February 1, 2008

Flashes land Top 20 prospect

Kent State's recruiting class of 2008 got a major boost last week when Josh Pleasant verbally committed to head coach Doug Martin and the Golden Flashes. Pleasant, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound cornerback from Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, chose Kent State over offers from Akron, Toledo and James Madison and interest from several other major college programs.

"I committed to Kent State about a week ago," Pleasant said. "It's a good opportunity for me. I want to play kick returner and punt returner in addition to cornerback and they'll give me that chance. Plus, (Kent State) was my first offer, so that meant a lot."

Pleasant said his recent official visit pretty much sealed his commitment.

"I had a good time," he said. "I really enjoyed the coaches; they seem like they are all business. They want to get their program on the map and they were looking for playmakers. I think I'm that guy."

After graduating from Watkins Mills High School in Maryland, Pleasant could have signed with a Division II school but instead chose to go the prep school route-even though fully qualified-to try to increase his recruiting stock.

Mission accomplished. Not only did Pleasant pick up multiple Divison I offers, but he was named by Rivals.com as the No. 20 prep school prospect in the nation.

"That makes me feel really good," he said. "Coming from nothing, I wasn't even on Rivals before I got to Hargrave and they gave me an opportunity. It feels good to see my hard work pay off."

As a senior at Watkins Mills, Pleasant posted 62 tackles and picked off two passes-taking one back for a score. He also added about 1,000 offensive yards and scored 10 touchdowns. At Hargrave he picked off six passes and scored twice on punt returns.

"I did real good, better than expected," he said. "Originally, I wasn't even a cornerback, I was a running back and wide receiver. It wasn't too hard to convert because I always used my athletic ability and now I learned the footwork."

Pleasant, who plans to major in business at Kent State, hopes to stay involved in football long after his playing days are over.

"When it's all said and done I want to coach," he said. "Since I made it the hard way maybe I can teach some kids to do it the easy way. It will be better."

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