Ichabods announce 17 recruits for football team

Nathan Miller

David DeMars is ranked third in the state of Kansas in 3-2-1A high school wrestling. But on Wednesday, the only people doing the take downs was Washburn’s football program – taking down his information and adding his name to the list of 17 prep football stars that will be joining the Bods in their defense of the MIAA title.

“I’m really excited about playing football at the next level. I think it will be a good experience and I hope both sides benefit from it,” said DeMars.

DeMars, who will graduate from St. Mary’s High School in May, signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play offensive line for the Bods. In his four years of high school ball, DeMars earned several honors including first team all-state and all-league offensive lineman his senior year.

“Washburn has an excellent academic program, and I was impressed by the success of the football team, so Washburn sounded like a good deal to me,” said DeMars.

Sixteen other prep stars seem to agree with DeMars.

“I was very satisfied with recruiting. Our assistant coaches just did a tremendous job of bringing in the guys that we have. Some of them we signed and some of them we lost late, but that’s all part of it. They brought in great players. It was great to have those guys on our campus, and we feel like if we can get these guys on campus, we can sign anybody, because the campus is so nice now. The year that we had, and people can see where the program is heading, we can compete with anybody,” said Craig Schurig, head coach.

One of the prep stars that seems to stand out from the rest is Hayden running back Josh Torrez. Torrez racked up 1,675 yards and 31 touchdowns his senior year, earning him an all-state and Kansas Coaches All-state team selection.

“Coming from Hayden High School, it’s a great program. We’ve recruited their top rusher the last four years and signed him. That’s always a big thing for us,” said Schurig.

But with Trent Hearn, returning for his senior season, and junior Ra’Shawn Mosley returning as well, Torrez may not get to run the ball for a while.

“We’re going to try him out at running back. He is a big enough, strong enough kid that if he had to wait, we could play him on defense if he would do that. So he could play safety or linebacker down the road. We would anticipate red shirting him with the talent we have at tailback now and go from there,” said Schurig.

Counting Torrez, the Bods recruited only six defensive type players, but Schurig isn’t unhappy about this number at all.

“Number wise that may be the case, but the quality of the defensive guys we’ve signed is really strong. Ray Trice, he may come in and play right away, he’s that good of an outside linebacker. Luke Schuckman is one of the top linebackers in the state as an inside linebacker, and he’ll challenge for playing time. The quality of what we recruited on defense can give us some immediate competition at some of the positions,” said Schurig.

Although national signing day was on Wednesday, the recruiting process is far from over and there are some transfers from different colleges coming to Washburn next year, but Schurig has decided not to release the names of those players yet.

“If you look at the players that have had success with us, we sign a number of them late. We don’t stop recruiting and will continue to recruit. But hopefully [we] will land a couple more, and it probably will be on the defensive side,” said Schurig. “At our level, we just continue to recruit, because some kids get bypassed or they thought they would get a scholarship from a big school, and that doesn’t work out. We’ve been very successful with late signing and will continue to do so.”