BELLEVILLE — There's a local flavor to Lindenwood-Belleville football coach Jeff Fisher's second recruiting class.
Of the 36 members of the Lynx recruiting class of 2013, 16 hail from the metro-east.
"We want to make this the best program in the country, and we want to do that with guys from right here,'' Fisher said.
Fisher said recruiting this year wasn't nearly as difficult as last year prior to Lindenwood-Belleville's inaugural season.
"Last year, we were explaining to people what Lindenwood-Belleville really was,'' said Fisher, whose squad posted a 4-6 record in its inaugural season. "It was a real place, and we're going to have football. This year, that wasn't the case of all. We didn't have to seek out and find guys. We had a number of guys actively contacting us and interested in seeing what our place is all about.''
Fisher, who gained experience with building a new program as a member of coach Carl Poelker's staff when McKendree started football in 1996, said the core of his roster now could be set for several years.
"From my experience at McKendree, our first two classes there kind of fused together and really created the identity of what our program was about for an extended period of time,'' Fisher said.
From Belleville West, the Lynx landed tight end Donnie Foster, offensive lineman Zach Guinn and running back Guillermo Davis.
"The one kid that I'm really excited about is Donnie Foster from Belleville West,'' Fisher said. "I don't want to say he is a diamond in the rough, but I've seen him play basketball and he's a tremendous athlete. I think he's a kid who is going to be difficult to keep him off the football field. He's a tremendous talent.''
Fisher said Guinn is a typical West lineman.
"He's just a blue-collar, hard-working kid that is great to have in our program,'' Fisher said. "He'll develop through the program.''
Davis played for West back in 2001, when the school was located on the current Lindenwood-Belleville campus.
"He hasn't played football in a few years, so it's going to be a neat thing to see if he can get back into the flow of things,'' Fisher said. "If he does, that will be a really exciting story.''
Two O'Fallon Panthers-- wide receiver Greg Gibson, who had 48 catches for 578 yards and three touchdowns last season, and defensive end Tyrus Brothers, who had five sacks -- have signed with the Lynx.
"He could fit on either side of the football,'' Fisher said of Gibson. "We're looking at him as a receiver starting out with the confidence that he could play on defense.''
Fisher said the 6-0, 235-pound Brothers is the kind of undersized, yet explosive pass rusher that he learned to appreciate during his time at McKendree.
Defensive back Trey Parker, a former Belleville East standout, comes to the Lynx via Jackson State.
"Trey is a good football player and he has fantastic leadership skills,'' Fisher said. "He really has a nose for the football. He's going to be a great addition to our defense. He fits in with our style. He's an athletic kid. He's not the biggest kid in the world (5-9, 190 pounds), but he's a playmaker.''
Fisher brought in four quarterbacks, including Central's Austin Rickhoff, to join returners Kerry Gibson, Brad Demoulin and Tim Schumer.
"Austin is an outstanding quarterback, and we're really excited to get him,'' Fisher said. "Last year when Kerry went down with an injury, we knew we weren't that strong depth-wise at quarterback, and that was something we were going to focus our attention on.''
The Columbia Eagles will be well-represented next season with Charles Farris, Eric Read and Ben Demoulin, the brother of Brad Demoulin, all signing with the Lynx.
"I'm really excited about Charles,'' Fisher said of Farris, a running back who rushed for 1,522 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. "He is just one heck of a football player.''
Fisher said Read is a speedy playmaker who fits well into the Lynx offense and also is capable of playing on defense, while Ben Demoulin has promise at linebacker.
Brian Nemsky (6-2, 280) was a mainstay on Granite City's offensive line.
"Brian is an interior offensive lineman,' Fisher said. "I like him a lot because he is a two-sport kid. He's a quality baseball player. He's not a big thud kid. He's an athletic kid who is able to move around quite a bit.''
Tyler Magruder, of Red Bud, is a transfer from Culver-Stockton.
"I had him at camp for a few years and you just love him because every single time he goes on the football field he is going to be overlooked, but he's going to find a way to make plays,'' Fisher said of the 5-foot-7, 170-pound Magruder. "He's just a winner.''
Fisher said Mike Williams, a 6-foot-4, 315-pound offensive lineman from Cahokia, has good size, feet and potential.
Brothers Clayton (a linebacker) and Tom (a defensive lineman) Bourgeious, from Waterloo, will be reunited with the Lynx.
"They were both really interested in playing together,'' Fisher said. "It was nice to have that work out.''
Linebacker Justice Goeken chose Greenville College over Lindenwood-Belleville last year coming out of Triad High, but now he's switched gears and joined the Lynx.
"It came down to the wire last year as far as where he was going to go,'' Fisher said. "We're excited to have him. He's an athletic kid and he's put on some weight, so we're excited to see what he can do in spring ball.''
Fisher said the Lynx will play a full junior varsity schedule next year with seven games currently scheduled.
The Lynx will start spring practices on April 7 with the team's spring game slated for May 4.
Contact reporter Steve Korte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2522.