EIU Announces Football Recruiting Class


Published on February 6 2014 7:10 am
Last Updated on February 6 2014 7:10 am
Written by Millie Lange

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois head coach Kim Dameron has announced the Panthers 2014 recruiting class which includes 15 players that will join the EIU program for the 2014 season.  The Panthers are coming off a 12-2 season advancing to the FCS playoff quarterfinals and ending the year ranked No.4 in the nation.

The class includes 13 high school players and two junior college players.  Dameron mentioned that the Panthers addressed some needs with this class as well as working on balancing a team that is currently heavy with juniors and seniors on its roster.  EIU will open the 2014 season on August 28 at Minnesota.

 “We put a lot of hard work into this recruiting class and signed 15 guys.  We are excited about all of them,” said Dameron.  “We addressed some needs that going forward we needed to address.  We are excited about the future.  We feel we signed a really athletic class and one that will reap benefits for EIU football for years to come.”


                                     POSITION                HT      WT      HOMETOWN                HIGH SCHOOL

Austin Askin            Offensive Line          6-7     270     Louisville, Ky.         Saint Xavier

Tony Bradford           Linebacker              6-0     225     Suwanee, Ga             North Gwinnett

JoWahn Brown            Athlete                 6-3     195     Matteson, Ill.          Thornton Township

Bradley Dewberry        Safety                  6-0     185     McDonough, Ga.  Eagles Landing

Jonathan Draper Safety                  6-1     185     Crete, Ill.             Crete-Monee

Ben Jones               Offensive Line          6-6     255     Ocala, Fla.             Belleview

Jeremy Joseph           Quarterback             6-6     230     Auburn, Ala.            Lee-Scott Academy

Anthony Love, Jr.       Defensive End           6-2     230     Romeoville, Ill.                Romeoville

Brandon Matthews        Linebacker              6-2     215     Edgard, La.             West St. John

Kevin Pickett           Offensive Line          6-4     275     Cincinnati, Ohio                Elder

DySaun Smith            Defensive Back          5-10    155     Lake Cormorant, Miss.   Lake Cormorant

Wilbert Vails, Jr.      Linebacker              6-1     180     St. Louis, Mo.          De Smet Jesuit

Louis Vailopa           Offensive Line          6-3     315     Honolulu, Haw.          Saint Louis

JUNIOR COLLEGE ADDITIONS (Denotes year they will be at EIU in fall 2014)

                                      POS     HT      WT      YR              HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL/JC/LAST)

Thomas Coronado DE      6-5     240     JR              Fresno, Calif. (Edison/Fresno City College)

Antoine Johnson CB      5-10    175     R-JR            Greenbelt, Md. (Eleanor Roosevelt/Nassau CC)

Austin Askin (6-7, 270, OL, Louisville, Ky./Saint Xavier HS) Played for coaches Will Wolford and Mike Glaser at Saint Xavier HS… helped lead team to the Kentucky Class 6A state playoffs… played both guard and tackle positions during his career… played for the Kentucky All-Star team in the Border Bowl game with Tennessee…

Tony Bradford (6-0, 225, LB, Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinett HS)… Played for coach Bob Sphire at North Gwinett HS… helped team reach Georgia Class AAAAAA State Championship game as a senior… was a two-year starter battling injuries as a senior that limited him to seven games… made 32 tackles with one sack as a senior… dad Ronnie Bradford is the special teams coordinator at Louisiana Tech after playing ten seasons in the NFL including on the Atlanta Falcons 1998 Super Bowl team.

JoWahn Brown (6-3, 195, ATH, Matteson, Ill./Thornton Township HS)… Played for coach Bill Mosel at Thornton Township HS… earned first team All-Area by the NW Times as a quarterback passing for 1,855 yards and 16 touchdowns (135-of-222)… on the ground he rushed for 487 yards and six touchdowns… first team All-Southwest Suburban Red selection… named to the Sun Times Top 100 list…

Bradley Dewberry (6-0, 185, SAF, McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing HS)… Played for coach Joe Teknipp at Eagles Landing HS… helped team post an 8-3 record advancing to the school’s second-ever Georgia State playoff appearance… named 4A-AAAA Subregion Offensive Player of the Year as a quarterback… passed for 2,012 yards with 21 touchdowns completing 56 percent… rushed for 471 yards and 11 touchdowns on 111 carries… on defense made 51 tackles with five interceptions and 18 pass break-ups… returned one interception for a touchdown… maintains a 3.5 grade point average.

Jonathan Draper (6-1, 185, SAF, Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee HS)… Played for coaches John Konecki and Jerry Verde at Crete-Monee HS… helped team go 14-0 as a junior winning IHSA Class 6A state championship making 72 tackles with four forced fumbles… Southtown Star second team All-Area as a senior with 90 tackles, two interceptions and two sacks…

Ben Jones (6-6, 255, OL, Ocala, Fla./Belleview HS)… Played for coach Phillip Yancey at Belleview HS… 3-year starter… recorded 16 pancake blocks as a senior offensive tackle earning Florida Football Magazine All-North Central Region honors… honorable mention All-County as a junior… played defensive tackle during career recording 62 tackles with two sacks…rated a two-star offensive line prospect by Rivals.com

Jeremy Joseph (6-6, 230, QB, Auburn, Ala./Lee-Scott Academy) Played for coach Robert Maddox at Lee-Scott Academy… was a three year starter at quarterback… as a senior was named All-Area first team passing for 904 yards with nine touchdowns… rushed for 483 yards with seven touchdowns… named AISA All-Star as a senior… also played defensive end with one sack and six tackles for loss as a senior.

Anthony Love, Jr. (6-2, 230, DE, Romeoville, Ill./Romeoville HS)… Played for coach Jeff Kuna at Romeoville HS… IHSA Class 6A All-State selection after earning Southwest Prairie Conference Defensive MVP honors as a senior… recorded 80 tackles with 51 solo stops… had 7.5 sacks, 22.5 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles and one interception… two-time All-Conference selection…

Brandon Matthews (6-2, 215, LB, Edgard, La./West St. John HS)… Played for coach Robert Valdez at West St. John HS helping the team advance to the Louisiana Class 1A state semifinals as a junior and senior… named preseason New Orleans All Metro Team as a senior… played in Louisiana State All-Star game as a senior… returned one interception for a touchdown as a senior… had seven sacks and 68 tackles.

Kevin Pickett (6-4, 275, OL, Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder HS)… Played for coach Doug Ramsey at Elder HS… starter on the offensive line helping team reach the second round of the Ohio Division I State playoffs as a junior and senior…

DySaun Smith (5-10, 155, DB, Lake Cormorant, Miss./Lake Cormorant HS)… Played for coach Nick Nester at Lake Cormorant HS… helped team post a 6-5 record as a senior… finished year with 45 tackles, 2 interceptions, 12 pass break-ups and one tackle for loss… had one kickoff return for touchdown going 98 yards against Oxford HS… named second team All-Region..

Wilbert (Will) Vails Jr. (6-1, 180, SAF, St. Louis, Mo./De Smet Jesuit HS)… Played for coach Pat Mahoney at De Smet Jesuit HS… named first team All-Metro Catholic Conference as a linebacker two times… as a senior made 61 tackles with two sacks while scoring two defensive touchdowns… as a junior had 64 tackles with eight sacks and two interceptions… helped team advance to the second round of the Missouri Class 6A state playoffs as a senior.

Louis Vailopa (6-3, 315, OL, Honolulu, Haw./Saint Louis HS)… Played for coach Matt Wright… earned first team All-State honors as a senior at offensive guard… helped team advanced to the second round of the state playoffs… blocked for a team that had a 2,000 yard passer and two running backs over 500 yards….named second team All-ILH as a junior.

JUNIOR COLLEGE SIGNEES (Denotes year they will be at EIU in fall 2014)

Thomas Coronado (6-5, 240, DE, Jr., Fresno, Calif./Edison HS/Fresno City College) Played two seasons at Fresno City College… earned California Community College All-Region I honors in 2013 after ranking second in the conference with ten sacks… finished season with 55 tackles and 13 tackles for loss…. first team All-North Division Valley Conference… during a 2012 played as a reserve with nine tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss… HIGH SCHOOL: Played high school football at Edison HS… appeared in area All-Star game as a senior.

Antoine Johnson (5-10, 175, CB, R-Jr., Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt HS/Nassau CC) Attended Nassau Community College in New York playing two seasons and redshirting the fall of 2013… as a sophomore made 24 tackles with four interceptions and five pass break-ups… returned one interception for a touchdown… played in four games as a reserve defensive back/special teams player… had four tackles with one pass break-up… HIGH SCHOOL: Played high school football at Eleanor Roosevelt HS