Feb. 5, 2014
The University of Notre Dame football roster will increase by 23 student-athletes for the 2014 season.
Twenty-one of those individuals today signed national letters of intent – while two others enrolled at the University last month, began taking classes and will take part in Irish spring football drills.
The 23 new additions represent 14 states – three from Illinois, three from Ohio, three from Texas, two from Indiana, two from New Jersey, two from New York, plus one each from California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee.
As listed by group, Notre Dame adds 10 power players, seven big skill players, five skill players and one specialist. As listed by position, Notre Dame adds two defensive backs, six defensive lineman, five linebackers, four offensive linemen, two tight ends, two wide receivers, one punter/kicker and one quarterback.
Two of the 23 players – wide receiver Justin Brent and defensive lineman Andrew Trumbetti – enrolled at the University in January and are taking classes. They will participate in Notre Dame’s spring football practices that begin March 3. The other 21 players have signed national letters of intent and will arrive on campus by June for the start of summer school.
Among the 23 players who will be freshmen for the Irish this fall are:
- Two who were selected to the Parade prep All-America squad – TE Nic Weishar (first team) and OL Quenton Nelson (honorable mention)
- Three who were selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio: LB Nyles Morgan, Nelson and Weishar
- Six who were selected for the Under Armour All-America Game in St. Petersburg, Fla.: OL Alex Bars, WR Corey Holmes, DE Andrew Trumbetti, TE Tyler Luatua, DB Nick Watkins, OL Sam Mustipher
- One who played in the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Los Angeles: P/K Tyler Newsome
- Three members of the USA Today All-America team: Morgan (first team), Bars (second team) and Nelson (second team)
- Three members of the 247Sports All-America team: Luatua (first team), Morgan (first team) and Weishar (second team)
- Seven members of the MaxPreps Top 100: Luatua (23rd), Watkins (30th), DL Jay Hayes (60th), Bars (82nd), Trumbetti (92nd), Weishar (94th) and Morgan (100th).
- Ten members of the ESPN 300: Morgan (72nd), Bars (76th), Holmes (94th), Trumbetti (97th), Luatua (107th), Watkins (123rd), Nelson (175th), LB Greer Martini (255th), Weishar (274th) and WR Justin Brent (280th)
- Eight members of the Rivals.com 250: Nelson (29th), Morgan (72nd), Brent (84th), Bars (98th), Watkins (186th), Mustipher (203rd), Holmes (224th) and Hayes (233rd)
- Fourteen members of the Scout.com Top 300: Morgan (34th), Nelson (46th), Brent (64th), DL Grant Blakenship (91st), Mustipher (134th), DL Daniel Cage (165th) Trumbetti (166th), DB Drue Tranquill (171st), Holmes (200th), Bars (202nd), Watkins (205th), OL Jimmy Byrne (211th), Hayes (233rd) and QB DeShone Kizer (263rd)
- Eight members of the 247Sports Top 247: Brent (67th), Nelson (75th), Trumbetti (86th), Morgan (98th), Bars (155th), Kizer (162nd), Hayes (193rd) and Weishar (213th)
- Thirteen members of the Tom Lemming/CBS Sports Top 300: Nelson (50th), Morgan (54th), Bars (99th), Weishar (109th), DL Jhonny Williams (115th), DL Jonathan Bonner (120th), Byrne (161st), Hayes (202nd), Brent (229th), Mustipher (240th), Watkins (251st), LB Nile Sykes (257th) and Tranquill (284th)
2014 University of Notre Dame Football National Letter-of-Intent Signees
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown (High School)|
|Bars, Alex||OL||6-6||290||Nashville, Tenn. (Montgomery Bell Academy)|
|Blankenship, Grant||DL||6-6||264||The Colony, Texas (The Colony)|
|Bonner, Jonathan||LB||6-3||245||Chesterfield, Mo. (Parkway Central)|
|Brent, Justin*||WR||6-1||204||Speedway, Ind. (Speedway)|
|Byrne, Jimmy||OL||6-4||285||Cleveland, Ohio (St. Ignatius)|
|Cage, Daniel||DL||6-2||305||Cincinnati, Ohio (Winton Woods)|
|Hayes, Jay||DL||6-4||275||Brooklyn, N.Y. (Poly Prep Country Day)|
|Hill, Kolin||LB||6-2||220||Schertz, Texas (Samuel Clemens)|
|Holmes, Corey||WR||6-2||176||Pembroke Pines, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas)|
|Kizer, DeShone||QB||6-5||212||Toledo, Ohio (Central Catholic)|
|Luatua, Tyler||TE||6-3||241||Paramount, Calif. (La Mirada)|
|Martini, Greer||LB||6-3||225||Cary, N.C. (Woodberry Forest)|
|Mokwuah, Peter||DL||6-4||315||Staten Island, N.Y. (St. Joseph by-the-Sea)|
|Morgan, Nyles||LB||6-2||223||Crete, Ill. (Crete-Monee)|
|Mustipher, Sam||OL||6-3||294||Olney, Md. (Good Counsel)|
|Nelson, Quenton||OL||6-5||302||Holmdel, N.J. (Red Bank Catholic)|
|Newsome, Tyler||P/K||6-3||190||Carrollton, Ga. (Carrollton)|
|Sykes, Nile||LB||6-2||220||Lombard, Ill. (Montini Catholic)|
|Tranquill, Drue||DB||6-2||210||Fort Wayne, Ind. (Carroll)|
|Trumbetti, Andrew*||DL||6-3||260||Demarest, N.J. (North Valley Region)|
|Watkins, Nick||DB||6-1||190||DeSoto, Texas (Bishop Dunne)|
|Weishar, Nic||TE||6-4||215||Midlothian, Ill. (Marist)|
|Williams, Jhonny||DL||6-5||230||Benton Harbor, Mich. (Berrien Springs)|
* indicates already enrolled at the University
Bars, Alex (OL, 6-6, 290, Nashville, Tenn., Montgomery Bell Academy) – Second-team offensive lineman on USA Today All-USA prep All-America squad for 2013 … ranked as 76th best player nationally by ESPN, 98th by Rivals.com, 99th by Tom Lemming/CBS Sports, 154th by 247Sports and 202nd by Scout.com … won Rotary Lombardi Chip Off the Old Block Award for south region as nation’s top high school lineman in seven regions and states … led Montgomery Bell Academy to Tennessee Division II-AA semifinals in 2013 and 10-2 record … first-team Tennessee Class II-AA all-state pick by Tennessee Sports Writers Association … one of three Division II-AA lineman finalists for Tennessee Titans Mr. Football Awards presented to top 10 backs and linemen in five classifications of Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association … standout at offensive and defensive tackle for Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, Tenn. … first-team All-Midstate offensive linemen for 2013 by Nashville Tennessean … ranked number five on Nashville Tennessean Dandy Dozen 2013 preseason team … played in Under Armour High School All-American Game … played basketball, competed in shot put in track and played saxophone in band … father, Joe, played linebackerand made 29 career tackles for Irish from 1981-84 and was part of coach Gerry Faust’s first Notre Dame recruiting class … brother, Brad, was senior defensive end at Penn State in 2013 and brother, Blake, is redshirt sophomore offensive line at Michigan for 2014.
Blankenship, Grant (DL, 6-6, 264, The Colony, Texas, The Colony) – Ranked as 91st player nationally by Scout.com … Texas District 9-4A defensive MVP for 2013 … one of 17 defensive linemen, and 31st player overall, on Dallas Morning News rating of top 100 area players … 49th best player in Texas by 247Sports … one of 16 defensive linemen on Waco Tribune Top 100 list of Texas players … played defensive line at The Colony High School in The Colony, Texas … helped The Colony to 8-3 mark in 2013 while making 53 tackles, 34 of them solo efforts, 12 tackles for loss, two hurries and one forced fumble … also caught five passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns … . lost 4A Division I bi-district game in 2013 University Interscholastic League playoffs … as junior in 2012 made 78 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, plus 10 sacks, one hurry, two passes defensed and one caused fumble … received Associated Press Texas Class 4A honorable mention all-state recognition in 2012.
Bonner, Jonathan (LB, 6-3, 245, Chesterfield, Mo., Parkway Central) – Second-team linebacker on MaxPreps 2013 All-America team … St. Louis Post-Dispatch Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 as well as a Post-Dispatch first-team all-metro pick … first-team Missouri Class 5 all-state pick as both junior and senior by Missouri Football Coaches Association … Suburban South Conference Defensive Player of the Year as senior … made 70 tackles and 17 sacks as senior in 2013 at Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Mo., on team that finished 13-2 and allowed only 10.3 points per game … also played tight end, catching five touchdown passes in 2013 … caught 57-yard TD pass in Missouri Class 5 state title game against Lee’s Summit West … finished with career totals of 206 tackles, 40 for loss, and 34 sacks … moved into starting lineup at Parkway Central two games into his sophomore season … second-team all-metro selection as junior in 2012 as he made 64 tackles, including 14 for loss, 12 sacks and recovered a fumble … led Colts with seven TD receptions as junior in 2012 … uncle, Dan Knott, was reserve running back on 1977 Irish national title team … grandfather, Elmon Hampton, is godfather to former Irish safety Sergio Brown, now with NFL Indianapolis Colts.
Brent, Justin (WR, 6-1, 204, Speedway, Ind., Speedway) – Ranked as 64th best player nationally by Scout.com, 67th by 247Sports, 84th by Rivals.com and 280th by ESPN … rated top player in state of Indiana on Detroit Free-Press Best of the Midwest selections for 2013 season … named to Indiana Football Coaches Association Top 50 for 2013 … first-team Indiana Class 3A all-state as wide receiver/running back by Associated Press … played wide receiver, running back and safety during 8-4 senior season at Speedway High School in Speedway, Ind. … as senior in 2013 made 28 receptions for 387 yards and five touchdowns while also rushing 157 times for 1,315 yards and 18 TDs … had 167 kickoff return yards, 110 punt return yards, 70 yards on three interceptions and made 33 tackles on defense … named to all-Marion County team by Indianapolis Star … had seven catches for 105 yards and three TDs in 2013 win over Indianapolis Lutheran … honorable mention Associated Press Class 2A all-state pick as junior in 2012 at wide receiver … as junior in 2012 caught 54 passes for 922 yards and 13 TDs and also rushed for 143 yards and a score … as sophomore in 2011 caught 40 passes for 819 yards and 10 TDs … as freshman in 2010 caught 37 passes for 544 yards and nine TDs … currently enrolled at University of Notre Dame, began taking classes in January and will participate in 2014 Irish spring drills.
Byrne, Jimmy (OL, 6-4, 285, Cleveland, Ohio, St. Ignatius) – Rated 211th best player nationally by Scout.com … two-time Associated Press Division I All-Ohio pick as offensive lineman in both 2012 and 2013 … a Cleveland Plain-Dealer Football Offense All-Star selection for both 2012 and 2013 based on seven-county coverage area … played key role on offensive line that helped 8-5 St. Ignatius High School team in Cleveland, Ohio, run for more than 1,500 yards in 2013 while allowing only 12 sacks … co-captain of 2013 St. Ignatius team, alongside his cousin and linebacker Pat Hopkins … all-Northeast Lakes District offensive tackle as junior and senior … helped St. Ignatius to 2013 Ohio state playoffs before falling to Mentor in regional semifinal … led Wildcats to 11-2 record and regional final appearance as junior in 2012, with his run blocking and pass protection showing way for 2,404 yards on ground and 3,021 yards through the air … named to MaxPreps Junior All-America 2012 first team … starter in sophomore season on St. Ignatius squad that won 11th Ohio Division I state crown … played for United States Under-19 National team in International Bowl against Team Canada … pronounced “burn”.
Cage, Daniel (DL, 6-2, 305, Cincinnati, Ohio, Winton Woods) – First-team defensive lineman on Associated Press Division II All-Ohio squad for 2013 … first-team defensive lineman on JJHuddle All-Ohio (all divisions) squad for 2013 … special mention defensive lineman on Associated Press Division II All-Ohio squad for 2012 … ranked as 15th best defensive tackle nationally by Scout.com, 27th best by Rivals.com, 40th by ESPN.com and 42nd by 247Sports … led Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati, Ohio to Ohio Division II regional semifinals in 2012 and 2013 with 8-4 and 9-4 records … first-team Division II all-area pick by Cincinnati Enquirer in 2012 and 2013 … first-team Associated Press Southwest All-District in 2013 … recorded 36 tackles and six sacks as a senior in 2013 … totaled 43 tackles, 18 for loss and 10 sacks as a junior in 2012 … registered 54 tackles, 26 for loss and 22 sacks as a sophomore in 2011.
Hayes, Jay (DL, 6-4, 275, Brooklyn, N.Y., Poly Prep Country Day) – Ranked as 192nd best player nationally by 247Sports and 233rd by Rivals.com and Scout.com … named to USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA New York team for 2013 … helped Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, N.Y., to 7-1 mark in 2013 as team outscored opponents 272-107 … three-time first-team all-city pick by MSG Varsity … all-Northeast Region preseason pick for 2013 … first-team all-metro selection as junior defensive tackle in 2012 … named to MaxPreps U.S. Air Force Sophomore All-America second team … all-city selection as sophomore by New York Post … played for United States Under-19 National team in International Bowl against Team Canada … from same high school as former Irish center and current New Orleans Saint Eric Olsen, center JW Jordan and back Marcus Wilson … helped teach football in Bedford-Stuyvesant communities via his participation with Gridiron Group led by former NFL defensive lineman Damian Gregory.
Hill, Kolin (LB, 6-2, 220, Schertz, Texas, Samuel Clemens) – First-team defensive lineman on San Antonio Express-News All-Area Sub-5A team … Texas University Interscholastic League District 27-4A defensive MVP … honorable mention defensive lineman on 2013 Texas Associated Press Sports Editors Class 4A all-state team … made 96 tackles and 13 sacks, forced two fumbles and knocked down 10 passes as senior defensive end in 2013 at Clemens High School in Schertz, Texas … helped Clemens to 8-3 campaign and first playoff berth in four years in 2013 after 0-10 mark in 2012 as junior … Texas UIL District 27-4A second-team defensive lineman as junior in 2012 … played at Clemens alongside twin brother and fellow defensive end Kaleb … pronounced “Colin”.
Holmes, Corey (WR, 6-2, 176, Pembroke Pines, Fla., St. Thomas Aquinas) – Ranked as 94th best player nationally by ESPN, 200th by Scout.com and 224th by Rivals.com … honorable mention all-Broward County selection for Classes 8A-7A-6A by South Florida Sun-Sentinel … played wide receiver at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. … helped team to 10-3 mark as senior in 2013, catching 24 passes for 432 yards and four touchdowns … helped St. Thomas Aquinas to Florida Class 7A playoff quarterfinals … had three catches for 94 yards and three TDs in 66-0 victory versus South Broward in 2013 … rated sixth in Miami Herald Broward County preseason listing of top 25 players for 2013 … ranked 22nd on 2014 Orlando Sentinel Florida Top 100 list … caught 28 passes for 511 yards and five TDs as junior in 2012 … had four catches for 167 yards in Florida Class 7A state title game … grabbed six passes for 94 yards and two TDs as sophomore in 2011 … played in Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. … father, David, played as defensive back at Syracuse, helped Orange to Sugar Bowl and Outback Bowl wins, then became fourth-round NFL Draft pick of Miami Dolphins in 1989.
Kizer, DeShone (QB, 6-5, 212, Toledo, Ohio, Central Catholic) – Ranked as 40th best player nationally by Tom Lemming/CBS Sports, 161st by 247Sports and 263rd by Scout.com … named Associated Press Ohio Division III co-offensive player of the year as senior in 2013 … first-team quarterback on AP Division III All-Ohio team … Toledo Blade 2013 Player of the Year and first-team All-Blade quarterback … completed 150 of 245 passes as he threw for 2,847 yards and 30 TDs (six interceptions) as senior for second-ranked Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Ohio … rushed 62 times in 2013 for 539 yards and six TDs and punted for 41.2-yard average … three-year starter helped team to combined 34-6 overall record in 2011-13 (8-2 in playoff games), including 14-1 mark and Ohio Division II state title in 2012 … helped Central Catholic to 12-1 mark in 2013, number-two statewide ranking and spot in Division III regional final, as well as school’s first Three Rivers Athletic Conference title … threw for 217 yards and ran for another 127 in Central Catholic’s playoff loss to Clyde in 2013 … first-team quarterback on Three Rivers Athletic Conference all-league squad for 2013 … led Central Catholic to 2012 Ohio Division II state title while completing 108 of 179 passes for 1,611 yards and 17 TDs with only two interceptions … also ran 63 times for 442 yards and eight TDs as junior in 2012 for team that averaged 42 points per game – and punted for 37.8-yard average … led Irish to 16-12 victory over defending state champion Trotwood-Madison in state title game … career totals included 345 of 584 passing for 5,684 yards and 56 TDs to go with 151 rushing attempts for 1,211 yards and 17 TDs … also played basketball and baseball for Central Catholic … started in basketball as a freshman on Irish team that advanced to Ohio Division I state semifinals in 2011 … played outfield and hit cleanup in baseball and helped team to Three Rivers Athletic Conference crown in 2012 … from same high school as former Notre Dame standout tight end Dean Masztak (1978-81) … father, Derek, played basketball at Bowling Green … pronounced “duh-sean kai-zer”.
Luatua, Tyler (TE, 6-3, 241, Paramount, Calif., La Mirada) – Ranked as 38th best player nationally by Tom Lemming/CBS Sports and 107th by ESPN … second-team Long Beach Press-Telegram 2013 Football Dream Team selection at tight end … played tight end and linebacker at La Mirada High School in La Mirada, Calif. … made 33 receptions as senior in 2013 for 412 yards and four touchdowns … caught 43 passes for 594 yards and eight TDs as junior in 2012 … helped La Mirada to 9-2 overall record in 2012 as well as 5-0 league mark good for Suburban League title … brother, Isaac, will be redshirt junior offensive lineman at Alabama in 2014 … played in Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. … pronounced “loo-ah-too-ah”.
Martini, Greer (LB, 6-3, 225, Cary, N.C., Woodberry Forest) – Ranked as 255th best player nationally by ESPN … named to USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Virginia team for 2013 … first-team linebacker on all-Central Virginia team for 2013 by Charlottesville Progress … played linebacker and tight end at Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry Forest, Va. … helped team to 8-1 record and Virginia Prep League crown in 2013 while leading team with 92 tackles … made 17 tackles in win over Bethesda Landon … Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division I all-state pick at linebacker as both senior in 2013 and junior in 2012. . . three-time first-team linebacker on all-Virginia Prep League team … helped Woodberry Forest to 8-2 mark as sophomore in 2011 when he made 74 tackles, five fumble recoveries (two for touchdowns), three interceptions and six tackles for loss … played for United States Under-19 National team in International Bowl against Team Canada … high school teammate of current Irish receiver C.J. Prosise and linebacker Doug Randolph.
Mokwuah, Peter (DL, 6-4, 315, Staten Island, N.Y., St. Joseph by-the-Sea) – First-team New York all-city pick as senior in 2013 by MSG Varsity … honorable mention all-metro selection by MSG Varsity for 2013 … one of 10 picks on New York Daily News Catholic High School Football League/Private all-star team for 2013 … two-year starter at defensive end at St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School in Staten Island, N.Y. … helped Vikings to 4-7 record in 2013 and CHSFL of metropolitan New York Class AAA quarterfinals … named CHSFL player of the week for games week of Sept. 29 after making seven tackles, including four tackles for loss, in St. Joseph by-the-Sea’s 22-14 victory over Mount St. Michael … selected for United Healthcare Empire Challenge, a June all-star game between New York City and Long Island standouts benefitting Boomer Esiason Foundation and New York area youth football … uncle Gabe Mokwuah played defensive tackle at American International and was 11th-round selection of Green Bay Packers in 1992 NFL Draft … pronounced “mock-wuh”.
Morgan, Nyles (LB, 6-2, 223, Crete, Ill., Crete-Monee) – First-team linebacker on USA Today All-USA prep All-America squad for 2013 … ranked as 34th player nationally by Scout.com, 54th by both Tom Lemming/CBS Sports, 75th by both ESPN and Rivals.com and 97th by 247Sports … Chicago Tribune and Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Class 6A first-team all-state linebacker … chosen for Chicago Sun-Times all-area squad for 2013 … two-time pick as Northwest Indiana Times Defensive Player of the Year as both junior and senior in 2012 and 2013 … named to Northwest Indiana Times all-area squad as both junior and senior … all-Southland Athletic Conference pick for 2013 and first-team all-area linebacker by Southtown Star … made 115 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and had four sacks, two forced fumbles as senior in 2013 on 8-2 squad at Crete-Monee High School in Crete, Ill. … returned his only 2013 interception for a touchdown in playoff game versus Providence … helped Crete-Monee to Illinois Class 6A state title as junior in 2012 with 14-0 record, as his forced fumble in championship game shifted momentum … Crete-Monee defense in 2012 allowed only four regular-season TDs … made 107 tackles, 73 of them solo, to go with 13 tackles for loss, four sacks, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries as junior in 2012 … three-year starter who helped Crete-Monee to 40-2 record over those seasons … played in U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, making three tackles and sharing a tackle for loss for West squad … father Thomas played football at Western Illinois.
Mustipher, Sam (OL, 6-3, 294, Olney, Md., Good Counsel) -Rated 134th best player nationally by Scout.com and 203rd by Rivals.com … named to 2013 Maryland consensus all-state squad on offensive line … played on both offensive and defensive lines at Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md., helping Falcons finish 6-5 in 2013 … first-team pick as offensive lineman on Washington Post All-Met squad for 2013 … named to Maryland Private School all-state squad as senior … named to USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA D.C. team for 2013 … Montgomery Gazette first-team all-star selection for Montgomery County as both junior and senior … first-team offensive lineman on Washington Catholic Athletic Conference all-league squad for 2013 … all-Northeast Region preseason pick for 2013 … second-team Washington Post All-Met pick as junior in 2012 as he helped top-ranked Falcons rush for 2,374 yards and capture fourth straight WCAC title … anchored line that helped average 5.4 yards per rushing carry in 2012 and allow only 16 sacks … named to MaxPreps U.S. Air Force Sophomore All-America first team for 2011 as defensive lineman … played in Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. … pronounced “must-if-er”.
Nelson, Quenton (OL, 6-5, 302, Holmdel, N.J., Red Bank Catholic) – Second-team offensive lineman on USA Today All-USA prep All-America squad for 2013 … honorable mention selection on Parade prep All-America squad … ranked as 29th best player nationally by Rivals.com, 46th by Scout.com, 50th by Tom Lemming/CBS Sports, 74th by 247Sports and 175th by ESPN … second-team offensive lineman on MaxPreps 2013 All-America team … named to USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA New Jersey team for 2013 … played offensive line for Red Bank Catholic High School in Red Bank, N.J. … named to MSG Varsity all-New Jersey squad … team finished 9-1 in 2013 and averaged 279 rushing yards and 43.5 points per game … had 61 tackles and three sacks on defense … all-Northeast Region preseason pick for 2013 … named to MaxPreps Junior All-America 2012 second team … helped Red Bank Catholic to New Jersey state title game with 42 tackles and seven sacks while winning Newark Star-Ledger second-team all-state honors … helped Red Bank Catholic average 38 points and 341 yards per game on offense in 2012 … played in U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
Newsome, Tyler (P/K, 6-3, 190, Carrollton, Ga., Carrollton) – Named to Atlanta Journal-Constitution Georgia Class AAAA all-state squad in 2013 … handled kicks and punts for Carrollton High School in Carrollton, Ga. … connected on all five field-goal attempts as senior, nine of 11 as junior in 2012 and three of four as sophomore … hit all 78 PATs as senior, 52 of 53 as junior and 22 of 24 as sophomore … 76 of 100 kickoffs in 2013 were touchbacks and 142 of 213 in career carried into end zone … punted 20 times for 38.65-yard average in 2013 … helped Carrollton to Georgia Class AAAA title game in 2013 and final 13-2 record … kicked 34-yard field goal for 24-14 lead and later hit 23-yarder in 56-35 loss to Griffin in championship game … helped Carrollton win semifinal round 46-44 over Marist in four overtimes … played in Semper-Fidelis All-American Game in Carson, Calif.
Sykes, Nile (LB, 6-2, 220, Lombard, Ill., Montini Catholic) – First-team all-state linebacker as senior in 2013 by Chicago Tribune … made 80 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 12 sacks as senior defensive end in 2013 at Montini Catholic High School in Lombard, Ill. … also rushed for three touchdowns … chosen for Chicago Sun-Times all-area squad for 2013 … named to Arlington Heights Daily Herald DuPage County all-area team … helped Montini Broncos to Illinois Class 5A state title game before losing 38-28 to Sacred-Heart Griffin … helped Montini to final 13-1 mark in 2013 … had nine-yard TD run as well as winning two-point conversion run with four minutes left in 22-21 2013 5A playoff quarterfinal win over Joliet Catholic … named to all-Suburban Christian Conference blue team … selected for United States Under-19 national team … transferred from Oak Park-River Forest to Montini prior to senior season … missed first five games of junior season in 2012 with broken foot suffered in preseason scrimmage.
Tranquill, Drue (DB, 6-2, 210, Fort Wayne, Ind., Carroll) – Rated as 171st best player nationally by Scout.com … named to Indiana Football Coaches Association Top 50 for 2013 … first-team Indiana Class 6A all-state at linebacker by Associated Press … named Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Football Player of the Year for 2013 … made 75 tackles, including 16 tackles for loss, to go with four sacks and an interception as senior linebacker in 2013 at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne, Ind. … carried 114 times for 1,420 yards and 28 touchdowns while averaging 12.3 yards per carry … caught 16 passes for 348 yards and five TDs in 2013 and also threw 29-yard TD pass … helped Carroll to 9-3 campaign in 2013 in its first season in Indiana Class 6A and spot in playoff semifinals … pushed Carroll to two straight state sectional titles in 2012 and `13 … rushed for 245 yards and five TDs in one 51-34 victory in 2013 against Homestead … named to Fort Wayne News-Sentinel all-area team as senior as running back … participated in U.S. Army All-American Bowl combine as junior … . honorable mention Associated Press Class 5A all-state pick as junior in 2012 at defensive back … also an outstanding baseball player … named to Fort Wayne News-Sentinel 2013 all-area baseball squad after hitting .403 with four home runs, 21 runs scored, 19 RBI and 16 stolen bases.
Trumbetti, Andrew (DL, 6-3, 260, Demarest, N.J., North Valley Region) – Ranked as 85th player nationally by 247Sports, 97th by ESPN and 166th by Scout.com … named to USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA New Jersey team for 2013 … first-team pick as defensive lineman on Newark Star-Ledger All-Ledger All-Bergen County squad … honorable mention defensive lineman on MSG Varsity all-New Jersey squad for 2013 … played defensive end, wide receiver and running back at Demarest High School in Demarest, N.J. … had 47 tackles and four sacks in 2013, after 40 and 5.5 as junior in 2012, and 25 and one as sophomore in 2011 … carried 51 times as running back in 2013 for 454 yards and three touchdowns … caught 12 passes for 277 yards and six TDs in 2013, after grabbing 13 for 201 as junior and 28 for 356 and three TDs as sophomore in 2011 … scored four TDs in a 61-26 victory over Tenafly in 2013 while accounting for 305 yards of total offense (rushed for 145 yards with TD runs of 80 and 25 yards and had 160 receiving yards including TD receptions of 80 and 30 yards). . . helped Demarest to 7-3 record as sophomore in 211 … played in Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. … track and field standout with indoor best of 61-8 and outdoor best of 60-2 1/2 in shot put and outdoor best of 177-3 in discus … brother plays football at Johns Hopkins … currently enrolled at University of Notre Dame, began taking classes in January and will participate in 2014 Irish spring drills.
Watkins, Nick (DB, 6-1, 190, DeSoto, Texas, Bishop Dunne) – Ranked as 123rd best player nationally by ESPN, 186th by Rivals.com and 205th by Scout.com … named to USA Today American Family Insurance All-USA Texas team for 2013 … first-team Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Division I all-state pick for 2013 … TAPPS District I Division I Defensive MVP … standout in secondary at Bishop Dunne High School in Dallas, Texas … one of 27 defensive backs and eighth player overall on Dallas Morning News rating of top 100 area players … helped team to 7-5 mark in 2013 and spot in TAPPS Division I state quarterfinals … had three interceptions as senior versus North Dallas … an academic all-state selection in 2013 … made four interceptions as junior and caught 54 passes for 724 yards and 12 touchdowns … first-team all-district three straight seasons … honorable mention all-state as sophomore and junior in 2011 and 2012 … as sophomore made 49 tackles, five interceptions (two returned for scores), two fumble recoveries and a sack … all-district honorable mention as freshman in 2010 … played in Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. … father, Bobby Sr., played at Southwest Texas (now Texas State) and with NFL’s Detroit Lions (1982-88) … father was 1982 second-round NFL Draft pick who went on to make 20 career NFL interceptions and recover six fumbles … older brother, Bobby, was senior defensive back at Air Force in 2013.
Weishar, Nic (TE, 6-4, 215, Midlothian, Ill., Marist) – First-team tight end on Parade prep All-America squad … first-team MaxPreps All-America selection … ranked as 212th player nationally by 247Sports and 274th by ESPN … all-time leading receiver in Illinois high school football history with 237 catches … his 3,050 career receiving yards rank eighth in Illinois history … first-team all-state tight end by Chicago Tribune and two-time Class 8A pick by Illinois High School Football Coaches Association (in 2013 as wide receiver/tight end) … named to Illinois Class 8A Academic All-State team by IHSFCA as both junior and senior. . . two-time East Suburban Catholic Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 and 2012 … chosen for Chicago Sun-Times all-area squad for both 2012 and 2013 … Southtown Star 2013 Football Player of the Year … first-team all-area wide receiver by Southtown Star … made 86 catches for 1.044 yards and 10 touchdowns as senior in 2013 for Marist High School in Chicago … also made 48 tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles and had three interceptions on defense … helped Marist to 9-4 record and 2013 Illinois Class 8A semifinal before losing to eventual state champion Naperville Central … had nine catches for 155 yards in 55-14 win over Brother Rice in 2013, including TD grabs of 31, 27 and four yards … senior season also featured 11 receptions for 170 yards and three TDs vs. Niles Notre Dame … three-year starter at Marist … caught 89 passes as junior in 2012 for 1,100 yards and five TDs for 8-2 Marist team … named to MaxPreps Junior All-America 2012 first team … caught 77 passes for 1,160 yards and 13 TDs as sophomore in 2011 on 7-3 team … named to MaxPreps U.S. Air Force Sophomore All-America second team … played in U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio … also played basketball at Marist, averaging 13 points and nine rebounds as sophomore on 23-7 team … late brother, Andrew, played football at Illinois Wesleyan … pronounced “wish-er”.
Williams, Jhonny (DL, 6-5, 230, Benton Harbor, Mich., Berrien Springs) – Associated Press and Detroit News Michigan Division 5-6 first-team all-state defensive lineman for 2013 … named to Detroit Free-Press Michigan All-State Dream Team defense … made 68 tackles, 12.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, a blocked kick and a blocked punt as senior defensive end at Berrien Springs High School in Berrien Springs, Mich. … played as defensive end as well as working as tight end, wide receiver and linebacker … first-team all-league twice in basketball … averaged 17 points and eight rebounds during junior basketball season … earned all-state honors at 6-4 in high jump and 53-9 in shot put.