November 20, 2012

Part One: Looking back at the 2012 senior class

Senior Night was especially sweet for Central Michigan's 20 seniors, as they defeated Miami (OH) 30-16 and became one win away from bowl eligibility. For them, they have a chance to get CMU back on the right track and back to the level the program was at when they arrived as freshman. Today we take a look at each member, from the time they arrived until their final season in the Maroon and Gold.

Safety Jahleel Addae

THEN: Addae arrived at CMU as arguably the highest rated recruit in the internet recruiting era when he signed in 2008. He was a three star prospect who also held offers from Iowa State and West Virginia. In fact, Jahleel actually committed to the Mountaineers in April of 2007 where his brother (Jahmile) was a grad assistant, but then head coach Butch Jones convinced him to flip to the Chippewas. He was a touted running back coming out of Riverview (Fla.), but ended up at safety after also playing RB and WR for CMU.

NOW: Addae has developed into and All-Conference caliber safety and he led the team in tackles as a junior. He will go down as one the best defensive backs to ever suit up for CMU, and he is likely to be drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Corner Taylor Bradley

THEN: Came to CMU as a relatively unknown receiver out of Cincinnati (OH) Winton Woods. He was a two-star prospect who also held offers from Eastern Michigan and Eastern Kentucky. His stock was quieted by his HS offense, as the running game was predominantly featured. Bradley was part of the 2007 recruiting class.

NOW: If there has been a player who had a more turbulent career at CMU, we have yet to see him. He started out as a wide receiver in his freshman season, and then was moved to defensive back in 2008, then back to wide receiver in 2010, then back to defensive back in 2011. He left the team during the season in 2010 after clashing with the coaching staff, but returned for a second chance in 2011. He was playing well, but tore his Achilles tendon in a loss to Kentucky. He played a key role early in his senior season, but has not recorded a tackle since the Navy game.

Tackle Eric Fisher

THEN: Lightly recruited out of Rochester (Mich.) Stoney Creek, Fisher committed to the Chippewas shortly after receiving an offer. At 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds, he was an intriguing athlete who also played linebacker and defensive end in high school. He arrived at CMU as the "top sleeper" in the 2009 class according to the Butch Jones regime.

NOW: Fisher has been a three-year starter and a darn good one at that. As a sophomore, he started at both tackle spots and at right guard. In 2011, he made the All-MAC third team, despite missing the last two games because of injury. His senior season has probably been his best season: he was name to Phil Steele's Midseason All-MAC first team and he has probably earned himself a spot on the All-MAC first or second team. He could get drafted in the second round of the NFL draft, with the possibility of moving up with a good pro day performance.

Kicker David Harman

THEN: Arrived at CMU as a walk-on kicker in 2008, and was mostly recognized as being the brother of Chippewas starting point guard Robbie Harman. Once Andrew Aguila graduated in 2009, the kicking job became open…but Harman sure wasn't expected to win it.

NOW: Most Chippewa fans will remember Harman for two kicks: the missed 28-yard field goal at the end of regulation against Kent State last year and the 47-yard field goal to beat Iowa this season. Harman has quietly put together a very good career for CMU, making 27-of-34 field goal attempts over the past two seasons, and has handled kickoff duties during that time. He has been a very solid player for CMU at a position that often carries a lot of inconsistency.

Wide Receiver Jerry Harris

THEN: Harris was a fairly well regarded receiver out of Boca Raton (FL). He was a two-star prospect who also held offers from Eastern Michigan, Southern Mississippi and Louisiana-Lafayette. He was part of a three man wide receiver class in 2008 that also included Cedric Fraser and Valtorrey Showers.

NOW: Had a solid sophomore year and was expected to have a big impact during his junior and senior seasons, but could never really take the next step forward, in part due to an injuries and in part due to the emergence of Titus Davis and Courtney Williams. The highlight of his career was a six catch, 91-yard performance at Kentucky in 2011. Could still possibly return next year if he is granted another year of eligibility, but it will be a very competitive WR group.

Punter Curtis Huge

THEN: Pronounced "Hewgey", he was signed out Bakersfield College in 2011 with the hopes he would win the starting punter job.

NOW: Never really took hold of the starting job, but he had a nice performance against Navy this year when he stepped in for Richie Hogan. Against the Midshipmen, he had 221 punting yards on five punts, an average of 44.2 yards-per-punt.

Guard Darren Keyton

THEN: Keyton was a two-star prospect out of Traverse City (Mich.) West, where he played left tackle. He was one of only two offensive linemen in the 2008 class.

NOW: Another three-year starter along the offensive line for Dan Enos and the new staff. Playing in the shadow of Fisher and Jake Olson, he has quietly put together a very solid career for the Chippewas. He has been a versatile lineman, moving back and forth between guard and center as needed throughout his time in Mount Pleasant. Has been part of a very good MAC offensive line during his senior season and could get an invitation to a NFL training camp next summer.

Defensive End Joe Kinville

THEN: Joined the team as a walk-on TE/LB in 2008 out of Detroit (Mich.) Catholic Central, but did not return to the team in 2009 following a redshirt. Rejoined the team under head coach Dan Enos in 2010, and quickly earned a scholarship as he moved to DE.

NOW: Has been a three-year starter for the new coaching staff and was named a captain this fall. Was never an elite pass rusher, but has provided a lot of leadership and a steady hand along the defensive line during his time at CMU. Kinville has five career sacks, but the highlight of his career was when he recovered the game winning fumble near the goal line against Western Michigan in 2010.

Defensive Back Mark Lathers

THEN: Joined the team as a walk-on after a year at Benedictine College.

NOW: Made an appearance on special teams against Miami on Saturday. Will graduate with a degree in Sport Studies.

Tackle Jake Olson

THEN: One of the more intriguing recruiting stories of CMU, Olson originally signed with CMU in 2007 but greyshirted, as he was a major project at 6-foot-8 and 237 pounds. Olson redshirted in 2008, and out of need he was more or less told to eat everything in sight to add weight. Was able to get up to 282 pounds and became a starter at left tackle as a redshirt freshman.

NOW: After a rough first start against Arizona, Olson would solidify the LT position and started 12 games as a redshirt freshman, earning some major accolades. Unfortunately, that season would prove to be a high note as injuries limited his playing time the rest of his career. He would start only 12 games from 2010-12 to limit a promising career. Leg injury vs. Michigan State ended his 2012 season, and it remains to be seen if his injury history will keep him from a shot at the NFL, or possibly a return to CMU next season with a medical redshirt.

Stay tuned for Part Two!

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