Bringing home the best

The Bearkats 2007 football recruiting class offers a wide array of recruits, adding depth to positions by graduations and transfers along with additions to positions of need. The Bearkats reloaded with 20 new recruits, eight of which were mid-year transfers while 12 were high school recruits. Ten players are from the offensive side of the football, along with nine from the defensive sideand a punter.

“We feel like we did well across-the-board,” Bearkats head football coach Todd Whitten said. “For me especially, it was special because we added depth to all positions.”

The most notable transfer is Christopher Brown, a 6 ft. 3 in. 218 lb. defensive end from the University of Texas in Austin. Brown played six games as a true freshman for the Texas team, which won the National Championship in 2005. He suffered a broken leg halfway through the season, and redshirted the 2006 season. Brown, a blue-chip recruit, ranked as one of the top 100 recruits in 2005 by

Defensive end Ryan Gloston transferred to Sam Houston State after playing for Blinn Junior College, the NJCAA National championship team in 2006. The 6 ft. 2 in. 275 lb. end could be used to create match-up problems for opposing offenses..

“He’s big so he can play defensive tackle, and defensive end,” Whitten said.

Going into the recruiting period, the problem faced by Whitten and his staff was addressing a lack of a pass-rush defense, in which SHSU ranked last in the Southland Conference last season with only eight sacks in 11 games.

“We’re hopeful that Ryan and Chris can give us a pass-rushing threat we lacked last year,” Whitten said.

Other mid-year transfers include Jordan Bowersox, a 6 ft. 3 in. 290 lb. offensive tackle from Coffeyville Community College in Coffeyville, Kansas. Olufemi Ogundare, a 5 ft. 8 in. 200 lb. running back who played at Bellaire High School in Houston before playing his first year at Eastern Michigan, Derrick Raymer, a punter from Garden City Community College, Frank Simon a linebacker from Northeastern Oklahoma, and Trey Payne a wide receiver from Baylor.

“Trey is more of a slot receiver. He has great quickness and can we can do a lot of different things with him,” Whitten said. “He caught four touchdown [for Baylor] passes last year.”

Though featuring an impressive array of talent through transfers, the Bearkats also assembled a fine class of high school graduates. Despite picking up two talented defensive ends from Texas and Blinn, Whitten and his staff signed Edward Decambre, a 6 ft. 3 in. 230 lb. defensive end from Austin High School.

Like Gates, Daniel Glover, a 6 ft. 2 in. 225 lb. tight end from Texarkana, shared time between playing football and basketball. In his senior season, he made 39 receptions for 537 yards and four touchdowns.

“He (Daniel) is more of a big-wide out,” Whitten said. “Half of the time he played wide receiver and the other half tight end. He’s a very athletic guy.”

The high school class also included two quarterback recruits, Taylor Weidman from Boswell High School in Saginaw, and Jeff Welch from Cypress Falls High School.

Rounding out the Bearkats recruiting class are Calvin Caad, a defensive back from Seguin, Chris Crockett, an offensive tackle from Converse Judson High School, Kash David, a linebacker from Georgetown High School, Chris Williams, a wide receiver from Alvin and Jeremy Butcher, a safety from Marshall High School.

“Jeremy was a two-way player in high school, splitting time between quarterback and safety,” Whitten said. “We look at him to be a secondary player.”

He may not be listed as any of the recruits the Bearkats signed on Signing Day 2007, but Rhett Bomar, the former University of Oklahoma quarterback and seventh overall rated prospect by in 2004, was an important acquisition for the team in August. Like the other recruits, Bomar will play his first game as a Bearkat in the fall. According to Whitten, Bomar is cleared to play by the NCAA and is expected to be in a Bearkat uniform this fall. Like most of the Bearkat faithful, Coach Whitten is looking forward to Bomar’s return to the field.

“Rhett is having a good spring. We’re excited for spring practices” Whitten said. “We have high hopes for him this season.”

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