Seven weeks after being named Kent State's 21st head coach, Paul Haynes announced his first recruiting class Wednesday on National Signing Day. The 21-member class comes from seven different states and consists of nine Ohio natives. Four players will join the Golden Flashes from Florida, along with three from Georgia, two from Louisiana and one from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Minnesota.
The group carries an average GPA of 3.16. Of the 21 players, 20 served as team captains in high school. Twelve members of the class are expected to play on defense and nine on offense. The group has combined for 17 conference championships and five state titles. Eleven players were all-state selections.
"We looked for players that wanted to come in and compete for a spot right away," Haynes said. "We wanted to get our kind of guys. And that's what we got."
KEVIN BOURNE, S, 5-10, 180
Newark Catholic High School
Notables: Named Division VI Ohio Defensive Player of the Year and All-Ohio First Team…Earned Central District Player of the Year honors… Advocate Defensive Player of the Year…Newark Catholic finished as state runner-up…Also played running back, kick returner and long snapper… Team captain… Father played football at Baldwin-Wallace…a sprinter on track & field team and member of Newark Catholic's district champion basketball team.
Stats: Intercepted five passes, returning two for touchdowns…recovered three fumbles, returning a pair for touchdowns…Led team in tackles…Scored 26 total touchdowns…Tied OHSAA record with a 108-yard interception return for touchdown…Scored a record 11 consecutive touchdowns for Newark Catholic.
JONTEY "JUICE" BYRD, DT, 5-11, 280
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Mainland High School
Notables: First team All-State in 6A and a first team All-Area selection … Team won conference championship and regional championship … Named to Sentinel's 2013 Central Florida Super 60… High School teammates with Wayne Scott …Also played basketball, baseball and track & field.
Stats: Recorded 95 tackles and 13 sacks as a senior. ..Totaled 27 tackles for loss as a nose tackle…He also rushed for 100 yards and six touchdowns in his senior year and was used often in short yardage situations … Finished with seven sacks and 105 tackles as a junior.
ERIC CHURCH, CB, 5-9, 170
Timber Creek High School
Notables: An all-area, all-conference and all-Group III selection … Helped Timber Creek to back-to-back state and conference championships in 2011 and 2012 … Also an all-conference selection in basketball and an academic all-state selection … Plans to study sports administration.
Stats: Recorded a combined 106 tackles, four interceptions 16 pass break-ups, four forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and three rushing touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons.
ROMAN CLAY, RB, 5-11, 210
Lancaster Catholic High School
Notables: Mr. Football in Pennsylvania…First-team selection all-state by Pennsylvania Sports Writers' Association in junior and senior seasons…earned all-state honors for two years from Pennsylvania Football News and Eastern Pennsylvania Football…Helped Lancaster Catholic to PIAA state championship (AA) in 2011…Crusaders went 36-5 in his three varsity seasons making three district playoff appearances.
Stats: rushed for a Lancaster-Lebanon League-record 2,497 yards and scored 31 touchdowns as a senior… rushed for 1,900 yards and 35 touchdowns as a junior… 5,940 career rushing yards are the third most in league history.
NATE HOLLEY, LB/DB, 6-0, 180
Whitmer High School
Notables: Named to All-Blade Team…Was Whitmer's punter, punt returner and saw time at wide receiver…Helped Whitmer advance to 2012 Division I state title game…Twin brother of Nick Holley.
Stats: Intercepted five passes as a senior…Made 133 tackles and five sacks.
NICK HOLLEY, WR/RB, 6-0, 175
Whitmer High School
Notables: Toledo Blade Player of the year…Helped Whitmer advance to 2012 Division I state title game… Twin brother of Nate Holley.
Stats: Ran for 1,800 yards and threw for 21 touchdowns as a senior…Ran for 92 yards and threw for 196 yards in state title game.
BROCK MACAULAY, TE, 6-7, 240
Big Prarie, Ohio
West Holmes High School
Notables: First-team All-Ohio Cardinal Conference, first-team Eastern District and Honorable Mention All-Ohio … Helped West Holmes to the OCC championship and a regional runner-up finish … A four-year letterman and starter on the West Holmes basketball team … Plans to study pre-med … Parents Ted and Wendy Macaulay are both Kent State graduates.
RYAN MALONE, TE, 6-2, 220
New Orleans, La.
St. Paul's High School
Notables: Second team all-state selection by both coaches and writers…Earned first team all-district honors in junior and senior seasons…Team captain…Helped St. Paul's to a conference title…Father, Terry, played football at Holy Cross and currently serves as tight ends coach for the New Orleans Saints.
Stats: Made 30 catches for 300 yards and seven receiving touchdowns…Ran for seven touchdowns and 350 yards on 50 carries.
JAKE McVAY, S, 5-11, 180
Aurora High School
Notables: Earned all-conference honors…named to the all-district second team…Played offense and defense…Helped Aurora to conference and regional championships…Earned Aurora's Defensive Back of the Year…Was high school teammates with Anthony Melchiori…Father, Jake played at Mount Union…Mother, Shannon attended Kent State…Was an all-conference shortstop on Aurora's baseball team
Stats: Made 75 tackles and four interceptions…Recovered a fumble and scored a defensive touchdown…Ran for 850 yards and 16 touchdowns on 99 carries…Had 268 receiving yards and four touchdown catches…Averaged 27.1 yards on kick returns.
DEMETRIUS MONDAY, CB, 5-11, 185
Pebblebrook High School
Notables: First team all-region … Plans to study Criminal Justice … Earned Player of the Week honors for offense, defense and special teams…Also competed in baseball and track & field at Pebblebrook.
Stats: Recorded 62 tackles, 12 pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and a blocked field goal … Also returned two punts for scores and rushed for two touchdowns.
DUSTY MOORE, MLB, 6-1, 220
Heritage High School
Notables: A two-time all-region and all-state selection at inside linebacker … Helped Heritage to a regional championship … A four-time Scholar Athlete owning a 3.0 GPA or higher … Plans to study sports administration … Father Derrick Moore played for the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers from 1992-95 and set the NAIA single-season rushing record in 1991 while playing for Northeastern State University.
Stats: Recorded 103 tackles, three sacks and 27 tackles for losses as a senior … Finished junior year with 103 tackles, including 10 for losses…Also scored a touchdown in his junior year.
CHRIS OVERTON, WR, 5-10, 160
Richmond Hts., Ohio
Glenville High School
Notables: Selected to play in Ohio North-South All-Star game…earned all-conference honors…Helped Glenville to four conference titles and one Division I state championship game appearance…was a state meet qualifier in both indoor and outdoor track & field.
Stats: Made 40 receptions as a senior, with six touchdowns and 501 receiving yards…Also ran for 257 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries and had a pair of passing touchdowns…returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns…finished career with 2,142 all-purpose yards and 22 touchdowns.
DARIUS REDMOND, LB, 6-1, 205
Northwestern High School
Notables: Team captain.
Stats: Totaled 130 tackles and six sacks
ELCEE REFUGE, ATH, 5-11, 210
New Orleans, La.
Edna Karr High School
Notables: Was a three-time member of the all-district team…Earned All-Metro honors…Team captain…He helped Edna Karr to three state title game appearances and a state championship in 2012…Was a three-year starter…Expected to play linebacker of cornerback…Also played basketball at Edna Karr
Stats: Made 270 career tackles and 13 career interceptions.
TYSON REINKE, DT, 6-3, 260
Eden Prarie, Minn.
Eden Prarie High School
Notables: Two-time all-state selection in Minnesota … Also a two time all-conference (Lake) and All-Metro (Twin Cities) selection … Helped Eden Prairie to state championships in his junior and senior seasons and a runner-up finish as a freshman … Eden Prarie earned a No. 15 national ranking by USA Today…A four-year letterwinner in football…Also participated in track & field in the shot put and discus.
WAYNE SCOTT, OL, 6-3, 320
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Mainland High School
Notables: High School teammates with Jontey "Juice" Byrd
RYAN SEIBERT, LB, 6-4, 200
Olentangy Liberty High School
Notables: Special mention All-Ohio Capital Conference … Helped Olentangy Liberty to OCC championship in junior and senior years … Also played basketball in his freshman and sophomore years.
Stats: Recorded 77 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in his junior season.
NATHAN STROCK, QB, 6-3, 200
Tri-Valley High School
Notables: First team all-state selection as a junior and senior and a three-year all-conference selection … Named Eastern District Player of the Year and Region II Player of the year … Led Tri-Valley to conference championships as a junior and senior, including an undefeated season in his senior year.
Stats: Threw for more than 7,000 passing yards and rushed for another 1,700 in his career … Threw for 34 touchdowns and just four interceptions as a junior, then followed with 25 touchdowns and three interceptions as a senior … Also a two-time all-league selection in baseball … Was 10-0 as a starting pitcher in his freshman year when he posted a 0.43 ERA.
KENTRELL TAYLOR, LB/RB/FB, 6-0, 230
Massillon Washington High School
Notables: Helped the Tigers advance to the Division I Regional final... Earned All-Ohio Special Mention and was named to All-Northeast Inland District and All-Stark County Teams. ..Team captain…Has already been a part of a win at Dix Stadium, when Massillon defeated Canton McKinley in the playoffs this past November.
Stats: In the first five weeks of 2012 season, Taylor ran for six touchdowns and 220 yards on 38 carries... Made 97 tackles as a linebacker and had hand in six turnovers, including an interception returned 93 yards for a touchdown…Had eight tackles for loss in 2012 and three sacks…Made 13 tackles in Regional final against Toledo Whitmer.
TERENCE WAUGH, DE, 6-3, 225
Henry County High School
Notables: Was an all-region first team selection in junior and senior seasons…Father, Karl played football at Albany
Stats: Made 77 tackles, including 38 for loss…Forced two fumbles and had nine sacks.
KRIS WHITE, WR, 6-2, 210
South Lake High School
Notables: Team captain at South Lake. ..played quarterback, running back, wide receiver and linebacker…First player to join the Golden Flashes after graduating high school a semester early…White began classes at Kent State in January and will be the only one in the group to play this spring season. …His father, George is from Ohio.
Stats: Threw for 1,334 yards, 14 touchdowns and only four interceptions as a sophomore.