Santoro, Brown headline TU signees

As a high school player at Bellevue, Jalen Santoro has viewed Frost-Kalnow Stadium as the home of one of his school’s biggest rivals.

Starting next year, it will be his homefield.

Santoro, a first-team all state quarterback for a Redmen team that advanced to the Division III state finals, committed to Tiffin University, one of 25 players who signed on with coach Gary Goff’s program.

Goff said there was plenty to like about the Division III player of the year, who threw for more than 1,800 yards and ran for almost 2,200 in his senior year.

“He’s a guy we got to watch in the state championship game,” Goff said. “I just love the intangibles; he really was a leader of that team.”

Goff said they plan on keeping Santoro at quarterback.

“We’re gonna bring him in here and let him compete at quarterback, and I think he can be dangerous as a double threat,” Goff said. “That’s a big get for us, very talented young man who fits our offense very well.”

Santoro wasn’t the only Bellevue player to commit to TU.

Trent Stamm, who had 35 catches for 608 yards and 12 touchdowns, also signed on.

“Stamm is a big kid, he hasn’t even reached his potential as far as his size,” Goff said of the 6-foot-3, 195-pound receiver. “He fits as a slot receiver, a big target in the a red zone.”

Goff also got another area star – McComb running back Jerry Brown, the Division VI player of the year.

Goff said the Dragons see Brown – who ran for 1,134 yards and had over 5,000 total yards for his career – as a versatile threat who may never leave the field when the team is on offense.

Brown – who had bleach blond hair for the football season, has Goff excited.

How excited?

“If he does what what he did at McComb for me, I’d might have to bleach my hair blond,” he said.

Goff said the main focus for this recruiting class was on receivers and defensive lineman, where the coaching staff thought it needed the most help.

The coach said he thinks the defensive line recruits are key.

“I hope to see that defensive line develop just as we saw that offensive line last year,” Goff said. “We expect them to contribute and contribute fast.”

The Dragons brought in six offensive lineman, including Aaron Ward, a 6-foot-4, 240-pounder from Piketon High School in Wakefield.

“He’s one of those guys you look at, he fills the doorway, Goff said. “We hope he’ll be an impact player right away.”

As for the receivers, Goff talked about Jesse Bray, a 6-foot, 180-pounder who was a teammate and top target of Ohio State star Braxton Miller in high school.

“I think we stole a kid,” Goff said of Bray.

Two others the coach mentioned were Caleb Miller, a defensive back from Franklin, and Matt Noble, a state champion offensive lineman from Cincinnati Moeller.

This is Goff’s third recruiting class, though the first one was hampered by Goff being hired in December of 2010. Last year, Goff and his staff were coming off a winless season. In 2012, the Dragons improved to three wins. Goff said TU has recruited winning players, both on and off the field.

“Last year’s class and this class, you see a lot of young men that have played in state championships and won state championships,” Goff said. “They expect to win.”

Goff said his program has also focused on getting good students.

“Without a doubt, this class is a mirror image of last year’s class, very strong academically,” he said, “and we believe that carries over. They need to be strong on the classroom and in the field for us.”