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Posted on Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

Eastern Michigan gets commitment from 4-star quarterback recruit

By Rich Rezler

When the Eastern Michigan football team didn’t sign a quarterback among its 24-member 2012 recruiting class, coach Ron English said it was a purposeful move.

“We’ll hold that spot and really recruit a guy next year,” English told on signing day last February. “We’ve got some guys we like.”

English can’t comment on 2013 recruits according to NCAA rules, but it appears the Eagles have a commitment from one of those guys.

And he's the program's highest-profile recruit in more than a decade.


Eastern Michigan football coach Ron English, shown talking to his team after its spring game, reportedly received a verbal commitment from 4-star quarterback Brogan Roback.

Brogan Roback, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound quarterback from St. John's Jesuit High School in Toledo made a verbal commitment to attend EMU on Saturday, according to the Toledo Blade and numerous recruiting websites. rates Roback as a 4-star recruit and the No. 29-ranked quarterback in the nation. lists him as a 4-star prospect and the country’s No. 11 pro-style quarterback.

According to Scout’s and Rivals’ recruiting databases - both of which date back to 2002 - Eastern Michigan has never had a 4-star recruit sign a letter of intent with the program.

EMU’s 2012 class had four players that were rated a 3-star by either service: Quincy Jones (WR, Cleveland), Juwan Lewis (RB, Muskegon), Ike Spearman (LB, Saint John, Ind.) and Matt Thornton (OL, Owosso).

Roback’s arrival will coincide with the graduation of four-year starter Alex Gillett.

English gave redshirt sophomore Tyler Benz a shot to compete for the starting job during spring practice, but Gillett appears to have a strong grasp on the position heading into the fall after a strong spring game.

Roback reportedly chose EMU over scholarship offers from Akron, Bowling Green, Miami, Ohio and Toledo.

The Eagles had one inside edge on their Mid-American Conference rivals. Brogan's sister, Paige Brogan, is a junior on the Eastern Michigan volleyball team.

The Eagles’ 2013 recruiting class now includes four players. Roback is joined by Duwhan Alford, a 2-star tight end from Elkhart, Ind.; Brandon Bossard, an unranked quarterback from Norristown, Pa.; and Chris O’Risky, an unranked long snapper from Poseyville, Ind.



Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

Seems like all these comments focusing only on U of M or State should be deleted, per comment rules, huh right? lol ANYWAY... Very happy for Eastern! Program is getting better and community is taking notice. Every step counts. Things are looking up for them.


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 12:40 a.m.

I've seen Rynearson full.

Chad Williams

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

This is a team with a fair chance at winning the east division this year and with this QB and maybe another splash in recruiting the stadium might start fill up half and in. A few years bring in a low level bcs team and start selling out that place.

greg, too

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

He now has three recruiting classes playing under him now and the experts pick him to finish last in his side of the MAC.


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

I'll bet D'Antonio will try to steal him.


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

Not after all the complaining he did about Urban stealing his top recruit last year. Never, not with his integrity... He is likely on the phone with the kid as I write this, talking about that long snapper he stole from Michigan. LOL


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

Greg, too Please consider a few things. EMU has been a dump program at the MAC and DI level for a LONG TIME. You don't just turn a program around overnight when the program has been down as far as EMU has been for 2 decades. Yes, EMU is 9-27 under English (officially, 1 win is an OSU forfeit). Why is that? It takes a long time for a coach to rebuild a program. Yes the program had been a 3-4 win program before English took over and went winless his first year. The reason, he puts emphasis on a different portion of the game. English is a defensive minded coach. EMU's previous staff was offensive minded. There was not a lot left from the previous staff when English took over (much like RR in AA). EMU's football team his first two years was very young, but they were English's kind of players. The team needed to learn from making mistakes, which they did. They struggled badly defensively both his first two years, but this mistakes were learning opportunities. Last season they only gave up 292 points. An even more telling look is who they did compared with opponents they played both years. N. Illinois beat EMU both years 71-3 in 2010, 18-12 in 2011 (N. Illinois scored over 500 points each season). WMU lost 45-10 in 2010, beat 14-10 in 2011. CMU lost 52-14 in 2010, beat 35-28 in 2011 Ball St, emu won 41-38 in 2010, lost 33-31 in 2011. Toledo, EMU gave up more points to Toledo in 2011 than 2010 (42-10 in 2010, 54-16 in 2011). In my opinion Toledo was much better offensively in 2011 than 2010). Buffalo, EMU beat them twice, giving up 17 each game. More telling might be the performance against top flight teams. In 2010 EMU played Army, Vanderbildt and Virginia, not exactly powerhouse. They were 0-3, and outscored 131-54 (43-18). In 2011 they played Michigan and Penn St, both of who were better than the teams they played in 2010. Defensively they played much better only giving up 65 points (33 per game). Offensively, they sucked scoring only 9).


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

EMU tends to not shy away from tougher games on schedule. Also, as pointed out, they're building a program. When you've been down a long time, it takes a bit of time to become a place kids agree to come to. Even in MAC. "Moral" victories are better than no victories at all. They're slowly but surely changing atmosphere of Eastern Football. Yes, eventually you have to win. But this isn't a big school that can simply turn corner on a dime. It's a project. A hard one. But people seem to be taking the task. That's to be admired. And hopefully they'll have some actual W success to celebrate here soon. Gotta start somewhere.

greg, too

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 10:04 p.m.

Hey, if EMU fans are happy with moral victories and a career 9-27 or whatever it is overall and 4-6 last year (two wins they bought don't count on their bowl record), thats great. Just don't have the audacity to say they are a good program. They are routinely ranked in the lower end of the top 125, usually 100+ and have recruiting classes that also rank towards the bottom of college football. If that's success to EMU fans and that makes you happy, then more power to you.


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

I wish EMU all the best, but I want to see this guy fax in a LOI next Feb before I believe. MAC schools get a lot of commits who later get offer from BCS schools.


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 4:42 p.m.

Although I don't like a whole lot about going near EMU, I do always hope they have a successful program. This is good news for Ron and all of the other UofM players on his staff. Keep it up!


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 12:38 a.m.

"Although I don't like a whole lot about going near EMU." What does that mean? Why not? It's a great place. Afraid of Ypsilanti?


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

YES......GO EAGLES.......


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

Go Hurons!

Lac Court Orilles

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 11:35 a.m.

Dang! All those "Walmart Wolverines" out there with their protruding abdomens who never went to Michigan will be upset that Roback didn't choose to be a Go Blue Guy. Now Roback will have a much better opportunity to join the long list of MAC quarterbacks who played in the NFL. Good job English!


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 1:52 p.m.

Greg, too, Are you trying to set a record for the greatest amount of uninformed comments in there shortest time span? If so, you are getting awfully close to your goal. EMU is considered the worst job in FBS. No one, I mean no one, could get this program to be competitive in less than 3 years. English got the job in three seasons.

greg, too

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

LAC, they didn't even try to recruit him. Instead, the got the #2 pro style QB, not #14...a top 25 player, not top 250. They also got a guy a DE named Taco, which is pretty hilarious. Burrito is in next years class, followed by the long awaited Chalupa. For the record, I cannot stand Umich football. But saying EMU is on par with Umich, or even close, is just patently untrue. For the money EMU has pumped into the football program, they should be better than a 4 win team (the two non FBS wins shouldn't count).


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 1:04 p.m.

I'm glad I went to Detroit Tiger University for undergrad and to The Detroit Lions College of Business for my MBA, or otherwise I couldn't consider myself a fan of either team. Here's hoping the Red Wing Tech of Detroit accepts my application so I can finally become a Red Wing fan!

Blue Marker

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

So, just so I have this straight, you can only be a fan of a team if you went to school there? I just want to be sure I have the rules of "fandom" down correctly. Are there any other rules you've made up that the rest of us little folks should know about?


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

I hope he doesn't use twitter to sell himself and keep us up date on this and that know who.....


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 10:46 a.m.

Congrats to Ron and his crew! All of the hard work and dedication is paying off! Eastern, Eastern, hats off to you!


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

Ron is a great coach and mentor for these young men. He should have gotten the opportunity to be head coach at Michigan when Lloyd retired. It would have been a huge hire for the University and very progressive minority hire. He couldn't have possibly done any worse than the gang they hired.


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 5:50 p.m.

I completely agree. Ron should have been given a chance, but he didn't have a strong enough line yet to be a serious contender for an elite job. He really needed to get a job like EMU and prove he could build a program and lead a program on both sides of the ball. If, and it is a big if, he can have a couple solid years at EMU the next two years (or one really good year in 2012), I expect him to be a serious contender for top level jobs that come open. He has the line of coaching at a top program (Michigan), and would have success building a program (from the ground up, since that was where EMU was). I don't think it will be too long before he leaves EMU, although I would love to see him settle and stay there If he does I think they could be a major MAC power and a regular bowl participant. I do think he is that good a coach.

Blue Marker

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Thanks for clearing that up. I've erased those 3 years from my memory!

Rabid Wolverine

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

Blue marker, Tag was referring to the WCiMH, not Hoke.


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

Greg, too, EMU has been bad for decades. Immediate success is not realistic. The numbers you list are par for the course at EMU. The .500 season last year was not. He is making progress and that is all I, as an EMU alum, can ask for at this point.

greg, too

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

Really? Do you honestly believe that? If he was white or black or EMU green, if they had hired him, he would have been fired by the end of the season with the results he has put up at EMU. And "couldn't have possibly done any worse than the gang they hired"? That's a brilliant reason to hire a guy to run a national program. Here is English's resume at EMU. -8-28 record overall and routing ranked in the lower 20 of all college football. -94th best recruiting class in 2012-13, which is the middle of pack for a weak conference. -99th best recruiting class the year before. -119th best recruiting class in his first season (thats 2nd worst in all of college football). -No bowl appearances...not even close. -Nobody in the stands as the school has to shadily buy tickets to keep the team D1. I'm not trying to be overly critical or a kill joy here, but English has been a dud and scoring a top 250 recruit because his sister goes to EMU doesn't make him the next Brady Hoke (who has the top recruiting class). Or even the next Rich Rod. Or even better than 3/4 of the coaches in the MAC.

Blue Marker

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

He wouldn't have done any worse than "the gang" that went 11-1, beat OSU for the 1st time in 7 years, won a BCS game for the first time in 12 years and improved a defense from near the bottom of the NCAA to near the top? I struggle to find any logic in the last sentence you wrote.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

Great news for the program. However, I Ron English has another successful season, I would not be surprised to see him get any offer from a bigger school.

greg, too

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 9:50 p.m.

If mediocrity is the goal, than he is almost a success....


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

@greg, too, Considering EMU hasn't had a 6-win season since 1995, I think they are pretty happy with Ron English's level of success. EMU is traditionally one of the worst programs in FBS and has arguably the worst training facilities (one of two or three schools whose primary practice facility is an inflatable). Considering what English has to work with, he is doing well.

greg, too

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Another successful season? When was his first one? Beating two non FBS teams to barely eek out 6 wins is not a successful season. At most places, that would get you fired or at least on the hot seat. And most pre season rankings have them finishing last on their side of the MAC. He should have been fired a while ago, but EMU cannot afford to eat his contract.


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 10:10 a.m.

English definitely shouldn't count his chickens before they hatch.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 8:43 p.m.

I know these rankings don't mean everything, but per Rivals the EMU pro style QB commit is 14 spots ahead of the three star going to East Lansing. This is great news for Eastern and about right for Sparty.


Sun, Jul 8, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

glad for emu. been a long time coming. this is what happens when you get a coach that people can relate to. keep it coming.