Football - Wed, Jan. 7, 2009
CHICAGO - Saint Xavier University football coach Mike Feminis recently got four commitments from some talented defensive recruits in a pair of NCAA Division I transfers, defensive end Matt Yerkes from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Ill., and defensive back Jeremy Rhodes from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, as well as two prep linebackers in Ryan Fejedelem from Lemont High School in Lemont, Ill., and Mike Bushnell from Andrew High School in Tinley Park, Ill. Yerkes will join the Cougar program as a sophomore after playing a season at WIU, while Rhodes red-shirted last fall at Drake and will come to SXU as a freshman.

Yerkes is 6-3 and 225 pounds and originally hails from Palos Heights, Ill., while Rhodes at 5-11 and 185 pounds is a native of Alsip, Ill. Fejedelem is 6-1 and 210 pounds and lives in Lemont, Ill., while Bushnell sits at 5-10 and 200 pounds and resides in Tinley Park, Ill. Lemont High School has advanced to the IHSA Class 6A state championship each of the past two seasons.

"Matt was a preferred walk-on at Western Illinois a couple of years ago and we are hoping he will fill a big need for our team at defensive end with the graduation of Scott Kooistra, Joe Welch and Kevin Wiersema," said Feminis. "He definitely has the size and quickness to be a solid player for our program.

"Jeremy was one of our top recruits a year ago and wanted to be closer to home after going away his first year," continued Feminis. "He is a very good athlete, who can help us out right away at either safety position and is also an excellent punt and kick return specialist.

"Ryan and Mike are two kids we targeted very early who we knew were not going to be recruited by the Division I schools due to their size," said Feminis. "They both have a tremendous nose for the football and can flat out run. Mike's high school coach at Andrew also coached Sean Kenney (former SXU All-American middle linebacker) and thinks Mike may be as good as Sean, which is obviously a great compliment. Ryan played both inside and outside for Lemont, so we will decide where to plug him when the recruiting season and spring practice is complete. These are two high quality young men, who will have outstanding academic and athletic careers at Saint Xavier University."