The University of Central Missouri Mules football squad announced its 2009 class today. The list includes five high school student-athletes and eight transfers that will wear the Cardinal and Black next season.

 "We feel really good about the kids coming back on our football team, plus we added some good transfer players to provide some immediate help." said Mules Head Coach Willie Fritz, "We also signed a great group of high school players."


Following is a complete list of the Mules’ 2009 Football Commitments:  

Darius Henderson – Offensive Line 6-4  *  280  *  Junior Chicago, Ill.  *  College of Dupage (Ill.)

Head Coach:  Fred Fimbres – An all-conference and all-region selection at College of DuPage, Henderson led the Chaparrals to a 6-6 mark last season… Attended Chicago Vocational Academy, where he was an all-conference and all-area selection on the gridiron… He was also an all-conference performer for the bowling team in high school.

William Hollis – Defensive End 6-1  *  245  *  Junior Marina Del Rey, Calif.  *  El Camino C.C. (Calif.)

Head Coach:  John Featherstone – Helped the Warriors to a 10-2 record last season along with a national playoff appearance… He logged 57 tackles, 12 sacks, 14 stops for loss, and had two forced fumbles last season… Attended West Los Angeles C.C. as a freshman where he played linebacker, logging 132 tackles, 21 for loss, and seven sacks to earn all-conference honors… Attended Hamilton High School his senior year for head coach Kalvin Moore… Played middle linebacker, earning All-Western League… Recorded 155 tackles, 27 for loss, and five sacks to finish second in the league in stops… Came in second for voting for defensive player of the year.

Dennis Hutchings – Running Back 5-10  *  205  *  Freshman Holden, Mo.  *  Holden H.S.

Head Coach:  Rich Johnson – Led the Eagles to an 11-1 record as a senior, rushing for a state-leading 2,549 yards… He also scored 31 touchdowns and averaged nearly 11 yards per carry… He was a first-team all-state, all-conference, and all-district selection as well.

Aaron Jamieson – Kicker/Punter 5-11  *  170  *  Freshman Cassville, Mo.  *  Cassville H.S.

Head Coach:  David Large – Played on the Class 3 Missouri State Championship team in 2008… He capped of his senior year with the third longest field goal in Show-Me Bowl history with a 42-yarder… Has been the first-team All-Big 8 kicker three times, as well as first-team all-district three times… In 2008, he was first-team all-state in both the coaches and media polls… He also received first-team all-area honors as a kicker from the Joplin Globe in 2007 and 2008… The Springfield News Leader named him to the All-Ozark first-team in 2008… He finished 2008 48/51 on PAT, had 51 touchbacks, and a 38 yard punting average.

Brian Kearney – Wide Receiver 6-3  *  180  *  Freshman Independence, Mo.  *  Truman H.S.

Head Coach:  Craig Lewis – A wide receiver and a defensive back for the Patriots, he also competed for the basketball squad.

Mike Petersen – Quarterback 6-4  *  180  *  Freshman Overland Park, Kan.  *  Blue Valley Northwest H.S.

Head Coach:  Mike Zegunis – A two-year starter, he earned honorable mention All-EKL, All-Johnson County, and all-state honors as a senior… He broke the school records for passing yards with 1,938 in a season and 3,210 in a career… tossed 23 touchdowns in his career as well… The team captain, he was named Metro Sports and 610 Radio Athlete of the Week during the season.

David Peterson – Offensive Line 6-3  *  295  *  Junior Sacramento, Calif.  *  Sierra Junior College (Calif.)

Head Coach:  Jeff Tisdel – A two-time first-team all-conference selection, he was also picked to the all-state team while blocking for the offensive player of the year, Lamon Muldrow, who ran for 1,227 yards… He helped lead the Wolverines to a couple Valley Conference titles, including a 9-2 mark and a bowl appearance in 2008… Played at Sheldon High School where he was a first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-state selection for head coach Ed Lombardi… He also played basketball, winning the Division I Section Championship. 

Tavares Rhodes – Running Back 5-10  *  215  *  Junior Abilene, Texas  *  Feather River C.C. (Calif.)

Head Coach:  Tom Simi – A two-year starter at slot back for the Golden Eagles, he also returned punts and kicks… Played at Abilene High School in Texas where he was the Austin Lanier Newcomer of the Year… He rushed for 1,354 yards while racking up 200 yards receiving as well… His brother Dominic plays for the Indianapolis Colts while his cousin, Quan Cosby was a star at the University of Texas and is entering the NFL Draft this spring.

P.J. South – Defensive Line 6-4  *  280  *  Junior Humover Park, Ill.  *  Joliet Junior College (Ill.)

Head Coach:  Jeremy Richardson – A second-team all-conference selection, he led his team to the Iowa Bowl title as a freshman… Attended Bolingbrook High School in Illinois where he was a first-team all-conference and second-team all-state selection for head coach John Ivlow… He was also named a Top Area All 100 player while also competing for the wrestling team at heavyweight, qualifying for sectionals. 

Derrick Stewart – Wide Receiver 5-11  *  180  *  Junior Youngstown, Ohio  *  Fort Scott C.C. (Kan.)

Head Coach:  Jeff Simms – Played cornerback for one season at Fort Scott, picking off three passes… Played for Division I Cincinnati in 2006 as a freshman, picking up 33 receptions for 675 yards and five scores… Also a standout punt returner for the Bearcats, he had 231 return yards.. First team All-Northeast Ohio selection as a senior at Ursuline High, he was coached by Dan Reardon… Earned first team all-conference honors his junior and senior seasons and was a second team all-state pick in 2004… Made 24 receptions for 605 yards and seven TDs as a senior… Multiple offensive threat who also rushed 29 times for 186 yards and completed 7-of-11

passes for 118 yards… Defensively, he recorded 39 tackles for loss, one sack, six pass breakups and a fumble recovery…had a punt return and a kickoff return for touchdowns.

Nate Stoffel – Offensive Line 6-4  *  300  *  Junior Dubuque, Iowa  *  Iowa Central C.C.

Head Coach:  Kevin Twait – lettered one season for Iowa Central, helping the team to the Graphic Edge Bowl… Played at Division I FCS Northern Iowa as a freshman for head coach Mark Farley… He was a three-sport letterman at Hempstead High School, where he was a team captain in football, wrestling, and track and field… a first-team all-conference and all-state performer on the gridiron, he also went 31-6 and qualified for state at heavyweight on the mat… He also qualified for state in the shot put.

Sitani Tupou – Defensive Line 6-4  *  300  *  Junior Elverta, Calif.  *  Sierra Junior College (Calif.)

Head Coach:  Jeff Tisdel – Helped Sierra to a couple Valley Conference titles and two bowl game appearances with a combined 18-4 overall record… He was an all-conference selection on the defensive line… attended Center High School in Antelope, Calif, where he was an all-conference performer in football and rugby… also competed as a thrower for the track team… His younger brother Fenuki is an offensive tackle at the University of Oregon… His youngest brother, Christian, is a starting nose tackle at the University of Southern California.

Ralph Watson – Defensive Back 5-11  *  170  *  Freshman St. Louis, Mo.  *  McCluer North H.S.

Head Coach:  Jim Schottmueller – A three-sport athlete and two-year captain for the football team, he played quarterback and defensive back… He was also the team captain of the state-ranked basketball team… Was a two-time state qualifier in the 110 meter hurdles, finishing second as a junior and recording the fifth fastest high school time in the nation.