Top 5 Gets
1. Keith Wenning, QB, Coldwater, Ohio
Stan Parrish said Wenning was "a cut above" the MAC. He only started one year at Coldwater High School, but led them to the Division V state championship game and was named All-Ohio. He set plenty of school records and a few championship game records. He can run, he can throw, he can hoop and he can play baseball. Parrish has already compared him to Nate Davis and Wenning is expected to compete for the starting job this fall. He flew under the radar due to his inexperience and because Coldwater is off the beaten path.
2. Jeffery Garrett, CB, Indianapolis
Garrett is Ball State's top-rated recruit according to Scout.com, and analysts expected him to go to a Big Ten school. He picked off 14 passes in his career, and in his senior year, only three passes were completed to receivers he was covering. Parrish expects him to help overhaul the Cardinals' weak points last year: pass coverage and special teams. He was All-State as a senior and has two uncles that played at Ball State.
3. Jack Tomlinson, WR, Westerville, Ohio
Parrish called Tomlinson a "Dante Love clone" and intends to use him like so. Tomlinson can expect to line up as a receiver, running back and possibly as the trigger-back in the wildcat formation. Tomlinson will play for Ohio in the elite Big 33 game against Pennsylvania. He's fast, with a personal best 100-meter time of 10.9 seconds.
4. Aaron Morris, S, Cleveland
Morris continues the pipeline between Glenville High School and Ball State, which Parrish called "vital to the program." He was also recruited by Syracuse and Louisville. Parrish said Morris was Ball State's top safety prospect for the class.
5.Nathan Ollie, DT, Chicago
Ollie has the body to become a top player at Ball State. He is coming off an injury that forced him to miss most of his senior year at Mount Carmel. Despite playing in only five games last year, he was still all-league to go with an honorable mention All-State honor as a junior.
Top 5 Immediate Impacts
Last year, middle linebacker Travis Freeman didn't start the first game, but started every one after it. Garrett has the potential to do the same this year. It's not difficult to project one of the freshman corners into the starting lineup next year, and Garrett is regarded as the best right now.
2. Odis Prunty, CB, Cleveland
Prunty probably can crack into the cornerback rotation next year, but even if he can't, Parrish will probably use him on special teams. Prunty runs the 100-meter dash in 10.8 seconds and averaged 18 yards per punt return at St. Edwards High School.
After Seth White's injury last year, Ball State lacked a playmaker who could truly stretch the defense. White will be back this year and will probably take over a bigger role in the passing game. But Parrish is thrilled with the opportunity to coach Tomlinson, who told Parrish he will catch 100 balls.
4. Anthony Stryffeler, DE, Sagamore Hills, Ohio
Parrish was looking for pass-rushing defensive lineman this year. Stryffeler might be the best of the group right now. He was named All-Ohio this year and set a school record with 19.5 sacks in his career at Padua Franciscan High School. He will play in Ohio's North-South game.
5. Brian Jones, S, Chicago
Jones is another one of the talented defensive backs Ball State targeted in this class. He was named All-State as a senior and was a three-time all-conference player. Allen Trieu, the Midwest regional manager for Scout.com, said Jones would be a quality player for the Cardinals.