Dan Enos has consistently talked about his team’s need to get bigger and more athletic since being hired before the 2010 season.
After Enos introduced the 2013 recruiting class Wednesday afternoon at McGuirk Arena, those needs appear to be addressed.
“We feel that this class is bigger and more athletic,” Enos said. “We think this is an outstanding group from top to bottom, both academically and athletically.”
Central Michigan University’s class is highlighted by South Bend, Ind., wide receiver Wesley Thomas, Holland wide receiver Corey Willis, Northville guard Derek Edwards and Chicago quarterback Darrien Boone, who has already enrolled at CMU and will be in spring camp.
The class is ranked 79th among 123 FBS schools by Scout.com and 85th by Rivals.com
“The evaluation process is crucial in recruiting,” Enos said. “It’s not about going to some website and seeing who the highest-rated players are; it’s about getting out and finding the players and finding the best fit for our university.”
The 2013 class is made up of 21 members, 14 of which hail from the state of Michigan, something Enos said is vital to the success of his program.
“As we’ve always said, we have to do the best job of any school in recruiting the state of Michigan,” he said. “I feel like we have done that. There are some great players in this state, and we need to continue to cultivate this state and our relationship with the high school coaches to continue to find the best players we can.”
Enos added that he and his staff also consider Chicago, Wisconsin and northern Indiana as vital areas, but Michigan remains the most important, especially when it comes to competing with BCS-schools like Michigan and Michigan State.
“The way we look at it is U of M and MSU can’t take all the recruits,” Enos said. “What I mean when I say that we have to do better than any other school recruiting the state of Michigan is that we have to put more coaches in the state, and we have to go to more schools and more areas. We can’t just go to the main schools; we have to branch out elsewhere. Over the years, we’ve found that there’s very good players everywhere.”
Nine players in CMU’s class participated in the Michigan East-West All-Star Game. The class is made up of five offensive linemen, four wide receivers, three defensive backs, three defensive linemen and one quarterback, running back, tight end, linebacker, punter/kicker and athlete.
Enos said most of the class committed fairly early in the process, with the exception of Allegan athlete Gary Jones, who was offered a scholarship a few weeks ago.
Now that the 2013 class has signed their letters of intent, the question now becomes how many of the players from the class will actually be suiting up for CMU next fall. As of now, that remains to be seen.
“We’ll evaluate redshirts once the players get here,” Enos said. “I tell all these guys when we’re recruiting them that nothing is promised and that they have to earn everything. When you play and how much you play is up to them, not me, and they know that.”
Enos added that he wants to see as many guys as he can be here for a fifth year of eligibility. He also said that a defensive end or a tight end would probably have the best chance of playing right away, while offensive linemen or wide receivers might have a more difficult time.
“Offensive linemen generally need to get bigger and develop,” Enos said. “If you’re a wide receiver, you’re going to have to be pretty good, because we have a great group coming back.”
That being said, Enos has confidence in his entire class and isn’t ruling out any possibilities.
“Every year in a recruiting class there’s a surprise,” Enos said. “We wouldn’t have recruited any of these guys if we didn’t think they have the potential to be an all-conference player. I don’t know who that’s going to be, but, right now, I could see any of these guys busting loose and wowing us all.”
CMU opens up spring camp in March.