UCM Sports

Mules Football announces 2014 recruiting class

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) — The University of Central Missouri Mules football team announced its 2014 recruiting class today. The list includes 27 high school students and one junior college transfer that will wear the cardinal & black next season.

“First I’d like to congratulate our coaching staff for a job well done,” Mules head coach Jim Svoboda said. “Their hard work paid off in a recruiting class we are extremely proud of. This class exemplifies how strong our recruiting will be with the addition of our new, first-class facilities. This is a superb class, very athletic, as well as outstanding students.”

The Mules are coming off a 6-4 campaign in 2013, the sixth straight winning season for the program and the 15th in the last 16 seasons.

High school student-athletes who signed National Letters of Intent are as follows:

Manuel Cole
6-1 * 200 * LB
Ferguson, Mo./McCluer South-Berkeley HS

Cole was a team captain and two-time First Team All-Conferece honoree … was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the Suburban East Conference … was also voted to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro Team and the St. Louis American ‘All-American Team’ … led the team in tackles and tackles-for-loss in back to back years … finished his career with 248 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, five interceptions, and seven sacks …  his teams made four consecutive playoff appearances and helped lead the Bulldogs to a No. 1 ranked defense in back-to-back years.

Charles Smith
6-3 * 240 * TE
Florissant, Mo./Hazelwood Central HS

Smith was a three-year varsity letterwinner and three-year starter at tight end and defensive end/linebacker … was named to the All-Suburban North Conference Honorable Mention team as a tight end … boasted a 9.3 yards per catch average and finished with 23 tackles, three tackles for loss and a sack on defense.

Michael Tannehill
6-2 * 200 * LB
Jefferson City, Mo./Helias Catholic HS

Tannehill was a two-time First Team All-District honroee and was a First Team All-State selection as a senior … was voted the Missouri Class 4 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and was the first junior in Helias history to be named a captain … was voted to the team’s leadership council and was voted the team’s Linebacker and Defensive Player of the Year by his teammates … was the recipient of the J.O. Award, which is awarded to a senior who has given the most to the Helias football program during their career … finished his career with the second most tackles in school history and was voted the 2011 Helias Sophomore of the Year.

Jesse Eggers
6-4 * 24 * DL
Platte City, Mo./Platte County HS

Eggers was named the conference’s Player of the Year as a senior when he registered 80 tackles, nine tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks … was a three-time All-Conference and All-District honoree and a second team All-State selection … also a letterwinner in basketball.

Steve Brown
5-11 * 210 * RB
Raymore, Mo./Raymore-Peculiar HS

Brown was an All-Conference selection at both running back and cornerback … tallied over 1,000 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns as a senior … was a second-team All-Conferece pick as a junior when he scored 22 touchdowns and was named the team’s MVP … tested No. 1 out of 900-plus athletes at the Chicago Nike Sparq combine …also a letterwinner in track.

Zach Berdnik
6-6 * 295 * OL
Etiwanda, Calif./Etiwanda HS

Berdnik was a two-year starter at left tackle after just picking up football his junior year … was an All-Conference honoree as a senior … rated as a two-star offensive tackle by scout.com.

Brook Bolles
6-2 * 180 * QB
Lincoln, Neb./North Star HS

A two-time Honorable Mention All-State honoree … he was a three-time First Team All-Conference selection and a two-year captain … also earned multiple letters in baseball and basketball … a three-time All-Conference baseball selection and a Second Team Super All-State pick … was an Academic All-Conference honoree three straight years in both baseball and football.

Jackson Newman
6-0 * 180 * DB
Kansas City, Mo./Staley HS

Newman was a second team All-State honoree last season and a two-time Academic All-State selection … was named the 2013 Staley Defensive Player of the Year … finished with 74 tackles, two interceptions and one tackle for loss.

Robert Lane
6-4 * 250 * DE
Kansas City, Mo./Park Hill South HS

Lane was a three-year varsity letterwinner … earned First Team All-Conference, First Team All-District and Honorable Mention All-State accolades his senior year … finished the season with 41 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and five sacks … a captain and three-year varsity letterwinner in baseball … was an Honorable Mention All-Conference honoree in baseball … a four-year varsity track athlete, earning All-Conference honors.

Austin Miller
6-0 * 220 * LB
Parkville, Mo./Park Hill South HS

Miller was an All-Conference, All-District and All-State linebacker as a senior at Park Hill South … a team captain, he finished with 114 tackles and 16 tackles for loss.

Seth Hebert
6-5 * 185 * TE
St. Louis, Mo./Fort Zumwalt West HS

Hebert was a Second Team All-State honoree and a two-time First Team All-Conference award winner as a wide receiver … as a captain in 2013 he hauled in 49 passes for 782 yards and 10 touchdowns, while averaging 26 yards per kickoff return … finished his career with 93 receptions for 1,368 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Marcus Zimmerman
6-4 * 265 * OL
Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley HS

Zimmerman was an Honorable Mention All-Eastern Kansas League pick as a senior, while helping his team to a State Championship … high school teammate of Blake Freeman

Blake Freeman
6-3 * 255 * OL
Leawood, Kan./Blue Valley HS

Freeman was a team captain and a Second Team All-Eastern Kansas League selection, while helping Blue Valley to the 5A State Championship … high school teammate of Marcus Zimmerman.

Rick Pesek
6-2 * 205 * LB
Omaha, Neb./Millard West HS

Pesek was a Second Team All-Metro selection and an Honorable Mention All-State honoree at linebacker for Millard West … also played lacrosse.

Tanner Kanak
6-3 * 195 * DB
Oak Grove, Mo./Oak Grove HS

Kanak was a three-year starter for head coach Pat Richard at Oak Grove … was an All-State honoree as a tight end, an All-District and All-Conference pick as both tight end and defensive back … as a senior he averaged 30 yards per catch and scored nine touchdowns, helping his team to the state quarterfinals … recorded over 120 tackles and forced seven turnovers his final two seasons … was a four-year letterwinner in football and track and three-year letterwinner in basketball … helped lead the track team to back-to-back conference titles and the basketball team to conference and district crowns … a member of the National Honor Society with a 3.93 grade point average … plans to major in engineering.

Jordan Dickson
6-1 * 190 * DB
Bartlesville, Okla./Bartlesville HS

Dickson recorded 78 tackles, six interceptions, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and blocked a field goal while garnering All-District and All-Area honors as a senior … also lettered in track and wrestling.

James Willis
5-10 * 170 * DB
Kirkwood, Mo./Kirkwood HS

Willson was a First Team All-Suburban South honoree and an Honorable Mention All-State selection as a senior … also lettered in track & field capturing conference championships in the 400m, 4×200 and 4×400 meter relays … was second in the 200 meter dash … captured the district title in the 400 meters and 4x200m relay.

Kyle Brown
6-4 * 205 * WR
Geneva, Ill./Geneva Community HS

Brown was an IHSCA Honorable Mention All-State selection as a senior when he recorded 35 receptions for 743 yards and 10 touchdowns … was a two-time Upstate Eight All-Conference selection and a two-time All-Area honoree … finished his career with 59 receptions for 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Ezra Boyd
6-2 * 230 * LB
Kansas City, Mo./Rockhurst HS

Boyd was a four-year starter at Rockhurst … finished his senior season with 27 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and two sacks … was a three-time member of the 1,000-lb. lifting club … also a multiple letterwinner in track & field.

Dalainey Taala
6-1 * 290 * DL
Pleasant Hill, Mo./Pleasant Hill HS

Taala was a Second Team All-State honoree and a Kansas City Star Honorable Mention All-Metro selection as a senior … was a First Team All-Conference pick after registering 56 tackles last year … was also an All-Conference performer in wrestling … was an individual district champion and helped his team to a second place finish at the district tournament.

Nick Warren
6-4 * 250 * OL
Great Bend, Kan./Great Bend HS

Warren was a First Team All-Western Athletic Conference honoree and was selected to the 2014 Kansas Shrine Bowl Game … also lettered in track and basketball … earned All-State honors in track & field with a sixth place finish in the discus.

Taylor Bagley
5-11 * 190 * K
Papillion, Neb./La Vista South HS

Bagley was a First Team All-State and All-District punter … named First Team All-Metro punter by both the Omaha World-Herald and coaches … was first place in field goal charting and first place in field goal competition at the Kohl’s Showcase kicking camp … was the second ranked Class A punter in Nebraska by Max Preps … was a First Team All-District punter and the third ranked Class A punter as a junior … also lettered in soccer.

The Mules also added one junior college transfer, Derek Austin, who is enrolled for classes this semester.

Derek Austin
6-3 * 295 * OL
Riverside, Calif./Riverside CC/Riverside-Poly Tech HS

Austin was a First Team All-Conference honoree at Riverside Community College last season … was a team captain, the Riverside Offensive Lineman of the year and an Academic All-Conference honoree … was a three-year team captain in high school … a two-time All-Conference honoree on both the offensive and defensive line and a two-time Academic All-Conference award winner.

Central Missouri also had five high school student-athletes that committed to join the Mules for 2014 as walk-ons:

Dylan Albertson
6-2 * 195 * DB
California, Mo./California HS
Albertson was a First Team All-State honoree as a senior, while playing defensive back, wide receiver and punter … was named First Team All-Conference on both offense and defense, while helping his team to back-to-back final four appearances … also letered in basketball and baseball.

Mark Bartlett
5-11 * 170 * DB
Lamar, Mo./Lamar HS
Bartlett was a First Team All-State kick returner and a part of three state championships during his high school career … registere 43 tackles and five interceptions on defense … averaged 52.6 yards per kick return on seven returns and had three returns for touchdowns.

Justin Bierman
6-0 * 185 * RB
Sullivan, Mo./Sullivan HS

Bierman was a First Team All-State and First Team All-Conference honoree while earning conference Player of the Year honors … rushed for 1,675 yards and scored 27 touchdowns on offense and picked off seven passes on defense … helped lead his team to an 8-3 record and to the second round of the state playoffs … also averaged 16.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.5 assists per game in basketball.

Matt Brumfield
6-0 * 190 * QB
Lee’s Summit, Mo./Lee’s Summit North HS

Brumfield passed for 1,241 yards and nine touchdowns during his career at Lee’s Summit North … also averaged 33 yards per kick as a punter.

Lendarrius Pritchett
6-0 * 180 * WR
Richmond, Mo./Richmond HS

Pritchett was a Second Team All-State honoree as a junior, while also earning First Team All-Conference honors during his sophomore and junior seasons … he did not play during the 2013 season.

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