CHICAGO – After announcing the additions of six talented linemen from the Chicago South suburbs earlier this week, Saint Xavier University head coach Mike Feminis continued to show that the level of high school football talent in the area is second to none when he released the names of four more local prep standouts who will make up his 2013 recruiting class. The group includes defensive back Jake Lemming (Lemont), wide receiver Dennis Vilimek (Andrew), quarterback/running back Robyn Pondexter (Julian) and punter Joe Pavlik (Mount Carmel). Feminis is thrilled with the skill sets that each of these players bring to their respective positions and strongly believes that most, if not all, of this group will compete for playing time right away.
Lemming is 5-9 and 160 pounds and played under Eric Michaelsen at Lemont High School in Lemont, Ill. In 2011, Lemming led the state with nine interceptions and helped lead the Indians to the semifinals of the Class 6A playoffs. This past season, he had a key fumble recovery in Lemont's tough 28-27 loss to Crete-Monee in the Class 6A semifinals. Vilimek (5-10, 175 pounds) was a force offensively for the Thunderbolts helping lead Andrew to the first round of the Class 7A playoffs. Vilimek played for Jim Malec during his career at Andrew High School. Pondexter is 5-7 and 150 pounds and played quarterback for the Jaguars during his prep career under coach Jason Richardson. Pavlik brings a 6-0, 165-pound frame to the Cougar roster and was the starting punter on the 2012 Class 8A state champion Caravan. He averaged 42.5 yards per punt in the championship game.
"Jake is the entire package and can play anywhere in the secondary," said Feminis. "He has the quick feet and exceptional coverage skills to play corner, but he is also a very sure tackler and has the instincts to be an outstanding free safety. If Jake was 180 pounds instead of 160, he'd probably be a borderline Division I recruit, so we are fortunate to get him. Dennis is a terrific athlete as well and reminds me a bit of Nick DeBenedetti (current SXU receiver from Andrew), who is on his way to having a great career at Saint Xavier. He is a smooth route runner with soft hands and has the ability to make guys miss. I wouldn't be surprised if Dennis helps us sooner rather than later.
"Robyn played quarterback at Julian, but will likely be a running back for us," continued Feminis. "He's very shifty and extremely strong for his size, plus his vertical jump (37") is unbelievable. We think he has a chance to do some great things in our offense. Joe will likely be our punter for the next four years. He has a strong leg, but the fact that he has kicked both conventionally and rugby style really intrigued us. Joe's also a nice athlete, who can run so we can be pretty creative with him."
Saint Xavier is coming off another amazing season finishing the 2012 campaign with an 11-2 overall record and making its fourth straight appearance in the semifinals of the NAIA Football Championship Series. The Cougars carried the NAIA's No. 1 ranking for the first five weeks of the 2012 season and later went on to defeat then No. 1 ranked Marian University (Ind.), 23-6, on November 1 in Chicago. SXU was ranked the No. 4 spot in the NAIA's final regular season top 25 poll.