Lake Forest College Head Football Coach Jim Catanzaro announces the 2013 Recruiting Class
"I couldn't be more pleased with both the quality of football player, but also the quality of humans, that we are bringing to our campus. Beyond their football accolades, we have a number of players that were involved significantly in their high schools and local communities in service projects, outreach events, and fundraising drives. This bodes well for the entire campus community at Lake Forest College. The scholarly goals of these individuals aligns with our campus mission, and I am confident that as we move forward that we will have several prominent members of our campus honor societies filled by these individuals," said Catanzaro.
"Our goal in recruiting this year was to get bigger in stature, but also to increase the depth at several positions including offensive and defensive line. We were extremely successful in doing that. When I see 9 offensive lineman who average 6'2 275lbs, and 7 defensive lineman who average 6'1 260lbs, with three defensive ends who are over 6'4, we definitely felt like we hit a home run in that area," said Catanzaro. "Additionally, we wanted to add some players from winning programs, and we did so. Four players (Nitti, Marin, Ruppe, McCue) all played in their respective state championship games. Several others made it to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. These players help us significantly, because we don't have to teach them "how to win."
"A lot of credit for this recruiting class goes to our current players, who do a great job explaining what being a Forester is all about. This year, with some of our coaching change over, we had a bit of a disadvantage, but both Coach Butts and Coach Arthur did a great job helping shore up the class. I look forward to seeing the results that they yield with a full academic year to recruit."
Statistical notes on members of the 2013 recruiting class:
* Jordon McCue- a 6'4 300lb OT from Florida's FHSAA 7A State Champion, St. Thomas Aquinas. The Raiders finished 12-2 his senior year.
* Joe Nitti- a starting MLB on the Illinois 5A State Champion, Montini Catholic. The Bronco's finished 12-2 his senior year. Nitti was a member of 4 straight state championship teams at Montini.
*Justen Ruppe- the starting QB of Oregon 6A State Runner-Up, Lake Oswego High School. The Lakers finished with a 13-1 record. Ruppe completed 73% of his passes for 1.931 yards passing, with 21 TD's. Ruppe was selected 1st team All-Conference, and 3rd team All-State.
*Reid Martin- a teammate of Ruppe's for Lake Oswego. Martin was a starting DE for the Lakers, and helped lead a defensive unit that gave up under 12 points per game.
*Alex Pasiewicz and Josh Jones- Zion-Benton high school teammates. All-Conference OL Josh Jones helped block for RB Pasiewicz. Pasiewicz earned multiple all-conference selections for the ZeeBees and was a three sport athlete (Basketball and Baseball). Pasiewicz finished with over 1,100 yards rushing and 11 TDs in 2012.
*Nick Podesta- a 6'4 235lb Tight End from Archbishop McCarthy High School in Florida. Podesta helped lead the team to an 8-3 record, and was selected to play in the Broward vs. Dade All-Star Game.
*Nick Cole and Connor O'Brien- Teammates from Notre Dame Prep in Scottsdale, AZ. O'Brien was an offensive lineman who helped pave the way for Cole. Cole as a junior rushed for 1,454 rushing yards and 12 TDs before missing his senior year due to injury.
*Brendan Power and Blake Waller- Power, a 6'4 240lb DE, and Waller a 5'9 180lb Safety, helped transform Oak Forest High Schools football program. The Bengals finished 10-2, before being eliminated in the state quarter finals. Both Power and Waller were selected 1st team all-conference. Power was also selected as an Academic All-State member.
*Nick Nusbaumer- a 6'3 280lb TE/DL from Springfield Catholic in Missouri. Nusbaumer helped lead the Fighting Irish to an 8-3 record his senior year.
*Charlie Quinn- a 5'8 175lb RB from Horizon High School in Arizona. A Pop-Warner teammate of Nick Cole, Quinn rushed for 1,153 yards and 12 TDs, while helping lead his team to an 8-3 record. Quinn earned 1st Team All-Conference, Team MVP, and HM All-State honors after the season.
*Zach Kelvington- A dynamic two way player for Notre Dame High School in Salinas, CA. Kelvington was the team Defensive MVP and 2nd team all league. Kelvington will be playing WR for the Foresters.
*Daniel Harris- a speedy LB from Willowbrook High School. Harris played for Former Forester Nick Hildreth at Willowbrook. Harris helped lead the Warriors to an IHSA Class 7A Playoff Birth.
*Wes Girgaitis and Sam Mulford- Teammates at Edwardsville High School, the duo helped pace the Tigers to a 10-2 record and a trip to the 3rd round of the IHSA 8A State Playoffs. Mulford, a fullback, rushed for 767 yards and 23 TDs as a senior, earning 1st Team All-Conference and Team Offensive MVP awards. Grigaitis was a 2 year starter at linebacker, and helped lead a defense that gave up 9.2 points per game, and caused 41 Take-aways.
Lee Stiltz- a strong offensive lineman from Routt Catholic High School in Jacksonville, IL. Stiltz was a team captain in 2012, and earned multiple All-Conference and All-Area selections during his career at Routt.
Matt Hoshaw- a powerful running back from Glenbrook South High School. Hoshaw won the teams 110% award, and recorded 800 yards rushing for a 5.5 yards per carry average.
Dylan Ernst- a 6'4 230lb DE from Lincoln-Southeast High School in Nebraska. In addition to playing on both sides of the ball, Ernst earned Academic All-State and All-Conference Honors.
Martin Shine and Ryan Bullock- teammates from Taft High School in Chicago. The Eagles finished 7-1 in 2012. They join former high school teammates Luke Capone and George Vidas in the Forester locker room.
Nick Behrens- the starting center for the Woodstock High School football team. Behrens helped pave the way for the Blue Streaks in 2012.
Will Danner- a 6'2 280lb OL from Wauconda High School. Danner was named the Bulldogs Most Valuable OL, and was an HM All-Conference Selection.
Joel Velasquez- the team Defensive MVP at historic Lane Tech High School, Velasquez was also named an All-Conference LB for the Indians.
Chris Rantis- a transfer from UW-Whitewater, Rantis joins his twin brother Mike on the Forester roster. As a prep player at Lake Zurich High School, Rantis helped lead the the bears to the state semi-finals his senior year as a starting safety, with a 10-3 record.
Alex Sibley- a transfer from Joliet Junior College, Sibley was a standout long snapper for the Wolves. Prior to JJC, Sibley was an All-Conference and All-Area Tight End for Plainfield South High School, where he was the team captain his senior year.
Brendan Lawler- becomes the 4th Marist Redhawk on the roster. A long-snapper for Lake Forest Alumnus Pat Dunne, Lawler was a member of two state playoff teams at Marist.