Wittenberg’s 2017 football recruiting class is Fincham’s biggest

Joe Fincham and his Wittenberg Tigers assistant coaches didn’t set out to break a recruiting record in 2017. The biggest freshman class in school history just kind of happened.

“If I could put it in a bottle, I’d sell it,” Fincham said Friday. “I don’t think there’s a magic bullet.”

The class numbers 89. The players come from eight states. Most are from Ohio. The Tigers recruited well in Florida, as they have done in recent years. Indiana and Kentucky are also well represented.

Wittenberg had 82 recruits in 2016 and 63 in 2015. Fincham’s goal is to recruit at least 65 players. He’s not sure why the 2017 class turned out to be so big.

“I think it starts with the group of coaches who worked really hard at recruiting,” Fincham said. “It spills into a lot of hard work from our admissions staff and our enrollment management staff. It filters down to our players doing a really good job with young men and their families when they’re here on campus, whether it’s game-day visits or more official visits in the winter and hosting those guys for overnight visits in the spring. I think we have a strong group of alums that offer themselves up to help talk to families and telling their story about how Wittenberg affects their lives.”

The class features a number of local graduates: Kenton Ridge defensive end Nasir Carter, offensive lineman Lee Hammond and kicker Cameron Kettler; Catholic Central quarterback/tight end Cosmas Catanzaro; Springfield defensive lineman Tavian Crowe, whose brother Terrance plays for the Tigers; Shawnee defensive backs Michael Guyer and Josh Nelson; Northeastern offensive lineman Lane McKinney; and Southeastern linebacker Garrett Hunter and offensive lineman Robbie Mills.

“It’s one of the better local classes,” Fincham said.

The player traveling the farthest distance from home is Riley Duncan, an offensive lineman from South Eugene, Ore. His brother Liam was a member of the 2015 class. Their grandpa Ron Duncan, who died in 2013 at 70, was a tight end on Wittenberg’s 1963 and 1964 college division national championship teams. He played professionally with the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.

The freshmen arrive on campus Aug. 8. Wittenberg, which finished 10-2 last season and won the North Coast Athletic Conference title, starts practicing a day later. The Tigers open the season Sept. 2 at Westminster (Pa.).

Fincham expects 70-80 of the incoming freshman to return for their sophomore years. The classes always shrink as they advance to their junior and senior years.

“Quality obviously is important, but in Division III, size is a component of it,” Fincham said. “The hardest thing Urban Meyer has to do is choose which ones he’s taking. Here you have to choose which ones you’re going to invest phone calls in, messages and all that.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

What is Urban Meyer inheriting in the 4th-ranked Ohio State football team?
What is Urban Meyer inheriting in the 4th-ranked Ohio State football team?

Three games into the 2018 season, Ohio State has played three games and won them all.  Winning is the bottom line in sports (between the lines, anyway), but not all 3-0 starts are created equally.  Here’s a closer look at the team Urban Meyer is inheriting this week after a three-game suspension.  Ohio State is third the nation...
College of Wooster to induct South High standout into its Hall of Fame
College of Wooster to induct South High standout into its Hall of Fame

James Cooper didn’t have a favorite basketball court growing up in Springfield. He knew the rims all over town. “I played hoops everywhere, anywhere, all the time,” Cooper said. “I had a rough home life, so getting away from home was always important. Basketball was my answer. Get the ball and get away for a while.” In...
HS Results 9/17: Tecumseh boys soccer win by one

Boys Soccer Monday’s Results Edgewood 1, Little Miami 1 Jonathan Alder 3, Indian Lake 3 Northwestern 5, Springfield Shawnee 1 Tecumseh 2, Urbana 1 Girls Soccer Monday’s Results Bishop Fenwick 0, Valley View 0 Brookville 6, Greenville 0 Carroll 2, Greenon 1 Centerville 8, Wayne 0 Fairborn 3, Stebbins 0 Franklin 13, West Carrollton 0 Jonathan...
McCoy: Yelich hits for cycle against the Reds again; Cincinnati clinches last place for 4th straight season
McCoy: Yelich hits for cycle against the Reds again; Cincinnati clinches last place for 4th straight season

Shortly after Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich slid into third base with a triple Monday night, the large crowd in Miller Park began chanting, “MVP, MVP, MVP.” MVP? To the Cincinnati Reds, Yelich is all-Galaxy, all-Universe, all-Everything. That triple in the sixth inning gave Yelich the cycle — a single, double, triple and home...
HS Roundup 9/17: Miami East breaks tie against Versailles in golf

With a fifth score of 56, Katie Pottorf broke the tie against Versailles and Miami East won 195-196. The leading lady for Miami East was Paige Lawson with a 44 and second was Kearsten Kirby who recorded a 47. This win helped the Lady Vikings of Miami East improve their record 8-3 overall and 3-3 in league. Boys Golf Bellbrook 167, Franklin 219: Co-medalist...
More Stories