Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018
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BG football signees for 2018

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    Bowling Green players run out on the field before a college football game between Bowling Green and South Dakota at Doyt Perry Stadium in Bowling Green, Ohio, on Saturday, September 9.

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BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University football team has signed 17 players to National Letters of Intent as of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.

Here is a look at the 17 players who have signed with the Falcons.

■ Caleb Biggers was a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association first team at Calvert Hall College High School in Maryland, where he also earned a berth in the Crab Bowl.

Biggers, whose older brother David plays for Hampton, had 37 tackles and two interceptions as a junior. He is also a talented track athlete whose best marks as a junior were 6.97 seconds in the 55-meter dash and 18-2.5 in the long jump.

Deandre Fitz-Henley was a two-way player for Clearwater Central Catholic High School, which lost in the Florida 3A state semifinals to the No. 1 team in the state, Hollywood Chaminade. He ran the ball 22 times for 160 yards and two TDs while catching one pass for 10 yards this season; defensively he finished with 149 tackles including 19.0 TFL and 4.0 Sacks.

As a junior he had 101 tackles, including 11 for loss and four sacks to earn All-Pinellas County first team honors and a berth on the Class 3A All-Florida second team. His sophomore season, Fitz-Henley had 124 tackles, including 8.0 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks along with five passes broken up to earn All-Pinellas County second team.

Rico Frye is a running back from Cartersville, Ga., who carried the ball 125 times for 1,064 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior. He ran for 100 yards or more five times while also catching 28 passes for 599 yards and five TDs.

As a junior, Frye carried the ball 154 times for 1,025 yards with the Hurricanes, scoring eight times.

■ James Harris is a defensive back who this fall was named team MVP Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach, Fla. In his junior season he was named All-Broward County 8A-6A second team by Miami Herald.

In his junior season of track, Harris posted bests of 6-2.75 in the high jump, 17-3 in the long jump, and 46-4 in the triple jump.

Jevon Henderson is a defensive lineman from Centerville who was named All-Greater Western Ohio Conference East Division first team this past season. He finished with 49 tackles, including 6.5 sacks, while forcing one fumble and recovering three in leading the Elks to a GWOC East Division title (10-2, 4-0) and second round of OHSAA D-I tournament.

Henderson, who also was an All-Southwest District second team choice in Division I, had 52 tackles and five sacks as a junior to earn All-GWOC East Division second team honors as well as honorable mention All-Southwest District squad.

■ Antwuan Johnson made 36 tackles in eight games at Huber Heights Wayne High School in suburban Dayton. His tackle totals included one sack, one forced fumble and one interception in leading the team to a 7-4 overall record and 3-1 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference East record and first-round berth in the OHSAA Division I playoffs.

As a junior at Dayton Dunbar High School, he had 129 tackles, including 19.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions and five forced fumbles. Johnson was named All-Southwest District second team in Division IV that season. His sophomore year, Johnson played at Springfield High School in Dayton and had 69 tackles, earning a spot on the All-GWOC Central Division second team.

■ James Lachey was named Division VI defensive player of the year at Grandview Heights High School as a defensive tackle. The son of former Ohio State lineman Jim Lachey, James Lachey also was an All-Ohio first team choice in D-VI and was All-Central District first team and defensive player of the year in D-VI for the district.

Lachey finished with 82 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks, 1 interception — which he returned for a touchdown — as well as three passes broken up, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Lachey started the season at tight end but also played running back and quarterback; he carried the ball 123 times for 762 yards and 14 TDs while catching 10 passes for 209 yards and a TD. It’s worth noting that his high school coach, Jason Peters, played tackle at BG from 1990-94.

RELATED:  A familiar name expected to sign with Falcons.

■ Cooper Lee is a punter from Coffeyville Junior College in Coffeyville, Kan. Last season he had 80 punts for 3,151 yards (an average of 39.4 yards per punt) with a long of 87 yards and 22 punts inside the 20.

In 2016 he punted the ball 71 times for 3,014 yards (42.5 yards per punt) with a long of 66 and 28 punts inside the 20. He was named NCJAA All-America honorable mention.

Lee also has done some placekicking for the Red Ravens, making 8-of-12 field goals (with a long of 37) and 40-of-45 PATs.

Noah Massey is a wide receiver from Westfield High School in Houston. This past season Massey caught 27 passes for 617 yards -- an average of 22.9 yards per catch -- and six TDs as the Mustangs went 11-1 and 7-0 in district play.

As a junior he played in six games and had five catches for 110 yards.

Joe Maxwell is an offensive line who played two years of varsity football at Florence High School in Florence, Ala. Maxwell was a team captain as a senior and helped lead the Falcons to a 4-7 overall record but a 4-3 mark in Class 6A Region 8.

■ John O'Brian is a 2017 Detroit News First Team All-State pick for Division 3-4 after starting on both offensive and defensive lines for the Orioles. He also was an AP All-Michigan honorable mention for Division 3-4 this year.

O’Brian was a three-time All-Capital Area Activities Conference Red Division first team choice on the offensive line.

Julian Ortega-Jones started three seasons at wide receiver for North Crowley High School in Fort Worth, Texas. Last season he caught 53 passes for 887 yards and 18 TDs.

In 2016 he caught 42 passes for 601 yards and six TDs, and with the Warriors as a sophomore he grabbed 31 passes for 486 yards and seven TDs.

■ Brad Papez is a four-year starter on the offensive line at Timberland High School in the St. Louis suburb of Wentzville, Mo.. This past season he had 15 pancake blocks while adding 39 tackles on defense.

Brad Papez began this season ranked No. 13 on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Super 30; at season's end he was named All-Missouri third team in Class 5 after earning third team honors as a junior.

Jake Papez, the twin brother of Brad Papez, was an all-purpose player 2017. Jake Papez ran the ball four times for 62 yards while catching 17 passes for 251 yards and two TDs. On defense he had 17 tackles, and he also served as the Wolves punter, with 32 kicks for 1,121 yards. Jake Papez began this season ranked No. 19 on St. Louis Post-Dispatch Super 30, and after the season he was named All-Missouri third team in Class 5.

Last season Jake Papez caught 13 passes for 378 yards, an average of 29.1 yards per catch, and four TDs after switching from wide receiver to tight end midway through season.

Brandon Perce earned a bert on the 2017 National Junior College Athletic Association All-Region XIII team after making 128 tackles for Rochester Community and Technical College. Perce had 36.0 tackles for loss as well as three fumbles forced.

In his freshman season for the Yellowjacks, Perce had 90 tackles, including 16.5 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions.

Devin Ruffin, a linebacker who was the preseason No. 11 pick on St. Louis Post-Dispatch Preseason Super 30, helped St. Louis Lutheran North reach the Class 2 semifinals, where they lost to seven-time state champs Lamar 7-6.

Ruffin made 71 tackles and had three interceptions to help the Crusaders win their first conference title since 2002. He was an All-Missouri second team pick in Class 2.

As a junior, Ruffin had 50 tackles and 3 interceptions.

■ Onyx Smith signed as a wide receiver, but he began this season as a quarterback for perennial Texas state power Cibolo Steele. He completed 54-of-88 passes for 706 yards and four touchdowns while running the ball 41 times for 97 yards and two more scores.

Later in the season he moved back to wide receiver and caught 31 passes for 397 yards and three TDs as the Knights reached the Class 6A Division II state quarterfinals.

As a junior, Smith caught 50 passes for 801 yards and eight touchdowns.

■ Bryce Veasley is a quarterback who led West Bloomfield to the Divison 1 state title game; during the regular season he completed 158-of-258 passes for 2,573 yards with 23 TDs and just three intercpetions.

Veasley, who also ran for 10 TDs as a senior, was named Division 1 All-Michigan first team by Detroit Free Press; AP first team All-Michigan, and MLive.com's “Dream Team” quarterback as well as MLive.com's Detroit player of the year.

As a junior he threw for 2,225 yards and 22 TDs; as a sophomore at Southfield-Lathrup High School he threw for 660 yards and seven TDs.

RELATED: A look at Falcons signing class leading in to National Letter of Intent Day.

Contact John Wagner at jwagner@theblade.com419-724-6481, or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.

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