The 2010 recruiting class for the West Chester University Golden Rams football squad is one that is both athletically gifted, and filled with players who have Division I talent but fell through the cracks and ended up at West Chester. The 21 players are highlighted by all-everything running back Rondell White and defensive-end Josh Coulter.”We were surprised that Rondell fell to us,” Zwaan said. “But we knew he was thinking highly of us all along and if he did not receive a D-I scholarship, we thought we had a great chance of landing him. He is a great get for us.”
One of the priorities for head coach Bill Zwaan and his coaching staff was to bring in players to help replace the linebackers they lost last year. With Sam Scott, Mike Dell, Mike Holland and T.J. Cascio all leaving due to graduation, replacing a crew like that will be tough to do. Currently, Ronnie Koons and Anthony McCloskey lead a revamped linebacking corps that will be tested this upcoming season.
“We were looking to replace the linebacking crew we lost last year,” Zwaan said. “That was a high priority for us and we did a good job there.”
Offensively, White leads a group that has some talent. Last year, for the West Chester Rustin Golden Knights, White rushed for 1,925 yards and 30 touchdowns. He averaged 175 yards a game and 9.92 yards per carry. During his high school career, White totaled over 4,000 yards, 65 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Some of his accolades include first team All-Southeastern Pa. for the past two years, first team All-State the past two years and he won the Military Order of the Purple Heart Male Athlete of the Year as a junior.
Also coming in is Laronn Lee, a wide receiver from Penn Manor. Lee was a two-sport athlete in high school. On the football field, Lee caught 30 passes for 521 yards and five touchdowns. He also had 100 carries for 737 yards and nine touchdowns.
“Laronn Lee had some I-AA offers that fell through late,” Zwaan said. “And we were happy to be there when he went to D-II. He is related to Herb Lee, a long time coach and teacher here at West Chester.”
Another under the radar pickup is quarterback Aaron Wilmer out of George Washington High School. He finished his career with a school record of 2,457 passing yards of and a school and league record 43 passing touchdowns. He also rushed for 541 yards and 14 touchdowns.
“Aaron Wilmer at QB was being recruited by some D-I schools as an athlete/DB,” Zwaan said. “But he wanted to play QB. He could be a real sleeper.”
Defensively, the Golden Rams coaching staff has recruited depth at the linebacking position and some depth along the defensive line. Josh Coulter, a defensive end from Downingtown west, had 75 sacks throughout his high school career.
“Josh Coulter is another excellent football player from the county and he would have been a D-I player if he had the size,” Zwaan said. “He has D-I talent.”
All in all, some of the players recruited have a chance to make an immediate impact. But this class cannot be judged for another couple of years.
“We usually try to red shirt most of the freshmen, but we think we have some opportunities for some of the guys who may be ready to play right away,” Zwaan said. “[White] is one of the guys who may play for us right away. I could possibly see one of the linebackers getting some playing time for us at least on the special teams.”
This upcoming summer, these players will have the chance to show what they can bring to West Chester for the 2010 football season. Coach Zwaan believes he has recruited players who will help bring the program back to the top of the PSAC and, four months from now, the coaches will know what they have.
LJ Harrell is a fourth-year student majoring in Marketing. He can be reached at LH639694@wcupa.edu.