With Eastern Michigan's football season opener against Old Dominion looming, I picked my five under the radar guys who could potentially make an impact for the Eagles this season.
TE Cody Tuttle (Junior) –
Tuttle comes into his first year on the team as a junior college transfer from Moorpark College in California. After the graduation of former EMU TE Tyreese Russell, EMU looked for a quick experienced replacement to take over at the position, and Tuttle was the man.
At Moorpark, Tuttle was named the team MVP and received all-conference honors, while compiling 655 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while on the team. Out of high school Tuttle committed to Nevada to play football, but coaching changes and personal reasons led him to transfer to a junior college, and then EMU.
LB Derric Williams (RS Sophomore) –
The return of Derric Williams will be huge for the EMU defense.
As a freshman in 2013 Williams started in five games and played in eight. In 2014, Williams redshirted due to an injury but is expected to be healthy for the start of the 2015 season.
Williams joins a strong linebacking core with Great Ibe, Ike Spearman, Anthony Zappone, and more.
DL Clay Dawson (Senior) –
After spending two seasons at Phoenix College in Arizona, Dawson transferred to EMU in 2014.
The defensive line added some speed and athleticism with the addition to Dawson and he will be looking at solid playing time in 2015. The season ending injury of Pat O’Connor hindered the defensive line for the 2015 season, so guys like Dawson will be expected to fill in some big shoes.
RB/WR Blake Banham (RS Freshman) –
Banham redshirted his first year with the program joining an already strong running back core. Banham has impressed coaches with his pure athleticism and ability to create plays on offense.
EMU will be using him as an all around athlete on the football field, playing him at running back, or even lining up at wide receiver, and a kickoff return man. Banham had a big spring game earlier in the year that sparked a lot of the attention.
FS Ikie Calderon (Junior) –
Calderon is another junior college transfer that comes to Eastern Michigan. From the College of the Desert in California, Calderon joined the secondary during spring football and has had time to learn the defensive schemes.
Calderon was a much needed addition to the defense, as the EMU secondary was ranked as one of the worst defensive secondary’s in Division I college football in 2014.