New FAU head coach Carl Pelini is highly optimistic about the 2012 recruiting class, his first ever.
“[I’m] excited about this class, [staff] did a great job putting that together in less than six weeks, kind of a daunting task but we are able to get out all over the country and establish relationships,
convince some awfully good football players to come here,” Pelini said.
Pelini and his recruiting staff ventured across the nation to find the best players available, in terms of both skill, and leadership abilities.
“Something I challenge them to do is not only recruit talented good football players, I wanted toughness, wanted character, team captains, I wanted those attributes to inject that into this program and that’s something we’re able to do very successfully as well.”
Junior college players were heavily recruited, something Pelini says is the norm with a new coaching staff.
“It just happened that way,” Pelini said. “Ultimately, you recruit junior colleges to fulfill specific needs and you would never recruit a junior college guy who you didn’t think could contribute right away. Typically in a year, your junior college numbers are less than in your first year.”
The class includes a total of 29 recruits, consisting of 19 freshman, eight juniors and two sophomores, with three coming from Palm Beach County.
A list of the recruits (Palm Beach County players in bold italics):
Jarvon Anderson, RB (Braddock HS)
Josh Ballesteros, LB (Miami Central HS)
Brandin Bryant, DL (Omaha North HS)
Adrian Burton, DB (Blanche Ely HS)
Trevor Coley, OL (Miramar HS)
Arthur Crouse, OL (American Heritage HS)
Dillon Deboer, OL (East Lake HS)
Isaac Edwards, DL (Jesuit HS)
Grant Flessner, QB (Venice HS)
Jeremy Gaskins, RB (American Heritage HS)
Melvin German III, QB (Pearl River CC)
Chris Gilcrist, WR (Charter Oak HS)
Adarius Glanton, LB (Eastern Arizona CC)
Jeremy Glinton, WR (Northeast HS)
Tony Grimes, CB (Hollywood Hills HS)
Martese Jackson, RB (Charles Erwin HS)
Mustafa Johnson, OL (Norco HS)
Colton Kane, QB (Navarre HS)
Cre’von Leblanc, DB (Glades Central HS)
James Mathis, DL (Lourdes HS)
Jeremy McKnight, S (Round Rock HS)
Terrell Mitchell, TE (McEachern HS)
Shalm Ogbonda, DE (Kempner HS)
Josh Orsino, ATH (Westmister Academy)
Johnathan Ragoo, OL (Mosigner Pace HS)
Anthony Russell, TE (Mainland HS)
Stern Vile, OL (Eastern Arizona CC)
Denzel Whitfield, OL/DL (Jefferson HS)
Freedom Whitfield, LB (Fort Pierce Cetral HS)
Overall, Pelini is pleased with his first recruiting class as a college head coach.
“Great sense of accomplishment,” Pelini said. “I don’t know if we would have had a year where we would come up with a much better class than this.”