(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Missouri Western football follows up its most successful season in program history by landing 24 players on National Signing Day.
The Griffons posted a 12-2 overall record (9-1 MIAA) in 2012, and made its first ever NCAA Division II National Quarterfinal appearance.
The Western coaching staff is trying to build off that record-setting season by bringing in 16 players on the offensive side of the ball including two quarterbacks, Skyler Windmiller of Shawnee, Kan. and T.J. LaFaver of Warrenton.
Head coach Jerry Partridge says both will likely be redshirted in 2013, but could compete for the starting job in 2014.
Quarterback was an emphasis on signing day with current starter Travis Partridge entering his senior season.
Missouri Western also brought in three transfer players.
Jac'que Polite comes to St. Joseph from South Carolina. He's a 6'5" 300 pound offensive lineman that will compete for playing time right away according to Coach Partridge.
Defensive lineman John Oglesby transfers to Western from Bakersfield College in Bakersfield, Cal.
The Griffons also bring in defensive back Kalan Booker from Los Angeles Valley College.
Bios on all the 2013 signings from the Missouri Western athletic department:
6-3, 255, Offensive Line
(Mt. Union, Iowa / Mt. Pleasent Community HS)
"He is the brother of current offensive lineman Leonard Wester," commented Partridge. "He is an explosive athletic lineman with a lot of good attributes."
Was first team All-District and honorable mention All-Hawkeye Land as a senior...as a junior he was honorable mention All-District...plans on majoring in business and accounting at Missouri Western.
6-2, 270, Offensive Lineman
(Ozark, Missouri / Ozark HS)
"Glenn played center on a very good high school football team" commented Partridge. "He is an excellent run blocker and long snapper."
Was a first team All-Conference and All-District selection...first team All-State...first team AP All-State and was a team captain...undecided on a major at Missouri Western.
6-3, 295, Offensive Lineman
(Lincoln, Nebraska / Lincoln Southwest High School)
"Grossman is a wide shouldered kick who plays with a lot of energy and finishes blocks well," commented Partridge.
Plans on majoring in education at Missouri Western.
6-3, 290, Offensive Line
(Jefferson City, Missouri / Jefferson City High School)
"He is a very athletic and physical football player," stated Partridge.
Played under Ted LePage in high school...helped clear the way for 2,156 yards rushing and 1,684 yards passing with his offense scoring 28 points per game as a senior...was a three year letter winner...was a state qualifier at heavyweight for the State Tournament in 2012...plans on majoring in engineering at Missouri Western.
6-5, 290, Defensive Line
(Elkhorn, Nebraska / Elkhorn South High School)
"Cal is a solid player who plays physical," commented Partridge. "He is a very good high school wreslter."
He is undecided on a major at Missouri Western...greatest sports moment was recovering a fumble that helped lead his team to victory.
6-2, 295, Defensive Line
(St. Charles, Missouri / St. Charles High School)
"Gillette is very aggressive and runs well for his size," stated Partridge.
Was a second team All-Conference selection as a senior and an honorable mention All-Conference as a junior...had 38 tackles (31 solo, 7 assisted) with on fumble recovery as a senior...undecided on a major at MWSU.
6-3, 190, Quarterback
(Shawnee, Kansas / Mill Valley High School)
"Windmiller has great leadership skills," stated Partridge. "He has good arm strength and throws a very good ball. He is an extremely mobile player."
Played under Joel Applebee and Mike Strack in high school...his dad has had the greatest impact on his athletic career...his greatest sports moment was getting put in on varsity as a sophomore and leading his team to a comeback win...plans on majoring in exercise science at Missouri Western.
6-2, 185, Quarterback
(Warrenton, Missouri / Warrenton High School)
"TJ has great leadership skills and is an extremely talented athlete," commented Partridge. "He throws a great ball and tested out the best in the class."
First team All-Conference...team MVP...Writers All-District and Coaches All-District selections...All-Conference second team as a basketball player...completed 141-243 passes for 1,829 yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing 91 times for 466 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior season...plans on majoring in exercise science at Missouri Western.
"We are extremely excited about both Skyler and TJ," stated Partridge.
6-4, 220, Tight End
(Arnold, Missouri / Fox High School)
"Harper has not played a lot of tight end but has the ability to play different positions," said Partridge. "He is a very good cover guy on special teams."
Played under Brent Tinker in high school...Coach Nick Gianino has had the greatest impact on his athletic career...greatest sports moment is throwing his first pass as a varsity quarterback his freshman season...he is undecided on a major.
6-3, 200, Tight End
(Bethany, Missouri / South Harrison High School)
"He has the frame to get bigger," Partridge stated. "He is a very physical aggressive kid."
First team GRC on the defensive and offensive line...three time All-District defensive lineman...first team All-District...first team All-State Media...third team All-State Coaches...third team NewsPress...Wendy's Heisman State Finalist...four year captain...four time All-Conference Academic...plans on majoring in civil engineering at Missouri Western.
6-2, 210, Running Back / Linebacker
(Ozark, Missouri /Ozark High School)
"A versatile player who played running back in high school," said Partridge. "Is an undefeated wrestler who has pinned 80% of his oppoents."
6-2, 210, Running Back
(Kansas City, Kansas / Mill Valley High School)
"Kendall is a big, slashing physical runner," stated Partridge.
Undecided on a major at Missouri Western.
5-10, 180, Running Back
(Blue Springs, Missouri / Blue Springs South High School)
"Trey has excellent straight line speed," stated Partridge. "He has the ability to play multiple positions."
All-Conference performer in football and track...helped his team win the 2011 State Championship...undecided on a major at Missouri Western.
5-9, 215, Running Back
(Smithville, Missouri /Smithville High School)
"Zac is a tough player and great competitor," commented Partridge. "Dominant player in the MEC."
First team All-Conference...first team All-District and first team All-State...plans on majoring in business at Missouri Western.
6-3, 200, Wide Receiver
(O'Fallon, Missouri / Fort Zumwalt-South High School)
"Justin is a big play wide receiver who could also play defensive back," stated Partridge. "He is an explosive athlete with great hands."
He was a first team All-Conference, All-District, third team All-State and All-Metro as a defensive back...second team All-Conference as a wide receiver...as a senior he had 21 catches for 341 yards and 5 touchdowns and had 7 interceptions, 22 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries...Fort Zumwalt South Defensive Player of the Year...St. Louis Cardinal Athlete of the Week...Fort Zumwalt South Crown Trophy Athlete of the Month...plans on majoring in sports management at Missouri Western.
6-1, 195, Wide Receiver
(Wichita, Kansas / Wichita Northwest High School)
"Hughes played multiple positions in high school including quarterback," said Partridge. "Is an explosive big play athlete."
All-Conference, All-District and All-Leader selections...team captain...plans on majoring in health and exercise science at MWSU.
6-0, 185, Wide Receiver
(St. Joseph, Missouri / Central High School)
"Chad has the Griffon bloodlines as he dad Eric played at MWSU back in the '80's," stated Partridge. "We will not find a better competitor in this class."
Was an All-City and second team All-Conference wide receiver in 2012...honorable mention All-Conference defensive back...All-City defensive back in 2011...in 2012 he had 23 receptions for 220 yards and two touchdowns as well as two interceptions and 11 passes defended...undecided on a major at Missouri Western.
5-11, 190, Defensive Back
(St. Louis, Missouri / Christian Brothers College)
"JO is a great big play defender with a 37 inch vertical," said Partridge.
Goes by JO...played under Scott Pingle at CBC...coach Pingle and his mother has had the greatest impact on his athletic career...greatest sports moment was winning 66-28 in the semi final game before state...is undecided on a major at MWSU.
6-3, 200, Defensive Back
(Webb City, Missouri / Webb City High School)
"Logan is a great athlete and a big hitter," commented Partridge.
Helped his team to three State Championships (2010, 2011, 2012)...second team All-State...All-District...first team All-SWMFBCA...had 92 tackles (40 solo, 52 assisted)...had four interceptions and five fumble recoveries...plans on majoring in nursing at Missouri Western.
6-0, 200, Defensive Back
(Los Angeles, California / Los Angeles Valley College)
"Booker is a good atlete and a solid tackler," stated Partrdige.
Plans on majoring in kinesiology at Missouri Western.
6-3, 260, Defensive Line
(Bakersfield, California / Bakersfield College / Highland High School)
"John is a tough kid with very long arms," commented Partridge. "Is a good athlete who will make an immediate impact at MWSU."
He was a first team All-Conference and second team All-Conference at Bakersfield College...in high school he wsa a three time first team All-Conference selection...he is undecided on a major at Missouri Western.
6-5, 300, Offensive Line
(Ridgeland, South Carolina / Gray Military Academy / Ridgeland High School)
"Very strong, explosive and explosive athlete who could also play defensive tackle," commented Partridge.
At Gray Military Academy he was voted most dedicated and was his teams Offensive Lineman of the Year both seasons...was also named a team captain while earning the Big Dog Award...in high school he was voted most dedicated and a team captain...was also an All-Area selection..plans on majoring in physical education at Missouri Western.