Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Volume One, Number Four
February 29, 2008
Editor: Tom James,

Editors note – Remember, email addresses of former ISU players are still needed. Thanks to all those who have already helped in this endeavor!!!!


Indiana State’s 2008 football recruiting class is getting high marks from several college football scouting services.

Despite getting a late start and while still in the process of assembling a coaching staff, the Sycamores ended up bringing in the second-ranked recruiting class in the Gateway Conference (behind Illinois State), the eighth-ranked recruiting class in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA) and had the 127th ranked recruiting class (according to when the Football Bowl Division (I-A) and FCS were combined.

Indiana State brought in 31 players during the recruiting period.


Start making your travel and hotel plans now to attend Indiana State’s 2008 home games. The ISU football program would especially like to have as many former players return for the Sycamores’ first home game on Saturday, September 27 (vs. Southeast Missouri State) and for Homecoming on Saturday, October 25 (vs. South Dakota State).

Date Opponent Location Time (ET) Results Media

Thu, Aug 28 Eastern Michigan at Ypsilanti, Mich. 7:00 p.m.
Sat, Sep 13 Eastern Illinois at Charleston, Ill. TBA
Sat, Sep 20 Northern Illinois at DeKalb, Ill. TBA
Sat, Sep 27 Southeast Missouri State Memorial Stadium TBA
Sat, Oct 04 Illinois State * Memorial Stadium TBA
Sat, Oct 11 Southern Illinois * at Carbondale, Ill. TBA
Sat, Oct 18 Western Illinois * at Macomb, Ill. TBA
Sat, Oct 25 South Dakota State (Homecoming) * Memorial Stadium TBA
Sat, Nov 01 North Dakota State * at Fargo, ND TBA
Sat, Nov 08 Youngstown State * at Youngstown, Ohio TBA
Sat, Nov 15 Northern Iowa * Memorial Stadium TBA
Sat, Nov 22 Missouri State * Memorial Stadium TBA


Pardon Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis for having an affinity for ISU. In Lewis' case, however, ISU stands for Idaho State University, where he went to college and played linebacker.

But now that his son, Marcus, has signed a national letter of intent to play football at Indiana State in the fall, he can continue to cheer for ISU. The younger Lewis is also a linebacker who is hopeful of being an early contributor to the Sycamores' rebuilding project.

"We're excited. I think it's a good spot and a good chance for him to kind of get out on his own and he's really excited about playing college football. I think that (Indiana State first-year head coach) Trent (Miles) and his staff seem to have done a good job of recruiting this year. I was impressed about the school and their direction, so we're excited for him," the Bengals coach said, adding that the Sycamores' lack of on the field success in recent seasons did not dissuade them from considering the school.

"I think that you can do nothing but go up. I think that's kind of the challenge of building your program. I've been in some situations that way as a player and as a coach. That's the fun of it, so it's exciting."

The younger Lewis, who accompanied his dad to the recent National Football Combine workouts in Indianapolis, can't wait to get started.

"I'm very excited about the situation. I think Trent Miles is going to make some great strides. I'm excited for him. I think what he'd doing for that entire town is just awesome and I want to be a part of that," he said.

"I just think it's a great opportunity for me to play there. There's no where to go but up now. And little by little, every single day that he's there, (Miles) is just making campus 10 times better. We're just going to strive there and it's going to be great.

"My high school, we've won a lot of games. I went 10-0 back to back in two seasons. I like winning. But I'm up to the challenge. I never thought that I'd have the opportunity to earn an athletic scholarship, so I think it's real good for me."

The Bengals coach and Miles have a history, which helped during the recruiting process. They both served on the University of New Mexico coaching staff (1988-89), so the Lewis family have a comfort level with Indiana State.

"Myself and my wife felt real comfortable with Trent. We were impressed with the discipline and the program that he wants to instill, putting academics first. Those are the things that as a parent that you want to hear. We're excited about it. We're going to get there as much as we can," Marvin Lewis said, admitting that he gave his son some advice about moving on to play at the next level.

"I told him that it's no-holds barred. Do everything you can do. Get yourself as prepared as best as you can, mentally and physically. Both for college and for the experience of playing college football. It's an exciting thing, so go and do the work now."


--Former Indianapolis Ben Davis quarterback James Banks did not get an invitation to participate in the combine this week. Banks, the son of former Indiana State running back James Banks, is now a receiver who played last season at Gardner-Webb University.

After several off-field and academic issues while playing quarterback at the University of Tennessee, Banks left that school before winding up at Gardner-Webb last season. With an eye towards bolstering his chances for this year's NFL draft, he worked out for league personnel at an indoor facility in Indianapolis.

Helping to coordinate the session was former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jeff George, who also took part. While the workout was scheduled to help Banks find his way into the league, George is also hopeful that he might impress the scouts enough for another chance to land with an NFL team.

“I have thrown to a lot of great (receivers) and I think James has a lot of potential,” George said.

--Cam Cameron, who was recently named to be the Baltimore Ravens' new offensive coordinator, didn't make the trip to the combine this year. Cameron, the stepson of former Indiana State head coach Tom Harp, is in the process of moving his family from Miami, where he had been the Dolphins' head coach for the 2007 season, to their new home in the Baltimore area.

"Cam and I have been friends and we go back a long way," Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh said. "He coached my brother Jim when they were both at the University of Michigan. And then when Cam was the head coach at Indiana, I had a chance to be on his coaching staff.

"He's excited to get started working for us. We're glad to have him with us. He's been a head coach in this league and he knows how to coach in this league. We've had a chance to bring some great coaches in. They're going to do whatever they can to help us win."

Harbaugh, who had been the Philadelphia Eagles' special teams coach, takes over for fired Ravens' coach Brian Billick.

--Two former Indiana State assistant football coaches, Dave McGinnis and Mark Smith, were on hand for the combine workouts.

McGinnis is the assistant head coach and linebackers coach for the NFL's Tennessee Titans. Smith, meanwhile, is the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Ball State.

Both served as assistant coaches under former Sycamores head coach Dennis Raetz.

--Former Indiana State safety Alvin Reynolds, recently named as the Atlanta Falcons' secondary coach, made a brief appearance at the combine over the weekend.

Reynolds, who had been the Jacksonville Jaguars' secondary coach, was limping around the Indiana Convention Center on crutches after suffering a ruptured right Achilles' tendon a few weeks ago.

Also on hand Sunday were ex-ISU punter Bill Edwards and former Indiana State student manager/administrative assistant Mike Ornstein. Ornstein owns a Los Angeles-based sports marketing agency.


With the hiring of Ron Prettyman as Indiana State’s new athletic director, there has been some significant (and positive) changes in how former athletes and supporters of the school’s athletic programs can help financially.

As valued members of the ISU football family, you may send donations to the program by contacting Associate Director of Athletics/External Operations Brett M. Burchette at 812-237-3041 or writing him at

If you would prefer sending donations specifically to the football program, that can be worked out by contacting Burchette.

*If you can’t help financially at the present time but still would like to do whatever you can to help ISU football, Coach Miles and his staff are open for any tips regarding potential recruits in your respective areas.

You may relay a name or names to both Miles and recruiting coordinator Kyle Caskey along with the name of the high school and the high school head coach. If video of the player is available, so much the better.

Here's a helpful hint. If you have local high school games televised on your cable outlets during the fall, tape them and send them to Coach Miles and Coach Caskey with the information on the player(s) you want them to take a look at.

Coach Miles is committed to returning to the recruiting areas that have served the Sycamores well in the past, such as Indiana, Illinois (particularly the Chicago and East St. Louis regions), Detroit, Cincinnati, Western Pennsylvania, St. Louis, and Louisville, along with selected areas in Texas, Florida and Louisiana.

Trent is planning trips to those areas in the near future to touch base with former players who currently live there. If you would like to host or organize such a meeting, contact Coach Miles.

*For those high school football coaches out there who would like to help out, the program would appreciate any mention of Indiana State to your players as a potential place to play. Also, if you have any qualified student managers who would like to continue doing that on the college level, the need is there at ISU.

*Wear the Blue. Show the Blue. Fly the Blue.

If all of your ISU apparel is beat up and you need some new stuff to wear, click here


There will be an ISU Football Golf Outing in Terre Haute on Friday, April 18, 2008 and all former players, coaches, student managers and athletic trainers are invited to take part.

Contact John Sherman for further details. It will be a great opportunity to meet the new coaching staff and to have a good time in the process. You may also keep in touch with John, ISU’s Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing and Promotions, by calling him at 812-237-3047 or emailing him at

More information will be forthcoming in a future newsletter on the golf outing.


ISU spring football practice will begin at Memorial Stadium on Monday, March 31st. The team will have practices Monday through Saturday for three straight weeks. The Blue-White game is set for Saturday, April 19th. Practice and scrimmage times will be announced later.

Coach Trent Miles has cordially invited all former players, coaches, student managers and athletic trainers to attend the workouts. They are also welcome to sit in on team meetings in order to get to know the players and coaching staff.

For those former players who are currently coaching high school football, he has also extended an open invitation for all coaching staffs to attend practices and to sit in on meetings.

One request though. Before showing up at a practice, make sure you call the ISU Football Office (812-237-4074) for any last minute information on that day’s events. It would also be a good way to give Coach Miles and his coaching staff a heads up that you will be attending a practice session.

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