Alter defenders John Taylor (26), Mason Henry (40), Dan O’Connell (43) and Matt Schimpf (8) converge on Mt. Healthy’s Nathaniel Armstrong. Alter defeated Cin. Mt. Healthy 14-12 in a D-III, Region 12 quarterfinal high school football playoff game at Fairmont’s Roush Stadium on Friday, Nov. 2, 201. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

College football: Dayton Flyers announce 45-man recruiting class

Rick Chamberlin says focus was on offensive linemen

Rick Chamberlin’s 45-man Dayton Flyers football recruiting class includes 33 players who were team captains in high school. It’s a similar story every year. Chamberlin and his assistants like to recruit leaders.

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That makes the annual job of picking Dayton captains challenging. Players vote for captains and can pick only one player if they choose or up to four. In all the years Chamberlin has been at Dayton — 45 in all and the 13 as a head coach, counting the upcoming season — only one player has earned a vote from every one of his teammates: Adam Trautman, the tight end drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the third round last week.

With Trautman going to the NFL and Dayton losing 32 other seniors, this recruiting class is one of the largest in recent years. Dayton had 35 recruits in 2019, 26 in 2018, 35 in 2017 and 38, 36, 38 and 28 players in the previous seasons. UD also had spots to fill because it didn’t have a full roster last year.

“We’re very selective with the guys who are in our program,” Chamberlin said. “We didn’t have our total number we could have had on the team, which is around 118. We built up those numbers through this class. That’s’s why we felt we have pretty good players at different positions. You never want to turn a good one away, so that’s why we brought them in.”

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The coaches focused on the offensive line because they graduated all but one starter plus a couple backups. There are 10 offensive linemen in the group.

When Chamberlin and his assistants are recruiting linemen, they’re looking at their feet. It’s not just about their size. How well do they move?

“We’re not going to get the 6-5, 300-pounders that Miami or other MAC schools or even some of your lower FBS teams are going to get,” Chamberlin said. “If a kid’s 6-5, 350 pounds and he doesn’t have a scholarship, then he’s probably not going to fit in our scheme because we like to run the ball and run zone plays. We look at their feet first and explosiveness coming off the ball and their leverage and strength.”

The recruiting class includes these local seniors. Here’s a glance at those four future Flyers:

Braden Woods: The Franklin quarterback was the Southwest District Offensive Player of the Year in Division III and an All-Ohio first-team selection.

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“One of the other things we like about him is his father’s a football coach,” Chamberlin said. “His dad was a head coach for a while. Now he’s an assistant there at Franklin and coaches the quarterbacks. We like those players whose fathers are coaches because they’ve been brought up in that environment. They know what it takes to win.”

Mason Henry: The Alter linebacker was an All-Ohio first-team selection in Division III. He ranked second in the Greater Catholic League North Division with 103 tackles.

“He’s a big, physical kid,” Chamberlin said. “We know the type of program coach (Ed) Domsitz runs there. They’re disciplined and winners and hard-working kids.”

Cade Beam: The Tipp City senior is listed as a tight end/H-back. He ranked fifth in the Miami Valley League last season with 1,035 rushing yards. He scored 17 touchdowns.

Troy Reisner: The defensive end from Lakota East recorded 34 tackles last season.

Rocky Anzalone: The Badin punter/kicker averaged 38.3 yards per punt last season.

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