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Published: Tuesday, 2/4/2014 - Updated: 8 months ago

Uncertainty surrounds recruit class for Rockets

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The University of Toledo football program will introduce recruits on Wednesday with names like Adeniyi, Atariwa, and Olekanma.

A class rife with confusion — who’s signing and who isn’t? — even has confusing last names.

The Rockets have 14 or 15 open scholarships and are expected to add 22 prospects.

Little adds up this year, from the 10 prospects the Rockets have lost or soured on to the staff’s 11th-hour push for a player at a position — tight end — of little importance in Toledo’s multiple-receiver offense.

Answers will come at 3 p.m. on Wednesday when coach Matt Campbell can speak publicly for the first time about a class recruiting sites peg third or fourth best in the Mid-American Conference.

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Allen Trieu, who covers Midwest recruiting for Scout.com, likes the receivers Toledo is bringing in, calling JonVea Johnson of Gary, Ind., “a super get.” He also expects big things from Mykale Rogers, noting the 6-foot-1 state track champion in three events from Lima Central Catholic held a Louisville offer before choosing Toledo.

Rogers, who earned gold last spring in the Division III 400 and 800 relays and long jump, is among seven Ohio prospects ticketed for Toledo. The second most represented state is Florida with three. That number could grow to four on signing day if three-star tight end Davion Riley chooses to unite with high school teammate Dedric Brinson. Brinson, a cornerback who at one time pledged to Iowa State, committed to the Rockets on Sunday and is thought to be a package deal with Riley.

"That’s what it’s looking like," Brinson said. "You could say that."

Riley reports offers from Florida State, Oregon, and Tennessee among others, though it is unclear if those offers still stand.

Toledo apparently picked up a commitment on Monday from California junior college defensive end William Lee. Lee, who attended high school at Steubenville before going to Gavilan Community College, had seven sacks and five fumble recoveries in 2013.

Somehow the Rockets must make room for everyone, as they currently have commitments from seven or eight more players than they have available scholarships. Campbell indicated he will grayshirt some players, delaying their joining the team until 2015 and counting toward that year’s class.

Unless Campbell cooks up something at the last minute, the Rockets will not sign a quarterback. They were burned last week when Travis Smith — who never lost a game en route to capturing four Michigan Division 6 state titles at Ithaca — soured on Toledo in favor of Wake Forest. Smith is among 10 recruits the Rockets lost or cut ties with this year.

“You see it every year with MAC kids getting poached, but 10 is higher than your average,” Trieu said.

NEW ASSISTANT: Former Wyoming receivers coach Derek Sage announced on Twitter that he accepted a position with Toledo. It is unclear what role Sage will fill at Toledo where there is a vacancy coaching quarterbacks.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @AutulloBlade.



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