Sunday, April 26, 2020

BG Football Verbal: Tae'Shaun Johnson

BG has another highly recruited verbal for its 2021 football class.  His name is Tae-Shaun Johnson...apparently nicknamed Jet.  He's a 3-star recruit from Toledo Central Catholic.  He was highly recruited, with offers from Ball State, UB, Akron, Army, UC, Kent, Miami, Toledo, Western Illinois, WMU and Youngstown State.  At 5'11 and 185 pounds, he was the #66 player in Ohio.  

Johnson was first-team all-TRAC, first-team all-District and was Division II All-Ohio third team.  He made 21 catches for 523 yards (24.9 average) and eight touchdowns. He added another two scores for the Irish in the return game.

As everyone here knows, Central is a top-flight HS football program, with four state titles.  They've sent many players to top D1 schools and the NFL.

Beyond that, you always like to see a service academy offer.  Those don't come to just anyone.

Welcome to the Falcons Tae-Shaun.

Two MAC Players Drafted

It was a long three days for the MAC, as if had its least productive draft day in nearly a quarter of a century.  Only two MAC players were picked....Indianapolis picked up Danny Pinter in the 5th round....Pinter was an all-MAC lineman from Ball State.  And the LA Rams picked Sam Sloman in the 7th round....he was a kicker for Miami, second-team all-MAC.

The last time the MAC had this few players chosen was 1996, when Ball State LB Keith McKenzie was picked in the 7th round by Green Bay.  (McKenzie played for 8 years in the NFL, has a Super Bowl ring and is an assistant at Ball State today).

It's not a great statement on the state of football in the conference.  Yeah, maybe the pro days were an issue for some of the under-the-radar guys, but then again the Sun Belt tied its record with 7 players picked.  I'd say that it mostly is just a reflection of not having a ton of draft-quality players.

All-MAC QB Nathan Rourke is expected to play in the CFL as a Canadian native.  To add insult to injury, James Morgan was picked by the Jets and originally started at BG but transferred to FIU.  KJ Osborn starred at UB but was drafted in the 5th round as a Miami Hurricane.  All-MAC DL Mike Danna was drafted in the 5th round as a Michigan Wolverine but was first an all-MAC player at CMU.  Riley Neal signed a UDFA...he started at Ball State but was picked from Vanderbilt.

Speaking of UDFAs, those seem to be moving along slowly as well.  This is the area where the lack of pro days is more likely to be making an impact, in my opinion.  Hustle Belt notes 13 signees to date.  Offensive POY Levante Bellamy is on his way to Denver.  Defensive POY Treshaun Hayward has not been signed to date, to my knowledge.

BG had no players picked or signed, so far as  I know.  You can't be too surprised given the results on the field.  We had some terrific, resilient young men who stuck with us, but you don't get drafted for that.

So, we go into a holding pattern.  No one knows what's going to happen this Fall.  I have a feeling of foreboding.  I just worry that when it does come back, it's not going to ever be like it was before.  You think back on our great traditions across an entire athletic department and then you look and see what it's going to end up looking like, and I just think that massive changes are coming.  Perhaps it is a reckoning that was due.  Hopefully, I'm wrong.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Football Verbal: Dierre Kelly

BG has another verbal for the 2021 class of football.  His name is Dierre Kelly, a SDE from Indiana.  There aren't 247 rankings yet, but if there were his would be pretty good.  

He had offers from Ball State, EMU, NIU, Miami, UT and WMU.

Everything shows him coming from Merrillville, IN...a town steeped in Falcon lore as the hometown of Dan Dakich and Len Matela.  He actually has yet to play there, having transferred from Morton HS after last season.

Kelly wreaked havoc at the line of scrimmage throughout the 2019 campaign and registered 32 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and one fumble recovery. He has reeled in several Division I scholarship offers, including Northern Illinois, Indiana State and Miami (Ohio) and hopes to receive even more.

Welcome to the Falcons, Dierre

Monday, April 13, 2020


This is a wow.  I'll be the first to admit that when Justin Turner entered the portal, I was 100% sure he was gone.  And I was 100% wrong.  

I supported him and did not begrudge the decision.  There was heavy interest and I expected him to go elsewhere.

And he decided to stay with BG.  Obviously, as a fan, this is a thrilling decision.  The basketball implications are huge--our best player returns, we have one less hole to fill, and we have a very good shot again next year to win the tournament if basketball is played. 

The best thing is that he took the time to look around.  This was his decision and he can come back with the commitment he needs.  

If he stays healthy, he will become our all-time leading scorer.  And, maybe, erase 1968.

Anyway welcome back, Justin.  Look forward to a big ovation for you on opening night.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter to the Falcon Nation

Easter is an annual reminder of the opportunity to renew.  Today, more than ever, we are reminded that life can emerge in the face of death.  Regardless of our religious faith, let us come together and begin again.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

BG Football Lands Additional '20 QB

So, BG has landed another QB for the '20 class.  His name is Kody Sparks and his last port of call was Oakland HS in Murfeesboro TN.

As a junior, he lived in Fishers, IN.  He was off to a good start, with over 1,500 yards and 63% completions before he had a leg injury and missed the last 5 games.  The family moved to TN before his senior year, where he joined Oakland, who needed a QB and had won the state title the year before.  Oakland plays a wing-T and I'm not sure how much he threw the ball.  I found one game where there were 11 passes and one with 139 passing yards.  Just saying that his senior numbers probably didn't reflect his performance or potential.

Anyway, the story above had him list as a 3-star recruit at 247 and he's a 2-star today.  Kent offered him, as did UT-Martin and Northern Iowa, which is a top FCS program.

Sparks is 6'4" or 6'5" and 219 pounds, which is something you have to like.

He will join a QB room with Matt McDonald, Tucker Melton, Riley Keller.  Depth matters and he could easily be a diamond in the rough.

Welcome to the Falcons, Kody.

New Falcon Football Verbal

Today's verbal is Chris Phillips from Boca Ciega, FL, which is just south of St. Petersburg.  He's a RB, 5'7" and 153 pounds.  No stars yet, but had offers from Buffalo, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Iowa State, Southern Miss, Toledo, Tulane and USF.  For sure to get 3-stars.

He was injured with an ankle sprain during his junior year and missed a game and then had a couple of games where he wasn't at his best.  When he was back in form, he ran for 300 yards and 5 TDs. The next game he went for 192 yards and 2 scores.  He was third-team All-State in 6A, the third-largest classification in the state. 

He's fast.  To quote his coach:

“(Phillips) is the fastest player in the county. He runs a 10.8 100-yard (dash). That’s proven. That ain’t no iPhone stopwatch 40 time by a buddy. So he can fly."

For perspective, that time--posted as a sophomore in HS--would have put him #8 in the MAC in men's track at the 2019 championship.

 Elsewhere, his Coach says he's a great receiver as well, and if you keep following the story, the Coach gives a description of his ability to create misses in tight space that might remind you of Travis Greene.

Welcome to the Falcons, Chris.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Falcon Football Player Enters Transfer Portal

Rivals is reporting that BG LB Torrian Hampton has entered the transfer portal.  He will be a grad transfer.

He was mostly a special teams player at BG, playing 28 games and starting 2.  He made 30 career tackles in 3 years of action.

Wishing nothing but the best for Torrian... 

Falcons with new football verbal

BG picked up its second 2021 verbal yesterday, this one from right in the home territory.  Alex Padgett is from Avon Lake, OH.  He is an OT, 6'6" and 310 pounds...and he's not a senior in HS yet.

He had offers from Akron, UB, EMU, Liberty, UT and Youngstown State.  There are no star rankings yet for him, but that often changes.

Typically, there isn't a ton of information on o-lineman. He was second-team all-Ohio in Division II.

Avon Lake is a good program.  They were 11-1 last year and lost in the regional final to Avon. The school is located in eastern Lorain County...They have won a title.

Also, their Head Coach was an All-American at Mount Union.

Welcome to the Falcons, Alex.

Monday, April 06, 2020

A time for nature?

So as long as we have time to contemplate the larger truths in life, here's our annual visit to the Wood County courthouse of our favorite nesting Falcons.  There are two eggs there today...keep watching to see life-giving nature at work as an escape from the deadly, virulent nature we battle.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

BG Football Continues to Add Players

Our numbers problems are well documented.  One way to dig yourself out of that is to do a good job with players who are recruited to walk on.  

It's not easy.  In fact, it's the hard way.  BG has turned walk-ons into starters--I give you Konowalski, Burbrink...there are probably others.  Schweiterman.

Point being is that these players don't count against the limit of who you bring in every year.  And if you have an eye for talent and you can develop players, you can certainly create starters.  You can also create special teams players and depth keeps pressure on the starters.  And there are injuries.

But you have to find guys who were overlooked.  You have to project and see things others did not.

I give you two players.

First, we have Nate Damron of Elyria Catholic.  The linked article tells an interesting story.  Nate was a role player his junior year, which probably stunted his recruiting.  (He was playing behind Griffen Davies, who signed a scholarship at OU). 

He broke out as a senior, making all-state first team in Division V, earning 109 tackles, including 26.5 for a loss, and 11.5 sacks as a D-End.  In the story, he talks about his willingness to be a role player.,.something that you would need if you were going this route.  His coach says he's a little "thin in the hips" to project to D-End in college, but he's 6'5" and 200 pounds.

So you know what Scot Loeffler sees:  tight end.  Everyone looks like a TE.

I kid.

Anyway, the report is that BG projects him at TE.  Like most good players at a small school, he played both ways.  He did play some TE but moved to RB.

Key thing here is that he would appear to be a natural-born football player.  Which is what we need.

Great story.  They were way ahead and he ran out of bounds at the 1-yard on a sure score.  That was so the team's senior kicker-- Sadie Hutsenpiller--could score a touchdown.  They are not dating.

The other young man is Cole Lakatos of Franklin, MA.  He's a WR who is 5'8" and 160 pounds.  You don't see a lot of stats on him, but if you google him you see news stories where he is scoring a TD.  He's a coach's kid--you know how much recruiters love that--the Dad coaches secondary at Bryant and has coached at Georgia.

Anyway, there's no idea what's going to happen this Fall.  But, at FalconBlog I am keeping my eyes open.  We all need diversions.

Welcome to the Falcons, Nate and Cole.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Falcon Football has first verbal

So, the first verbal is in for Falcon Football.  As you can see above, it's a QB.  Just to review, the stated plan is to take one QB in every class...and as it relates to the rules about recruiting our home area, as Coach said, "we'll go anywhere for an arm."

Which in this case is Jacksonville, FL.  The young man's name is JaCory Jordan and he plays for Trinity Christian.  He's 6'2" *and a half* and about 180.  (Rivals has him as 6'4". Some places online list him as a dual threat QB and some as a PRO QB.  He's not rated on 247 yet but that will change eventually.  He had offers from FIU, USF and Western Kentucky, in addition to Valdosta State, the DII national champions.

There are not a lot of stats on him.  He played as a sophomore and a junior and he is mentioned in media stories with TD passes and his team made the state playoffs.

Program-wise, Trinity Christian is a 7-time champion in Florida 3A.  A teammate of his is headed to Clemson.

One note:  he's a 2021 recruit.  Assuming everyone stays, at that time the QB room will feature Matt McDonald, rSr., second-year players Riley Keller and Tucker Melton, and Jordan.  This assumes there is football this Fall.

Welcome to the Falcons, Jacory.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Tayler Mattos enters portal

And now it's 2. l Tayler Mattos has entered the transfer portal and apparently won't return to BGSU.  I know players can return from the portal, but you don't see it happen very often.  My guess would be he finds a school closer to home, which is in New Hampshire.

Mattos played two years at BG.  For one year, he backed up Demajeo Wiggins and played about 4 minutes per game.  As a sophomore, he started every game but ended up playing only 15 minutes per game, averaging 5 points and 5 rebounds per game, which isn't awful for that amount of playing time.  He scored in double figures four times, including a career-only double-double in the first Miami game at 18-11.

For what it was worth, I thought he was improved in his second year and could have developed into a solid but not spectacular MAC player.  BG entered the season with Mattos as its only true 5, but then signed Dylan Swingle as a transfer.  BG applied for immediate eligibility for Swingle and was shocked when it was granted.  Swingle then played only 128 minutes--making you wonder why they bothered with the waiver at all--and you'd expect that he'd be the plan in the post for BG.  The Falcons also lost Marlon Sierra, leaving only Swingle, Plowden and Kulacovsis (and Gadsen?) in the post rotation, unless BG finds a post guy to fill what are now 2 available scholarships.  BG played a smaller lineup most of the year last year and clearly had a good year, but did suffer from the lack of a rim protector against teams who committed to attacking the basket.

Who knows what when we will see college athletics again...but here's some news for now.  Best to Tayler for his future.