Wittenberg announces 61-man 2019 football recruiting class

Xenia’s Nick Willis runs against Springfield on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, at Evans Stadium in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff
Caption
Xenia’s Nick Willis runs against Springfield on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, at Evans Stadium in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff

The 61 newest members of the Wittenberg Tigers football team will be the first to enjoy The Steemer, the school's new $50 million indoor practice facility, for their entire careers. It opens this fall, possibly on homecoming weekend in October.

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The players witnessed the rise of the building during the recruiting process. Coach Joe Fincham has seen the effect of the facility in recent recruiting classes.

“I think progressively they’ve become more and more affected by it,” Fincham said. “You have an announcement, and you walk out in recruiting with a bunch of pictures laying there and that perks up interest. The next year when they start coming on campus and they see bulldozers and backhoes, that helps. Coming in this year, they got to see the structure when they came in on first visits, and by the end of it, they got to be able to walk into the thing and see the size of it. Really the cycle started back up again because we had our prospect camp last week, and the kids walking into the stadium, they’re starting to get the full effect now.”

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Two years after an 89-member class, the size of Wittenberg’s recruiting group has returned to normal. The Tigers had 71 last season. Fincham shoots for a class in the 60s.

The 2019 group includes 12 players from Florida, an area Wittenberg has recruited hard for years. The recruits join a program that finished 9-1 last season and shared the North Coast Athletic Conference championship with Wabash and Denison. The Tigers have won or shared the title six times in the last seven years.

“I think it’s a well-rounded group,” Fincham said. “There’s some balance in how the talent’s dispersed. They’re from good families. The incoming GPA of the group is right around 3.4 or something like that. It’s a good bunch of guys. I think they’re going to be good Wittenberg guys.”

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Included on the list are two recruits from Clark County schools: Mykah Eichie. a defensive back from Catholic Central; and Levi Morrison, a defensive end from Greenon.

Five quarterbacks join the Tigers, including Hillard Bradley’s Griffin Veil, a first-team All-Ohio selection, and Grayson Timms, of Worthington Kilbourne.

As for what the coaches focused on in recruiting this year, Fincham said, “We need running backs. We’ve got four seniors on our team right now. We felt we needed linemen, which you almost always do in Division III. The other side of it would be our kicking game. We lost almost all of our specialists from last year, whether it’s our kicker, our punter, our longsnapper, our returners. All those guys graduated. Our specialists were certainly important to us.”


Wittenberg football 2019 recruiting class

Bryce Anderson, Lawrence Central, RB, 5-6, 185

Jalen Benjamin, Hillard Darby, CB, 5-6, 135

Darrius Billingsley, Union-Endicott (N.Y.), RB, 6-0, 190

Jaidon Billingsley, Liberty Union, WR, 6-2, 180

Riley Blankenship, Waynesville, WR, 6-3, 180

Dakota Blum, Loveland, Nickel, 6-0, 175

Ryan Boval, South Lake (Fla.), LB, 6-0, 210

Nick Bowman, Fort Thomas Highlands (Ky.), K, 5-10, 190,

Lashon Bright, Lawrence Central (Ind.), WR, 5-7, 175

Connor Bunts, Fairmont, OL, 6-0, 265

Blake Burton, Troy, Nickel, 6-0, 195,

Luke Capehart, Grove City, DB, 5-11, 175

Anthony Carmichael, Waynesville, QB, 6-3, 200

Justin Chambers, Southport (Ind.), OL, 6-4, 240,

Devland Culliver, Villa Angela-St. Joseph, RB, 5-11, 195

Samuel Diehl, Franklin Central, WR, 5-11, 155

Brysen Dykes, Wharton (Fla.), WR, 6-1, 180

Mykah Eichie, Springfield Catholic Central, DB, 6-1, 185

Jace Fette, Harrison, WR, 6-2, 165

Logan Fisher, Jackson, TE, 6-1, 215

Dane Flatter, Carlisle, LB, 5-11, 200

Hunter Fletcher, Little Miami, OL, 6-1, 255

Jordan Grimes, Lawrence Central (Ind.), SAF, 5-9, 180

Bryson Holland, King, SAF, 5-10, 160

Grant Hollinger, Hilliard Darby, LB/DE, 6-0, 225

Alex Hooton, Perry Meridian (Ind.), QB, 6-4, 250

Wyatt Hutchins, Tri-County North, DT, 6-1, 240

Roy Jensen, Valley (Iowa), DB, 5-9, 180

Eli Kennedy, Athens, OL, 6-3, 270

Cole Komlosi, Hilliard Bradley (Ashland University), SAF, 6-1, 200

Francis Kostzer, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.), DL, 5-11, 250

Sam Lockwood, Xenia, DT, 6-2, 250

Zakaree Luna, Riverdale (Fla.), SAF, 6-0, 180

Jared Magoteaux, Sidney Lehman Catholic, LB, 6-1, 205

Liam Malsy, St. George’s (R.I.), WR, 5-9, 165

Justin Maynard, Pickerington Central, P, 6-4, 205

Christian Meyers, Valley View, K, 5-10, 200

Chase Miles, Hilliard Davidson, OL, 6-0, 235

Levi Morrison, Greenon, DE, 6-0, 210

Mark Peterangelo, Fairborn, DB, 5-9, 170

Dennis Peterson, Gateway Charter (Fla.), OL, 6-1, 240

Marion Pritchett, Sycamore, WR, 6-0, 185

Kacey Prospere, Miami Norland (Fla.), OL, 6-0, 272

Kalyn Purter, West Port (Fla.), WR, 5-9, 165

Matt Render, Miami Norland (Fla.), DL, 5-11, 195

Djim Rene, Olympia (Fla.), WR, 6-0, 170,

Isaiah Russell, Marion Harding, OL, 5-10, 250

Jaden Sarragua, Palmetto Ridge (Fla.), LS, 5-9, 225

Christian Seger, Simon Kenton, K/P, 5-10, 150

Ben Sipos, Vandalia Butler, OL, 6-1, 260

Drew Sterett, Huron, QB, 6-2, 165

Rider Stock, Athens, K, 6-5, 187

Christian Sweet, Hilliard Davidson, WR, 5-9, 170

Jace Tarpley, Lorain, OL, 6-2, 300

Grayson Timms, Worthington Kilbourne, QB, 6-5, 220

Griffin Veil, Hilliard Bradley, QB, 6-1, 195

Michael West, Piper (Fla.), DE, 6-0, 215

Elijah Williams, Edgewood, RB, 5-11, 215

Nick Willis, Xenia, Nickel, 5-11, 195

Max Yost, Springboro, CB, 6-0, 180

Hunter Kobylanski, Cape Coral (Fla.), RB, 6—0, 190

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