The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Pittsburg State Sports

February 6, 2013

Gorillas place emphasis on line

It didn’t take Pittsburg State coach Tim Beck long to point out the emphasis of the 2013 recruiting class, which landed 29 high school seniors on Wednesday.

“We put a lot of emphasis on the offensive and defensive lines,” said Beck, whose Gorillas are coming off a relatively disappointing 7-3 season. “We’ve been pretty good up front in the past and that’s something that needs to continue. We feel like we have a pretty good starting point.”

Among the 29 signees were seven offensive lineman and five defensive linemen, including one lineman on each side of the ball Beck said the coaching staff was relieved to land.

Daniel August, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end from Tulsa’s Victory Christian, and Jacob Ralph, a 6-5, 280 offensive lineman from Shiloh Christian in Bentonville, Ark., were pointed out by Beck as prospects who the Pitt State coaching staff thought might end up at bigger schools.

“Those are two guys who we are pretty happy to get,” Beck said. “We were concerned some bigger school might take them late.

“They have great potential.”

Demetrius Bernard, 5-11 225 linebacker from Fort Zumwalt West, and Thomas LePage, 6-3, 180 quarterback from Jefferson City, are two Missouri Class 6A all-state selections also singled out by Beck, as was Deontre Youngblood, 6-0, 180 defensive back from Tulsa’s East Central.

Kellen Sims (5-11, 180 from Derby, Kan.) and Aren Martin (6-1, 190 from Lebanon, Mo.) are two wide receivers mentioned by Beck.

Pitt State’s prep recruiting class stretched from the St. Louis area (Fort Zumwalt West) to Hays, Kan., to the Oklahoma City area (Norman North) to Albuquerque, N.M. (LaCueva High School.)

“We were able to ht Kansas City, Topeka, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Tulsa,” Beck said. “We were able to get players from all those areas and cover a pretty good area geographically. Our coaches did a tremendous job going out and finding talent.”

The Gorillas also signed six junior college transfers, including Oklahoma State safety Isaac Maselera, who was a Class 4A all-stater at Glenpool (Okla.) High.

“Isaac got some playing time under his belt at Oklahoma State,” Beck said. “He’ll be a good player for us.”

Jesse Ingle (6-2, 280) and Zachary Burkhart (6-3, 285 transfer from Butler Community College) will compete for spots on Pitt State’s offensive line.

Owen Jordan, a Columbus Unified High School graduate, transfers from Fort Scott Community College after throwing for 1,273 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Greyhounds.

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