Zips recruitment update

Dante Rones

The Mid-American Conference was dominated by Kent State and Northern Illinois, with both teams undefeated within the conference. Kent State went 11-3 while Northern Illinois went 12-2. The two teams met in the MAC championship which ended with Northern Illinois winning in double overtime 44-37.

On the other end of conference play, Akron, Massachusetts and Miami (OH) were at the bottom. Akron went 0-8 (1-11), Massachusetts 1-7 (1-11), and Miami (OH) 3-5 (4-8). Akron (1-11) was the worst team in the conference, which makes getting a better defensive front their number one priority when signing players.

The Akron Zips defensive front was horrible against the run last year, and was even worse with getting pressure on the quarterback. This led to the defensive backs giving too many passes down the field. The special teams were the worst in the nation, and their running game averaged only about 114 yards per game.

Right now, Akron is ranked 106 in overall recruiting rankings. They have 17 commitments, including five three-star players: Mykel Traylor-Bennett (safety, position rank 106) from Reynoldsburg. (Reynoldsburg High School), Jerome Lane (outside line backer, pos. rank 95) from Akron, (Firestone High School), Tommy Woodson (dual threat quarterback, pos. rank 25) from Monroeville, Pa. (Gateway High School), Manny Morgan (running back, pos. rank. 95) from Naples, Fla. (Naples High School), and Keontae Hollis (defensive tackle, pos. rank 31) from Fort Dodge, Iowa (Iowa Central Community College).

The other 12 players that have committed to Akron are all two-star players. However, they did match the team’s greatest needs. The Zips picked up two defensive tackles that should be a force on the line, four outside linebackers that should boost the run defense, two safeties, and two cornerbacks that should improve the pass defense.

On the offensive side, they picked up one quarterback, one running back, two wide receivers, one tight end and some offensive linemen. Head coach Terry Bowden hopes to improve upon last year’s terrible 1-11 season, and to end the drought that has plagued the Zips football program.