National Signing Day brings new crop of players for football

GVL / Robert Mathews
Head football coach Matt Mitchell announced the signing of 27 student athletes for the Lakers in the fall of 2012.

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews Head football coach Matt Mitchell announced the signing of 27 student athletes for the Lakers in the fall of 2012.

Brady Fredericksen

It may not be a holiday for some, but in the college football world there is not bigger day in the offseason than the first day in February, better known as National Signing Day.

While the national aspect may not be as massive at the Division II level, Grand Valley State University welcomed in the class of 2012 on Wednesday at a press conference in the GVSU Football Center.

Along with the press conference, GVSU head football coach Matt Mitchell introduced his 2012 class of recruits through a slideshow of game tape for each player. With the recruiting season now over, Mitchell said the entire coaching staff has a good feeling about what is to come.

“It’s a sense of relief, it’s been a long process that we’ve gone through,” he said. “It’s a relief that there’s some finality to the process, that we have the guys we want. I think there’s also an excitement amongst our staff about the potential.”

Mitchell acknowledged that he does not know how many of these players will make an impact in 2012. With the 27-player class coming in, there will be holes to fill at some of the skill positions with the departure of receivers Jovonne Augustus and Greg Gay and tight ends Tony Carreri and Andrew Lorman.

The class, which features 10 offensive players, 16 defensive player and one kicking specialist, is heavy in a few spots. Offensively, the Lakers have reloaded with wide receivers and tight ends, while the defensive side of the class boasts help for a secondary and defensive line.

Eight players in the 2012 class hail from outside the state of Michigan, something Mitchell emphasized during the press conference.

“Regionally, we have a very good reputation,” Mitchell said. “Being able to recruit a four, five state region, what that allows you to do is get a bigger list of prospects, then be more selective on certain criteria.”

Character has become a marquee recruiting point for the entire coaching staff. From meeting with recruit’s coaches, to seeing them play in a basketball game to spending time with their families, Mitchell and his staff dove deep into the recruiting trail this year.

“People in our program are the most important commodity that we have … that takes time, it’s easy to flip on a tape and figure out a forty time and see if a kid’s going to be good that way,” Mitchell said. “Finding that mix of the right type of people in your locker room is important to us, it’s important to me.”

The Lakers will be back on the field on April 14 for the annual spring game. With the current construction to Lubbers Stadium, the game will be played at Houseman Field in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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The 2012 GVSU Recruiting Class
Tommie Bush LB 6-3 218 Eastpointe, Mich./Michigan Collegiate
Jeremy Byers TE 6-3 215 Macomb, Mich./Macomb Dakota
Sean Charette QB 5-10 175 Lake Orion, Mich.
Jacques Christian DB 5-9 174 St. Clair Shores, Mich./South Lake
Nate Cole DB 5-11 174 Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Lahser
Blake Cook DL 6-2 225 Mason, Mich.
Branden Delk DB 6-1 190 Kalamazoo, Mich./Central
Terrell Dorsey RB 5-11 214 Mansfield, Ohio
Collin Enstad DL 6-1 215 Sun Prairie, Wisc.
Brandon Haan P 6-2 210 Byron Center, Mich./South Christian
Dylan Heyvaert DL 6-3 232 Granger, Ind./Mishawaka Penn
Cameron Hobbs OL 6-5 256 Sanford, Mich./Sanford-Meridian
Zach Jolly OL 6-7 266 Brighton, Mich.
Joe Moran LB 6-2 227 Loveland, Ohio
Mike Parker DL 6-3 218 Libertyville, Ill.
Tom Pawlowski LB 6-1 219 Smokey Mountain, N.C.
Joe Robbins DB 6-3 190 Petoskey, Mich.
Ian Sampson DL 6-2 217 Carmel, Ind.
Gabe Sanders DB 5-11 177 Detroit, Mich./Michigan Collegiate
Troy Sassick WR 6-4 186 Washington, Mich./Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Adam Smith DL 6-2 227 Ypsilanti, Mich.
Urston Smith WR 6-1 196 Elkart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial
Scott Tackett DL 6-4 218 Holland, Mich.
David Talley LB 6-2 214 Southfield, Mich./St. Mary’s Prep
Jake Vento WR 5-10 170 Farmington Hills, Mich./Harrison
Kevin Vicari WR 5-10 175 Grand Rapids, Mich./Catholic Central
Joe Warner TE 6-4 230 Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Brother Rice