Program-Setting Moment: Eastern Michigan Has MAC's Top-Ranked Recruiting Class
For the first time in program history, Eastern Michigan has the #1 recruiting class in the MAC.
EMU Football Recruiting Update: Well Would You Look At That?
Call your friends. Alert your loved ones. Make sure your neighbors are aware of the change in the landscape.
Eastern Michigan’s winning on the recruiting trail.
By 247sports composite, Eastern now has the MAC’s highest-ranked recruiting class for the 2023 cycle. After a pair of recent commitments made to the program, Eastern Michigan now has 11 future recruits lined up to sign with the team in December — 10 of which hold 3-star rankings.
And these 11 are certainly unlike any other class EMU’s seen before.
While these rankings are fairly fluid and still months away from being finalized, this is [believed to be] the first time in program history EMU has ever been recognized with the MAC’s top-rated roster of recruits at any point in a recruiting season.
Over the weekend, Eastern Michigan received a commitment from St. Louis-area running back Deion Brown (Kirkwood HS), then CB Daiquan White, current teammate of early EMU commit DT Malik Tullis (Fairburn, Ga.; Creekside HS), made his public commitment to the team on Monday night.
When EMU entered the weekend, it had a recruiting team score of 92.35. At the time, EMU was third in the MAC’s recruiting standings. Brown’s commitment on Saturday boosted EMU up to second in the MAC standings at 102.06, then it got up to 109.87 after White’s announcement yesterday.
This is a signing class that already features Eastern’s highest-ranked recruit of the program’s history, DE Messiah Blair from Detroit (Martin Luther King HS), whose composite score is currently at 0.8693. EMU’s previous Best Recruit In School History would be none other than QB Brogan Roback (0.8662, class of 2013).
Blair is also the second-highest ranked commit to any MAC school for this cycle.
While this headline and update is just a snapshot in time, it’s also Aug. 2 and the high school recruiting circuit has really wound down after the busy summer. This is actually a decent time to start forecasting how teams could finish pen meets paper for these kids during the December signing period. Every school still has work to do and a transfer portal to work out, but the high school circuit for this year is largely completed.
The official recruiting rankings we have today have been around since 1999, or that’s at least as early as an option that 247sports composite offers. For EMU, there wasn’t enough necessary info to get any read on its football classes until 2002, which was ranked 85th nationally. In 2005, EMU signed its first-ever 3-star recruit in Tim Conner, a running back from Cleveland. Through much of the 2010s, EMU would generally finish between 8-10 in the final MAC recruiting standings until 2018 when its 25-player class finished sixth in the MAC — a new feat at the time. EMU dropped back to 10th in 2019, then up again to 6th in 2020. EMU finished 7th in 2021, and then 11th last year with only seven signees out of high school. EMU caked its 2022 class with transfers through the NCAA portal and the junior college route, and EMU will definitely try to use its current momentum to pick up more talent as transfers become later available.
Since we’re currently entering the first week of football practices at the college level, the transfer portal’s recruiting cycle will generally begin once guys start to leave their programs in the early moment of the year. Until transfers become available and this area of recruiting heats up, it’s hard to say how any incoming transfers in December will impact EMU’s recruiting score down the stretch.
Until then, smell some roses for a moment. Seriously. Winning games in the fall matter more than anything, I agree, but EMU just had a hot summer full of wins on the recruiting trail. You should enjoy this moment.
This will be Chris Creighton’s ninth season leading this Eastern Michigan program, and there have been so many improvements made to this place over his tenure. New infrastructure, new playing field, new branding, new identity, all these new makeups for a good football program are all well and good, but last night is what all the previous investments from fans and boosters have been wanting to build toward.
Yes, a shiny MAC championship trophy to finally have showcased in Ypsilanti is the one, tangible thing everybody wants to see at the end of the day. But what has to happen first before a school like EMU can have something nice like a league title?
Seems like the answer is that Eastern simply needs to win a championship on the recruiting trail first.
2023 MAC Football Signing Classes (by total points, Aug. 1, 2022)
Eastern Michigan — 11 commits, 10 three-stars / 81.76 player avg. / 109.87 recruiting points (No. 64 overall)
Central Michigan — 20 commits, 7 three-stars / 82.18 avg. / 106.43 pts. (68)
Western Michigan — 14 commits, 8 three-stars / 81.95 avg. / 96.03 (77)
Toledo — 13 commits, 6 three-stars / 84.06 avg. / 80.35 (84)
Miami OH — 15 commits, 6 three-stars / 83.49 avg. / 77.09 (85)
Northern Illinois — 10 commits, 4 three-stars / 81.98 avg. / 47.01 (93)
Ball State — 13 commits, 3 three-stars / 81.15 avg. / 43.81 (94)
Kent State — 8 commits, 2 three-stars / 83.28 avg. / 26.48 (107)
Akron — 14 commits, 2 three-stars / 82.08 avg. / 24.10 (110)
Ohio — 9 commits, 1 three-star / 82.06 avg. / 12.06 (124)
Buffalo — 4 commits (147)
Bowling Green — 4 commits (169)
This was the moment both EMU and White have been waiting for.
White’s recruitment came down to, according to 247sports, four schools: EMU, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, and Kansas.
White also had 11 more offers from Power 5 schools, 28 in total: Akron, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Boston College, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Grambling State, Houston, Jackson State, Kentucky, Liberty, Maryland, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, UAB, UConn, UCF, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.
“When I went up there, the coaches were very genuine,” White told 11Alive. “Like, every coach was genuine. I spoke to the players, everybody seemed genuine. It seemed like a family environment so that’s something I want to be a part of.”
Last season, White recorded 89 total tackles (33 solo), 3 tackles for loss, two interceptions, 21 passes defended, caused a fumble and recovered one as well over 14 games. As a sophomore, White had three interceptions in 10 games (35 total tackles).
White is the third defensive back — second corner — to make a verbal pledge to EMU this year.
Note: We’ll go in-depth about the talent White has to offer (as well as the rest of the EMU recruits) but I’d rather save that for another day. For now, enjoy some gifs I made.
Here are three clips of White’s 2021 season, pulled from his Hudl page.
On Saturday, Brown announced that he has picked EMU over Ball State, Colorado, and North Texas.
Listed at 5-foot-8, 155 lbs., he’s usually the smallest guy on the field, but his stats say that he’s making the biggest plays out there. Last season, he ran for 1,081 yards on 109 rush attempts (9.9 avg.) and scored 13 rushing touchdowns (and 1 receiving TD) in six games. He missed three games in 2021 with a fractured arm.
Here are three clips of Brown’s 2021 season, pulled from his Hudl page.
Eastern Michigan Class of 2023 Commits
DE, Messiah Blair — Martin Luther King HS (Detroit, Mich.) / 247sports composite: 3-star, 0.8693
RB, Deion Brown — Kirkwood HS (St. Louis, Mo.) / 3-star, 0.8378
DT, Mark Tullis — Creekside HS (Fairburn, Ga.) / 3-star, 0.8267
CB, Daiquan White — Creekside HS (Fairburn, Ga.) / 3-star, 0.8267
WR, Makhail Wood — Mill Creek HS (Hoschton, Ga.) / 3-star, 0.8237
CB, Caleb Dobbs — Cocoa HS (Cocoa, Fla.) / 3-star, 0.8170
OL, Trenton VanBoening Libertyville HS (Libertyville, Ill.) / 3-star, 0.8094
DE, Luke Fletcher — Port Huron Northern HS (Port Huron, Mich.) / 3-star, 0.8094
TE, Cedric Anton — Rabun Gap-Nacoochee HS (Rabun Gap, Ga.) / 3-star, 0.8050
S, Jaivian Norman — Springfield HS (Springfield, Ohio) / 3-star, 0.8000
LB, Bryce Eliuk — Linden HS (Linden, Mich.) / 2-star, 0.7683
Top 25 Class of 2023 MAC Commits (so far)
Rankings by 247sports composite.
WR, Ardell Banks (Toledo) — 0.8700
DE, Messiah Blair (EMU) — 0.8693
DE, Brent Hoppe (CMU) — 0.8550
DL, Kobi Gorman (Miami OH) — 0.8517
OT, Mason Ludwig (Toledo) — 0.8511
ATH, Mychal Yharbrough (Miami OH) — 0.8478
WR, Shantavious Hogan (CMU) — 0.8470
DL, Laith Shamma (Toledo) — 0.8467
WR, Javien Brownlee (Kent State) — 0.8450
LB, Christian McKinney (Miami OH) — 0.8417
ATH, Tyler Jefferson (CMU) — 0.8417
WR, Javorian Wimberly (CMU) — 0.8417
QB, Brennan Storer (WMU) — 0.8385
WR, Ryan Sims (Miami OH) — 0.8378
S, Jamari Holliman (Toledo) — 0.8356
RB, CJ Hester (WMU) — 0.8350
TE, Brennan Wooten (WMU) — 0.8350
LB, Kameron Cheatom (Akron) — 0.8317
OT, Michael Jimmar (NIU) — 0.8317
WR, Logan Lester (WMU) — 0.8317
OT, Ben Decker (Miami OH) — 0.8304
WR, Sam Smith (Toledo) — 0.8300
QB, Kadin Semonza (Ball State) — 0.8296
R.J. Mukes III (Ball State) — 0.8278
CB, Kiwaun Davis (WMU) — 0.8267 (4-way tie)
DT, Mark Tullis (EMU) — 0.8267
OT, Jacob Welch (NIU) — 0.8267
CB, Daiquan White — Creekside HS (Fairburn, Ga.) / 3-star, 0.8267
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