Ball State welcomes new class

Head coach Pete Lembo talks to the football team after the spring game on April 19 at Scheumann Stadium. DN PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY
Head coach Pete Lembo talks to the football team after the spring game on April 19 at Scheumann Stadium. DN PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY

Recruiting Breakdown by Position

QB - 1

RB - 1

WR - 2

TE - 2

OL - 4

DL - 5

LB - 1

DB - 7

K - 1

The Ball State football team welcomed 24 new student-athletes from nine different states during its signing day festivities last week, looking to improve a roster that finished 5-7 last season.

Head coach Pete Lembo is excited about the influx of players that the coaching staff hopes can make an immediate impact. 

Out of the 24 recruits, 19 of them were captains on their respected high school teams.

"Overall, I think there's a great mix of guys that we knew about and got on early," Lembo said. "We got a few early commitments that we held onto, and we had a nice mix of guys that we got during the season."

One key point the staff worked on was putting their focus on recruiting players from Indiana. Nine new recruits from the Hoosier state put pen to paper to play for the Cardinals.

Running back James Gilbert from Indianapolis graduated high school in December and started classes this spring along with two other recruits.

Gilbert was ranked as the second best running back prospect in the state of Indiana. He finished his career at Arsenal Tech High School with 4,817 rushing yards and two all-state honors.

"[Gilbert] is really a special talent, he kind of hit the ground running in Indianapolis and was receiving scholarship offers after his sophomore year," offensive coordinator Joey Lynch said. "We tested our 40-yard dashes as a team, and he's our fastest running back right now."

The Cardinals also added to their offensive backfield with quarterback Riley Neal from Yorktown High School. He helped his team to its first 11-win season in history and was named to the 2014 All-USA Today Indiana Team.

On the other side of the ball, defensive backs were a main focus for the staff and were recruited more than any other position with seven athletes overall.

"In the secondary, we've had an incredible number of injuries back there this past season," Lembo said. "We're hoping that an older mid-year junior college player can come in and give us some depth and competition."

Two defensive recruits from Lackawanna Community College, John Whitman and Rontrell Peyton, whom Lembo hopes can make an early impact on the team.

The Cardinals will look to benefit from their entire class as they prepare for the 2015 season.


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