Football signs multiple recruits on Day 1 of early 2018 National Signing Day


The crowd watches the action during Central Michigan University's homecoming football game against Toledo at Kelly/Shorts Stadium Saturday, Oct. 14.

For the first time in history, high school players were able to sign early with their respective colleges. 

Instead of waiting until the usual National Signing Day – Feb. 7, athletes have been granted the ability to lock in their spots during a three-day window from Dec. 20 to 22. High school players who graduate in December will become early enrollees. 

The Central Michigan football team signed 16 players to its 2018 class on Wednesday.

“Once again, we set our goals on getting bigger, stronger and faster,” CMU coach John Bonamego said in a press release. “I feel like we’ve done that again.”

The Chippewas are expected to sign a few more players in the next two days, according to sources close to the situation. 

Across six different states, the Chippewas signed defensive back Montrae Braswell, defensive lineman Tico Brown, linebacker Carlton Cleophat, offensive limenan Nolan Eike, offensive lineman Tyden Ferris, linebacker Cory Gildersleeve, defensive back Randall Harris, wide receiver Keonta Nixon, quarterback George Pearson, wide receiver Tyrone Scott, defensive lineman NeVen Simington, defensive lineman Romello Traver, tight end Braeden Childress, defensive lineman LaQuan Johnson, defensive back Kobe Lewis and running back Jonathan Clark. 

According to the 247Sports, the best player in CMU’s 2018 class is Nixon, a three-star wide receiver from Lake Park (IL) Roselle. Nixon was scouted as player who can run after the catch, as well as run exceptional routes for big-gain plays. 

Nixon, at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, has the versatility to make a reception over almost any defensive back committed to play in the Mid-American Conference. 

The Chippewas signed just one signal caller in the early signing period in three-star pro-style quarterback George Pearson from Middleton (NJ) Mater Dei. 

Pearson, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound athlete, had other offers to play for Boston College, Purdue and Temple. One of the main reasons he signed early was because of Bonamego’s new contract extension. 

“I picked Central Michigan because coach Bonamego and coach (Chris) Ostrowsky gave me the best opportunity to play as a young guy coming in,” Pearson said. “Knowing coach signed that new deal, he will be my coach for the next four years. I’m proud to call him my coach.” 

Pearson was listed as a pro-style quarterback, meaning his game is similar to the play seen from quarterbacks in the National Football League.

“Doing both helps me to keep drives going and to make plays with my feet outside of the pocket,” Pearson said. “I’m also a good thrower inside the pocket and can keep my eyes downfield at all times.” 

Of the 16 players signed, six are from the state of Michigan, including Ferris, Johnson, Childress, Gildersleeve, Harris and Simington. Besides Harris, all players from signed in-state are legacies, meaning their fathers player at CMU. 

“I think we’ve done a really good job in-state,” Bonamego said. “That’s always going to be our top priority, to sign players who are from within a six-hour radius of Mount Pleasant where 75 percent of our team comes from. It’s very important to do a great job of scouring the state and making sure we bring as much homegrown talent as we can to CMU.”

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