Football - Fri, Jan. 6, 2006
CHICAGO - Saint Xavier University football coach Mike Feminis knows that to continue the success his Cougars had during the 2005 season he will have to fill some voids left by the graduation of his senior student-athletes. Feminis has filled some of those holes with the recent signings of six transfers, including Billy Yeo, a walk-on quarterback at NCAA Division I Western Michigan University last season. Yeo, a Matteson, Ill., native, played prep football at Rich South High School in Richton Park under coach Tom Bailey.

"Billy was one of the top quarterbacks in the Chicago area coming out of high school a couple of years ago and tried walking on at a (NCAA) Division I school," said Feminis. "With John Perryman (SXU's senior quarterback in 2005) graduating, our quarterback position is wide open and Billy will certainly be given the opportunity to compete for the job."

The Cougars also landed defensive lineman Jim Jenks, who went to Eastern Illinois University to play football in 2003 on a scholarship, but has been away from the game since going to EIU. The Lyons, Ill., native played at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park under Dennis Moran.

"Our coaching staff is really excited about having Jim in our program," said Feminis. "He has been out of football for a couple of years, but was at Eastern Illinois on a partial scholarship and certainly looks the part. Jim is 6-4, 240 pounds and I can't wait to see him during the spring."

Feminis also picked up two NCAA Division II transfers in Kevin Platt and Joe Welch. Platt joins SXU from Bemidji State University (Minn.) where he was a freshman safety last season. The Joliet, Ill., native was a former defensive back at Joliet Catholic High School under Dan Sharp. Welch transferred from Merrimack College (Mass.) where he played on the defensive line as a freshman in 2005. The Chicago native was a former all-conference defensive lineman at Brother Rice High School in Chicago under Steve Nye.

"Kevin is a big, athletic player, who can make an immediate impact for our team in the secondary," said Feminis. "We really liked Joe last year out of high school and he just wanted to come back closer to home. The spring sessions will be very important for both of these guys, but I think physically both are ready to play at our level right away."

SXU football also signed John Scudella, an offensive lineman from Quincy University (Ill.), and Jason O'Neal, a defensive back from the College of DuPage (Ill.). Scudella, a native of Matteson, Ill., went to Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights and played under Dave Mattio. O'Neal was a former defensive back at Downer's Grove North High School.

"John has a big body and will give us depth on the offensive line," said Feminis. "Jason is a good size player for a defensive back. Both of these guys definitely have potential."