CMU's Bonamego delighted with influx of brawn, speed

Associated Press • Feb 2, 2017 at 12:05 AM

Central Michigan head coach John Bonamego felt the Chippewas got "bigger, stronger and faster," on National Signing Day, saying he is pleased with the class.

And, Bonamego should be with the addition of such players as three-star receiver Jacorey Sullivan from Muskegon, tight end Keegan Cossou of Greenville and Zeeland East defensive end Johnathan Berghorst, who earned a spot on The News Dream team.

Bonamego begins his third year as head coach of the Chips, but this is just his second recruiting class since he took over after Dan Enos resigned to become Arkansas offensive coordinator in late January 2015.

CMU was 6-7 (3-5 MAC) this season, losing to Tulsa 55-10 in the Miami Beach Bowl. The Chippewas were 7-6 in Bonamego's first year in 2015, 6-2 in conference play.

Berghorst, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end, is ranked No. 24 on The News Blue Chip list, Cossou, No. 27 and Sullivan, No. 29.

"We like (Berghorst) a lot. He's a strong player," Bonamego said . "He's a very committed individual, good all-around athlete, a leader. He just has a tremendous amount of upside from a physical standpoint and he's a kid who is a no-brainer because you feel so good about the intangibles that he has as well. He could potentially step up and play (right away).

"We had four players contribute as true freshmen last year, so my philosophy really is to bring them in and let them compete and if they're ready to play. We'll play them and if not we'll continue to develop them and redshirt them."

Bonamego feels Cossou and Sullivan also have the potential to play as freshmen, as do Brandon Brown of Buffalo and Devonni Reed of Belleville at cornerback.

"We really like Devonni, like his athleticism," Bonamego said. "He has a really good feel for the game. He's a physical player. That's a position that we do have need. Our safety position is one that quite frankly is wide open right now so that will be an interesting competition to watch.

"Brandon Brown will have a chance to compete as a kick and punt returner right away. He's a two-way player who can really play on either side of the ball. I would project him more on defense as a corner."

The Chippewas lost four-year starting quarterback Cooper Rush, who threw for 12,891 career yards and 90 touchdowns, but has former Michigan quarterback Shane Morris coming in.

Bonamego said he couldn't comment on Morris since he is enrolled and on scholarship at another college.

"We have three on scholarship right now and Tony Poljan is a kid who was highly recruited out of Lansing Catholic, one of our big signees a year ago and he redshirted last fall," Bonamego said. "Tony's a big, rangy athlete with a really strong arm. He's a really exciting player, one that we're ultra-excited about."

Central Michigan recruits

Name Pos. Ht./Wt. School

Norman Anderson CB 6-0/174 Fletcher (Fla.)

John Berghorst DT 6-2/267 Zeeland East (Mich.)

Darius Bracy CB 5-10/177 Baker (Ala.)

Brandon Brown DB 5-10/178 Canada Prep (Canada)

Troy Brown S 6-0/188 Flint Carman-Ainsworth (Mich.)

Brady Buell K 6-0/185 Traverse City St. Francis (Mich.)

Jack Combs WR 6-1/180 East Grand Rapids (Mich.)

Keegan Cossou TE 6-4/240 Greenville (Mich.)

Erik Ditzhazy OL 6-4/273 G.R. Forest Hills Northern (Mich.)

George Douglas LB 6-1/208 Belleville (Mich.)

Nick Follmer OL 6-4/276 Liberty (Mo.)

Ty Henderson WR 6-0/170 Dublin Jerome (Ohio)

Julian Hicks WR 6-2/170 Mayfield (Ohio)

Elijah James DT 6-4/267 Oswego East (Ill.)

Chuck Jones LB 5-11/216 Ann Arbor Skyline (Mich.)

Jamezz Kimbrough OL 6-2/261 Homewood (Ill.)

Drayton Law WR 6-4/194 Baker (Ala.)

Evan Plate LB 6-2/217 Greenville (Mich.)

Bernhard Raimann TE 6-7/230 Delton Kellogg (Mich.)

Devonni Reed S 6-0/180 Ypsilanti (Mich.)

Willie Reid S 6-1/192 Detroit Cass Tech (Mich.)

Amir Siddiq LB 6-1/219 Dearborn Fordson (MI)

Steve Spenner LB 6-1/217 Berrien Springs (Mich.)

Robi Stuart DT 6-2/287 Saginaw Nouvel (Mich.)

Jacorey Sullivan WR 6-1/216 Muskegon (Mich.)

Shawn Wiley OL 6-2/296 First Coast (Fla.)

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