Ball State graduated five players from its offensive line ranks following the 2012 season. The Cardinal coaches restocked its depth this week with the addition of five new recruits along the offensive line.
Here is what the Ball State coaching staff had to say about each of their new offensive linemen:
JARRID LLOYD (OL, 6-foot-5, 255 pounds, Naperville, IL)
Jarrid is an interesting guy. One of the things about him is he has a big body, but we feel like he has a lot of room to grow. He's a young guy; he won't be 18 until this summer. We feel like he has a chance to get even bigger than he is right now. We evaluated Jarrid as a quick tackle. What we look for are guys that are long, tall, maybe not guys that are 300 pounds in high school, and that's OK. We need guys that are maybe 250 to 260 pounds and can move well. The beautiful thing with the job that coach (Dave) Feeley does, Jarrid is going to look like a different kid in a couple of years. We like Jarrid's athleticism. We like how he can change directions. The first things that I look for is a guy that shows some tenacity, shows that he can finish, and shows some toughness. Jarrid definitely does that.
PAT MALONEY (OL, 6-foot-2, 274 pounds, Niles, IL)
Pat's family is unbelievable. They are a fun group to be around. Pat has had a very, very successful career at Maine South (HS). He has only lost two games there (27-2). He was very highly recruited and had offers from every MAC program other than Buffalo and UMass. What really separated us was we connected with Pat and his family. Also, he wants to major in special education. He did his research, and we made sure that he did his research, to know that we have an outstanding (education) program. What a great kid. What an outgoing kid. Everybody in the school loves him. That's important to us. He's athletic enough to play tackle. He plays with tenacity. We think that he is going to be a really, really great fit for our system.
VINNIE PALAZETI (OL, 6-foot-4, 284 pounds, Owosso, MI)
Vinnie Palazeti might be the best thing to come out of Flint (MI) since the Grand Funk Railroad. He's a big kid. The thing that you learn about Vinnie when you speak with his high school coaches is that he has leadership qualities. He's the captain on the football and basketball teams. Everybody raves about his personality. He's a very intelligent kid and really loves the game of football. His mom (Linda Palazeti) is a helluva cook. He's a big, powerful body and for us, we think he'll be a guard. He'll come in and compete quickly.
P.J. SCOTT (OL, 6-foot-2, 293 pounds, Morris, OK)
P.J. kind of fell into our lap, we we're evaluating a guy on his (junior college) team and the coach told us 'If you like that guy, you ought to take a look at P.J..' I turned on the film and was really impressed. P.J. was raised on a 1,500-acre cattle ranch. He comes from a different background than some other guys in our program, but it's a really neat background. The hard work that goes into football was somewhat of a release for him. He is used to getting up at 6 a.m. every day and riding fences and repairing them every day of his life. He is very versatile and can play all three (line) positions. He is athletic and will provide some depth for us.
HARIS VRABAC (OL, 6-foot-7, 337 pounds, Warren, MI)
That height and weight is accurate. Haris is a big kid and that is the first thing that jumps out at you. But as you get to know him, there are a lot of other layers to him. He comes from an amazing family. His parents were refugees from the Bosnian war in the 1990s. He has a ton of upside. He's only played football since his sophomore year. What's exciting for us is the improvement that he's made in a short time. He plays in an offense that is really similar to ours. I don't know if project is the right word, but like any lineman, we want to redshirt him and get him going with (strength coach) Dave Feeley and develop his body even more. When you are that big, we don't solely recruit on size, but it definitely plays a factor. I think Haris is going to work really, really hard for us.