MNN Local Sports

The Western Illinois Football program will have twenty-one new faces come 2018. Head Coach Jared Elliott announced his full class for the upcoming season on Wednesday's National Signing Day.


The Leathernecks garnered eight new commitments on National Signing Day. Western maintained all 13 of its December commits from the early signing period, when Charlie Fisher was still head coach.


WIU has players from eight states in this year's class: Illinois (9), Montana (3), Florida (2), Indiana (2), Minnesota (2), Mississippi (1), California (1), and Wisconsin (1). The class consists of eleven players on offense  (6 OL, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 QB) and 10 on defense  (4 LB, 4 DB, 2 DE). 


With WIU losing four senior offensive linemen, a clear emphasis was placed up front. Additionally, the focus on linebacker was not a surprise, given the loss of All-American linebacker Brett Taylor and other impactful seniors from the 2017 linebacking group. 


You can see the full class below and hear from Head Football Coach Jared Elliott in his Signing Day Press Conference.





2018 Signing Class


^Vick Akinyemi, WR, 6-2, 210, South Holland, Ill. (Marian Cartholic)
^Jack Anderson, LB, 62, 220, Minneapolis, Minn. (Academy of Holy Angels)
^Sam Barkalow, TE, 6-6, 230, Forreston, Ill. (Forreston)
^Hershel Blankenship, LB, 6-0, 225, Plainfield, Ind. (Plainfield)
^John Brunner, WR, 6-3, 200, Clearwater Central Catholic (Butler Community College)
Caden Buettner, OL, 6-3, 285, La Salle, Ill. (La Salle Peru Township)
Nick D'Ambra, LB, 6-0, 218, Ellyn, Ill. (Glenbard South)
^Kelton Edwards, OL, 6-3, 290, Hernando, Miss. (Hernando/Northeast Mississippi CC)
Elijah Elkerton, OL, 6-6, 290, Blaine, Minn. (Spring Lake Park)
^DeShon Gavin, DB, 6-0, 180, Joliet, Ill. (Providence Catholic)
^TJ Kennedy, OL, 6-5, 315, Lee's Summit, Mo. (Lee's Summit)
LaCale London, DE, 6-5, 280, Peoria, Ill. (Peoria/Iowa Central CC)
^Brandon Malkow, OL, 6-4, 300, Beloit, Wis. (Beloit Turner)
^Hunter Mason, OL, 6-3, 215, Nevada, Mo. (Nevada)
^Trey McJunkin, QB, 6-1, 200, Visalia, Calif. (Mission Oak/Fresno City Junior College)
Daymond Murray, DB, 6-1, 210, Rubonia, Fla. (East/Snow Junior College)
^Tristan Pfeiffer, LB, 6-4, 240, Valley, Mo. (Grain Valley)
Josh Shodipo, CB, 6-1, 180, Lisle, Ill. (Oswego)
^Cole Tandy, LB, 6-2, 220, Normal, Ill. (University)
Broc Thompson, WR, 6-2, 217, Indianapolis, Ind. (Ben Davis)
Zaire Williams, DB, 6-2, 218, Aurora, Ill. (East Aurora)
^December Commits