A new era of Charger football unfolds in 2017. First on board with that new era is the incoming freshman class.
Head coach Keith Otterbein is proud to present 22 student-athletes who committed to suit up for the Chargers on 2017 National Signing Day. More players are expected to announce their commitment to join the Hillsdale College program in the weeks to come. The list on the grid below will be continuously updated as more players announce their commitment to Hillsdale College.
Otterbein said he likes the positional diversity of the initial signing class, noting that there are players in the class who could compete for playing time right away.
"We're bringing in a group that covers a lot of different positions," he said. "The guys we have coming in will be great fits for the school academically as well as on the football field. We're excited to start working with them."
There are a handful of familiar names among the initial recruiting class. Matthew Harding, a defensive back from Detroit Catholic Central, is the younger brother of Steve Harding, who played for Hillsdale from 2009-13. Drew Rubick is a tight end who hails from Lapeer, Michigan, and is the son of former Detroit Lions player Rob Rubick.
Among the initial group of 22, there are two or more players at six different positions, with linebacker (five) and offensive line (four) leading the way.
The initial class has an average ACT score of 28.1, with an overall average high school grade point average of 3.7. Twelve of the initial 22 have overall GPAs of 3.9 or higher.
After 43 seasons in the GLIAC, Hillsdale will join the Great Midwest Athletic Conference for the 2017 season. The Chargers were one of five GLIAC programs to announce moving to the G-MAC back on June 29, 2015. Malone University, a member of the GLIAC from 2012-16, moved one year ahead of everyone else and was a full member of the G-MAC in 2016-17. Joining Hillsdale as new members of the G-MAC in 2017 are the University of Findlay, Ohio Dominican University, Walsh University and Lake Erie College.
Existing football programs in the G-MAC, in addition to Malone, are Alderson-Broaddus University in West Virginia, and Kentucky Wesleyan College, located in Owensboro, Kentucky.
The 2017 season gets started on Saturday, Sept. 2 when the Chargers take on Mercyhurst College in a non-conference game in Erie, Pennsylvania. Home games against Michigan Tech and McKendree follow, with the team's final non-conference contest taking place Sept. 23 at the University of Indianapolis. Hillsdale College's homecoming game, as well as its first-ever G-MAC contest, will take place Sept. 30 against Kentucky Wesleyan.
|NAME||POS||HT||WT||HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL||HS COACH|
|Joey Brenner||QB||6-5||210||Port Clinton, OH/Port Clinton||Beau Carmon|
|Jonathan Burton||LB||6-1||190||Baroda, MI/Lakeshore||Bryan Keim|
|Nate Chambers||DL||6-4||220||Kalamazoo, MI/Otsego||John Kubiak|
|Jared Clark||OL||6-4||255||Hope, IN/Columbus East||Bob Gaddis|
|Joseph Cotton||DB||6-1||200||Phoenix, AZ/O'Connor||John Rodriguez|
|Ross Feldpausch||QB||6-3||180||St. Johns, MI/St. Johns||David Mariage|
|Alec Foos||WR||6-0||180||Bellevue, OH/Bellevue||Ed Nasonti|
|Matt Gray||OL||6-2||250||Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy||Mark Solis|
|Tanner Haase||LB||5-10||225||Fon Du Lac, WI/Winnebago Lutheran||John Boggs|
|Matthew Harding||DB||6-0||175||Novi, MI/Detroit Catholic Central||Tom Mach|
|Zach Herzog||DB||5-10||195||Windsor, ON/Holy Names||Rob McIntyre|
|Josef Hissom||TB||5-8||192||Spring Lake, MI/Spring Lake||Dan Start|
|Anthony Humm||DB||6-0||175||Alma, MI/Alma||Dan Falor|
|Cole Johnson||OL||6-4||255||Grand Ledge, MI/Grand Ledge||Matt Bird|
|Ethan Letsch||LB||5-11||170||Racine, WI/St. Catherine's||Phil Mason|
|Konnor Maloney||WR||6-3||170||Lansing, MI/Lansing Catholic||Jim Ahern|
|Gavin McKenzie||OL||6-1||220||Washington, MI/Lutheran North||Ryan Wesley|
|Calvin McNellie||H-back||6-1||210||Concord, OH/Lake Catholic||Scott O'Donnell|
|Brenden Mikesell||TB||6-0||175||Zionsville, IN/Zionsville||Pat Echeverria|
|Jack Murphy||WR||6-4||185||Canton, OH/Central Catholic||Jeff Lindesmith|
|Gabriel Nickels||LB||6-1||195||Clarkston, MI/Our Lady of the Lakes||Joshua Sawicki|
|Kyle Parran||DL||6-4||220||Petersburg, MI/Ida||Tom Walentowski|
|Will Patrick||WR||5-11||160||Clarksville, OH/William Mason||Brian Castner|
|John Pearson||LB||6-3||185||West Bloomfield, MI/Orchard Lake St. Mary's||George Porritt|
|Joe Royer||DL||6-3||235||Bloomfield Hills, MI/Brother Rice||David Sofran|
|Drew Rubick||TE||6-4||205||Lapeer, MI/Lapeer||Mike Smith|
|Turner Ruby||OL||6-3||280||Caledonia, MI/East Kentwood||Tony Kimbrough|
|Joe Schneider||DB||5-10||185||Rolling Meadows, IL/Fremd||Lou Sponsel|
|Jack Shannon||K||6-0||184||Huntertown, IN/Carroll||Doug Dinan|
|Harrison Taylor||WR||6-2||180||St. Charles, IL/Wheaton Academy||Brad Thornton|
|Jacob Thompson||TE||6-4||270||Butler, IN/Eastside||Mike Eshbach|
|Michael Valdez||DB||5-8||165||Chicago, IL/Notre Dame College Prep||Mike Hennessey|