WMU News

Football Broncos sign 23 recruits

Feb. 14, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University has signed 23 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2002 football season.

This year's recruiting class (complete list below), is the fifth under head coach Gary Darnell. The class features 11 players from the junior college ranks, including four from College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, Calif., and three from Compton College, near Los Angeles. Four of the junior college student-athletes are currently enrolled at WMU and will take part in spring drills which commence March 19.

"This is another high-profile class for us. The one thing this class does is create a lot of competition on the team," said Darnell, who feels the incoming group can contribute right away. "When we got out on the recruiting trail we learned there was a lot of national attention given to our program. People are very interested in the Broncos, and we capitalized on that. This class had opportunities [at other schools], and they chose us.

"We feel this class can give us strong senior leadership for the next two years," said Darnell.

Student-athletes hailing from eight different states and one U.S. territory gives the incoming class much diversity. WMU stayed in state to recruit most of its offensive linemen, including highly-regarded Dominic Moran out of Rochester Adams High School.

Other notable signees were a pair of junior college quarterbacks in Robbie Haas of Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, and Chad Munson from Compton. The Broncos also received commitments from wide receiver Joe Chapple and cornerback Jimmy Vincent from Florida prep powerhouse Glades Central High School.

"We went in knowing we needed quick help at the secondary and quarterback positions and were able to take care of those needs," Darnell said. "We also re-established our ties in Florida, signing two receivers and a defensive back."

For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web at <www.wmubroncos.com>.

Media contact: Daniel Jankowski, 269 387-4138, daniel.jankowski@wmich.edu


2002 recruiting class by the numbers

Offense: total 11, offensive line 4, wide receivers 3, quarterbacks 2, running back 1, tight end 1.

Defense: total 12, defensive line 5, cornerbacks 3, safeties 3, linebacker 1.

Home state: Michigan 5, California 4, Florida 4, Wisconsin 3, Illinois 2, North Carolina 2, Hawaii 1, Utah 1, American Samoa 1.


Football recruits

Joe Chapple, WR
6-0, 180, Fr./Fr.
Glades Central HS (Belle Glade, Fla.)
Three-year starter at receiver * helped Raiders to a 12-1 record and berth into the 3A state quarterfinals last season * played on state championship teams as a sophomore and junior, going 30-0 * caught a team-high 27 passes for 628 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2001 * All-State honorable mention * all-conference and all-county pick senior season * three-year starter at point guard for basketball team * hails from a football factory which has produced more current NFL players than any other school * teammate of fellow recruit Jimmy Vincent.

Christopher Chestnut, WR
6-0, 191, Jr./Jr.
College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, Calif.)
Northern Durham HS (Durham, NC)
All-Western State Conference Honorable Mention (2001) * compiled team-high 24 receptions along with 338 yards last season in JUCO ranks * made five catches for 74 yards in WSC Bowl victory * helped CC Cougars to 10-1 record, including 10-game winning streak * played in prep East-West All-Star Game * named team MVP * Charlotte Observer All-State First Team * earned 12 varsity letters in high school (4-football, 4-basketball, 4-track & field) * attended junior college and high school with fellow recruit Maurice Hart * currently enrolled at WMU.

Eugene Childs, CB
6-0, 193, Jr./Jr.
Compton College (Compton, Calif.)
El Camino College (Torrance, Calif.)
Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah)
West Chester HS (West Chester, Calif.)
Participated in Shrine Prep All-Star Game in Los Angeles * started collegiate career as a redshirt freshman at BYU * had PR's of 21.8 in 200 and 46.32 in the 400 * played alongside WMU recruits Chad Munson and Willie Pope.

Andy Endermann, DT
6-2, 284, Jr./Jr.
College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, Calif.)
Somona HS (Pago Pago, American Samoa)
Completed career at CC with 20 unassisted tackles and eight sacks * all-league honoree * achieved all-state honors in high school * aggressive run stopper.

Hausia Faleofa, DE
6-1, 250, Jr./Jr.
College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, Calif.)
Kahuku HS (Wailua, Hawaii)
Two-time All-Western State Conference performer * named conference defensive player of the year * compiled 80 tackles and 19 sacks last season at College of the Canyons * fourth member of that squad to sign a National Letter of Intent with the Broncos, joining Christopher Chestnut, Andy Endermann and Maurice Hart.

Jason Grigsby, OL
6-3, 325, Jr./Jr.
El Camino College (Torrance, Calif.)
Jordan HS (Long Beach, Calif.)
Played two seasons at El Camino College, earning first team all-conference honors last season and honorable mention as a freshman * preseason All-America in 2001 * received coaches award last year * originally committed to Texas A&M after earning all-league honors at Jordan High School.

Robbie Haas, QB
6-2, 190, So./So.
Ricks College (Rexburg, Idaho)
Logan HS (Logan, Utah)
Earned All-Region 18 and All-Western States Football League First Team honors as a freshman in 2001 * completed 166 of 290 passes for 2,487 yards and 30 touchdowns * completed 57.2 percent of passes with just five interceptions * named MVP of Real Dairy Bowl, throwing for 364 yards in 49-21 win over Lackawanna * led Ricks to a 10-1 record, a share of the WSFL title and a No. 5 national ranking in the final National Junior College Athletic Association poll * played in Ricks' last game, as the school is dropping intercollegiate athletics in transition to becoming BYU-Idaho * carried 3.65 GPA * hails from same JC as two-year letterwinner QB Ryan Harris (2000-01).

Jonathan B. Hall, S
6-1, 185, Fr./Fr.
Bolingbrook HS (Bolingbrook, Ill.)
Considered one of the top prospects in the Chicago Area, according to Chris Pool of PoolRecruiting.com. "I just loved the coaching staff and the campus," Hall told Pool of his Dec. 7 visit. "Western Michigan has really nice facilities and I was impressed with the academics." * finished senior season with 52 solo tackles, including six for loss along with five sacks * named All-State Honorable Mention by Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times and Champaign News Gazette * during his career scored a touchdown every way except kicking an extra point. Scored on a run, pass reception, a fumble recovery, an interception return, a blocked kick, a safety, a kickoff return and punt return * runs 4.5 in the 40 * plans to major in pre-law.

Maurice Hart, S
6-0, 204, Jr./Jr.
College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, Calif.)
Northern Durham HS (Durham, NC)
All-Western State Conference First Team selection in 2001 * made two interceptions last year and appeared in 22 games for the Cougars * JUCO squads went 19-3 over two seasons * PAC-6 Player of the Year (1999, 2000) in high school * named to Herald Sun All-Area Team * finished with 111 tackles senior year at safety * two-year captain * prep squads went 30-5 over three seasons * earned six letters in high school (3-football, 2-basketball, 1-track & field) * clocked 4.43 in the 40 * attending classes at WMU.

Christian Hodges, S
6-2, 195, Jr./Jr.
Allan Hancock College (Santa Maria, Calif.)
Mount Carmel HS (Rancho Penasquitos, Calif.)
Listed as a Player to Watch in the Western States Football Conference by JCFootball.com * two-time All-Palomar League selection (first team, 2000; second team, 1999) * chosen most valuable defensive back by teammates three straight years (1998-00) * made 166 tackles over two seasons * currently enrolled at WMU.

Ameer Ismail, RB
6-2, 235, Fr./Fr.
West Ottawa HS (Holland, Mich.)
Rushed for 1,546 yards and 25 touchdowns sophomore season * slowed his junior and senior years by injuries, yet still managed 600 yards in five games last season * also played linebacker * named to three Grand Rapids Press All-Area teams * OK Red Conference Athlete of the Year sophomore season * "He has great balance for a big tall kid * he's a load to tackle" coach Jim Caserta told the G.R. Press * holds six track records at West Ottawa * National Honor Society member.

Brandon James, OL
6-4, 293, Fr./Fr.
Fork Union Military Academy (Fork Union, Va.)
Concord HS (Concord, Mich.)
Named to All-Big Eight Conference senior season * chosen to Jackson Citizen Patriot All-Area squad * received Golden Shovel Award on three occasions as team's top offensive lineman * shot putter * spent a semester in prep school and is attending classes at WMU.

Jonathan Jones, DT
6-1, 294, Jr./Jr.
Bakersfield College (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Harper College (Palatine, Ill.)
Bogan HS (Chicago, Ill.)
Produced seven sacks last season as a defensive tackle at Bakersfield College * pass rush specialist who was recruited by Indiana and Kent State.

Mike Kempinski, TE
6-3, 232, Fr./Fr.
Whitewater HS (Whitewater, Wis.)
All-Southern Lakes Conference selection * three-sport captain (football, basketball, baseball) * honor roll student who ranks in top 10 percent of senior class.

Justin LeMay, WR
6-0, 175, Fr./Fr.
Cardinal Gibbons HS (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
All-time leading receiver in school history * made 49 catches during junior season and 15 as a senior, missing eight games to injury * All-State second team selection * played in the Broward County North-South All-Star Classic * chosen to all-county teams junior and senior years * school record holder in the 200 and 400 meter dashes * PR of 10.6 in the 100 * attends same high school as WMU's K.T. Robinson * member of Honor Roll with 3.2 GPA.

Matt Ludeman, DT
6-3, 236, Fr./Fr.
Oak Creek HS (Oak Creek, Wis.)
Earned All-State and all-region honors at defensive end * helped squad reach the second round of Division I state playoffs * All-Southeastern North Conference pick senior year * selected to All-State Shrine Bowl Team * four-year academic honor roll student.

Dominic Moran, OL
6-5, 275, Fr./Fr.
Rochester Adams HS (Rochester Hills, Mich.)
Named to Detroit Free Press All-State Dream Team at defensive tackle * member of Free Press All-North First Team and rated 31st on Fab 50 list * chosen to Detroit News All-Metro and All-North first teams on offense * three-year starter on defense * recorded 36 tackles (17 solos), 5 TFLs and 4.5 sacks as senior * "We just call him the dominator," coach Jim DeJaeger told the News. "He's a bear, no one can block him one-on-one." * provided blocking on most goal line situations * carries a 3.90 GPA.

Chad Munson, QB
6-3, 210, Jr./Jr.
Compton College (Compton, Calif.)
Long Beach City College (Long Beach, Calif.)
West Torrance HS (Torrance, Calif.)
Started junior college career at Long Beach City College, compiling 2,800 yards and 28 touchdowns * set school game record with 427 yards * named to All-Mission Conference Second Team * transferred to Compton College for sophomore season * passed for over 3,300 yards with 32 touchdown passes and only six interceptions * completed 62 percent of passes * named co-MVP of Western Football Conference * voted conference offensive player of the year at West Torrance High School * recorded over 2,900 yards and 36 TDS senior season * was courted by Nevada, Buffalo and Rutgers * attending Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Joel Pfaendtner, OL
6-4, 275, Fr./Fr.
Dakota HS (Macomb, Mich.)
Named All-East Honorable Mention by the Detroit News and Free Press * all-conference first team pick * holds school record in discus * four-year wrestler * can squat 500 pounds * honor roll student.

Willie Pope, CB
6-2, 185, So./So.
Compton College (Compton, Calif.)
Lakeland HS (Lakeland, Fla.)
Recorded three interceptions and three blocked punts freshman year at Compton College, earning all-conference honors * helped Lakeland reach the state 5A semifinals in 1999 * currently enrolled at WMU.

Duane Robinson, DL
6-4, 240, Fr./Fr.
Cudahy HS (Cudahy, Wis.)
Rated as the state's 11th-best recruit by Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel * helped the Packers qualify for Division II state playoffs * chosen to All-State Shrine Bowl Team * three-time All-Woodland Conference selection * played both ways at tight end and defensive end * received 12 varsity letters (3-football, 3-basketball, 3-track & field).

Paul Tithof, LB
6-1, 197, Fr./Fr.
Chesaning HS (Chesaning, Mich.)
Named captain on the Detroit Free Press Division 4 Team * earned game MVP honors in helping Chesaning capture state championship with 14-7 win over Orchard Lake St. Mary's * team captain and most valuable player * three-time conference champion in the high jump * chosen to appear in the East-West All-Star Game * coached by WMU alumn Jim Szappan, who also mentored current Broncos Adam Anderson and Anthony Turner.

Jimmy Vincent, CB
5-10, 172, Fr./Fr.
Glades Central HS (Belle Glade, Fla.)
Helped Raiders extend winning streak to 47 games before finishing with a 12-1 slate in 2001 * made 35 tackles with four interceptions and two safeties * ran on state championship 4x400 relay * named Athlete of the Year at Glades Central as a junior * owns a 3.4 GPA, ranking 30th in a class of 257 * prepped at same school as WMU recruit Joe Chapple.

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