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Paul Haynes wraps up his first recruiting class at Kent State

thumb.aspxKent State coach Paul Haynes announced his first recruiting class on Wednesday.

The Golden Flashes’ first-year coach signed 21 recruits – 12 for the defense, nine for the offense – with nine of those players coming from Ohio, an area that Haynes should know well from his coaching days with Ohio State and one that he will need to work to keep the Flashes near the top of the Mid-American Conference.

Just as importantly, 10 of the 11 players that had committed to former coach Darrell Hazell stayed true to Kent.

“The first day we got together as a staff was Jan. 11-12, somewhere around there,” Haynes said. “So we just hit and ran. But (we) did a good job building relationships with the guys who were already committed and also searching for new guys.

“I think between my relationship with coach Hazell and me leaning on the (coaches) who were already here, I knew the kind of guys (Hazell) had recruited were the type of guys we wanted. So really, it (came down to the recruits) wanting to stay with us. Once that happened and I had a chance to meet them and the new position coaches met them, the (players) saw that it was a lot of the same. So it was a good fit.”

We particularly like that several players, including Chris Overton, the Nate and Nick Holly, Kris White, Jake McVay and Demetrius Monday, all have Athlete listed as their position. You can never have enough athletes, after all. ranked Kent State’s class as tied for the sixth-best in the MAC, five spots ahead of the University of Akron and big-name, big-money coach Terry Bowden. Toledo had the best recruiting class in the conference – for what that’s worth.

No one really knows if any of these guys will pan out, and the next coach to say they had a poor recruiting class will be the first, but the day is what it is.

So, good job coach. Now let’s turn these guys into players.

Kent State turns to familiar face to lead the football team

coach-HaynesHelmetPaul Haynes, a former Kent State defensive back, was introduced on Tuesday as the Golden Flashes’ 21st football coach.

Haynes, who played for Kent State from 1987 to 1991 (a time period where we covered the team for The Daily Kent Stater, which oddly makes us feel really old), takes over for Darrell Hazell, who will be leaving Kent after the Bowl to take over the football program at Purdue.

“This has been a whirlwind, and I can’t begin to describe my excitement about the opportunity to come back to Kent State as head coach,” Haynes said. “Being a former player and assistant coach here, and now coming back at a time where there is so much pride around the football program and the university, it is unbelievable. My family and I are excited about coming back to Ohio. I’m looking forward to getting involved with the players and embracing the Kent State alumni.”

Head over to The Cleveland Fan for the rest of the story.

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