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Big Rapids, Mich. – The Ferris State University football program and head coach Tony Annese made a big splash on National Signing Day as the Bulldogs unveiled their 2013 recruiting class on Wednesday (Feb. 6) afternoon.
With a full recruiting season under their belts, Annese and his staff landed perhaps one of the state and country's top recruiting hauls on paper with the addition of 32 incoming prep players who signed national letters-of-intent and two junior college transfers. The announcement of this year's current 34-member recruiting class was made in an afternoon press conference to the media inside FSU's Wheeler Pavilion at Top Taggart Field.
"This is an oustanding group of young men and we're excited about their potential and talent," Annese said. "The addition of this class will certainly be reflected in our depth and increased competition across the board. We're extremely pleased they've become part of the Bulldog family and believe the future is extremely bright."
The 34-member class includes 32 players from inside the state of Michigan along with one player from the state of Florida and one from Arizona. FSU's totals also included a pair of junior college transfers.
In all, the Bulldogs inked 19 players on the offensive side of the ball with 15 on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage. The class includes several players again from West Michigan, including one of Big Rapids' own in lineman Jake Daugherty.
Included among the 19 offensive signees were four dual-threat quarterbacks, three talented running backs, six skilled receivers/slot players and four offensive lineman in addition to a tight end and H-back. The defensive commitments featured three linemen, six linebackers and six players in the secondary as the Bulldogs were able to solidify nearly every position across the board.
Ferris State's prep out of state recruit came from perennial national power Bradenton (Fla.) Manatee, which was ranked most of this past fall as the consensus number one prep team in the country. Four-year starting defensive lineman Marquis Dawsey inked with the Bulldogs, who landed a standout from the same Florida prep power for the second year in a row.
The Bulldogs also made a significant splash throughout Michigan and especially the Southeastern corner, where some of the state's top talent from Macomb County and elsewhere announced their allegiance to Ferris State.
From West Michigan, the Bulldogs inked players from several schools throughout the immediate Grand Rapids area and along the lakeshore with signees hailing from East Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Christian, Holland West Ottawa, Montague, Muskegon Mona Shores, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Rockford, Greenville and more. The Bulldogs didn't stop there either as players from the Kalamazoo, East Lansing, Flint and Saginaw areas also inked with Ferris State.
More than 25 members of this year's class were featured on various lists pegging the state's top prospects in the class of 2013 and at least a dozen of them received strong Division I recruiting interest. For the second year in a row, a focus was also placed on adding players from winning programs as 27 of the signees helped their teams to the state playoffs in their final campaigns. Several were also selected to compete in the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association All-Star Game.
This year's talented prep class comes on the heels of a successful debut season for the Bulldogs under Annese. He guided Ferris State to a 7-4 overall mark in his first campaign last and FSU ranked among the nation's top teams in both rushing offense and total offense. For his efforts, he was a national semifinalist in voting for the prestigious Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award.
This past season, the Bulldogs recorded several impressive wins under Annese's direction, including beating archrival Grand Valley State in the Anchor-Bone Classic for the first time since 1999, snapping a 10-year losing streak to Michigan Tech and topping defending national runner-up Wayne State for the first time in five years. FSU also managed to win seven games for only the second time in the past decade despite facing one of the nation's two toughest schedules in Division II football during the regular-season, according to the Massey Ratings.
The Bulldogs are currently conducting winter conditioning workouts and will open spring practice drills in March with the 2013 season set to start in early September.
|Pos||Last Name||First Name||School||Ht.||Wt.|
|RB||Brown||Deshun||St. Clair Shores South Lake||6'1||200|
|DB||Brown||Jahaan||East Grand Rapids||6'0||185|
|QB||Desaussure||Travon||St. Clair Shores South Lake||6'2||200|
|LB||Porter||Terrell||Iowa Western CC||6'4||220|
|DB||Stokes||Ryheem||Grand Rapids/Catholic Central||5'11||172|