Adam Cushing 2019 EIU signing day

Eastern Illinois head coach Adam Cushing addresses reporters at his National Signing Day press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 at O'Brien Stadium.

CHARLESTON – Adam Cushing and his staff arrived in Charleston on Jan. 2 for their first official day of work facing a daunting task: They had about a month to assemble a recruiting class.

Exactly five weeks later, Cushing stood at a podium in the back of the O’Brien Stadium offices to announce a 23-player haul that signed Wednesday. In total, the Panthers have 26 signees in their 2019 class when including the three players who signed during the early period in December. Of those, 18 played at Illinois high schools.

The class includes a pair of three-star recruits, and its highest-rated player came as a signing day coup. Dominic Moore, a defensive end from Chicago Perspectives Charter, picked the Panthers Wednesday morning. He held FBS offers from Illinois, Central Michigan, New Mexico and Wyoming. The 247Sports Composite ranked him as the No. 34 player in the state.

“He’s a physical, dominating player, Cushing said. “Hopefully he will do that at our level.”

EIU’s class is largely filled, but Cushing isn’t ruling out a couple more post-signing day additions. A likely one is Anthony Manaves, a tight end from St. Patrick High School in Chicago, who committed on Jan. 28 but did not sign Wednesday.

A complete list of players who have signed with the Panthers:

-Grant Edwards, DL/LB, 6-1, 240 (Sacred Heart-Griffin HS/Springfield, Ill.)

-Anthony Shockey, LB, 6-1, 220 (Glenbard East HS/Lombard, Ill.)

-Donovan Perkins, CB, 5-10, 170 (New Trier HS/Winnetka, Ill.)

-Cameron Leach, OL, 6-1, 280 (Nazareth Academy/La Grange Park, Ill.)

-Ivan Gleyzer, OL, 6-4, 270 (Stevenson HS, Lincolnshire, Ill.)

-Jason Johnson, LB, 6-2, 200 (Rich Central HS, Matteson, Ill.)

-Joel Barrows, LB, 6-3, 190 (Brooks College Prep/Chicago)

-Chad Strickland, OL, 6-5, 270 (Smiths Station HS/Smiths, Ala.)

-Dylan Czerlanis, OL, 6-4, 290 (Antioch HS/Antioch, Ill.)

-Anthony Sottosanto, OL, 6-0, 270 (Lincoln-Way East HS, Frankfort, Ill.)

-David Hardwick, RB, 6-0, 195 (Lake Park HS/Roselle, Ill.)

-Brandon Guido, DB, 5-9, 170 (Waubonsie Valley HS/Aurora, Ill.)

-Jordan Williams, DB, 5-9, 185 (Oswego East HS/Oswego, Ill.)

-Kirk Pinkston, WR, 5-10, 160 (Lawrence Central HS/Indianapolis)

-Connor Aldrich, DB, 6-0, 160 (Harlem HS/Machesney Park, Ill.)

-Charlie Brooks, DE, 6-0, 230 (Homewood-Flossmoor HS/Flossmoor, Ill.)

-Jaelin Benefield, RB, 5-10, 170 (Pearland HS/Pearland, Texas)

-Dylan Hughes, DB, 5-11, 170 (Milford HS/Milford, Ohio)

-McKinley Neville, DL, 6-3, 280 (Batavia HS/Batavia, Ill.)

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-Dylan Scaggs, OL, 6-6, 265 (West Plains HS/West Plains, Mo.)

-Anthony Imperio, OL, 6-4, 250 (Auburn HS/Auburn, Ala.)

-Christiaan Masucci, K/P, 5-9, 150 (Lafayette HS/Wildwood, Mo.)

-Matt Ross, DB, 6-0, 185 (Montini Catholic/Lombard, Ill.)

-Elkhanan Tanelus, OL, 6-2, 295 (Barron Collier HS/Naples, Fla.)

-Ameer Aqel, LB, 6-2, 205 (Andrew HS/Tinley Park, Ill.)

-Dominic Moore, DL, 6-7, 285 (Perspectives Charter/Chicago)

A breakdown of EIU’s class by state:

Illinois | 18

Missouri | 2

Alabama | 2

Ohio | 1

Indiana | 1

Florida | 1

Texas | 1

A breakdown of EIU's class by position:

QB | 0

RB | 2

WR-TE | 1

OL | 7

DL | 5

LB | 4

DB | 6

ATH | 0

K/P | 1

Contact Patrick Engel at (217) 238-6856. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickEngel_


Sports writer

I cover Eastern Illinois football and basketball, as well as Mattoon/Charleston prep sports, for the JG-T

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