruits

Coach Ron English looks to make the team bigger, faster and stronger.

Signing day has come and gone and the Eagles have landed their 2011 football recruits.

The average Rivals.com star rating for the Eagles was 2.05 out of five stars, good for No. 11 in the conference. Toledo took the top rated recruiting class averaging 2.45 stars.

Buffalo averaged the least on the star scale with 1.89 stars.

The star scale is a favorite tool among recruiters as well as fans of college programs, but it’s not the be-all-end-all rating.

For one, you could have a five star talent, but if he isn’t right for your system or program, he may not work out.

That being said, the Eagles class of 2011 looks to be building further toward the program coach Ron English is looking to put together. English has said countless times since getting the job in 2009 that EMU needs to be bigger, faster and stronger, and his class this year is not out of line with that principle.

Defensive end recruit Devin Henderson is 6-4, 275 lbs. and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds.

English landed 20 total commitments, seven from California, six from Illinois, three from Michigan, two from Pennsylvania and one each from Ohio and Hawai’i.

Michigan still seems to be a struggle for English, who has said before Michigan is a priority to him and his program. In two years, English has landed just five players from the state.

Junior colleges are a great place to find Mid-American Conference-ready talent to fill in holes that may be too deep to develop. The Eagles brought in nine transfers to the program from junior colleges.

The 2011 class is heavily loaded toward the back seven. Nine defensive backs — including the Eagles’ lone three-star recruit Sean Cotton — and three linebackers make up over half of EMU’s 2011 class.

Here’s a look at the 2011 recruiting class for the Eagles

  • Star ratings by Rivals.com

Tyler Allen RB 5 feet, 8 inches 173 pounds Lansing, Mich.-Eastern
“Tyler Allen of Lansing Eastern is one of Michigan’s top sleepers in the Class of 2011. Allen was injured in his junior season and only played in 2 games. One game he rushed for 198 yards against East Lansing. Allen had the fastest 40 Time at the Michigan Preps Combine out of 625 athletes. He also recorded a 10.4 second 100M in track this season..”

**Dylan Brooks TE 6 feet, 3 inches 233 pounds
Stevensville, Mich.-Lakeshore
First-team All-Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference, and selected Best Defensive Player in 2009 while at South Haven High School (Mich.). It’s reported that English believes he’ll come in and compete for playing time on special teams, and at tight end.

**Ryan Brumfield RB 5 feet 9 inches 172 pounds Chester Springs, Pa.-Owen J. Robert Running back out of Pottstown, Penn. Collected 8,595 career rushing yards, good for second all-time in the state of Pennsylvania. Had offers from Buffalo, New Hampshire, and Villanova.

***Sean Cotton S 6 feet, 1 inch 211 pounds
Maywood, Ill.-Walther Lutheran
Tthe three star safety prospect will help the Eagles’ thin secondary. Saw offers from the Big Ten’s Minnesota and Northwestern as well as cross-state rival Western Michigan.

**Rickie Crouch S 5 feet,11 inches 189 pounds
Valencia, Calif.-Valencia-Southwestern-San, Bernardino Valley Community College
Already enrolled at EMU, and a friend of transfer Marlon Pollard. Crouch on “Big Hit Player of the Year at San Bernardino Valley Community College”

**Justin Cudworth LB 5 feet,11 inches 208 pounds
Jr. Santa Clarita, Calif.-Agoura-College of the Canyons
Recorded 47 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss, and 5.5 sacks in 2010 at College of the Canyons, look for him to upgrade a thin linebacking corps.

**Chris Dunlap CB 5 feet, 8 inches 183 pounds
So. Pasadena, Calif.-John Muir-East Los Angeles College

_**Devin Henderson DE 6 feet, 2 inches 280 _
Junior out of Northbrook, Ill.- Harper Junior College
In 12 games with Glenbrook, Henderson had 24 tackles and five sacks. The Eagles hope he makes an impact immediately, still has three years left of eligibility.

**Bronson Hill RB 5 feet, 10 inches 200 pounds Grand Rapids, Mich.-Catholic Central
Had 19 rushing touchdowns his senior year at Catholic Central, but could make the switch to safety.

**Mark Iannotti QB 6 feet, 2 inches 215 pounds
out of Ilinois.-Schaumburg
Also had offers from South Dakota State and North Dakota state.

**Kevin Johnson SAF 5 feet, 11 inches 180 pounds
McKeesport, Pa.-McKeesport
Had a great senior season in McKeesport, but was mostly overlooked.

Sean Kurtz LB 5 feet,11 Inches 228 pounds
Jr. Anaheim, Calif.-Canyon-Santa Ana Community College

_**Bryan Pali SAF 6 feet 198 _
Junior out of Kamehameha,Hawaii -Orange Coast Community College (Calif.)
Made 39 tackles last season, and six and a half of them were for a loss, plus the 4.5 sacks he racked up.

Marlon Pollard CB 6 feet,166 pounds
Transferred from UCLA
Has three years of eligibility remaining, after practicing with the Eagles in 2010. He was Redshirted at UCLA in 2009 and did not play.

Blake Poole LB 6 feet ,3 inches 221 pounds
Junior out of Yorba Linda, Calif.-Esperanza-Santa Ana Community College
Great combination of size and speed, versatile on defense.

**Demarius Reed WR 5 feet ,10 inches 156 pounds
Incoming freshman out of Chicago, Ill.-Simeon Academy
Received offers from many Mid-American conference schools. Chose EMU over Akron,Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Eastern Illinois, Memphis, Western Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Wyoming.

**Tyreese Russell TE 6 feet, 3 inches 216 pounds
Incoming freshman out of Melrose Park, Ill.-Walther Lutheran
“Chicago (Ill.) Simeon senior two star ranked defensive back prospect Darius Scott (5-foot-9, 155 pounds) was an electric performer in all aspects of the game last season for head coach Dante Culbreath and the Simeon Wolverines”—Rivals.com

**Darius Scott CB 5 feet 8 inches 154 pounds
Incoming freshman out of Chicago, Ill.-Simeon Academy ESPN ranks him as the 91st best cornerback in the country, and is a candidate to return kicks.

**Kris Strange DB 5 feet ,11 inches 170 pounds
Freshman out of Pickerington, Ohio-Central
Expect Strange to compete for time right away. He is ranked the 16th best defensive back in the country.

**Tyrone Taylor DB 5 feet,11 inches 176 pounds
Junior out of Harbor City, Calif.-Cerritos College
Another candidate to return kicks for the Eagles, Taylor averaged 28 yards per return last season with Cerritos College.

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