MARQUETTE – Northern Michigan University head football coach Chris Ostrowsky announced the signing of 38 student-athletes who will join the Wildcats for competition in fall 2015. This marks the fourth signing class with Ostrowsky at the helm of the program.
The class includes 37 freshman and one junior college transfer.
“First I want to thank all of our administrators, support staff, coaching staff and all the staff around campus that made our recruiting visits at Northern Michigan first class,” said Ostrowsky. “Our coaching staff did an unbelievable job this past year identifying and recruiting players that would help make our team better. This class has an overall team GPA of 2.97 and includes 20 team captains and seven state champions. Today we had a goal of signing 38 student-athletes and we have signed 38. We wanted to create great symmetry up front and we did that by signing nine offensive lineman and six defensive lineman. It’s a great time to be a Wildcat and I am excited to get this group on campus.”
Sixteen of the players signed are Michigan natives including six players from the Upper Peninsula. It also includes 10 players from Illinois, six players from Wisconsin, three players from Florida, two from New Jersey and one from Alabama.
Garrett Blank (Munising/Munising), Justin Brilinski (Menominee/Menominee), Andy Cooper (Munising/Munising), Aeron Forsberg (Menominee/Menominee), Brett Place (Marquette/Marquette) and Holt Richards (Marquette/Marquette) are the Upper Peninsula players that signed with the Wildcats.
The Wildcats were 3-8 last season in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Quarterbacks (2) – Click Here For Highlights
Jalen Brady, 5-11, 216, QB, Southfield, Mich./Ventura College – Was a three year varsity starter earning three CAAC Blue Conference Championships for Grand Ledge High School. Earned All-Conference accolades twice. Led Southfield High School to their first conference championship. Played one season at Ventura College leading them to a conference championship. Finished his season with 13 total touchdowns and over 1,100 yards.
Brett Place, 6-1, 198, QB, Marquette, Mich./Marquette – In his senior season was named a U.P. All-Star Selection, All-U.P. First Team, All-Great Northern Conference First Team and Eagle Radio Player of the Year. Three time ESPN/McDonald’s Athlete of the Month and nine time Eagle Radio/Wal-Mart Player of the Game.
Running Backs (5)- Click Here For Highlights
Garrett Blank, 6-0, 208, RB, Munising, Mich./Munising – Was the team MVP in 2014 while also being named Great Northern All-Conference, All-State Honorable Mention and All-U.P. All-Class Dream Team.
Justin Brilinski, 5-11, 185, RB, Menominee, Mich./Menominee – In his senior season he rushed for more than 1,200 yards earning All-Great Northern Conference First Team accolades on both offense and defense, along with being named the 2014 Great Northern Conference Player of the Year.
Brandon Costantino, 5-11, 185, RB, Skokie, Ill./Niles West – Helped lead Niles West High School to two conference championships, while earning All-Conference accolades. Was also a state qualifier in track and field.
Jordan Fuqua, 6-0, 175, ATH, Olympia Fields, Ill./Rich Central – Was voted as a team captain and earned All-Conference and All-Area accolades.
Jake Mayon, 5-9, 195, RB, Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield East – Ran for 1,900 yards and 20 touchdowns his senior season at Plainfield East High School. Was the team’s offensive MVP for two seasons and earned All-Conference, All-Area and All-State Honorable Mention accolades. Was also named Chicago Tribune Athlete of the Month.
Wide Receivers (5) – Click Here For Highlights
Christian Baltes, 5-11, 160, WR, Verona, Wis./Verona – Was named First Team All-Conference and All-Region along with being named Honorable Mention All-State.
Andy Cooper, 6-3, 180, WR, Munising, Mich./Munising – Was named All-U.P. and All-State as a wide receiver. Also named all-conference as a punter/kicker.
Aeron Forsberg, 5-8, 155, WR, Menominee, Mich./Menominee – Was named to the Great Northern Conference First Team along with All-U.P. and All-State accolades.
Jalen Saunders, 6-1, 205, WR, Auburn Hills, Mich./Avondale – Saunders was an All-League receiver and was also named All-County Honorable Mention. Earned Special Teams Player of the Year accolades.
Jonathon Washington, 6-0, 189, WR, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons – Averaged 12.3 yards per catch for a 38.2 yard per game average in the 2014 season. Washington is the No. 114 wide receiver in the state of Florida.
Offensive Line (9) – Click Here For Highlights
Andy Adado, 6-4, 280, OL, Holt, Mich./Holt – Was a team captain while earning All-Conference and All-Area accolades. Was named to the All-Area Dream Team by the Lake State Journal.
Zyggy Arledge, 6-2, 265, OL, Hoover, Ala./Hoover – Won three state championships at Hoover High School and in his senior season was a consensus First Team All-State member for 7A, the largest division, and was named All-Metro First Team by the Birmingham News.
Trevor Ashbeck, 6-2, 265, OL, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Lincoln – Was named All-Conference as a defensive lineman.
Enrique Caraballo, 6-4, 310, OL, Coral Springs, Fla./Taravella – Started in the BCAA All-Star Game and in the Broward vs. Miami-Dade All-Star Game.
Anthony Herbert, 6-4, 330, OL, LaPeer, Mich./LaPeer – Started in all four seasons earning Second Team All-American Offensive Lineman honors, Second Team All-Metro Offensive Lineman and First Team All-Saginaw Valley League accolades. Earned an invite to the U.S. Army All-American Combine.
Thompson McWatters, 6-4, 265, OL, Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven – Earned the Brant Boyink Award given to the player that showcases excellence on and off the field. His senior season was named All-OK Red Honorable Mention and Second Team-All Grand Rapids Area.
Rochelin Romain, 6-4, 320, OL, Pompano Beach, Fla./Blanche Ely – Was a top five offensive lineman in his district at Blanche Ely High School. Named First Team Sleeper Athletes in Broward County his junior season and played in the BLAA All-Star Game his senior season.
Holt Richards, 6-3, 295, OL, Marquette, Mich./Marquette – Was named All-Great Northern Conference honorable mention as a junior and then Offensive Lineman of the Year by the Great Northern Conference along with First Team All-Great Northern Conference his senior season. Was also voted a team captain by his teammates.
Will Stecker, 6-4, 280, OL, Gaylord, Mich./Gaylord – Won the team’s most improved award while earning All-Area, All-Conference and All-State Honorable Mention accolades. Was also named to the Dream Team and Second Team All-Region.
Defensive Line (6) – Click Here For Highlights
Deonte Braxton, 6-2, 285, DL, Lansing, Mich./Waverly – Was a team captain leading his team in tackles for loss and sacks. Also earned All-Conference Honorable Mention accolades.
Josh Hanna, 6-1, 260, DL, Dewitt, Mich./Dewitt – Earned All-State, All-Area and All-Conference accolades along with being a team captain. Was named to the Dream Team, NSC All-Conference and First Team by the Pioneer Press.
Kyle Matejko, 6-0, 265, DE, Wyandotte, Mich./East Coast Prep/Wyandotke Roosevelt – In high school was named All-League and All-Area along with being named a defensive MVP in his prep career.
Kevin Mejia, 6-3, 255, DE, Union City, N.J./Union City – Earned Second Team All-State honors as an offensive and defensive lineman.
E.J. Phillips, 6-0, 290 DL, Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove – Was named Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year and First Team All-League.
Cole Van Enkenvort, 6-2, 240, DE, Green Bay, Wis./Bay Port – Earned Second Team All-Fox River Classic Conference honors as a linebacker along with All-FRCC Honorable accolades twice. Voted as a captain his senior season while leading Bay Port High School to a school record for wins, a state semi-final appearance and an undefeated conference championship.
Defensive Backs (6) – Click Here For Highlights
Nathaniel Bailey, 5-10, 170, CB, Naperville, Ill./Nequa Valley – Earned All-Conference Awards and the top defensive back award.
Nick Barnes, 6-0, 165, DB, Chicago, Ill./Hales Franciscan – Was voted as a team captain and earned All-Conference accolades.
Terrell Johnson, 6-1, 205, DB, Maywood, Ill./Montini Catholic – Named a team captain his senior season and was the 18th ranked safety in Illinois by MaxPreps. Accumulated 72 solo tackles, 115 total tackles and six interceptions his senior season.
Kevin Pearson, 5-11, 190, DB, Lincolnshire, Ill./Adlai E. Stevenson – Was a team captain while being named a team captain and all conference. Earned a state championship and was named Chicago Sun Times All-Area Honorable Mention.
Collin Watters, 6-2, 205, DB, Gaylord, Mich./Gaylord – Was a team captain and also earned All-Conference and All-Area awards.
Lucas White, 6-0, 185, DB, Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards – Won two conference championships for Richards Highs School and led his team in interceptions.
Linebackers (5) – Click Here For Highlights
Jake Abramowicz, 6-0, 185, LB, Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln Way North – Was named First Team All-Conference and First Team All-Area while being named a team captain. Also was named Academic All-State and earned a scholar athlete award.
Tamaine Boyd, 6-0, 240, LB/RB, Union City, N.J./Union City – Named First Team All-State as a running back and linebacker.
La’Ryan Johnson, 6-0, 235, LB, Kenosha, Wis./Kenosha Bradford – Two time captain at Kenosha Bradford High School earning First Team All-Conference accolades. Was a league MVP while earning a nomination for the Allen Anichie Award.
Jeremy Statz, 6-0, 210, ILB, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis./Lincoln – Earned the team’s best hitter award along with being named All-Conference Honorable Mention as a sophomore, junior and senior. Also was an All-Table of Roses Winner for having a 3.5 grade point average and a varsity letter.
Kaleb Wolf, 6-1, 195, OLB, Edgar, Wis./Edgar – Was named All-Area and All-State along with being an All-Conference quarterback.
(Information Courtesy of NMU Athletics)