College Sports

McKendree football announces addition of 49 players on national signing day

McKendree University head football coach Mike Babcock has announced the addition of 49 new student-athletes during National Signing Day on Wednesday. The newcomers will join the Bearcats’ program for the 2019 season.



“We are extremely excited to welcome the newest members of the McKendree football program,” said Babcock. “We have done a great job of finding guys who will impact our program for years to come. There are a lot of talented student-athletes joining our program, and we can’t wait until they arrive.”



Brief biographies for the 2019 McKendree football signing class are shown below.



2019 McKENDREE UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS

JAY ALLBRIGHT, RB – 5-10, 200, Abingdon-Avon HS (Hometown: Ellisville, Ill.)

Rushed for 1,126 yards on 166 carries with 10 touchdowns as a senior at Abingdon-Avon High School…also had 13 catches for 215 yards with two more TDs…was a three-time All-Conference honoree for the Tornadoes, including first-team honors as a junior…was a first-team All-State selection as a junior…rushed for nearly 4,000 yards with 34 career touchdowns on the ground.

COACH BABCOCK ON ALLBRIGHT: “Jay is a play-maker. I love the way he runs with the football.”



ANTERIO ALLEN, S – 5-10, 195, Centennial HS (Hometown: Champaign, Ill.)

Collected 80 tackles including 10 for loss as a senior at Centennial High School…also added six forced fumbles and a trio of quarterback sacks for the Chargers…finished in the team’s top three in tackles as a junior and senior…was a two-time team captain and an honorable mention All-Area selection.

COACH BABCOCK ON ALLEN: “Anterio will come out of the deep half of the field and hit you.”



EVAN ANDERSON, OL – 6-4, 240, Triad HS (Hometown: Collinsville, Ill.)

Started at left tackle each of his last two seasons at Triad High School…was a second-team All-Conference selection as a senior for the Knights…grabbed honorable mention All-Area mention as a junior.

COACH BABCOCK ON ANDERSON: “Evan is a smart lineman. He has a lot of potential. Evan is tough and physical.”



DONTE BARBER, RB – 6-0, 200, Lincoln-Way West HS (Hometown: New Lenox, Ill.)

Rushed for 700 yards with seven touchdowns as a senior at Lincoln-Way West High School…amassed more than 3,000 rushing yards and close to 50 touchdowns during his career for the Warriors.

COACH BABCOCK ON BARBER: “Donte is a difference-maker. He is truly a sight to see on the football field.”



KALEB BARRY, PK – 5-8, 190, Kirkwood HS (Hometown: Kirkwood, Mo.)

Was 6-of-9 on field goal attempts as a senior at Kirkwood High School…was a first-team All-Conference and All-District selection as a senior for the Pioneers…was a part of Kirkwood’s 2016 state championship squad.

COACH BABCOCK ON BARRY: “Kaleb is a solid kicker. He rarely misses a field goal. Kaleb works hard in everything he does, and we’re excited to see him compete for the job.”



JOSH BLEICH, DE – 6-2, 230, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley HS (Hometown: Melvin, Ill.)

Posted seven quarterback sacks as a senior at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School…also added a pick-six for the Falcons…was an All-Conference honoree as both an offensive and defensive lineman as a senior…was a two-time All-Area pick.

COACH BABCOCK ON BLEICH: Josh is a physical player who is awesome in making plays along the defensive line.”



DAYLEN BODDIE, QB – 5-8, 180, Normal HS (Hometown: Normal, Ill.)

Threw for 1,326 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior at Normal Community High School…also added 1,185 rushing yards with 24 TD’s on the ground as a senior for the Ironmen…was a two-time All-Conference selection…also nabbed All-State accolades.

COACH BABCOCK ON BODDIE: “I love the fact that Daylen can make plays.”



ISAAC BOYD, DL – 5-9, 220, Ste. Genevieve HS (Hometown: Ste. Genevieve, Mo.)

Notched 50 tackles, including 10 for loss, as a senior at Ste. Genevieve High School…also added four quarterback sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble…earned conference MVP honors as a junior…was a first-team All-Conference selection as a junior and senior…earned All-State mention as a junior.

COACH BABCOCK ON BOYD: “Isaac is an enthusiastic player who runs around and makes plays. He’s fun to watch on the field.”



JACOB CATRON, TE – 6-2, 210, Hoopeston HS (Hometown, Hoopeston, Ill.)

Scored 18 touchdowns during his career at Hoopeston High School…earned All-County honors as a senior punter for the Cornjerkers…twice earned honorable mention All-Conference honors.

COACH BABCOCK ON CATRON: “Jacob is a great get for us. He can make plays both in the run game and in the passing game.”



DWIGHT COLVIN, RB – 5-7, 160, St. Joseph-Ogden HS (Hometown: St. Joseph, Ill.)

Gained 1,125 yards on 188 carries as a senior at St. Joseph-Ogden High School…added 12 rushing touchdowns as a senior for the Spartans…was a first-team All-Illini Prairie selection as a junior and senior…collected All-Area mention as a junior.

COACH BABCOCK ON COLVIN: “Dwight is a fast player. When he gets in open space no one can catch him.”



CHASE COLVIS, DL – 6-2, 275, Chester HS (Hometown: Chester, Ill.)

Registered 55 tackles with 13 for loss as a senior at Chester High School…added four quarterback sacks as well as two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery for the Yellow Jackets…earned first-team All-Conference honors as a senior…grabbed All-South honors as well…served as team captain and was team Co-MVP as a senior…was a three-year varsity starter for Chester.

COACH BABCOCK ON COLVIS: Chase is a big player who likes to be physical.”



DREW CROOKS, CB – 5-10, 165, Bloomington HS (Hometown: Bloomington, Ill.)

Was a first-team honoree as both a defensive back and wide receiver as a senior at Bloomington High School…had 39 receptions for 538 yards as a senior for the Raiders…averaged 25 yards on kick returns.

COACH BABCOCK ON CROOKS: “I love watching Drew be physical with the wide receivers he is defending.”



CADE CRUSE, LB – 6-0, 195, Marion HS (Hometown: Marion, Ill.)

Posted 62 tackles with four quarterback sacks as a senior at Marion High School…finished seventh on the Wildcats’ career list for tackles and assisted tackles…was a two-time All-Conference selection.

COACH BABCOCK ON CRUSE: “Cade has a knack for finding the ball and getting to it.”



KAVARI CUNNINGHAM, S – 5-11, 190, St. Rita HS (Hometown: Chicago, Ill.)

Had 56 tackles including eight for loss as a senior at St. Rita High School…also had one interception as a senior for the Mustangs.

COACH BABCOCK ON CUNNINGHAM: “Kavari has tremendous upside. He can flat-out play.”



STEPHEN DINGES, TE – 6-5, 240, Freeburg HS (Hometown: Smithton, Ill.)

Had 19 receptions for 207 yards and a touchdown as a senior at Freeburg High School…was a three-year starter for the Midgets…helped lead Freeburg to a 7-2 record along with a conference championship and a state playoff berth as a senior.

COACH BABCOCK ON DINGES: “Stephen has great size and works extremely hard.”



BRADY FELDMANN, RB – 5-10, 185, Highland HS (Hometown: HIghland, Ill.)

Gained 1,216 yards on 145 carries as a senior at Highland High School…scored 23 touchdowns on the ground as a senior for the Bulldogs…added 22 receptions for 474 yards with five more touchdowns as a senior…gained more than 3,000 rushing yards in his career…was a three-time All-Conference selection, including first-team accolades as a junior and senior…nabbed second-team All-State honors as a senior and first-team All-Area honors as a junior and senior.

COACH BABCOCK ON FELDMANN: “Brady is a solid running back. He has a knack for finding the open hold and exploiting it.”



DAMON FINNEY, WR – 6-0, 155, Peoria Heights HS (Hometown: Peoria, Ill.)

Had 500 receiving yards as a senior at Peoria Heights High School…also threw for 1,500 yards as a senior for the Patriots.

COACH BABCOCK ON FINNEY: “Damon is a great play-maker. He can find a way to turn a five-yard play into a 50-yard play.”



CALEB FISHER, QB – 6-0, 195, Washington HS (Hometown: Washington, Ill.)

Threw for 925 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior at Washington High School…also rushed for 648 yards with 14 touchdowns on the ground as a senior for the Panthers…completed better than 58 percent of his pass attempts…was a first-team All-Conference honoree as a junior and senior…was an honorable mention All-State pick as a senior…grabbed Peoria Journal-Star Player of the Year accolades.

COACH BABCOCK ON FISHER: “Caleb is one of the best players I’ve seen in the state of Illinois this year. We are lucky to have him coming to McKendree.”



CHASE GRAHAM, LB – 6-2, 220, Newman Central Catholic HS (Hometown: Sterling, Ill.)

Posted 130 tackles with 16 quarterback sacks as a senior at Newman Central Catholic High School…also forced seven fumbles and had one interception…was a three-time All-Conference honoree at linebacker…was a two-time All-State and All-Area selection.

COACH BABCOCK ON GRAHAM: “Chase is a big-time player. He is a great leader who flies around and makes plays.”



BRADY GREENWOOD, LB – 6-0, 195, Cerro Gordo HS (Hometown: Oakley, Ill.)

Registered 73 total tackles as a senior at Cerro Gordo High School…also had five quarterback sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception as a senior for the Broncos…finished his career as the Broncos’ career leader in tackles…was a first-team All-Conference selection at linebacker and a second-team All-Conference pick as a running back.

COACH BABCOCK ON GREENWOOD: “Brady makes plays all over the field.”



JEREMIAH HAYES, DT – 6-1, 280, Cardinal Ritter HS (Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.)

Posted 113 tackles as a senior at Cardinal Ritter High School…also had six quarterback sacks, six forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries as a senior for the Lions…was a first-team All-Conference honoree and second-team All-District selection as a senior.

COACH BABCOCK ON HAYES: “Jeremiah is a big guy who likes to hit.”



JAKE HOFMEYER, LB – 6-1, 205, Elder HS (Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio)

Had 109 tackles including 11 ½ for loss as a senior at Elder High School…also notched three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and a trio of quarterback sacks for the Panthers…was a first-team All-Conference honoree as a junior and senior…collected first-team All-City, All-Region and All-Tri-State mention as a senior.

COACH BABCOCK ON HOFMEYER: “Jake is a smart linebacker. He loves to fly around and hit someone.”



GEO HOUSTON, S – 5-8, 160, Fort Zumwalt West HS (Hometown: O’Fallon, Mo.)

Was a first-team All-Conference selection as a senior at Fort Zumwalt West High School…nabbed second-team All-Conference mention as a junior for the Jaguars…had 37 tackles as a senior with one interception and a fumble recovery.

COACH BABCOCK ON HOUSTON: “Geo can play multiple positions. He loves the game. You can see it on film.”



SIDNEY HOUSTON, DE – 6-2, 240, East St. Louis HS (Hometown: Cahokia, Ill.)

Totaled 143 tackles, including 107 solos, as a senior at East St. Louis High School…added four quarterback sacks as a senior for the Flyers…earned first-team All-Conference, All-Area and All-Metro honors as a senior.

COACH BABCOCK ON HOUSTON: “Sidney is always around the football. He is a tremendous athlete and can play a lot of positions.”



MASON JOHNSON, WR – 5-10, 170, Greenville HS (Hometown: Greenville, Ill.)

Was a three-year starter as a receiver at Greenville High School…scored four touchdowns as a senior for the Comets…led team in receptions as a freshman and sophomore…grabbed second-team All-Conference honors as a sophomore.

COACH BABCOCK ON JOHNSON: “Mason is a big target for a quarterback.”



CAMERON JONES, WR – 5-11, 190, Springfield HS (Hometown: Springfield, Ill.)

Caught 40 passes for 743 yards with 12 touchdowns as a senior at Springfield High School…was a four-time All-Conference honoree for the Solons…collected first-team All-Conference and All-State mention as a senior…had 168 receptions for 2,662 yards and 37 TDs during his career at Springfield.

COACH BABCOCK ON CAMERON JONES: “Cameron is a fast player with some great hands. He is smart and football savvy.”



DAVEON JONES, DE – 6-3, 220, El Raby HS (Hometown: Chicago, Ill.)

Starred at defensive end at Al Raby High School…was a two-time Defensive Player of the Game for the Raiders.

COACH BABCOCK ON DAVEON JONES: “Daveon flys off the football and makes plays.”



TRAVIS (T.J.) JONES, RB – 6-0, 205, Paxton Buckley Loda HS (Hometown: Paxton, Ill.)

Had 174 carries for 1,083 yards with 14 touchdowns as a senior at Paxton Buckley Loda High School…was a first-team All-Conference honoree as a senior…was an honorable mention All-Area pick as a senior…nabbed honorable mention All-Conference honors as a junior for the Panthers.

COACH BABCOCK ON T.J. JONES: “He is awesome with the football in his hands.”



RYAN KASTL, PK – 6-0, 170, Washington HS (Hometown: Washington, Ill.)

Converted 34-of-36 extra point attempts and 3-of-6 field goal tries as a senior at Washington High School…also starred in soccer for the Panthers, where he was a two-time All-Conference, All-Area and All-Sectional pick.

COACH BABCOCK ON KASTL: “Ryan has tremendous potential to have a great college career. We can’t wait to see what “The Leg” does here.”



GAVIN McGINNESS, S – 6-1, 185, Fox HS (Hometown: Arnold, Mo.)

Had 56 tackles with one quarterback as a senior at Fox High School…also rushed for 1,163 yards with 19 touchdowns as a senior for the Warriors…had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as a senior…collected first-team All-Conference honors and second-team All-District accolades as a senior.

COACH BABCOCK ON McGINNESS: “Gavin was one of our first commits this year. He is a great athlete who can play multiple positions. Gavin loves the game of football.”



DAWSON METTEN, LB – 6-1, 230, Eldorado HS (Hometown: Eldorado, Ill.)

Posted 85 tackles along with a blocked field goal as a senior at Eldorado High School…had 892 yards on offense with 18 touchdowns as a senior for the Eagles…twice earned first-team All-Conference mention…was an All-South selection as a senior.

COACH BABCOCK ON METTEN: “I love Dawson’s ability to find the ball and make plays.”



ANTONIO MUNOZ, TE – 6-3, 200, York HS (Hometown: Elmhurst, Ill.)

Had 13 receptions for 177 yards with two touchdowns as a senior at York High School.

COACH BABCOCK ON MUNOZ: “He is a solid athlete that is both physical and can catch the football.”



EUGENE NAPPER, OL – 6-3, 280, Hazelwood East HS (Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.)

Started along the offensive line at Hazelwood East High School…was a first-team All-Conference honoree after posting 16 pancake blocks…grabbed second-team All-Conference mention as a junior.

COACH BABCOCK ON NAPPER: “Eugene is a big player and loves to be the most physical guy on the field.”



NOLAN PUENT, OL – 6-2, 255, Washington HS (Hometown: Washington, Ill.)

Was a starter along the offensive line at Washington High School…was an All-Area honoree for the Panthers.

COACH BABCOCK ON PUENT: “Nolan is a tough, hard-nosed player. I love his work ethic and intensity.”



JAKE RICH, DT – 6-2, 250, Paxton Buckley Loda HS (Hometown: Paxton, Ill.)

Had 45 tackles as a senior at Paxton Buckley Loda High School…added 15 tackles for loss along with six quarterback sacks as a senior for the Panthers…garnered first-team All-Conference and All-Area honors as a senior.

COACH BABCOCK ON RICH: “Jake is the type of player who loves to be the most physical player out there.”



CADE RIVERS, RB – 6-1, 195, Edwards County HS (Hometown: Albion, Ill.)

Rushed for 1,086 yards and added 560 receiving yards as a senior at Edwards County High School…posted three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons on the ground for the Lions.

COACH BABCOCK ON RIVERS: “Cade can change the outcome of a game with the ball in his hands.”



DAUNTE ROBERTS, LB – 5-11, 170, Mahomet-Seymour HS (Hometown: Mahomet, Ill.)

Collected 62 solo tackles with 22 assists as a senior at Mahomet-Seymour High School…added seven tackles for loss as a senior for the Bulldogs…was a first-team All-Conference selection as a junior and senior…earned honorable mention All-Area honors.

COACH BABCOCK ON ROBERTS: “Daunte is a great player with tremendous ability to make plays when in counts.”



JOEL ROUTHOWSKI, OL – 6-5, 255, Schaumburg HS (Hometown: Schaumburg, Ill.)

Started along the offensive line at Schaumburg High School…received All-Conference mention as a senior for the Saxons.

COACH BABCOCK ON ROUTHOWSKI: “Joel is a big player. He loves to hit and get nasty. He will be a great player for us without question.”



NIC SEELHOEFER, LB – 6-2, 230, Mater Dei HS (Hometown: Bartelso, Ill.)

Posted 65 solo tackles with a pair of quarterback sacks as a senior at Mater Dei High School…claimed All-State honors as a senior for the Knights…was an All-Area honoree in each of his last three seasons at Mater Dei…registered more than 230 tackles in his high school career.

COACH BABCOCK ON SEELHOEFER: “Nic is a physical player. I have seen what he can do for a while and I like his ability to get to the ball and hit.”



ANDREW SHERRY, CB – 6-2, 180, Lincoln-Way West HS (Hometown: Manhattan, Ill.)

Had five interceptions as a junior and senior at Lincoln-Way West High School…tied the Warriors’ single-season record for interceptions and holds the program record for career picks…was a first-team All-Conference honoree as a senior after grabbing second-team All-Conference accolades as a junior…was an All-Area pick as a senior.

COACH BABCOCK ON SHERRY: “Andrew is a big player for his position. He likes to fly around and get to the ball. Andrew is a great get for us.”



WESTON SISSON, WR – 6-3, 185, Sterling HS (Hometown: Sterling, Ill.)

Had 26 receptions for 496 yards with six touchdowns as a senior at Sterling High School…also had 45 rushing yards with a score as a senior for the Golden Warriors…was named the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference Offensive MVP…nabbed first-team All-Conference honors as a senior.

COACH BABCOCK ON SISSON: “Weston is a smooth operator. He has great hands and can be our one-on-one go-to wide receiver.”



DENZEL STEPHENS, CB – 6-1, 175, Kenwood HS (Hometown: Chicago, Ill.)

Registered 1,700 all-purpose yards as a senior at Kenwood High School…accounted for 25 touchdowns as a senior for the Broncos…was a two-time All-Conference honoree…garnered All-City and All-Public League recognition.

COACH BABCOCK ON STEPHENS: “Denzel is a great athlete who loves the game. He has a knack for finding his way to the ball.”



TREVON STOKES, DT – 6-1, 230, Elk Grove HS (Hometown: Elk Grove Village, Ill.)

Collected 45 tackles with three forced fumbles and five quarterback sacks as a senior at Elk Grove High School…was a three-year varsity performer for the Grenadiers.

COACH BABCOCK ON STOKES: “Trey is definitely a player that can take on the double-team and still make the plays.”



CONNOR THOMASON, DB – 5-11, 185, Mahomet-Seymour HS (Hometown: Mahomet, Ill.)

Notched 15 catches for 275 yards as a senior at Mahomet-Seymour High School…also had 47 tackles with eight interceptions at defensive back for the Bulldogs…was an All-State honoree as a senior…also garnered first-team All-Conference and All-Area mention.

COACH BABCOCK ON THOMASON: “Connor is a fast player that loves the game of football. I love his family and his work ethic is unmatched.”



BRAYDEN VonLANKEN, DT – 6-2, 285, Tuscola HS (Hometown: Tuscola, Ill.)

Starred along the defensive line at Tuscola High School…was a first-team All-Conference selection for the Warriors.

COACH BABCOCK ON VonLANKEN: “Brayden is a physical player. I love his intensity and his blue-collar work ethic. It’s what you need up front.”



MALIK WHITEHEAD, WR – 5-8, 170, Hoffman Estates HS (Hometown: Streamwood, Ill.)

Had 63 catches for 815 yards with 12 touchdowns as a senior at Hoffman Estates High School…was named the Hawks’ Offensive Player of the Year…earned first-team All-Conference along with All-Area honors.

COACH BABCOCK ON WHITEHEAD: “Malik is a great wide receiver from up north. He can make the big play when we need it. He has great play-making ability.”



CEDRICK WILSON, LB – 5-9, 200, Danville HS (Hometown: Danville, Ill.)

Posted a team-leading 80 tackles as a senior at Danville High School…also added three quarterback sacks as a senior for the Vikings.

COACH BABCOCK ON WILSON: “This guy plays with his hair on fire. I love it.”



BRENDAN WRONA, DT – 6-0, 250, Bentonville HS (Hometown: Bentonville, Ark.)

Played along the defensive line at Bentonville High School in Arkansas…was an All-State and All-Conference selection for the Tigers.

COACH BABCOCK ON WRONA: “Brendan is a physical player and a smart one at that. He plays fast and finds a way to get to the ball.”



COLE ZACCARELLI, DE – 6-2, 230, St. Joseph-Ogden HS (Hometown: St. Joseph, Ill.)

Had 18 ½ tackles for loss, including 5 ½ quarterback sacks as a senior at St. Joseph-Ogden High School…also forced three fumbles as a senior for the Spartans…was a first-team All-Conference honoree as an offensive and defensive lineman as a senior…also earned All-Area mention.

COACH BABCOCK ON ZACCARELLI: “Cole is a blue-collar player who works hard and plays fast.”

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