Lewis values extra time as Flashes continue to secure best recruits in program history

Kent State coach Sean Lewis looks toward the scoreboard during Kent State’s game against Illinois at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. The Flashes lost 31-24.

Ian Kreider

Sean Lewis secured 10 more recruits on National Signing Day, bringing Kent State’s recruiting total to 25.

It was the first time that coach Sean Lewis had a full recruiting schedule since taking over the program in December 2017. He had 42 days of recruiting prior to the 2018 season.

“We were able to have more time to evaluate the intangibles,” Lewis said at his press conference Wednesday. “Time allows us to have players on campus multiple times and get to their high school to have those points of contact in order to know who they truly are.”

The focus on offensive lineman continued as they secured two more recruits up front in Elijah Lamptey from Leo Catholic High School in Chicago and Bill Kudik, who is a transfer from Kansas State. The six offensive lineman that have signed have an average height of 6’4” and weight of 293 pounds.

“We put a premium on size, length and strength,” Lewis said. “We’re excited to develop them because that will give us a competitive advantage going forward.”

The Flashes added Quentin Jones to their defensive line. He is listed at 6’3” 320 pounds. He recorded seven sacks in his senior season.

“We were able to get him on campus, as opposed to visiting (the University of Massachusetts),” Lewis said. “When he got to campus we were able to secure his commitment.”

Kent State added Joachim Bangda to a running back group that already contains early signee Bryan Bradford and senior Jo-El Shaw. Bangda was one of the more sought after recruits that Lewis signed. He had offers from Georgia Tech, Maryland, Syracuse, Wisconsin, Penn State and Alabama.

“Bangda is one of the highest ranked players that Kent State has ever signed,” Lewis said. “He was originally committed to Georgia Tech, but when there was a coaching change there we were able to take advantage.”

Linebacker was another position of importance after Jim Jones’ graduation from Kent State. They were able to sign two more linebackers to add more depth to a position that saw multiple starters last season. Brandon Coleman is a two-way player who played both linebacker and running back in high school. He finished his sophomore season with 1,751 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns. A knee injury derailed his junior season, but he finished with comparable numbers his senior year. Lewis plans on utilizing him at inside linebacker.

“He has the ability to run sideline-to-sideline, which is something you need to have in today’s game,” Lewis said. “He has a great sense of football IQ to be able to play both positions.

But Lewis did not rule out giving him some carries.

“I think he has a great future ahead of him on the defensive side of the ball, but if he happens to get a few carries on the offensive side of the ball I know a guy who can make that happen,” Lewis said with a smile.

The Flashes also acquired defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight from Maryland. He finished with 45 tackles and a forced fumble in 27 games played.

Other Flashes additions include wide receiver Ja’Shaun Poke (5’10”, 175 pounds), defensive back Mario Nunez (6’2”, 188 pounds), linebacker Colt Jennings (6’3”, 225 pounds) and long snapper Brad George (5’9”, 205 pounds).

“The average ranking of each player was the highest we’ve had since 247Sports started their rankings,” Lewis said. “We have already had some players from the 2020 class reach out and tell us that they like what we’re doing.”

Kent State will play its spring game on April 13 at Dix Stadium.

Ian Kreider is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].