CHICAGO – Continuing the tradition of finding quality high school football players right across the state line, Saint Xavier University head coach Mike Feminis was pleased to announce Thursday the addition of three talented preps from the Northwest Indiana area who will join his 2013 recruiting class. The trio includes wide receiver Aaron Dye (Merrillville), offensive lineman Sean Jones (Crown Point) and defensive back Tyler Smith (Crown Point). Feminis strongly believes that all three of these players have the potential to make immediate impacts next fall in the Cougar football program.
Dye is 5-10 and 160 pounds and played under Zac Wells at Merrillville High School in Merrillville, Ind. As a senior, Dye finished with 62 catches for 1,294 yards and 16 touchdowns and earned first team all-area recognition from The Post Tribune. Jones (6-3, 275 pounds) played under Kevin Enright at Crown Point High School and was also a first team selection on The Post Tribune's 2012 All-Area Football Team. Smith is 5-10 and 170 pounds and also played for Enright as a Bulldog. He earned first team all-area honors as well from The Post Tribune and played well on both sides of the ball for Crown Point, including starting two games as the team's tailback.
"I think we hit the trifecta with this group," said Feminis. "Aaron is one of the most exciting players in that area, if not the entire state of Indiana. He has great speed to run the deep routes, but also showed on film that he has very soft hands and is willing to catch the ball in traffic. Aaron will be a big-time playmaker for us.
"Sean has the size, strength and footwork to be an exceptional offensive lineman," continued Feminis. "He reminds me a lot of Matt Renfro (a former Saint Xavier standout and All-American), who had all the physical tools, but played like he had a chip on his shoulder. Sean really comes off the ball and gets after people. We love his aggressiveness. Tyler is a tremendous athlete, who could play on either side of the ball, but we think he can help us right away in our defensive secondary either at corner and safety. He runs well, has loose hips and is not afraid to hit people."
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.