|LIST OF NEW SIGNEES|
IUHOOSIERS.COM will update the Hoosiers' 2006 football signee list throughout the day on Feb. 1. Please note that IUHOOSIERS.COM only lists student-athletes who have signed their national letter of intent and faxed it back to the Indiana Athletics Department for certification. Please check back throughout the day for updates.
Deonte Mack played defensive tackle for Elkhart Central under head coach Mark Hummell. The 6-3, 275-pounder played defensive end as a sophomore (74 total tackles, seven for loss) before switching to tackle as a junior (84 total tackles, nine for loss, four sacks) and nose tackle as a senior. Mack earned class 5A first team all-state honors as a senior, despite facing numerous double teams. Mack recorded 89 total tackles, (45 solo, 44 assisted), four sacks, eight tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and five passes broken up. He is the son of Sonya Mack.
Hoeppner on Mack: "Deonte is one of six in-state players in this class, and he is a physically mature player who will compete for playing time on the defensive line."
Mandela Roberts, LB, 6-0, 220, Lufkin, Texas (Lufkin)
Mandela Roberts played linebacker for Lufkin under head coach John Outlaw. The 6-0, 220-pounder was a Class 5A All-State second team choice and an all-district honoree after posting a Class 5A state-best 128 tackles and six sacks as a senior. Lufkin's all-time leader in tackles, he led his squad to a 14-1 ledger and a spot in the Class 5A state semifinals. His efforts earned Roberts honorable mention all-state and a first team all-district nod. As a junior, Roberts garnered all-junior team accolades for Class 5A. Prior to his junior campaign, Roberts claimed Class 5A Super List honors as a player to watch during that season. The son of Melva Barnes was born on Sept. 25, 1987.
Hoeppner on Roberts: "Just as we're establishing a good Midwest recruiting base, Mandela is one of two Texas products in this class. Mandela has all the physical tools, and most importantly, a nose for the football."
Aaron Burks, S, 5-11, 190, Phoenix, Ariz. (Desert Vista)
Aaron Burks played defensive back as well as served as a punt and kickoff return specialist under Desert Vista head coach Dan Hinds. The 5-11, 190-pound Burks helped DVHS to a 6-5 record. During the season, Burks helped hold opponents to seven-or-less points on three occasions. Against perennial power Mountain View, Burks returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown. He also scored on a 16-yard fumble recovery against another state power in Mountain Pointe. Additionally, Burks accounted for a pair of sacks and a quarterback hurry as a defensive back. Aaron is the twin brother of fellow signee Adrian. He also ran track at DVHS. He is the son of Mark and Cynthia Burks.
Hoeppner on Aaron Burks: "Aaron is a great fit for our program all the way around. He has the potential to help us in the secondary, and he is an outstanding student with solid character."
Adrian Burks, RB/WR, 6-0, 185, Phoenix, Ariz. (Desert Vista)
Adrian Burks played running back and wide receiver under Desert Vista head coach Dan Hinds. The 6-0, 185-pound Burks helped DVHS to a 6-5 record. During his senior season, Burks totaled 684 rushing yards on 76 carries. He also caught 14 passes for 141 yards. Overall, Burks recorded 10 touchdowns his final season. In a 58-0 route of Kofa, Burks led Desert Vista with 13 carries for 143 yards and a touchdown, while recording 11 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown against Marcos de Niza. Adrian is the twin brother of fellow signee Aaron. He also ran track at DVHS. He is the son of Mark and Cynthia Burks.
Hoeppner on Adrian Burks: "Adrian and his twin brother, Aaron, both have outstanding speed and big play capabilities. Just as we solidified our recruiting in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, we also dipped into Arizona, Florida and Texas."
Vernon Smith, LB, 5-11, 230, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Butler County [Kansas] CC)
Vernon Smith was a second team all-conference linebacker at Butler after recording 87 tackles (9.5 for loss) and three quarterback sacks for head coach Troy Morrell in 2005. Vernon runs a 4.5 40-yard dash and was ranked as the nation's 11th-best inside linebacker prospect as a senior at Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale and the nation's 19th-best junior college prospect this past fall. Smith is the son of Vernon Rivers.
Hoeppner on Vernon Smith: "The defensive system in which Vernon played at Butler is similar to our defensive system, so we anticipate a smooth transition. Vernon has the physical skills to contribute immediately. More importantly, he understands the commitment and effort it takes to succeed at this level."
Ray Fisher, WR/DB, 5-9. 167, Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville)
Ray Fisher played wide receiver and defensive back for Glenville under head coach Ted Ginn, Sr. The 5-9, 167-pounder earned a preseason No. 25 ranking in the state of Ohio from Rivals.com. Fisher is coming back from a knee injury that kept him out for his senior season. As a junior, Fisher recorded 1,120 all-purpose yards and 13 touchdowns. He picked off four passes that season on the defensive side of the ball, and he also lettered in basketball and track. Fisher was a member of Glenville's 2005 state champion 4x200 meter relay team. Additionally, Fisher garnered Northeast Lakes All-District honors as a junior. Recently, Fisher earned a spot on the ESPN.com Class of 2006 Wide Receivers to Watch list. The son of Robert and Debra Fisher was born on Sept. 12, 1987.
Hoeppner on Fisher: "Even though he sat out his senior season with an injury, we're confident that `Big Play Ray' is on his way back. He is an explosive athlete from a quality high school program. "
Matt Mayberry, LB, 6-2, 205, Darien, Ill. (Hinsdale South)
Matt Mayberry played fullback, middle linebacker and safety for Hinsdale South under head coach Jim Kirwan. The 6-2, 205-pounder registered a 4.39 40-yard dash en route to earning a No. 14 Illinois state ranking by Rivals.com. Overall, he is listed as the 61st-best outside linebacker in the country for the class of 2006. As a senior, Mayberry rushed for 2,242 yards and 36 touchdowns while guiding his team to a 10-2 finish. Meanwhile, Mayberry recorded 68 yards passing with one touchdown, 20 tackles, a 30-yard kick return average and 221 punt return yards. That effort garnered Mayberry all-state honors as well as the Reporter-Progress/Suburban Life All-Area Football Player of the Year award. Mayberry owns school career records for rushing yards (2,827) and touchdowns (39), single-season records for rushing yards (2,242), touchdowns (36) and points (186) and the single-game record for touchdowns (five). In a 42-18 triumph over Lyons Township, Mayberry rolled to 293 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries. He followed that up with a 290-yard, four touchdown performance in a 42-28 victory over Downers Grove South. In addition, Mayberry scampered for 287 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries in a 48-28 win over Bradley-Bourbonnais in the second round of playoffs. In 2004, he rushed for 790 yards to earn all-area recognition. The son of Gary and Mary Mayberry was born on Aug. 6, 1987.
Hoeppner on Mayberry: "Ohio and Illinois, especially the Chicago area, are particular points of emphasis for this class. Matt was a productive, versatile player in high school, and this success bodes well for his transition to college."
Richard Council, CB, 6-1, 170, Carrolton, Texas (Newman Smith)
Richard Council earned All-District 10-5A honors as a senior wide receiver and cornerback at Newman Smith High School for head coach Bobby Bounds. Council caught 33 passes for 578 yards and six touchdowns as a senior, including a seven reception, 164-yard, two touchdown effort against Pearce High School. On defense, Council finished his senior season with 34 tackles, two tackles for loss, three passes broken up, and one blocked kick. Council has been timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash and is an academic all-district selection. The son of Dora and Richard Council was born on Sept. 28, 1987.
Hoeppner on Council: "Richard is an excellent athlete and a solid student. He played both wide receiver and defensive back in high school, and his experience as a receiver gives him a better understanding of what it takes to be a good, college cornerback."
Brad Martin, TE, 6-4, 230, Marion, Ohio (Marion Pleasant)
Brad Martin played tight end and defensive back for Marion Pleasant under head coach Chris Kubbs. The 6-4, 230-pound Martin led Marion Pleasant to an 8-3 ledger during his senior season and earned first team all-league honors as a tight end, defensive back and punter and first team all-district as a tight end. Martin earned all-state recognition for his final campaign in the Associated Press Division V poll. In a 41-6 victory over Buckeye Valley, Martin hauled in a 50-yard pass for a score as part of a 63-yard effort. As a junior, Martin claimed second team all-district honors. During that season, he made 21 receptions for 333 yards and four touchdowns en route to a 10-1 record for the Spartans. Defensively, he recorded 72 tackles and forced two fumbles with a pair of interceptions as a junior. In 2003, Martin also earned defensive all-district recognition. He was an all-district honoree in basketball and baseball as well. The son of Greg and Betsy Martin was born on July 16, 1987.
Hoeppner on Martin: "One of our staff objectives is to maintain a recruiting presence in Ohio, and Brad is key in that mission. We offered Brad after he was at our camp last summer, as we like his size and speed."
Alex Perry, OL, 6-7, 251, Morris, Ill. (Morris Community)
Alex Perry played offensive line for Morris Community under head coach George Dergo. The 6-7, 251-pound Perry earned a 26th-best state ranking by Rivals.com during the preseason. Remarkably, his line play helped Morris to its first state title in 21 years, as Perry's two-year varsity record was 27-1 with a state runner-up finish and state title. The Perry-led Redskins also knocked off nationally-ranked Joliet Catholic, snapping the Hilltoppers' 30-game winning streak on the way to the championship. For that effort, Perry garnered Chicago Tribune all-state accolades. Additionally, Morris ended the season ranked No. 18 in the nation. As a junior, Perry earned all-area. Perry has been a three-sport athlete at Morris, competing in football, basketball and track. The son of Mark and Bev Perry was born on June 19, 1988.
Hoeppner on Perry: "Alex is just the type of lineman that we're looking for - great frame, sound technique and part of a winning high school program."
Jeff Sanders, TE, 6-4, 235, Springfield, Ill. (Sacred Heart-Griffin)
Jeff Sanders played tight end for Sacred Heart-Griffin under head coach Ken Leonard. The 6-4, 235-pounder earned the 42nd-best tight end ranking in the class of 2006 by Rivals.com. Additionally, Rivals rated him as the 20th-best prospect out of Illinois during its preseason poll. Meanwhile, Sporting News listed Sanders as a top Midwest tight-end prospect for the class of 2006. With Sanders' leadership and 59 receptions for 671 yards and three touchdowns, Sacred Heart-Griffin picked up its first state title in school history by downing Rock Island Alleman, 28-21. Sanders caught 10 passes for 134 yards and scored the game's first touchdown on a 15-yard reception. SHG finished the year with a perfect 14-0 record, a 38-2 mark in Sanders' varsity career and three straight Central State Eight titles. Sanders garnered all-state honors from The Champaign News-Gazette, the Chicago Tribune and the Illinois High School Coaches Association Academic Team. Furthermore, Sanders picked up all-conference recognition in basketball as a sophomore and junior. Academically, Sanders is a high honor roll recipient and participates in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The son of Ron and Barb Sanders was born on June 26, 1987.
Hoeppner on Sanders: "Jeff was one of the first commits in this class, and he is from a quality high school program. He is a big, tough tight end who runs well."
Mike Stark, OL, 6-7, 285, Platteville, Wis. (Platteville)
Mike Stark played on the offensive and defensive lines for Platteville under head coach Scott Statz. The 6-7, 285-pound Stark anchored the offensive line at Platteville, helping the team to an 8-2 record and a top-10 state ranking while earning first team all-state honors by the Associated Press. Prior to the season, Rivals.com rated Stark in the top 100 in the state of Wisconsin. As a junior, Stark picked up Wisconsin Football Coaches Association all-state recognition as an offensive lineman. Additionally, he earned first team all-conference as a defensive end and second team all-conference as a guard as a junior. He also lettered three years in basketball, baseball and track. The son of Dennis and Jayne Stark was born on Oct. 6, 1987.
Hoeppner on Stark: "This is the second straight year that we have signed a player from the state of Wisconsin, and we feel Mike could be a great contributor for us."
Ben Chappell, QB, 6-3, 215, Bloomington, Ind. (South)
Ben Chappell played quarterback for Bloomington South under head coach Drew Wood. The 6-3, 215-pound signal caller accounted for 2,359 yards and 27 touchdowns his senior season to earn Associated Press, Indiana High School Coaches Association and Bloomington Herald-Times first team all-state laurels. He also ran for another seven scores en route to the Conference Indiana championship. His six-touchdown performance against Pike on Sept. 30 tied for the best output in Indiana in 2005 and also set a new school record, while his 399 yard output against Decatur Central on Oct. 14 was the fourth-best total in the state. As a junior, Chappell threw for 1,925 yards and 25 touchdowns to garner Indiana Football Coaches Association Junior Class 5A all-state recognition. A preseason Midwest quarterback Fab 15 pick, Chappell earned a Rivals.com Indiana Top 15 rating. Additionally, Chappell was a four-year letterwinner in basketball for a perennial top 10 in the state program and a member of the Indiana Football Coaches Association academic all-state team. The son of Steve and Laura Chappell was born on June 2, 1987.
Hoeppner on Chappell: "We offered Ben after our camp the summer before his senior year. He is a strong, athletic guy who can really `spin it,' as we like to say. It is also important to keep the hometown players at home."
Greg Middleton, DE, 6-3, 260, Indianapolis, Ind. (Pike)
Greg Middleton played defensive end for Pike under head coach Keith Wilkins. The 6-3, 260-pound pass rusher earned a No. 6 state ranking from Rivals.com prior to the 2005 season and closed his campaign with 79 tackles and nine sacks He is currently ranked as the 49th-best defensive end by Rivals. Additionally, area head coaches listed Middleton as the third-best football player to watch in the Indianapolis area according to the Indianapolis Star. Middleton also earned first team all-state as a junior after recording 89 tackles, including seven for loss and two forced fumbles. The son of Greg and Kathy Middleton was born on Dec. 1, 1986.
Hoeppner on Middleton: "With the graduation of Victor (Adeyanju) and Ben (Ishola), defensive end was a priority in recruiting. We're excited about Greg's physical skills and technique."
William Patterson, LB, 6-1, 210, Indianapolis, Ind. (Lawrence North)
William Patterson played linebacker for Lawrence North under head coach Tom Dilley. The 6-1, 210-pounder has been timed at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash as a prep. As a senior, Patterson totaled 132 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and four sacks en route to Indianapolis Star Defensive Player of the Year honors. Overall, he led Lawrence North to a 9-3 record his final campaign. Patterson also had a trio of interceptions and scored three defensive touchdowns, returning a pair of his interceptions for scores and a fumble as well. That effort earned Class 5A all-state first team recognition. Patterson saw time at running back as a senior, where he finished with 154 yards on 20 carries. Patterson also picked up Indianapolis Star All-Marion County kudos for his senior season. In a 31-7 win over North Central, Patterson returned an interception 44 yards for a touchdown. The son of Kathy Patterson was born on July 20, 1987.
Hoeppner on Patterson: "Our staff has had success in the past with safety-type athletes who grow into solid linebackers. Will definitely fits this mold."
Rodger Saffold, OL, 6-5, 275, Bedford, Ohio (Bedford)
Rodger Saffold played offensive tackle and defensive end at Bedford (Ohio) High School for head coach Brian Staats. The 6-5, 275-pound Safford was a 2005 first team All-Lake Erie League, all-district and honorable mention all-state selection at the same high school that produced former Wisconsin and current NFL wide receivers Chris Chambers (Miami Dolphins) and Lee Evans (Buffalo Bills). Saffold recorded 18 tackles as a defensive end also recorded a 94 percent blocking efficiency as a senior. Rodger's father, Rodger, Sr., played at Iowa in the mid-1970s. The younger Saffold also plays basketball at Bedford, which has been ranked among the state's Top 10 throughout the season, and he has been selected to compete in the 2006 Ohio North-South All-Star Game. The son of Rodger Saffold II was born on June 6, 1988.
Hoeppner on Saffold: "Rodger fits the type of linemen that we recruit - tall, athletic guys who have the frame to fill out down the road. We anticipate big things from Rodger."
Pete Saxon, OL, 6-6, 310, Plain City, Ohio (Jonathan Alder)
Pete Saxon played on the offensive line for Jonathan Alder under head coach Barry Blackstone. At 6-6, 310-pounds, Saxon helped his squad to a 10-2 record his final campaign. Based on that effort, Saxon earned all-state, all-district and all-conference honors and a nomination to the Ohio-Pennsylvania Big 33 All-Star Game. As a junior, Saxon picked up all-district honors, while leading Alder to an 11-2 ledger and the regional final contest. Overall, Saxon was a three-year starter and garnered all-district and All-Central Ohio recognition as a junior The son of Herbert and Christeen Saxon was born on Jan. 11, 1988.
Hoeppner on Saxon: "Pete is the first commit in this class, and he set the trend of prototype offensive linemen that we're looking for. "
Jarrod Smith, OL, 6-4, 278, Fairborn, Ohio (Fairborn)
Jarrod Smith played offensive guard for Fairborn under head coach Roy Thobe. The 6-4, 278-pounder is ranked No. 69 in the nation by Scout.com. During his senior year, he picked up all-district honors and garnered a top-10 offensive linemen in the Midwest ranking. Smith was one of 22 players selected to the Ohio North-South All-Star Game, and he also recorded 53 tackles and two sacks as a defensive lineman. As a junior, Smith started on both sides of the ball after being moved up to varsity as a sophomore. Smith also played basketball during his prep career. The son of David and Veronica Smith was born on July 28, 1987.
Hoeppner on Jarrod Smith: "Even though he played offensive guard in high school, Jarrod has the athleticism to play center down the road. "
James Brewer, OL, 6-8, 295, Indianapolis, Ind. (Arlington)
James Brewer played as an offensive guard for Indianapolis Arlington under head coach Rob Patchett. The 6-8, 295-pound prospect offers a tremendous upside as he only began playing football again as a senior after switching to basketball as a sophomore and junior. After spending his first two years of high school at Warren Central and one year at Lawrence Central, Brewer transferred to Arlington, where he earned class 5A all-state recognition. Meanwhile, he garnered Indianapolis Star all-city football honors in 2005, and he also plays basketball. The son of Neitra Squires and James A. Brewer was born on Dec. 23, 1987.
Hoeppner on Brewer: "James fits the type of offensive lineman that we are looking for - big and athletic. What he lacks in experience, he makes up for in potential."
Cody Faulkner, OL, 6-5, 306, Cicero, Ind. (Hamilton Heights)
Cody Faulkner played offensive line for Hamilton Heights under head coach Steven Stirn. The 6-5, 306-pounder was named to the All-State Top 33 and Tremendous 26 teams and led Hamilton Heights to an 8-5 season. The massive lineman also garnered CBS Sportsline All-America All-Region honors as a senior. He also picked up all-state accolades both his sophomore and junior seasons. Meanwhile, Rivals.com rated Faulkner the 44th-best lineman coming out of the class of 2006. Additionally, he earned class 3A first team all-state kudos, while recording a blocking efficiency of 92 percent during his time at Hamilton Heights. Furthermore, Faulkner claimed Kokomo Tribune all-area first team recognition, while picking up All-Mid-Indiana Conference first team honors. He also garnered a spot on the Fab 50 offensive lineman watch list and competed in the Max Emfinger All-American Bowl in Shreveport, La.. Faulkner is the son of former Florida tight end Chris Faulkner, who went on to play with the Dallas Cowboys (1983-84), San Diego Chargers (1985) and Los Angeles Rams (1984). The son of Chris and Cheryl Faulkner was born on Sept. 3, 1987.
Hoeppner on Faulkner: "We addressed our needs at offensive line by signing seven guys in this class. Cody has the size, strength, experience, pedigree and technique to help early. "