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Eastern Illinois head coach Dino Babers addressed several positions with the 2013 Eastern Illinois football class with some players filling immediate needs while others will help fill gaps in the future. The class includes five wide receivers, four offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, two quarterbacks, two linebackers, one running back, one defensive back, one long snapper and one athlete.

“I feel that we have recruited a very diverse class this season with some players who are bigger, stronger and faster,” Babers said. “The junior college players and four-year transfers are guys who need to be able to step in and compete for starting jobs, especially the defensive line where we lost a number of senior players. If one of the freshmen is athletically able to step in and contribute then they will compete for playing time, but our expectation is for them to be able to help us 2, 3, 4 years down the road.”

EIU completed the 2012 season with a 7-5 record winning the Ohio Valley Conference regular season title with a 6-1 record. EIU made its 14th FCS playoff appearance. EIU’s high-powered, fast-paced offense featured two players that finished in the top ten in the voting for the Walter Payton Award in junior wide receiver Erik Lora (4th) and junior quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10th). Head coach Dino Babers was third in voting for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year after winning OVC and AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year honors.

EIU will open the 2013 season at San Diego State on Saturday, August 31.


Player Profiles

High School Class

Addison Bounds (6-4, 195, QB, Fairbury, Ill./Prairie Central HS)… Played for coach Brian Hassett at Prairie Central HS… passed for 1,933 yards and 24 touchdowns earning IFCA Class 4A All-State honors as a senior… was 117-of-188 with only eight interceptions… rushed for another 616 yards and 11 touchdowns as the team posted a 7-3 record advancing to the IHSA Class 4A playoffs… as a junior was 105-of-185 with 12 touchdown passes and five interceptions… passed for 1,620 yards while rushing for 742 with 16 touchdowns… team posted a 7-4 record advancing to the IHSA Class 4A second round… earned first team All-Corn Belt Conference honors as a quarterback and was s second team selection at defensive back… Academic All-State selection.


Kurtis Brummerstedt (6-7, 315, OL, Yorkville, Ill./Yorkville HS)… Played for coach Karl Hoinkes at Yorkville HS… earned first team Northern Illinois All-Big 12 East Division honors as a senior… is a big, physical offensive lineman that played in a pro-style offense with heavy emphasis on running the football…


Dan Chism (6-2, 260, DL, Warrenville, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South HS)… Played for coach Ron Muhitch at Wheaton Warrenville South HS… missed junior season with injury returning as a senior to earn IFCA Class 7A honors as a senior… named Dupage County All-Area team and DuPage Valley Conference top defensive lineman… registered 43 tackles with 3 sacks as the anchor of the defensive line.


Matt Christensen (6-3, 175, WR, Racine, Wis./Wilmot Union HS)… Played for coach Mike Greinke at Wilmot Union HS.. three year starter at wide receiver earning All-Conference honors each season… finished prep career ranked 9th all-time in Wisconsin HS history with 2,349 yards receiving… was 21st on Wisconsin all-time list with 25 touchdown receptions… as a senior hauled in 40 passes for 764 yards with five touchdown receptions…. as a senior had 696 yards on punt returns averaging 33 yards per return… was a two-time WFCA All-State selection as a junior and senior… during junior season had 51 catches for 1,248 yards and 16 touchdowns.


Austin Green (6-3, 200, QB, Rochester, Ill./Rochester HS)… Played for coach Derek Leonard at Rochester HS… in his lone season as the starting quarterback he led the program to the IHSA Class 4A state championship with a 13-1 record… in the championship game he rushed for 130 yards and a pair of touchdowns while passing for 172 yards and two more scores… passed for 2,794 yards with 23 touchdowns while rushing for 888 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior… had three games with more than 100 yards rushing… had two 300+ yard passing games with a high of 329 against Chatham-Glenwood… was 205-of-283 with only seven interceptions… first team All-State as a senior… first team All-Central State Eight… started four games as a junior for state championship team…


A.J. Hantak (6-4,200, LS, Fenton, Mo./Rockwood Summit HS)… Played for coach Mike Bellers at Summit HS… played tight end, defensive line and long snapper as a senior… finished the year with three catches for 43 yards… had one fumble recovery on defense… team finished the season at 8-4 leading the St. Louis Suburban South Conference in scoring at 37.3 points per game as school advanced to the quarterfinals of the Missouri Class 5 playoffs… earned Academic All-State… also a member of basketball team…


Malik Harrison (6-1, 185, ATH, Springfield, Ill./Springfield HS)… Played for coach RJ Luke as a senior helping Springfield HS advance to the first round of the IHSA Class 6A state playoffs… two-way starter at defensive back and running back… on defense recorded 51 tackles with 37 solo stops and one pass break-up… on offense rushed for 813 yards with seven touchdowns… best rushing game was 158 yards against Jacksonville HS… as a kick returner averaged 29.1 yards per return… first team All-Central State Eight… All-State in track placing fourth in the 400m at the IHSA Class 3A state championships as a junior…


Kashmiere Hughes (6-5, 215, WR, Peoria, Ill./Peoria Manual HS)… Played for coach Dan Fauser at Peoria Manual HS… had 13 catches for 219 yards with one touchdown… starter on basketball team where he averaged 20 points per game as a senior being named to the All-Tournament team at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament… qualified for IHSA State Track Championships in the high jump and 200m dash…


Xzavier McAllister (6-5, 325, OT, Canton, Ohio/Canton McKinley HS)… Played for coach Todd Filtz as a senior at Canton McKinley HS… rated the No. 54 prospect in the state of Ohio by… earned second team Associated Press Northeast Ohio Inland District football team, Division I as a senior… named first team All-Federal League and first team All-Stark County… was a three-year starter playing offensive guard and offensive tackle… helped team advance to the Ohio State Division I playoffs second round…


Seth McDonald (6-1, 210, LB, Sandwich, Ill./Sandwich HS)… Played for coach Dusty Behringer at Sandwich HS… earned IFCA Class 4A All-State honors as a two-way player, running back and linebacker… made 110 tackles (63 solo) as a senior with nine tackles for loss, five sacks and two forced fumbles…. as a junior made 104 tackles with 58 solo stops and two sacks… on offense rushed for 1,206 yards as a senior as the team advanced to the IHSA Class 4A state playoffs.


Tray Mitchell (5-11, 175, WR, Wentzville, Mo./Holt HS)… Played for coach Ken Moore at Holt HS… was a running back in high school… named to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Super 30… as a senior was GAC Central Conference Offensive Player of the Year rushing for 1,157 yards with 12 touchdowns… caught five passes for 69 yards… on defense playing defensive back made 31 tackles with four tackles for loss… helped team post a 8-4 record advancing to the Missouri Class 5 playoffs… named to the Missouri Class 5-6 East Central All-District team.. as a junior rushed for 862 yards and five touchdowns… had 19 catches for 239 yards and three touchdowns… averaged 20.3 yards on kick returns…


Daviante Sayles (5-10, 180, RB, Vista, Calif./Rancho Buena Vista HS)… Played for coach Paul Gomes at Rancho Buena Vista HS… opened senior season with explosive numbers but missed a majority of the year with an injury… in just five games he rushed for 1,164 yards including a season high 339 yards on 51 carries against Scripps Ranch HS… scored 15 touchdowns in those five games with 5 TD’s in a win over Orange Glen HS… had a 306 yard rushing game against Westview HS… helped team get off to a quick start that carried them to the California Division I quarterfinal playoff round… as a junior played receiver and wing back… rushed for 394 yards with another 270 yards on kickoff returns…


Max Sidney (6-7, 290, OT, Chesterfield, Mo./Marquette HS)… Played for coach Ryan Thornhill at Marquette HS helping team post a 6-5 record as a senior… played offensive tackle and defensive end during his senior season… powerful, quick lineman that also was a member of the basketball team…


Vince Speller (6-1, 195, SAF, Chicago, Ill./Chicago Mt. Carmel HS)… Played for coach Frank Lenti at Chicago Mount Carmel HS helping team win IHSA Class 8A state championship with a 13-1 record as a senior… played defensive back and wide receiver… had three tackles with one interception in state championship game versus Glenbard North HS… on the season had 13 catches for 218 yards and two touchdowns… recorded 42 tackles with eight tackles for loss… first team All-Chicago Catholic League as a defensive back.


Junior College Signees (Will Join in Fall 2013)


Adolphus Barnes (6-4, 270, OL, Jr., St. Petersburg, Fla./Hillsborough HS/Merced College)… Attended Merced College playing two seasons… earned first team All-Golden Gate Conference as a freshman and sophomore… earned All-NorCal Region II honors both seasons… team averaged 212 yards passing during his sophomore season… also competed in track throwing the shot put and discus during outdoor season… HIGH SCHOOL: played offensive and defensive tackle at Hillsborough HS… helped team post a 6-4 record as a senior…


Laquesse Taylor (6-2, 305, DT, Jr., Fresno, Calif./Edison HS/College of the Sequoias)… Attended College of the Sequoias playing two seasons… played eight games as a sophomore making 22 tackles with six tackles for loss and two sacks… as a freshman played in seven games with 17 tackles… added 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks… HIGH SCHOOL: Played at Edison HS appearing in the City vs. County All-Star game as a senior… stand out track shot putter who competed in the AAU Junior Olympic Games…


Marques White (6-3, 265, DE, Folsom, Calif./Vista Del Lago HS/Saddleback College)… Attended Saddleback College for one season earning first team All-Southern Conference honors… ranked fifth on the team with 45 tackles… had three sacks, four tackles for loss and one interception… SACRAMENTO STATE: Attended Sacramento State for two seasons… redshirted the 2010 season… played in 10 games making 11 tackles with one sack as a redshirt freshman… had a season high of three tackles against both Southern Utah and Portland State… HIGH SCHOOL: Played at Vista Del Lago HS… played both defensive end and tight end… had 44 tackles with four sacks as a senior… had 40 tackles with four sacks as a junior… caught 28 passes for 473 yards and three touchdowns in two seasons.


Jarell Wright (6-3, 300, DT, Jr., Long Beach, Calif./Jordan HS/LA Harbor College)… Attended LA Harbor College playing two seasons… recorded 41 tackles with six sacks as a sophomore as LA Harbor posted a 6-5 record allowing just 165 yards rushing per game… earned second team All-Central Conference honors… played in eight games as a freshman making 23 tackles with two tackles for loss… HIGH SCHOOL: Played at Long Beach Jordan HS… during final two seasons as a starter at defensive tackle made 67 tackles with three forced fumbles and four sacks… helped team post a 6-5 record as a senior…


Mid-Year Transfers (Will Join Fall 2013)


Devante Davis (6-2, 205, LB, R-So, Dallas, Texas/Lincoln HS/Baylor University)… Attended Baylor University for two seasons… redshirted in 2011… as a redshirt freshman in 2012 saw action in eight games as a nickel back… made two unassisted tackles in win over Kansas… did not play in Baylor’s Holiday Bowl victory over UCLA… HIGH SCHOOL: played for coach James Argenti at Lincoln HS… rated No. 77 recruit in Dallas Morning News HSGametime Area Top 100… listed among top 20 linebackers on Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Top 300… named first team All-District 12-4A as a senior… made more than 150 total tackles in final two seasons with 82 tackles as a junior as team posted a 10-2 record.


Jeff LePak (6-6, 215, WR, R-Jr, Belton, Texas/Belton HS/Baylor University)… Attended Baylor University for three seasons… played in one game as a redshirt freshman against Rice, did not have any statistics… did not see action as a sophomore for Baylor team that finished 8-5… HIGH SCHOOL: played for coach Rodney Southern at Belton HS… as a senior was the team’s top receiver as school posted a 10-2 record losing in the 5A Bi-District playoffs… earned second team All-District 5A-12… as a senior had 28 catches for 409 yards and eight touchdowns, averaged 14.6 yards per catch… as a junior had 20 catches for 250 yards…


Nico Shepherd (6-2, 205, WR, R-Fr., Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas HS/Florida International University)… Attended Florida International and redshirted 2012 season… HIGH SCHOOL: played at St. Thomas Aquinas HS in Florida helping team win a High School National Championship in 2010… team advanced to the Class 7A State Regional Finals in 2011… South Florida Sun-Sentinel Honorable Mention All-County as a senior… had 18 catches for 373 yards and six touchdowns… selected to play in the TRU Sports Foundation Public vs. Private All-Star game… lettered in track where he was the 2012 state champion in the pole vault clearing 14’7”…

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OVC Ball
Final Word (11/13): Jacksonville State stands alone…in basketball too.

2017-18 Basketball Standings

OVC Overall
Jacksonville State 0-0 2-0
Tennessee Tech 0-0 1-1
Murray State 0-0 1-1
Southeast Missouri* 0-0 1-1
Belmont 0-0 1-1
Eastern Kentucky 0-0 1-1
Tennessee State 0-0 1-1
Eastern Illinois 0-0 0-1
SIUE 0-0 0-1
Austin Peay 0-0 0-2
Morehead State 0-0 0-2
UT Martin 0-0 0-2

*Ineligible for postseason (APR)