Sports
Feb., 1999

Ferris Inks 16 Football Recruits

Several Prep All-Staters Among The Group

Ferris State University football head coach Jeff Pierce and his staff announced the signing of 16 student-athletes to national letters of intent to attend and play football at FSU starting in the Fall of 1999.

"We have a solid class of quality student-athletes," said Pierce, who enters his fifth season at FSU this fall. "They're not only talented players, but sound academically. We targeted kids who were committed to success both on and off the field."

The group, which features all in-state prep student-athletes, is comprised of 10 players on offense and six on defense. The majority of the signees were interior linemen, including five on offense.

"We're excited about this class," stated Pierce, who signed 19 prep recruits a season ago. "We filled our needs while attracting a group with athletic ability and speed. These kids are of good character, which is a necessity to have a successful program.

"Our mindset was recruiting young men who had the ability to stay in the program and graduate. After all, you really can't measure the success of a recruiting class until their senior year."

On offense, Ferris landed five down linemen led by 6-5, 320-pound all-stater Eric Ferguson (Harrison). The group also consists of Jason Curtis (Sterling Heights), Mark McAnally (Grand Ledge), Luke Peterson (Wallace/Stephenson), and Jim Zupancac (Wyoming/Grand Rapids Catholic Central). The average weight of the offensive linemen is 272 pounds. They will be blocking for a talented running back prospect in Matt Murray (Capac), an all-state honoree. Joining him in the backfield is quarterback Dan Richard (Rockford), whose older sister (Deanna) is the assistant women's basketball coach at Ferris. The two will be participating in the annual Michigan High School Athletic Association's (MHSAA) All-Star Football Game this summer.

"We're fortunate to land these young men," said Pierce. "Matt is a terrific kid and we considered Dan one of the top quarterbacks available out there. Both had outstanding high school careers and we anticipate their continued success in our program."

Richard will have an opportunity in the future to work with a trio of wide receivers – Dennis Cartwright (White Cloud), Mike Lichocki (Sterling Heights), and Jesse Porter (Shepherd). The three-member group all received all-state accolades.

Defensively, Ferris State shored up several areas with the recruiting of two individuals apiece at the line, linebacker, and secondary positions. Up front, the Bulldogs inked 6-7, 240-pound Matt McCoy (Charlotte), a MHSAA All-Star Game invitee, and John Schanz (Saginaw/Heritage) while the linebacking corps will receive a boost with the addition of all-stater Caleb Cranford (Milan) and Luke Piepkow (Clark Lake/Jackson Lumen Christi). Piepkow's father, Ralph, was a two-time NAIA tight end at Ferris State (1970-73). In the secondary, FSU nabbed all-state defenders Vito Ciaramellano (Rochester Hills/Rochester) and Rich Dosh (Burton/Flint Kearsley).

The Bulldogs, five-time MIFC champions from 1992-96, concluded the 1998 seaosn at 5-6 overall and 5-5 in the conference.

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

Hometown/High School

Head Coach

Dennis Cartwright

WR

5-7

170

White Cloud/White Cloud

Scott Cuthrell

Vito Ciaramellano

DB

6-1

190

Rochester Hills/Rochester

Mark Merlo

Caleb Cranford

LB

6-1

216

Milan/Milan

Steve Robb

Jason Curtis

OL

6-3

270

Sterling Heights/Sterling Heights

Dave Cutlip

Rich Dosh

DB

5-10

175

Burton/Flint Kearsley

Jack Pratt

Eric Ferguson

OL

6-5

320

Harrison/Harrison

Richard Harris

Mike Lichocki

WR

5-11

180

Sterling Heights/Sterling Heights

Dave Cutlip

Mark McAnally

OL

6-4

260

Grand Ledge/Grand Ledge

Pat O’Keefe

Matt McCoy

DE

6-7

240

Charlotte/Charlotte

Mike Seedorff

Matt Murray

RB

5-11

175

Capac/Capac

Mike Glennie

Luke Peterson

OL

6-2

265

Wallace/Stephenson

Chad Brandt

Luke Piepkow

LB

6-3

210

Clark Lake/Jackson Lumen Christi

Herb Brogan

Jesse Porter

WR

6-4

190

Shepherd/Shepherd

Glen Hackney

Dan Richard

QB

6-3

180

Rockford/Rockford

Ralph Munger

John Schanz

DT

6-5

245

Saginaw/Heritage

Brett Forster

Jim Zupancic

OL

6-3

245

Wyoming/Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Tom Passinault