The Central Michigan football has spent most of the off-season working hard to avoid another losing season. Central Michigan coach Dan Enos endured a rough season at the helm, with the Chippewas unable to overcome the loss of several standout players on both sides of the ball, most notably quarterback Dan LeFevour and wide receiver/returner Antonio Brown.
The Chippewas not only suffered a drop in athleticism and experience, but the lack of leadership proved to be a problem in the 2010 season, leading to a 3-9 overall mark and 2-6 standard in the Mid-American Conference West Division. Under the direction of Brian Kelly and Butch Jones, the Chippewas became one of the elite teams in the conference. Enos' goal is to bring the glory back to the Chippewas, who have four players in this year's Super Bowl. Enos has focused on recruiting physical and tough players with good character, and expects a quick turnaround.
"We are going to play in a bowl game," he said. "Obviously we want to compete for the MAC West Championship and get to the MAC Championship game and then play in a bowl game. I mean, that is it. That is what we should expect."
Enos admitted the Chippewas must upgrade their overall talent level and fill gaps at several positions. The Chippewas lost their quarterback coach, Jay Johnson to Louisiana-Lafayette, but the offense returns several talented players in quarterback Ryan Radcliff, Paris Cotton, Cody Wilson, Zurlon Tipton and most of the offensive line.
"We are excited about our team and we are going to be better in a lot of areas," Enos said. "We know what we have to do and I think we will have a sense of urgency to us and I know our guys are going to be hungry. I have gotten a lot of texts from our guys talking about their desire to get back on the field and win some games. That is the mentality we have to have and we have to keep it throughout the season. It is going to be a great offseason."
Enos canvassed the state of Michigan to bolster his program with new blood, signing 16 players from Michigan out of CMU's 27-player class. Enos added four players from Florida, three from Illinois and two from Wisconsin and California.
"Very excited about this class," Enos said. "We set out and made the state of Michigan our priority. We need to get the best players from Michigan and the Midwest, and we feel like we did that."
TOP OF THE CLASS
QB Alex Niznak (Ithaca HS, Ithaca, Mich.) -- Ranked No. 10 on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50, Niznak is getting an early start on his career by already enrolling at Central Michigan for the spring semester. He led his team to a 14-0 record and recorded a 3.6 grade-point-average.
WR Courtney Williams (Melvindale HS, Melvindale, Mich.) -- A three-star Rivals.com recruit, Williams might be moved to defensive back. Williams has good size (6-foot-1, 212 pounds) and possesses a lot of talent and gives the CMU coaching staff flexibility with his ability to play numerous positions.
LB Tim Hamilton (Brother Rice HS, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) -- At 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds, Hamilton enters college with good size and speed. He immediately helps shore up CMU's linebacking corps hit heavily by graduation.
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