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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Meyer names recruits for 2002 football season

Last year, Bowling Green football coach Urban Meyer had to buy on the fly.

Hours after being named BG’s head coach, he was out recruiting,trying to piece together his 2001 class. The strategy was broad: Find the best athletes available as quickly as possible to pump life into what had become a moribund program.

The class of 2001 yielded some initial gold last year, like quarterback/wide receiver Cole Magner from Alaska, but depth was a constant concern for Meyer. The team had just 76 of a possible 85 scholarships filled.

This year is much different. Meyer, with his program firmly in place, was able to sit down with his assistant coaches and evaluate their needs and the talent available much more thoroughly to recruit their 2002 class. Yesterday, Meyer and his staff formally announced their 2002 class, taking the first steps to what they hope will be a deep, talented roster capable of filling its own holes off the bench. A class of 26 players is heavy on quarterbacks, running backs and linemen.

“Last year, we were hired and went out and just took the best football players available,” Meyer said. “This year, we took it more like the NFL. We had player personnel meetings constantly.”

Among those recruited by the Falcons were running back Raishaun Stover from Cleveland St. Edward, quarterback Omar Jacobs from Delray Beach, Fla., and linebacker Jason Kaminski from Woodbridge, Va.

The 5’10”, 190-pound Stover finished third in voting for Ohio’s Mr. Football and was The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Player of the Year. In his high school career, he rushed for 2,300 yards and 36 touchdowns, set 10 school records, and helped lead St. Edward to a 10-0 regular season record and a No. 1 ranking.

Jacobs has tight end size, 6’4″ and 215 pounds. He has speed; he clocked at 4.59 in the 40-yard dash. The second-team All-Florida member passed for 2,670 yards as a senior, over 1,000 yards in the playoffs. He completed 63 percent of his passes, including 28 touchdowns.

Kaminski transferred to BG this semester after spending the fall at Hargrave Military Academy, where he started at linebacker. In high school, the 6’3″, 220 pound Kaminski won a regional title as a senior and state titles as a sophomore and junior. The team went 40-2 during his time there.

In addition to Jacobs, quarterbacks Van Johnson of Union City, Ga. and Will Myles of Chicago were recruited. There are now five quarterbacks on BG’s roster.

“We had two quarterbacks (last year),” Meyer said. “I think we were one of the few teams in the country in Division I football that finished the season with two quarterbacks. Now we’ll have five on scholarship, one being… Myles, who’s a lot like Cole Magner that can play quarterback and another position as well.”

Meyer recruited nine linemen, five offensive and four defensive. The offensive recruits, including Jay Cochran, 6’3″, 300 pounds from Dayton and Derrick Markray, 6’5″, 334 pounds from Detroit, will help shore up one of the units that struggled the most with lack of depth last year. The defensive line recruits like 6’3″, 260-pound Matt Leininger from Liberty Center High School in Napoleon will have to help replace graduating seniors like Brandon Hicks and Chris Glantzis.

Ohio yielded recruits like Stover and Leininger, but Meyer still was not completely happy with his recruiting success in-state.

“I’m never satisfied with our in-state recruiting,” he said. “In my background, our staff’s background, we recruit Ohio first, and we recruit extremely hard. We actually donÕt leave the state until after Christmas.”

Meyer said he lost some Ohio recruits to Big Ten schools and some to other in-state Mid-American Conference schools. The team did, however, sign eight Ohio recruits, the most by any Division I-A school in Ohio save for Ohio State.

Meyer said one of the biggest things he likes about this year’s class is many of them come from winning prep programs. Eighteen recruits participated in state playoff games last year. Four won state championships, and three junior college transfers won championships.

“We recruited winners,” he said. “There’s nothing like, as a college coach, going into a St. Ed’s, going into other top programs in the state. When you surround yourself as a coaching staff with a bunch of winners, players that are used to commitment, you don’t have to spend all your time teaching them how to win. You can teach them our program and our system of offense and defense.”

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