East Central University head football coach Tim McCarty has announced the signing of 30 players for its 2011 recruiting class.
The list includes five transfers who are already on the ECU campus attending classes for the spring semester, along with a load of high school student athletes.
“We are very happy with this recruiting class. We feel that we addressed several areas of concern, as well as lifting the team up to have healthy competitive depth and competition at all positions,” said McCarty. “The process is a lot of time of investment by our coaching staff, ECU university personnel, and this talented group of student athletes.”
The Tigers, coming off a 5-6 record in 2010 and a Lone Star Conference North Division Championship at 5-1, are hoping to make more strides in preparation of entering the newly-formed Great America Conference.
“The ultimate destination of our program is to play for and win championships as we move forward with this program,” McCarty said. “Winning the LSC North Championship was a step in that process this past season.”
The five players already on campus include running backs Chad Winbush and Titus Mobley, along with defensive end Carlos Warren, offensive lineman Colton Cline and linebacker Jerico Rogers.
Offensively, McCarty is excited about what this class offers in prospects.
“At the quarterback position, we signed Cody Miller (6-5, 215) and District 2 MVP and All-Stater Spencer Bond (6-3, 205),” said McCarty. “Cody was the preseason ranked eighth-best player in the state of Oklahoma, 18th rated pro-style quarterback in the nation and was a three-star QB, ranked by rivals. Cody also won several quarterback camps and combines this past summer and was recruited nationally by several schools. Both he and Spencer have great presence on the field and excellent arm strength in being able to throw a variety of different balls.”
Winbush and Mobley are expected to make an immediate impact out of the backfield.
Winbush, who did not play last season, ran for 1,015 yards on 118 carries and scored eight touchdowns while catching 11 passes for 65 yards in playing at Trinity Valley Community College in 2009. He averaged 113 rushing yards while playing in all of the team’s nine games.
Mobley transfers in from Copiah Lincoln Junior College (Miss.) last season. He gained 404 yards on 87 carries and scored three touchdowns while catching five passes for 59 yards and a pair of scores, despite playing just half the season. His best outing was 160 yards and a TD in Copiah Lincoln’s 30-17 win over Hinds (Miss.).
“At the running back position, we gained a talented duo in Mobley and Winbush. Titus was an all-state player in Groveland, Fla. at Southlake High School. He was one of the best running backs in the Mississippi Junior College conference. Chad was a 2009 JC Second Team All-American at Trinity Valley. He was a three-year star recruited by rivals and the Southwest Junior College Conference Offensive Player of the Year, averaging 8.6 yards per carry as a sophomore and 7.8 yards per carry for his junior college career,” McCarty said.
At the tight end position, the Tigers added William Kirkpatrick (6-1, 225), along with several talented offensive linemen.
“On the offensive line, we were fortunate to land a former Norman North and All-Stater Colton Cline (6-4, 300), who transferred to ECU from Sam Houston State University. Also in the group is Travis Hening, a very athletic big man who will bring more athleticism to the offensive line along with Eli Cook, a talented center from Broken Arrow. Tylor Whitfield, another All-Stater from Southmoore, will bring toughness to the line and Cody Bizzario brings terrific feet and leadership to the line,” McCarty said.
McCarty is pleased about landing some big playmakers at the receiver spots, including all-state performers DeVonta McCully and Jordan Robinson.
“McCully is a terrific playmaker with great speed on the edge. Robinson, an all-stater from Wagoner, had 54 catches for 1,048 yards and 14 touchdowns,” said McCarty.
Adrian Woodard and Mariano Dillard also bring speed and play-making ability to the receiving corps, according to McCarty and Eric Granado provides toughness and ball skills to the position.
“All these players bring great body control, ball awareness and foot speed to the Tigers’ passing game,” McCarty said.
Junior college transfer Carlos Warren has great speed as a defensive end. He netted 26 tackles, including 17 solo efforts, with four stops for lost yards, including 3.5 quarterback sacks for Northeast Mississippi Community College last season. He also forced three fumbles and recovered one while appearing in six of the team’s nine games.
“Carlos brings great speed off the edge with his long body,” said McCarty.
Randy Armstrong and Garrett Martin are also expected to make significant contributions at defensive end while Richard Sheridan is expected to do so at end or on the interior portion of the line.
“Randy and Garrett bring good speed, great hustle and great effort on the edge also,” McCarty said. “Richard brings talent that can play both the inside and outside on the edge.”
The Tigers also landed an outstanding linebacker in Jerico Rogers, a transfer from the University of Oklahoma and former Davis High School All-State selection.
“We feel very fortunate to land Jerico,” said McCarty.
Jamaal Whitney, brother of current Tiger linebacker Jameel Whitney, will join his brother in the linebacking corps.
“Jamaal brings a different dimension to the table with great coverage and rushing skills,” McCarty said.
Also expected to make big contributions at linebacker are Carter Grigg, Dillon Pulliam and Nathan Locke.
“Carter, an All-Stater, brings a toughness that jumps out at you. There is no wasted movement with this player. Dillon is a tough, smart player with leadership capabilities and Nathan was not only a great running back, but we feel will be a dominating linebacker,” said McCarty.
In the secondary, former Ada High School All-State honoree Qumain Black returns after playing at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami.
“Black will have a huge impact at the corner position,” McCarty said.
Marcus Caldwell, Bacarri Jackson, DeShon Wartley, LeQwan Heath and Shaun Hoagland should also make an impact in the secondary.
“Marcus brings field awareness to the table that will really help the Tigers take another step forward. Bacarri and DeShon will bring coverage skills and speed to an already talented back end. LeQwan and Shaun bring closing speed and elite ball skills at safety,” said McCarty.
The Tigers added two new long snappers in Garrett Martin and Grigg. Bond has the ability to average 50 yards per punt, according to McCarty.
The signing list
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (Previous School)
Randy Armstrong DE 6-4 235 Ada, Okla.
Cody Bizzario OL 6-3 290 Lawton, Okla. (MacArthur HS)
Qumain Black DB 6-0 185 Ada, Okla. (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M JC)
Spencer Bond QB 6-3 205 Madill, Okla.
Marcus Caddell DB 6-1 190 Oklahoma City, Okla. (Douglass HS)
Colton Cline OL 6-4 300 Norman, Okla. (Sam Houston St//Norman North)
Eli Cook OL 6-3 255 Broken Arrow, Okla.
Mariano Dillard WR 6-0 180 Tulsa, Okla. (Webster HS)
Eric Granado WR 6-3 205 Yukon, Okla.
Carter Grigg LB 6-1 205 Lawton, Okla.
LeQwan Heath DB 6-1 185 Broken Bow, Okla.
Travis Hening OL 6-7 295 Yukon, Okla.
Shaun Hoagland DB 5-9 180 Carrollton, Texas (Southlake)
Bacarri Jackson DB 5-11 170 Lawton, Okla. (Eisenhower HS)
William Kirkpatrick TE 6-1 225 Ada, Okla.
Nathan Locke LB 5-11 210 Lawton, Okla. (Eisenhower HS)
Garrett Martin DE 6-3 220 Oologah, Okla.
DeVonta McCully WR 6-5 210 Guthrie, Okla.
Cody Miller QB 6-5 215 Lawton, Okla.
Titus Mobley RB 5-11 205 Clermont, Fla. (Copiah-Lincoln CC)
Dillon Pulliam LB 6-0 215 Lawton, Okla. (Eisenhower HS)
Jordan Robinson WR 6-1 185 Wagoner, Okla.
Jerico Rogers LB 6-1 210 Davis, Okla. (Univ. of Oklahoma)
Richard Sheridan DL 6-2 240 Lawton, Okla.
Carlos Warren DE 6-4 235 Hernando, Miss. (NE Mississippi JC)
Tylor Whitfield OL 6-2 295 Moore, Okla. (Southmoore HS)
Jamaal Whitney DB 6-1 190 Oklahoma City, Okla. (Bishop McGuinness)
Chad Winbush RB 6-1 205 DeSoto, Texas (Trinity Valley JC)
Adrian Woodard WR 6-1 185 Lawton, Okla. (Eisenhower HS)
DeShon Wartley DB 5-9 170 Lawton, Okla. (Eisenhower HS)