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Zips Coach Terry Bowden “Selling a Vision” to 2016 Recruiting Class

By Katie King, kmk200@zips.uakron.edu

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Last Wednesday, Feb. 3, University of Akron head football coach Terry Bowden announced the high school student-athletes of the 2016 recruiting class.

Bowden invited students, athletes, faculty, and fans to a press conference in the Student Union Starbucks. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and tweet at Bowden using the hashtag #AskBowden.

In total, Coach Bowden signed 21 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The states best represented are Florida and Ohio, with athletes also coming from California, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Since the Zips lost their entire starting offensive line and linebacker team, Bowden is concentrating on filling the huge shoes that won the Idaho Potato Bowl in the 2015 season.  

Coach Bowden has 14 signed players, with seven prior signees who enrolled in the fall.  Six of the recruits are vital to the success of the Zips as offensive linemen: Trevor Brown (North Carolina), Brandon Council (North Carolina), Montel Jordan (Florida), Jovann Letuli (California), Cedric McCoy (Florida), and Jonathan Neeley (Ohio).

Four of these six enrolled early and are now eligible to participate in spring practices.

Akron is focused on looking for transfer students and more in-state players.

The Zips add Jamal Davis from Canton and junior transfer DeMarcus Lloyd from Vienna, Ga., as linebackers. As a unit, they will also have Ulysees Gilbert, Brian Bell, and Travonte Junius.

Additionally, the team signed Jaleel Davis (Florida) as a running back and safeties Alan Davis (Florida) and Shawn Featherstone (Pennsylvania). It also added quarterback Kato Nelson (Florida), who is believed to fit the Zips’ season goals of 2016. Nelson was originally interested in Cincinnati but committed to Akron once UA offered a scholarship.

Coach Bowden also named recruits Domonick Holley, Kevin Gladney, Brandon Junk, Vince Lockett, Xavier Quigley, Daumantas Venckus, and Josh Ward.

“Those coming in the summer have less time to establish themselves. It doesn’t mean by the third or fourth game they won’t be there,” Coach Bowden said when asked which players had chances of playing this upcoming season.

Although the Zips have a small signing class, they are powerful. Coach Bowden said he is satisfied with his recruits for the upcoming season and is ready to start spring training.

The team begins spring practices on March 14.

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