Central Michigan brought in a much smaller recruiting class in 2010 compared to the year before, but there is still numerous players who could make an immediate impact. In this article, we take a look at the top five incoming recruits who will have a chance to make an impact next season.
1) DE Kenneth McClendon, Desmet (MO)
-For the same reason that Kashawn Fraser is being counted on to step up at DE, McClendon is expected to play early, and that is little depth at defensive end. CMU lost their top three defensive ends to graduation and has a roster of players who either lack the ideal size or experience to step in. Enter McClendon, a 6-foot-3 pass rusher who weighs 245 pounds right now, but told ChippewaCountry earlier this spring he plans on being around 260 for the start of the season. With his speed and size, he may be the best total package at DE for CMU.
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2) TE Joe Sawicki, Providence Catholic (IL)
-Sawicki has not earned a ton of exposure after signing late, but it's no secret that Dan Enos and his staff are very intrigued by his combination of size and speed. With only one scholarship tight end on the roster (David Blackburn), an incoming tight end will have to step up, and our money is on Sawicki. At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, he presents a big target and he is probably the most physically ready of the incoming tight ends coming in.
3) CB Anthony Hollis, Grand Rapids Community College (MI)
-Hollis is a JUCO corner who chose CMU over an offer from Illinois. He has blazing speed and two years experience as a starting corner at GRCC, and he's already been rumored to be a starter at one CB spot when he comes in this summer. Teams rarely recruit junior college players whom they don't plan on playing immediately, so Hollis is a logical pick to play early during the fall.
4) FB Tyler Lombardo, L'Anse Creuse (MI)
-Guess what Central Michigan fans, that player you saw lining up between the running back and quarterback during the spring game as in fact a fullback, and as of now, the Chippewas lack a true fullback on the roster. Adam Fenton was moved from DE to FB after the spring game, but has yet to play meaningful minutes at the fullback position. Lombardo is physically ready at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, and he has all the makings of a throwback fullback in the new offense.
-This was a tough call at number five, but I elected to go with Fradi and Henry because quite frankly, they are probably too talented to keep off the field in some facet next season. Henry will probably come in as a DT, a position of strength for CMU, but also has the ability to play DE, giving him rare versatility. Fradi reported to ChippewaCountry that he is up to 210 pounds and CMU linebacker coach Kyle Nystrom raved about his energy and ability to play special teams on signing day. While neither is expected to be a starter as a freshman, both should see the field next season.
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