East Central lands 37 in 2010 football recruiting class
ADA – With an emphasis on increased competitiveness and depth, East Central University head football coach Tim McCarty announced the signing of 37 players for the 2010 season on Wednesday.
“We are happy with this recruiting class. We feel that we addressed several areas of concern as well as lifting the team up to have healthy competitive depth at all positions,” said McCarty, who will be embarking on his second season of his second stint as the Tiger head coach.
Included in this signing class, were eight junior college players and transfers, who came to ECU at the beginning of the semester.
Among those recruits is 6-foot, 6-inch quarterback Tyler Vanderzee, out of Mt. San Antonio Junior College (Calif.) and 5-11, 205-pound running back and junior college transfer Shomari Grant, who was the leading rusher in Dade County, Fla., as a senior and had committed to the University of Iowa out of high school.
Vanderzee had a pass efficiency rating of 155.0 at Mt. San Antonio and was a Christian League Most Valuable Player in high school.
“He has tremendous ball skills and pocket presence with poise. He has a strong arm and can throw a variety of balls,” McCarty said.
Depth was certainly addressed at the running back spot with the signing of Albert Richard, another junior college transfer, who rushed for 55 touchdowns in high school along with three players out of high school in Miles Jackson, Domonique Massengil and Richard Peoples.
Peoples is the son of former Tiger Richard Peoples.
ECU also nabbed a big tight end in 6-6, 250 Cody Nall, out of Ardmore.
“Cody’s frame allows us to have a big fella with soft hands, along with a great blocking body,” said McCarty.
On the offensive line, the Tigers landed two outstanding junior college tackles in junior Carlos Savala (6-6, 310) , who had originally signed with South Florida, and Rodney Picou (6-6, 310), who was ranked the ninth best offensive lineman in the country and was a U.S. Army All-American as a prep senior. Picou was a redshirt at Nebraska, before transferring to Riverside Community College (Calif.).
“Carlos is a very wide person who is a terrific pass protector and Rodney is a very athletic and dominant offensive lineman,” McCarty said. “Both of these players fell into our lap by word of mouth.”
Also signed for the offensive line was Desmond Farris (6-3, 290), who started on two national championship teams and protected Vanderzee at Mt. San Antonio.
Two high school signees who can make an impact on the offensive line are Kenneth Blake, from Davis, and Eric Gardner, out of Lone Grove.
“Both have size and great promise along with several other signees at that position,” said McCarty.
At receiver, Ricky McMurtrey, from Evans, Ga., is described as a multi-talented player, who played several positions in high school. He is the son of former Tiger Rick McMurtrey.
Up front, McCarty is expecting big things out of Lonnell Rice (6-6, 280). Rice originally committed to USC and then Kansas State out of junior college.
“He is a superior pass rusher. He also has good speed and an enormous wing span.” McCarty said.
McCarty is also excited about nabbing Brandon Keys (5-11, 315), another junior college transfer, and Lamar Shields (6-3, 270), out of Del City High School, for the defensive line. Shields was ready to sign with Utah State, but decided to stay closer to home.
“Brandon is a straight up physical player. He generates great power along the line of scrimmage,” said McCarty. “Shields is a terrific talent.”
Dalton Hunter, at 6-3, 290, played linebacker in high school, but is also a candidate signed for the defensive line.
“He can run and is a great fit for ECU,” McCarty said.
Two strong linebacker prospects signed out of Oklahoma City include: Jameel Whitney and Ken Berry, who was the No. 2 rated inside linebacker in Oklahoma by Rivals.com.
“We feel fortunate to have landed Jameel. He was courted by Kansas and some other D1 schools. Ken is another great one.”
Those signed for the Tiger secondary include: Dontea Smith, a two-time All-American and Defensive Player of the Year out of Reedley College in Northern California, and Markell Walker, who rewrote the records books for interceptions at tradition-rich Carl Albert High School in Midwest City.
“Dontae is a great playmaker. Markell is very fast with excellent coverage skills,” said McCarty. “Reuben Tiller and Carlos Nazario are the same type of person as Markell in that they are very fast and have excellent coverage skills.”
Matt Berrey transfers in from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College after playing at Purcell High School.
“He can kick the deep ball as well as control his kicks. He will make us a better team,” McCarty said. “We also signed several players who are defensive backs and running backs, who are outstanding return men.
Tyler Vanderzee QB 6-6 230 Chino, Calif. (Mt. San Antonio CC)
Robert Thomas QB 6-3 200 Sulphur, Okla. (Cowley County CC)
Richard Peoples RB 5-11 185 Norman, Okla. (Norman North HS)
Shomari Grant RB 5-11 205 Kissimmee, Fla. (Compton CC)
Miles Jackson RB 5-10 175 Oklahoma City, Okla. (John Marshall HS)
Domonique Massengil RB 5-11 205 Lawton, Okla. (Lawton HS)
Albert Richard RB 5-9 180 Picayune, Miss. (Pearl River CC)
Ricky McMurtrey WR 5-11 185 Evans, Ga. (Lakeside HS)
Michael Cane TE 6-2 215 Okmulgee, Okla. (Okmulgee HS)
Cody Nall TE 6-6 250 Ardmore, Okla. (Ardmore HS)
Dakota Crumbie TE 6-2 220 Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington HS)
Kenneth Blake OL 6-3 275 Davis, Okla. (Davis HS)
Desmond Ferris OL 6-3 290 Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Mt. San Antonio CC)
Eric Gardner OL 6-3 290 Lone Grove, Okla. (Lone Grove HS)
Rodney Picou OL 6-6 310 Moreno Valley, Calif. (Riverside CC/Nebraska)
Sean Reed OC 6-1 265 Shawnee, Okla. (Shawnee HS)
Sean Rigney OL 6-1 280 Shawnee, Okla. (Shawnee HS)
Carlos Savala OL 6-6 310 Fontana, Calif. (College of the Desert)
Burgess Shaw OL 6-1 280 Sand Springs, Okla. (Charles Page HS)
D.J. Sims OL 6-4 260 Edmond, Okla. (Santa Fe HS)
Dalton Hunter DL 6-3 290 Maysville, Okla. (Maysville HS)
Brandon Keys NT 5-11 315 Hattiesburg, Miss. (Pearl River CC)
Lonnell Rice DE 6-6 275 Moreno Valley, Calif. (College of the Desert CC)
Tyler Shaw NT 5-11 250 Edmond, Okla. (Santa Fe HS)
Lamar Shields DL 6-3 270 Oklahoma City, Okla. (Del City HS)
Ken Berry Jr. LB 6-1 215 Oklahoma City, Okla. (John Marshall HS)
Chris Hartfield LB 6-0 230 Martinez, Ga. (Martinez HS)
Keldin Choate LB 6-1 205 Shawnee, Okla. (Shawnee HS)
Jameel Whitney LB 6-1 210 Oklahoma City, Okla. (Bishop McGuiness HS)
Carlos Nazario DB 5-10 170 Lawton, Okla. (Lawton HS)
Deon Criss DB 5-8 180 Lancaster, Texas (Lancaster HS)
Dontea Smith DB 6-1 200 Deland, Fla. (Reedley CC)
Reuben Tiller DB 5-11 185 Ardmore, Okla. (Ardmore HS)
Markell Walker DB 6-1 180 Midwest City, Okla. (Carl Albert HS)
Brenden Brown DB 5-10 190 Norman, Okla. (Norman North HS)
Chance Carey DB 5-11 180 McAlester, Okla. (McAlester HS)
Matt Berrey K 5-11 180 Purcell, Okla. (Northeastern Okla. A&M JC)