January 17, 2013

Sparta (Mich.) DE Ethan Babkiewicz visiting CMU

As Central Michigan finishes up their 2013 class, one position has been at the forefront: defensive end. It's no secret that the Chippewas pass rush has been inconsistent in recent years, and the program has lacked a bona fide pass rusher since Frank Zombo left following the 2009 season. And as it stands right now, there is not a DE committed in the 2013 class, but that could change this weekend.

Scouting the state of Michigan thoroughly has been a staple of CMU recruiting under Dan Enos, and they especially look for seniors who have been undervalued. In Sparta (Mich.) defensive end Ethan Babkiewicz, they may have found just that.

Babkiewicz is coming off a strong senior season for Sparta, and despite an overall team record of 2-8, he was able to make an impact.

"You know, it was an alright season," added Babkiewicz. "We got off to a good start, but things just didn't go our way. It was a hard season, but I enjoyed being with my teammates and the bonds we were able to form as a team. Even though our record didn't show it, I thought we did some good things and were able to get better as the season progressed."

What drew college coaches to Babkiewicz was his size, athleticism and potential. At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, he runs a 4.7 forty yard dash and boasts a 35 inch vertical jump. Ferris State has already offered, and he is scheduled to visit CMU this weekend to discuss a potential offer.

"Right now, it's up to the coaches. They said they are full with scholarships right now, but I'll know more Saturday. I'm just going there and more or less selling myself, just presenting what I think I can do" said Babkiewicz.

With defensive line coach Vinson Reynolds leaving the program for rival Western Michigan, the Chippewas are currently without a positional coach at his position. But another coach has served as Babkiewicz's main recruiter, and there is no doubt that CMU has left a good impression on him.

"Coach (Kyle) Nystrom has been down to see me multiple times, and I was able to visit for a game this fall. I was very impressed with the coaching staff and I just liked the atmosphere. The coaches are very straight forward with me, and you don't get that a lot with college coaches. I was just talking to my parents the other night, and CMU is a place that I feel very comfortable at, it just feels right."

CMU is viewing Babkiewicz as a pass rushing defensive end with a lot of potential.

"I'm being looked at as a defensive end," added Babkiewicz. "The coaches see me as a body that can be built up, and that I have the frame to pack on some bulk. Eventually they see me as a guy who could be in the 260 or 270 pound range."

Whether or not there is a scholarship open for Babkiewicz is still a mystery, but it's obvious some things have changed with the recent addition of WR Eric Cooper yesterday. Prior to Cooper's commitment, every prospect ChippewaCountry has spoken with has indicated that CMU was full in the 2013 class. Defensive end is the one position room was thought to be available, and it's not out of the question that Babkiewicz could be the final piece after he visits this weekend. What is not a question, is what he would do if the Chippewas indeed did offer.

"I would commit in a heartbeat," said Babkiewicz. "Without a question, that's the place I want to be and it would be a dream come true."

We will catch up with Babkiewicz following his visit this weekend. He indicated he also has a visit lined up on Monday with Northwood University.

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