Football unveils all 38 incoming players to program Wednesday


File Photo | The Daily Eastern News Eastern head football coach Adam Cushing talks about an incoming class of players at national signing day in February 2019. Eastern announced all of its signees Wednesday for this year’s class, a total of 38 players.

Dillan Schorfheide, Sports Editor

The quarterback and offensive/defensive line drew comments from Eastern head football coach Adam Cushing Wednesday as Cushing explained those were positions Eastern wanted to hit in recruiting.

But out of all the players Eastern’s program is bringing in for next season, only one can say they are a long snapper, and Cushing said the program hopes that high school recruit can be great for the Panthers.

Dylan Goodsell was not the name people were talking about during the recruiting process, but Eastern is hoping that will be an advantage for him, as the 6-foot-4-inch, 250-pound-long snapper stands out among Eastern’s 38 new players because of his position.

“We had a need at that position, to have depth there, certainly,” Cushing said. “We saw him at some camps over the summer, did an absolutely fantastic job. We definitely need him.”

Cushing added: “The best thing about a long snapper is that no one ever knows his name, right, just shows up, does his job for four years and goes along,” he said with a laugh. “The hope is no one actually knows his name until he gets nominated for All-American status.”

Standing out among the new players also sits Daniel Louma, who is listed as a super back and is from Finland.

“If you look around the country, recently, the last four, five, six years or whatever it’s been, you probably see there’s been an increase in European talent, and there’s better football than anybody knows about or gives credit to over there,” Cushing said.

He added: “So it was a matter of getting connected through a guy that knows a guy, and then truly starting to build that relationship with him as we learned about him as an athlete and his history and all those other things.”

Eastern added 38 total players to its roster from signing day Wednesday (when Goodsell signed), the early signing period in December (when Louma signed) and a few others joined the program in January when school started.

Cushing said Eastern defended home turf well, as 16 players are from Illinois (with others from the Midwest), and there are a handful of players who transferred from junior college.

The quarterback position and the offensive and defensive line positions, or the players in the “trenches” as Cushing put it, were the areas Cushing said Eastern focused on in recruiting.

The Panthers had three quarterbacks sign between the signing periods, which will add some depth to the position, Cushing said.

“You got to have depth at that room, which we witnessed this past season,” Cushing said, chuckling. “This is a place where we’re going to be super selective about the ability to play quarterback because of our tradition.”

On the defensive line, one of the recruits who stands out is Anthony Baker, from St. Louis.

Baker, according to 247Sports, had offers from Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois and Syracuse. As a senior, Baker had 38 tackles with seven sacks.

On the offensive line, one name to pick out is CaDarrein Carter, who transferred to Eastern after playing at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M for three years, and he will be coming in as a redshirt junior.

Carter played as a left tackle for the last two seasons and earned All-Conference honors twice.

Carter brings some much-needed experience to Eastern’s offensive line, which consisted of many freshmen last season.

“No secret that there were four or five games where we had five freshmen on the (offensive) line, true freshmen on the line last year and would like to avoid that situation for the rest of my coaching career if at all possible, quite frankly,” Cushing said.

On top of that, out of the 11 offensive linemen returning for Eastern, Carter will already be tied as the second-tallest offensive lineman Eastern has, with returning sophomore Chad Strickland and incoming-freshman Bryson Broadway, who signed Wednesday like Carter.

Cushing added that he believes that to take the next step, Eastern must have consistent, competitive depth up front (the offensive and defensive lines).

“More than just those first five or four, whatever or three, whatever the number is that’s out there on the field, you got to have more than that, that can play,” he said.

Here is the by-the-numbers breakdown of Eastern’s incoming players by position: Seven running backs/super backs, six linebackers, seven wide receivers, three quarterbacks, seven defensive linemen/defensive ends, four offensive linemen and four safeties/defensive backs.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].