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Laurier head coach Michael Faulds speaks to 22 of Laurier's 29 incoming recruits prior to the team's scrimmage last Thursday (Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
Laurier head coach Michael Faulds speaks to 22 of Laurier's 29 incoming recruits prior to the team's scrimmage last Thursday (Photo Credit: Kha Vo)
MFOOT finalizes 2017 recruiting class
WATERLOO, Ont. (April 10, 2017) - The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team officially unveiled their 2017 recruiting class on Thursday last week prior to the purple and gold hosting the Waterloo Warriors in a scrimmage to close out their spring camp schedule.

Laurier has added 29 incoming freshmen, along with two high-profile transfers, as the Golden Hawks gear up to defend their 2016 Yates Cup Championship beginning in August.

“We are extremely excited about this recruiting class and these guys are going to help this program win a lot of football games over their 4-5 years here at Laurier,” said head coach MICHAEL FAULDS ahead of the unveiling on Thursday. “Once again you will not see this Laurier recruiting class being ranked very high by the so called experts. Instead of following the crowd and recruiting names on a list, we continue to go after the mentally toughest characters that are going to work their hardest 365 days of the year.”

“In this group, the talent is spread out nicely across all positions and we have also been fortunate to add a couple highly touted transfers,” added Faulds. “We are not in a position where these new additions have to play early, but many of these players do have the ability to do so.”

Headlining the incoming group of athletes are the two transfers including quarterback Liam Putt, who joins Laurier from Windsor, as well as running back Jahvari Bennett, formerly of the Carleton Ravens.

Putt, a 6-1 pivot from Caledonia, Ont., played one season with the Lancers back in 2015. He dressed in seven games and completed 60 of his 140 pass attempts for 984 yards and four touchdowns. His addition provides depth for Coach Faulds behind returning starter Michael Knevel and he will be eligible to play immediately for the Hawks after sitting out last season.

As for Bennett, he comes to Laurier with four years of experience in the OUA under his belt and joins a deep stable of talented backs for the purple and gold. A 1000-yard rusher in his third year, Bennett has racked up 1799 career rushing yards on 262 attempts, good for a 6.9 yard per rush average, to go along with eight touchdowns. After dressing for 3 games with the Ravens a year ago, Bennett will be eligible to play for Laurier by the mid-point of the 2017 season.

Among the group of first year recruits joining Laurier next season, Nicholas Petermann from Hamilton, Ont., is a named that fans should keep an eye on offence. Petermann, the younger brother of current McMaster Marauders receiver and OUA Second Team All-Star Dan Petermann, believes he’ll bring plenty of intangibles to the purple and gold.

“Definitely hard work. No one is going to work as hard as me. My brother may be more athletic but I have the smarts. I’m a very smart football player and I’m going to bring everything I’ve got and 100 percent work ethic all the time.”

On the defensive side of the ball, a pair of London, Ont., based players in linebacker Daniel Fitzgerald and defensive back Tommy Bringi promise to challenge for a spot in the starting lineup right away.

“I bring a lot of leadership and motivation to players,” said Fitzgerald on the qualities he brings to the field. “As you saw last year, [Laurier] is a very hype team, they love to have some fun on the field. I’m just going to encourage that and I’m going to come in and be a part of that.”

“I’m definitely an exciting player and very physical as well,” said Bringi of what he brings to the purple and gold. “I’m willing to do anything on the field. If they need me to play in the box, I’ll bang heads with the linemen. If I need to cover a receiver, I’ll do that and get a couple of interceptions. Whatever the coach needs, I’ll do it.”

For more information on men’s football’s 2017 recruiting class, visit

2017 Transfers
QB Liam Putt - 6-1, 185 - Windsor Lancers
RB Jahvari Bennett - 5-8, 171 - Carleton Ravens

2017 Recruits
QB Connor Carusello - 6-4, 200 - McKinnon Park, Caledonia, Ont.
RB Kevin Wong - 6-0, 190 - St. Marcellinus, Mississauga, Ont.
REC Nicholas Petermann - 6-0, 205 - Cardinal Newman, Hamilton, Ont.
REC Keontae King - 5-11, 180 - Lourdes HS, Guelph, Ont.
REC Romy Simpson - 5-8, 160 - Eastwood CI, Kitchener, Ont.
REC Chris Brewster - 6-3, 205 - St. Johns College, Brantford, Ont.
REC Anton Matthews - 6-1, 205 - David Suzuki, Brampton, Ont.
REC Brandon Robbins - 6-2, 190 - Holy Cross, Kingston, Ont.
REC Julian Mitchell - 6-3, 190 - Bridgton Academy, Bridgton, Maine
ATH Kavantye Bailey - 6-0, 190 - Trinity College, Port Hope, Ont.
OL Alex Pigozzo - 6-3, 280 - Resurrection, Kitchener, Ont.
OL James Leach - 6-4, 285 - John F Ross, Guelph, Ont.
OL Will St. Hubert - 6-5, 280 - Pickering HS, Pickering, Ont.

DB Aden Alkinani - 5-9, 170 - Northern, Sarnia, Ont.
DB Jordan Veltri - 6-0, 186 - Corpus Christi, Burlington, Ont.
DB Chase Szabo - 6-2, 185 - Huron Heights, Newmarket, Ont.
DB Tommy Bringi - 6-0, 195 - St. Andre Bessette, London, Ont.
LB Mitch Rooney - 6-3, 225 - Waterdown DHS, Waterdown, Ont.
LB Dylan Dale - 6-2, 210 - West Farris, North Bay, Ont.
LB Taylor Stalkie - 6-0, 202 - Napanee DSS, Napanee, Ont.
LB Daniel Fitzgerald - 6-2, 210 - Catholic Central, London, Ont.
LB Mario Pineda - 5-10, 220 - Jacob Hespeler, Cambridge, Ont.
LB Kaycee Anoliefo - 5-10, 200 - St. Mary’s, Hamilton, Ont.
LB Jordan French - 6-2, 195 - Central Tech, Toronto, Ont.
LB Avery Armstrong - 6-3, 215 - Clarkson Prep, Mississauga, Ont.
DL Kennedy Ilodigwe - 6-5, 220 - Ernest Manning, Markham, Ont.
DL John O’Reilly - 6-5, 240 - Corpus Christi, Burlington, Ont.
DL Callum McKean - 6-5, 215 - Michael Powers, Etobicoke, Ont.
DL Damian Tesoro - 6-3, 240 - Waterdown DHS, Waterdown, Ont.
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