Big Rapids, Mich. - For the second time this spring, a Ferris State University athletics program has been recognized for hauling in the nation's number one recruiting class at the NCAA Division II level.
Recently, the Bulldog men's tennis program was recognized by TennisRecruiting.net as having the top incoming class for any Division II program in the country. The recognition came on the heels of the Ferris State football squad, which was recognized following National Signing Day in February for having Division II's top class by FootballScoop.com.
TennisRecruiting.net released its top mid-major men's classes for 2013 and the Bulldogs were the lone Division II program to make the list of 35 schools. FSU was an honorable mention honoree overall on the list compiled by tennis experts around the country.
First-year head coach Chad Berryhill's first class of recruits that was recently announced includes international products in Roger Hernandez (Longueuil, Quebec) and Connor Douglas (Toronto, Ontario) in addition to out-of-state additions in James Trevino (Tipp City, Ohio) and Hayden Cramer (Colorado Springs, Colo.) along with prep standout Jose Calero (Cali, Colombia), a native of Colombia who moved to Florida where he starred during his prep career at Archbishop Curley Notre Dame. All five student-athletes who will begin their FSU collegiate careers during the 2013-14 campaign.
The listing of schools in the rankings included institutions from the Division I level outside of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Ivy League, Pac-12 and the SEC. In addition to the remaining Division I institutions, all teams from Division II, Division III, NAIA, junior college and community college were considered. Overall, Ferris State was among only five schools recognized outside of Division I status in the nation.
"Having a top recruiting class means a lot to our program," said Berryhill. "My goal since day one has been to restore Ferris State to its rich tradition and national contender status and this is a part of that process.
"However, having talent on paper does not equate to winning," he added. "We know that we have a lot of preparation to do to make our program reach our lofty expectations, but we are excited about our incoming players and their talent, work ethic, desire, and coachability. We are on the right track and look forward to the upcoming season."
Ironically, the number one team overall on the national mid-major list was South Florida, which is coached by a Ferris State alum and a former Bulldog men's tennis player in Matt Hill, who graduated in 2005.
Ferris State is coming off a strong 2012-13 campaign in which FSU posted a 16-6 overall record and also took second place in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) with a 9-2 league mark. In addition, the Bulldogs were a perfect 8-0 at home this year.
Berryhill also directed the Bulldogs to their 18th NCAA Tournament appearance in his initial season and a runner-up finish at the 2013 GLIAC Tournament. FSU reached the Midwest Regional final in NCAA action and was ranked as high as second in the region this past campaign.
The Bulldogs open the fall campaign in September with the conference schedule taking place next spring.