MSU Spartans
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Feb. 13, 1997

Coach Saban Assesses MSU Football Recruits

The following is the list of Spartan recruits and Head Coach Nick Saban's assessment:

Chris Baker (tight end) - "Tight end was an area we definitely had to address. Usually players have to work their way to the offensive field, but in his case we'll start him out at tight end."

Duron Bryan (defensive back/receiver) - "Reminds me of (sophomore) Amp Campbell in the way he plays; good tackler, good receiver, good hands."

Willie Comerford (defensive tackle) - "He was 75-3 or 75-2 in wrestling and beat some very impressive competition. Defensive line types are usually the best athletes and have the best movement."

Lorenzo Guess (quarterback) - "He is interested in playing basketball, which we are not opposed to. He has good arm strength. He has the ability to be a quarterback here."

Herb Haygood (tailback) - "He's an outstanding running back in my opinion. We needed this kind of runner to compliment the people we have right now."

Renaldo Hill (defensive back) - "He has good ball skills, good ball judgment. We had him in our (prep) camp last year."

Matt Kropf (linebacker) - "He can run and strike you. He has a lot of effort and toughness."

Matt Mauck (quarterback) - "He's kind of a runner and passer, and has excellent athletic ability. We think he has enough arm strength to be a good passing quarterback."

Ivory McCoy (tight end/linebacker) - "We like him as a tight end, but he's a good defensive player as well. The guy can run."

Ben Meloche (linebacker) - "He has good size and can run well. I'm glad I don't have to coach against this Canadian (rules football)."

Joel Mesman (linebacker) - "We'll start him out as an outside linebacker."

Nick Meyers (defensive end) - "He's got pretty good running ability. That's the toughest position that we have to find guys to recruit."

Shawn Murphy (offensive lineman) - "He's got pretty good feet and change in direction for a 280-pound guy."

Demont Smith (receiver/defensive back) - "He's a big-play guy; reminds me of some guys we've had in the past like Mark Ingram."

Josh Smith (offensive lineman) - "Shows good lower body strength, flexibility. He's got good natural quickness, balance and body control."

DeMario Suggs (receiver/defensive back) - "His straight line speed makes him a (junior) Octavis Long type of guy."

T.J. Turner (linebacker) - "He's one of the best linebacker prospects we've recruited here for a while."

Marty Wensel (defensive tackle) - "He's up to about 280 (pounds) now and he uses his hands well."

Athlete Profiles

Chris Baker
TE, 6-4, 250
Saline, MI
Saline High School
Associated Press first-team all-state selection in 1996 . . . honorable
mention all-state pick by both Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News .
. . earned first-team all-area honors from the Ann Arbor News in '96 . .
. also named first-team all-league as a senior . . . scheduled to
participate in the MHSFCA East-West All-Star Game in Spartan Stadium in
August . . . had 40 receptions for 989 yards (24.7 avg.) and 11
touchdowns . . . also picked up 32 yards rushing on four carries (8.0
avg.) . . . credited with 29 tackles, including eight for losses . . .
had one interception and blocked two punts . . . currently averaging 14
points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for Saline's basketball team . . .
earned all-area and all-league honors in basketball in '95-'96 . . .
runs 4.75 in the 40 . . . plans to major in fisheries and wild life.
Duron Bryan
DB/WR, 6-0, 185
Lexington Park, MD
Great Mills High School
                    
Honorable mention all-metro pick by the Washington Post . . . first-team
all-conference selection as both a wide receiver and defensive back in
1996 . . . has been nominated to play in the Virginia-Maryland All-Star
Game (Chesapeake Classic) . . . played for coach Steve Hoopengardner at
Great Mills (Md.) High School . . . named team offensive and special
teams MVP . . . boasts personal bests of 6.3 in 55 meters, 6.1 in
50-yard dash and 21 feet in long jump . . . has been listed on Great
Mills' honor roll three times . . . plans to pursue a degree in
business/management.
Willie Comerford
DT, 6-4, 280
St. Petersburg, FL
Gibbs High School
                    
USA Today and Parade honorable mention All-American . . . named
to Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report All-Southeast Team and
SuperPrep's All-Dixie Team . . . honorable mention all-state
pick as a senior . . . earned first-team All-Tampa Bay,
All-Pinellas County, All-Suncoast and All-St. Petersburg . . .
named MVP at the Pinellas County All-Star Game . . . recorded
160 tackles, including 22 sacks, in 1996 . . . had 17 pancake
blocks as a starting offensive tackle . . . outstanding prep
wrestler has a 92-3 career record, including a current streak of
50-consecutive wins . . . has won 12 major tournaments over the
last three years . . . won '96 state wrestling title, defeating
four-time national champion Shawn McCoy in the finals . . . '96
Southeast Regional heavyweight champion . . . ran personal best
4.78 in the 40 prior to the Pinnelas County All-Star Game . . .
special education major.
Lorenzo Guess
QB, 6-3, 190
Wayne, MI
Wayne Memorial High School
Ranked as the Midwest's No. 4 prospect in Tom Lemming's Prep
Football Report . . . also named to SuperPrep's All-Midwest Team
. . . listed on The Detroit News All-State Dream Team . . . also
earned all-conference and all-metro honors as a senior . . . a
four-year starter at quarterback for Coach Chuck Howton at Wayne
(Mich.) Memorial High School . . . threw for nearly 1,000 yards
and 12 touchdowns in 1996 . . . added 220 yards rushing and
three TDs . . . had 39 tackles and two interceptions as a
starting defensive back in '96 . . . also broke up nine passes
and caused a fumble . . . threw for 1,120 yards and nine
touchdowns as a junior . . . currently averaging better than 20
points and 10 rebounds for the Wayne Memorial basketball team .
. . averaged better than 18 points and eight rebounds as a
junior in '95-'96 to earn All-America honors . . . also earned
all-state and all-conference honors in basketball . . . runs 4.5
in the 40 . . . member of the National Honor Society with a 3.4
overall grade-point average . . . plans to major in accounting.
Herb Haygood
TB, 6-0, 180
Sarasota, FL
Sarasota High School
Midwest Football Recruiting Magazine All-American . . . ranked
as the Southeast's No. 3 running back by the National Recruiting
Advisor . . . also listed as one of the nation's top 10
all-purpose backs by the same scouting service . . . named to
Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report All-Southeast Team and
SuperPrep's All-Dixie Team . . . first-team all-state selection
as a senior . . . earned all-area honors three-straight years .
. . selected to play in Florida's North-South All-Star Game in
Jacksonville . . . named Sarasota-Manatee County All-Star Game
MVP after picking up 114 yards on 10 carries and scoring twice .
. . a four-year starter for Coach Ed Howell at Sarasota (Fla.)
High School . . . rushed for 1,770 yards (7.2 avg.) and scored
26 touchdowns in 1996 . . . had a single-game high 359 yards
rushing vs. Venice High School . . . gained 3,258 yards rushing
(6.5 avg.) and scored 41 TDs during his prep career . . . runs
4.4 in the 40 . . . undecided major.
Renaldo Hill
DB, 5-11, 170
Detroit, MI
Chadsey High School
First-team all-state and all-city selection by both the Detroit
Free Press and The Detroit News in 1996 . . . named to the
Michigan Dream Team and rated the state's No. 3 prospect by The
Detroit News . . . a four-year starter for Coach Charles Spann
at Chadsey High School in Detroit . . . had 85 tackles and four
interceptions as a senior . . . also broke up 15 passes and
recovered two fumbles in '96 . . . caught 30 passes for 423
yards (14.1 avg.) and seven touchdowns as a senior . . . picked
off six passes as a junior in '95 . . . twice named to Chadsey's
Academic Honor Roll . . . plans to pursue a degree in hotel and
restaurant management.
Matt Kropf
LB, 6-4, 220
Traverse City, MI
Traverse City High School
USA Today All-America pick in 1996 . . . first-team all-state
and all-conference selection as a senior . . . featured on Tom
Lemming's Prep Football Report and SuperPrep's All-Midwest Teams
. . . named to The Detroit News Dream Team . . . recorded 156
tackles (120 solos, 36 assists), including 15 for losses and
seven sacks, in '96 . . . returned two fumbles for touchdowns,
both covering 70 yards . . . played for Coach Ken May at
Traverse City (Mich.) High School . . . also lettered in both
track and basketball . . . tossed a personal best 169 feet in
the discus . . . runs 4.6 in the 40 . . . member of the National
Honor Society . . . plans to enroll in pre-med curriculum.
Matt Mauck
QB, 6-3, 220
Jasper, IN
Jasper High School
Named to Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report and SuperPrep's
All-Midwest Teams . . . selected 1996 Southwest Indiana Player
of the Year and Region 9 MVP . . . completed 59 of 117 passes
(.504) for 940 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior at Jasper
(Ind.) High School . . . rushed for 625 yards (8.2 avg.) and
nine TDs in '96 . . . accounted for 4,474 yards total offense
and 55 touchdowns during his prep career . . . threw for 2,354
yards (148-286, .517) and 27 TDs as a three-year starter for
Coach Jerry Brewer . . . gained 2,120 career rushing yards and
scored 28 touchdowns . . . helped Jasper High School to a
combined record of 40-3 (.930) during his prep career . . . runs
4.6 in the 40 . . . three-sport standout led Jasper to the '96
state baseball title, driving in a playoff-record four runs in
the championship game . . . also earned all-sectional and
all-regional honors in basketball in '95 . . . listed on '96
academic all-state team with an overall grade-point average of
3.4 . . . plans to enroll in the College of Arts and Letters.
Ivory McCoy
TE/LB, 6-4, 225
Chicago, IL
Simeon High School
Earned second-team all-state honors from the Chicago Sun-Times
in 1996 . . . a two-time all-city selection . . . a three-year
starter for Coach Al Scott at Simeon High School in Chicago . .
. recorded 123 tackles, including 20 for losses and 15 sacks, as
a senior . . . intercepted six passes in '96 and returned four
for touchdowns . . . had eight receptions for 120 yards and two
TDs as a tight end in '96 . . . Honor Roll student who earned
Simeon's top physics award last year . . . plans to major in
computer science.
Joel Mesman
 LB, 6-3, 245
 Grand Rapids, MI
 South Christian High School
 
Named to Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report and SuperPrep's
All-Midwest Teams . . . featured on The Detroit News and Athlon
Sports Blue Chip Lists . . . a first-team all-state selection as
a senior Coach Bob Blacquiere at South Christian High School in
Grand Rapids, Mich. . . . a two-time all-conference and all-area
pick . . . made 82 tackles (46 solos, 36 assists), including
five for losses, in 1996 . . . also caught 12 passes for 156
yards as a tight end . . . a two-time all-conference and
all-area choice in track as a discus thrower . . . plans to
pursue a degree in engineering.
Nick Meyers
DE, 6-4, 255
Springfield, OH
Springfield North High School
Honorable mention all-state pick as a senior . . . earned
first-team All-Southwest Ohio Region, all-league, all-district,
all-area and all-county honors in 1996 . . . also named league
MVP as a senior . . . played for Coach Jim Dimitroff at North
High School in Springfield, Ohio . . . nominated to participate
in the Ohio North-South All-Star Game . . . had 71 tackles,
including 12 for losses and five sacks, in '96 . . . also forced
five fumbles and recovered two fumbles . . . posted an average
grade of 92 percent as an offensive lineman with 14 pancake
blocks . . . played in the same Western Ohio League which
produced current Spartans Mike Austin and Brian Stephan . . .
plans to pursue a degree in computer science.
Shawn Murphy
OL, 6-5, 285
Cincinnati, OH
Oak Hills High School
Named to Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report All-Midwest Team . .
. honorable mention all-region choice in 1996 . . . first-team
all-conference and second-team all-city selection as a senior .
. . played for Coach George Kontsis at Oak Hills High School in
Cincinnati, Ohio . . . runs 5.0 in the 40 . . . plans to pursue
a degree in business.
Demont Smith
WR/DB, 5-11, 175
Grand Rapids, MI
Ottawa Hills High School
First-team all-state selection as a senior . . . a two-time
all-city and all-area pick for Coach Jerry Dutcher at Ottawa
Hills High School in Grand Rapids, Mich. . . . caught 26 passes
for 565 yards (21.7 avg.) in 1996 . . . recorded 116 tackles (84
solos, 32 assists), including nine sacks, as a senior . . . had
three interceptions and broke up four passes . . . track
regional champion in both the long jump and 4 x 100 relay . . .
plans to enroll in the College of Arts and Letters.
 Josh Smith
OL, 6-5, 275
O'Fallon, IL
O'Fallon Township High School
SuperPrep All-American . . . USA Today honorable mention
All-American . . . named to Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report
All-Midlands Team and SuperPrep's All-Midwest Team . . . earned
first-team all-state, all-area, all-district and all-conference
honors as a senior at O'Fallon (Ill.) Township High School . . .
consistently graded out as a winner for Coach Gary Bridell, with
an average score of 85 percent . . . runs 4.8 in the 40 . . .
averages 9.3 points and 7.4 rebounds for O'Fallon Township's
basketball team . . . plans to pursue a degree in criminal
justice.
DeMario Suggs
WR/DB, 6-0, 185
Toledo, OH
St. John's High School
Earned first-team all-city, all-area and all-district honors as
a senior . . . second-team all-state selection . . . has been
nominated to participate in several postseason games, including
the Ohio North-South and Regional All-Star Games,
Ohio-Pennsylvania Big 33 all-star game and the Down Under Bowl
in Australia . . . rushed for 1,327 yards (7.1 avg.) and scored
15 touchdowns last season . . . had 33 tackles, including a
sack, and one interception as a starting defensive back for
Coach Fred Beier . . . '96 city league track champion in both
the 100 (10.5) and 200 meters (21.7) . . . runs 4.3 in the 40 .
. . member of the President's Council and a guest speaker for
the DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program . . . plans
to pursue a degree in business.
T.J. Turner
LB, 6-4, 240
Hillsboro, OH
Hillsboro High School 
SuperPrep All-American . . . listed on
both Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report and SuperPrep's
All-Midwest Teams . . . earned first-team all-state, all-region,
all-district and all-league honors as a senior at Hillsboro
(Ohio) High School . . . named league MVP after recording 103
tackles, including seven sacks, in just seven games (missed
three games with an ankle injury) . . . had three interceptions
and recovered six fumbles . . . also caught 39 passes for 757
yards (19.4 avg.) and 14 touchdowns as the starting tight end
for Coach Jim Horne . . . runs 4.6 in the 40 . . . plans to
pursue a degree in business.
Marty Wensel
DT, 6-4, 275
Slatington, PA
Northern Lehigh High School
USA Today honorable mention All-American . . . two-time
first-team all-state and all-league selection . . . nominated to
play in the Ohio-Pennsylvania Big 33 all-star game . . . a
four-year starter for Coach Jim Tkach at Northern Lehigh High
School in Slatington, Pa. . . . registered 40 tackles, including
two sacks, and batted down four passes in 1996 . . . plans to
pursue a degree in criminal justice.
1996 Scholarship Counter
Ben Meloche
LB, 6-3, 225
Beloeil, Quebec
CEGEP Du Vieux Montreal
Named to the CEGEP AAA All-Star Team in 1996 . . . recorded 75
tackles, including nine sacks, as a senior for Coach Marc
Santerre at CEGEP Du Vieux Montreal . . . helped Vieux Montreal
capture the Quebec AAA CEGEP championship in '96 . . . also
earned Ontario All-Star Team honors in 1992 and '94 while
playing for the St. Bruno Barons. . . undecided




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