National Signing Day was Wednesday, Feb. 7 for the college football world, and Eastern Michigan University signed nine new players to bring its freshmen class total to 28.
In coach Chris Creighton’s fifth season, the Eagles ended the regular season on a three-game winning streak which included wins over Central Michigan University, University of Akron and Kent State University to finish with a 7-5 record prior to the bowl game. In the Camellia Bowl, the Eagles took Georgia Southern down to the wire but weren’t able to come away with the victory, losing 23-21 on a last-second field goal. The new recruits hope they can help EMU build an even stronger program and continue to compete in the MAC.
“I feel that we need to just keep working to get a conference title,” Tommy Wright-Hodges, who is a defensive lineman from West Bloomfield, said. “Last season was a good season, and I feel it can only get better if we keep working with everyone we have. Coach Creighton has the ability to make the right changes to get us there.”
Freshman Noah Cameron, a wide receiver from Kokomo, Ind., also praised the hard work of the coaching staff: “Coach Creighton and his staff separated themselves from every staff I met during my recruitment. The values and goals of the program really resonated with me. It is a place I could see myself growing as a player and a man over the next 4-5 years.”
Christopher Kaminski, an incoming freshman quarterback, shared the same thoughts: “The biggest thing that separated Eastern Michigan from other schools was the coaching staff. Each coach was a stand-up guy that built a relationship with me from the start, and I have trust that they’ll make me a better person and player over my college career.”
“I want to be a key contributor in bringing this program to its highest level while maintaining excellence in the classroom,” Cameron explained. “I just think being consistent in our approach and putting a 100 percent effort in what the staff demands is the key. They’re doing a great job in recruiting and obviously need to maintain that. I hope my work ethic and passion will be used as an example for the players that come after me.”
Wright-Hodges went on to add that he has family who attended EMU, including his grandfather who earned a football scholarship and helped run the intramural sports. “I felt as I should keep a legacy going,” Wright-Hodges said. “The effort of the coaching staff showed me I was truly wanted and not another name on the roster.”
Kaminski also touched on how he thinks EMU can continue improving: “In order to compete for conference titles, I think the biggest thing EMU needs to do is finish out close games. They had a lot of close losses the past couple years, and if things went a little differently, their record would improve and conference titles will start to come.”