The Ball State secondary has undergone a lot of scrutiny over the past two seasons - some of it justified, while perhaps other criticism not so much. However, few are critical of the three newest Cardinal recruits in the defensive backfield.
The Cardinal coaches spoke on their newest defensive backs recently.
CHRIS BLAIR (DB, 5-foot-11, 196 pounds, Winston-Salem, N.C.)
Chris’ high school team (East Forsyth) had one loss this year and that was to eventual state champion Butler High School. We really didn’t have a spot for Chris at mid-season, but then one opened up. We’re really excited. He visited a couple of weeks ago and had a great visit. A lot of defensive backs when they go up and catch the ball they fall down. At Ball State we want to return them for touchdowns. Chris has great body control and he’s physical. He’s reckless. Running his feet, vision, and plays: that’s the kind of player that we want to start having on our defense. Recruiting Chris is going to help us develop that mindset. He was one of four (Ball State recruits) to be selected to play in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, which is about as prestigious of an honor as you can get.
DAVID MOORE (DB, 5-foot-9, 167 pounds, Matthews, N.C.)
David Moore and Sean Wiggins won three state titles in high school. Butler High School was the No. 3-ranked team in the country by USA Today. Coaches Lynch and Tabacca had him in camp and they loved how he competed. There are three SEC recruits on Butler and David is the kid that returned kicks and punts. The other (Butler) cornerback signed with Michigan and they put David on the best (opposing) receiver. If David was two inches taller, he’d be a national recruit. Obviously you can see that his natural ability to catch the football, get the ball in his hands and run with it, but getting to know him, he really loves football. His step-dad played 10 years in the NFL, so he’s been around football. He loves it and talks about it all of the time. That’s the kind of kid that you want. You’ll see his foot quickness. Can he transition and get out of a break? With David, you see that consistently. One of the things that you love in a cornerback is confidence and this kid plays bigger than he is and he is just oozing with confidence. He really believes that he can cover anybody in America. That’s one of the things that are going to make him a really good player in the MAC.
RALPH SMITH (DB, 5-foot-8, 164 pounds, Avon, Ohio)
Ralph is a special kid. He’s one of those kids when you walk into Avon (Ohio) High School with him, everyone knows him. Great personality. We watched his tape a year ago and really liked it. The question was ‘Will he be big enough?’ He’s only 5-8, but he’s really long. He’s going to get bigger. He needs to get in the weight room, but we think that he has a chance to be a really special player for us. He could be a slot receiver, but we’re going to play him at cornerback. The other corner (at Avon) is at Michigan (early enrollee). It’s the same deal as David; Ralph was the kickoff and punt returner. Ralph isn’t as big or as fast (as that guy), but I’ll tell you what, I think that we got the football player in that bunch. We saw him in a camp and he was covering guys all over the place. His transition, body control and ball skills, are really something that we need and Ralph is going to bring that for us.