OXFORD, Ohio – With Summer Orientation allowing incoming freshmen to visit Miami University’s campus through the next three weeks, MURedHawks.com continues its series to introduce the newest athletic recruits to their future classmates.
Today’s story features four incoming football players.
Get excited future RedHawks, your incoming classmates seem to have what it takes to help make Miami’s 2013-14 season a remarkable one!
Grant Niemiec – Linebacker, 6-0, 220 –Commerce, MI –Orchard Lake St. Mary’s High School –Coach George Porritt
On the 2012 Detroit News Blue Chip List, Grant was rated as the state’s 24th-best player, the AP Player of the Year, and a member of the all-state squad. He played both running back and linebacker. Grant posted 1,742 rushing yards on 249 carries, while scoring 25 touchdowns. His father played football at Eastern Michigan and his brother plays football at Hillsdale College.
Coach Treadwell about Grant Niemiec: "Orchard Lake St. Mary's is a school that every college program recruits. Grant really makes his presence known as a tough-nosed tackler.”
Buchi Okafor: Defensive Back, 6-2, 190 –Lewis Center, OH –Olentangy High School –Coach Ed Terwilliger
Team MVP for Coach Ed Terwilliger’s Olentangy Braves in 2012, Buchi was a first-team all-conference selection. As a defensive back, he recorded 36 tackles, three tackles for loss, 12 pass break-ups, and one fumble recovery. Buchi captained both the football and track teams, and was also a scholar athlete in both sports all four years. He plans to study economics at Miami this coming fall.
Coach Treadwell about Buchi Okafor: "Because of his size, Buchi has been a corner and he's played at strong safety in high school. That's really a big advantage for us. Plus he's very strong academically."
Matt Smallbone: Defensive Line/Linebacker, 6-4, 225 –Granger, IN –South Bend St. Joseph High School –Coach Ben Downey
After shattering his elbow and tearing his tricep, Matt was only able to play in one game last season. Being an outstanding player his sophomore and junior seasons, he averaged 136 tackles, captained the football team twice, earned first-team all-state and all-conference honors, and was also the team MVP. Matt plans to study business at Miami this coming fall.
Coach Treadwell about Matt Smallbone: "Matt has a tremendous frame, so we're going to look at him at two positions. If he puts some weight on, he can be a great defensive end. Because of an injury his senior year, he didn't get to participate as much, so he's kind of a hidden gem. Because of his movement, we're really excited about him."
Zach Smerciak: Linebacker/Defensive Line, 6-2, 210 –Aurora, OH –Aurora High School –Coach Bob Mihalik
Zach earned first-team honors on the AP Division II All-Ohio squad, was Akron Touchdown Club Player of the Year, Inland District Defensive Player of the Year, and conference Defensive Player of the Year. He was also all-conference, team MVP, and team captain. On defense in 2012, Zach recorded 123 tackles, five quarterback sacks, 12 tackles for loss, two safeties and five interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns. On offense, he averaged 28 yards per catch and scored five touchdowns.
Coach Treadwell about Zach Smerciak: "It will be interesting to see what Zach's body develops into, but he's a very smart and athletic ball player."
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