ATHENS, Ohio – Ohio University signed 21 football players to national letters-of-intent Wednesday, the first day allowed under NCAA regulations, head coach Brian Knorr announced today. The class features 18 high school seniors and three junior college transfers; 10 of the players are from Ohio, while the others hail from eight other states.
The players and short biographical sketches follow:
Joshua Abrams, RB/DB, 6-0, 182, Dunwoody, Ga. (Dunwoody) A two-year letterwinner at Dunwoody High School… named All-Region 6-AAAA as a senior… earned honorable mention as a junior… honored by the Touchdown Club of DeKalb County… ran for 682 yards on only 75 carries in 2002, a 9.1 average per carry… named as the team’s best offensive back also lettered in track and field… holds the Georgia state record in the 4x400 relay.
Austin Addington-Strapp, LB, 6-1, 225, Columbus (DeSales) A two time second-team All-Ohio selection for Division III… twice named first-team All-Central District (first time in 2003)… earned all-league honors three times… led DeSales in tackles his last two years… recorded 90 tackles, including 10 for loss, as a senior… helped the Stallions to a 7-5 record and the second round of the state playoffs… they advanced to the state finals his sophomore year… has been nominated to play in the North/South All-Star Game this summer… also earned two letters in baseball… has made the honor roll every quarter, holding a grade-point average greater than 3.5… a member of the National Honor Society.
Felix Adeyeye, WR, 6-3, 190, Gahanna (Lincoln) A second team all-Ohio Capital Conference and all-region selection… served as a captain for coach Mike Lanza at Gahanna Lincoln High School… earned two letters… suffered a broken leg that ended his senior season after seven games… made 25 catches for 404 yards (16.2 yards per catch) before the injury… his longest reception went for 61 yards… finished his career with 38 receptions for over 600 yards…. Helped the Lions to a 7-3 record his senior season… has 4.5 speed in the 40… also earned two letters in track..
Michael Brown, LB, 6-2, 205, Cincinnati (Elder) A four-year letterman for coach Doug Ramsey at Elder High School… earned first-team All-Greater Catholic League and special mention all-district… recorded 120 tackles and five sacks as a senior… credited with 16 quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries, two blocked punts and an interception… missed most of junior season due to injury… helped the Panthers to the Division I Ohio State Championships in 2002 and 2003… they finished sixth in the nation his senior year… named the team’s best linebacker… a first team All-GCL selection in track… voted the team’s best sprinter, running the 100, 200 and 400 meters... holds a GPA greater than 3.5.
Jeff Browning, DL, 6-5, 280, Harrison (Harrison) A three-year letterwinner at Harrison High School… named honorable mention all-state and all-city as a junior and senior… picked by the Cincinnati Enquirer as a member of the Division II-IV all-star team… recorded 95 tackles (71 solo) during his career including 18 solo… had 39 stops as a senior…. A two-time Fort Ancient Valley Conference first-team pick… participated in Ecology Club, Latin Club and the spring musical (Fiddler on the Roof)…also lettered in wrestling, earning Wrestler of the Year kudos as a freshman… is the first Harrison football player to sign a Division I letter-of-intent in 14 years.
Bryson Bush, OL/DL, 6-4, 320, Canton (St. Thomas) The brother of current Bobcat defensive lineman Garrett Bush… enrolled at Ohio for winter quarter and will participate in spring practice… A two-year letterwinner at St. Thomas High School… named All-Ohio, all-county and all-district honors… recorded 90 tackles and seven sacks as a senior… earned two letters in track and one in baseball.
Dave Cody, 6-4, 240, TE, Auburn, Calif. (Colfax/Sierra College) A junior college transfer who will enroll at Ohio for spring quarter and be eligible for spring practice… had 12 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown at Sierra College, which was ranked 12th in the nation in 2003… helped the Wolverines to back-to-back Bay Valley Conference championships and wins in the Shrine Bowl… his two teams went 21-1, including 10-0 in league play… prepped at Colfax High School… a two-time Golden Empire League selection… had 38 career catches for 450 yards and two touchdowns… played in the California North-South Shrine Game and the Sacramento Optimist Football Game… also lettered in basketball, twice earning All-GEL honors… holds a 3.0 grade-point average.
Landon Cohen, DL, 6-3, 252, Spartanburg, S.C. (Spartanburg) Earned all-state, all-area and all-region honors… A member of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal Fantastic 50… Played defensive line for coach Doc Davis… collected 107 tackles, 28 quarterback hurries and six sacks during his senior season… helped the Vikings win the state championship during sophomore season… holds a 3.29 grade-point average… participated in the Service Learning Program… a four-year letterman in track.
Mike Eynon, OL, 6-3, 285, Westlake (St. Ignatius) Teammate of fellow Bobcat signee Steve Miller… An honorable mention all-state selection… earned first-team all-district honors… voted team captain and Most Offensive Lineman… led the Wildcats to a 9-3 record and a berth in the regional semifinals his senior season … recorded a season-long blocking grade of 92 percent… also lettered in track (three times) and basketball… an honor roll student (3.0 or greater) and member of the Latin Club… name is pronounced EYE-nin.
Chris Hall, DB, 6-1, 195, Louisville, Ky. (Ballard) A two-time first-team all-district selection … earned honorable mention all-state kudos as a senior… helped the Bruins to a 9-4 record and the state semifinals… caught 35 passes for 525 yards and three touchdowns as a senior… also had 65 tackles and an interception … recorded 195 career tackles and made six picks… earned four letters each in football and track.
Zach Kiesch, DL, 6-6, 265, Minneapolis, Minn. (Delano/Fullerton JC) A second-team All-Mission Conference selection… started all 13 games at defensive end… voted a team captain… helped the Hornets to the MC National Division title with a 5-0 mark and a berth in the Southern California championship game… … they finished with a 10-3 mark, including a school-record seven road wins… finished the season with 48 tackles (22 solo), nine tackles for loss, three sacks and a fumble recovery… ranked second on the team with seven… Fullerton finished the season ranked 14th in the country… led Hornet defensive ends in tackles as a freshman with 21 (nine solo) ... ranked third on the team with seven tackles for loss ... had two sacks and a pass breakup… prepped at Delano High School… voted team’s Lineman of the Year… recorded 16 sacks as a senior… was previously recruited by the Bobcats … graduated with a 3.1 grade-point average… name is pronounced KEY-sh (quiche).
Todd Koenig, RB/DB, 6-2, 195, Nanty-Glo, Pa. (Bishop Carroll) A first-team Associated Press and Pennsylvania Football News all-state selection as a specialist… named Defensive Player of the Year by the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat… chosen as an all-star for both defensive back (first team) and running back (second team) by the Altoona Mirror… helped the Huskies to the Pennsylvania state semifinals…rushed for 1,722 yards and 26 touchdowns during senior season…recorded 83 tackles with an interception and four fumble recoveries…was also the team’s kicker and punter…finished his career with 2,385 yards and 35 touchdowns rushing, 14 catches for 338 yards and four touchdowns and 242 points (39 touchdowns, four two-point conversions)… made 154 tackles (83 solo) from his defensive spot… added three career interceptions… held a 35.73 career punting average… two-time Pennsylvania Football News All-Academic Team… has a GPA greater than 3.0... name is pronounced KANE-ig.
Steve Miller, OL, 6-5, 275, Bay Village (St. Ignatius) Teammate of fellow Bobcat signee Mike Eynon …A three-year letterman on the interior lines, playing offensive guard and defensive tackle… helped the Wildcats to a 9-3 record and a berth in the regional semifinals his senior season… was a member of the 2001 state championship team… tallied career nine sacks as a defensive lineman… also earned four letters in track and field… works as a sports columnist for the school newspaper… enjoys drawing.
Mike O’Bruba, TE/LB, 6-3, 240, Boardman (Boardman) A first-team Federal League selection… named honorable mention all-district… voted a team captain his senior season… named the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Linebacker and Offensive End… a second-team All-Steel Valley selection as a junior… made 17 catches for 227 yards in 2003… holds a 3.97 GPA… a two-year member of the National Honor Society… has a grade-point average over 3.5... earned three letters in football.
Mark Petruziello, QB, 6-2, 205, Mentor (Lake Catholic) A two-time first-team All-Ohio selection in Division III… named Player of the Year by the Lake County News-Herald and the Lake County Touchdown Club… was the Lake Geneva Player of the Year by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Cleveland Touchdown Club… earned Most Valuable Player and Player of the Year honors for the North Coast League… led the Cougars to the 2001 state championship, setting the record for passing yards (278) en route to Most Valuable Player honors… passed for 5,199 yards and rushed for 2,536 over three-year career… threw 45 touchdown passes and ran for 30… Totalled 2,598 yards and 24 touchdowns through the air and 1,091 yards and eight scores on the ground as a senior… sat out most of junior season due to injury…also lettered in baseball (three) and basketball (two)… name is prounced PETRO-zello.
Brooks Rossman, PK, 6-1, 165, Seal Beach, Calif. (Los Alamitos) Ranked as the 28th best kicker in the country by Rivals.com… a first-team selection to the All-Sunset League, the All-California Interscholastic Federation and the southern section of California… a second-team all-state pick… named to the Long Beach Press Telegram’s All-Dream Team… kicked a 30-yard field goal in the California Bowl… made 11 of 15 field goal tries and all 38 extra-point attempts during his senior season… kicked a career-long 48-yarder… won the prestigious Chris Sailor National Kicking Competition…. also won the Purdue Kickoff Competition and the University of Washington’s Field Goal Competition over the summer… earned two letters each in football and baseball.
Scott Rouse, OL, 6-4, 295, Cincinnati (St. Xavier) A two-time All-Greater Catholic League selection… served as a team co-captain his senior season… voted the Bombers Best Offensive Lineman twice… help St. X to a 6-3 record as a senior, one year after a 7-4 mark that led to a playoff berth… earned four letters in football (two varsity) and one in track… a member of the National Honor Society… has a GPA greater than 3.5… holds a position on the Student Council.
Rudy Silvan, TE/DE, 6-4, 250, Suisan City, Calif. (Vanden/Solano College) A transfer from Solano College… will have three years of eligibility remaining… had 18 catches for 350 yards as a freshman… attended Armijo and Vanden High Schools… earned all-conference, all-county and all-city honors on the defensive line… led Vanden his senior year with 115 total tackles… added 11/2 sacks and an interception… voted a share of the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player Award… helped the Vikings to a 9-3 record and their ninth straight playoff appearance as a senior… they finished the season ranked 13th in California Division III… also lettered in basketball.
Dustin Tatum, DB, 5-11, 175, Lafayette, La. (St. Thomas More) The brother of current Bobcat Spencer Tatum… an all-district and all-parish selection… rated two stars by rivals.com… chosen as All-America by Prep Star and all-region by Superprep… a member of the Louisiana Football Magazine’s All-Defensive team… credited with 91 tackles, five interceptions and 17 pass breakups during his career… had 45 stops and two interceptions as a senior… helped the Cougars to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs after a first-place finish in the district… earned three letters in both football and track… has posted a 40 time of 4.4… holds a 3.0 grade-point average.
Wesley Williams, DL, 6-1, 245, Ann Arbor, Mich. (Pioneer) A three-year starter on the varsity, playing defensive end, running back, linebacker, tight end and punter at times during his career… named the team’s Best Defensive Lineman in 2003 … recorded 72 tackles, eight sacks and 24 tackles for loss as a senior… finished his career with 210 tackles, 351/2 sacks and 51 tackles for loss… scored one career touchdown on an 11-yard reception… helped the Pioneers to the state semifinals his junior year… they won the conference and district championship en route to a 9-3 record… a member of Key Club and Student Leadership Council.
Jacob Williamson, DL/LB, 6-3, 263, Acworth, Ga. (Etowah) A two-time honorable mention all-state selection… received all-county mention… recorded 70 tackles, eight sacks and three fumble recoveries as a senior… … earned three varsity letters nominated for Who’s Who in American High School Students… a member of the national Honor Society… has a grade-point average above 3.0.
Quotes from Head Coach Brian Knorr on the recruiting class “We are very pleased with the recruiting class for 2004. We addressed most of the areas of need, especially our depth. The focus of the class was on the offensive and defensive fronts, where nearly 60 percent of the players fall into.”
“I think that this class is very similar to two years ago, both in numbers and in quality. Then, we signed 22 kids and 14 of them were starters at some point this last season. I feel this class is in that caliber.”
“I am also pleased that about half this class consists of kids from the state of Ohio. That is our goal. The emphasis of the class has to start with players who know who and where we are and are close to family and friends.”