Jackson Williamson and AJ Mayer will both play early in bid to replace Gus Ragland

5 local players looking to help Miami climb to the top of the MAC

Five players from the Cox Media Group Ohio area are on the Miami RedHawks football roster for 2019. 

>>RELATED: Miami tabbed to finish No. 2 in MAC East | RedHawks face daunting early schedule

Here’s what coach Chuck Martin had to say about each one as the start of training camp approaches: 

Maurice Thomas, senior running back, Oxford, Talawanda 

“Well he's been a dynamic player since he got here. He's been a dynamic returner, a big play guy in our offense. His biggest thing is just staying healthy. He's always been in and out of the lineup, and we need him this year to really stay healthy. 

“He's a dangerous return guy, had a kickoff return for a touchdown against Western Michigan, so just different ways to get him the ball. He can catch the ball, run the ball, you know, and as many touches as he can handle, we're going to try to get him. 

Jarrett LaRubbio, senior offensive lineman, Middletown, Lakota East 

"Toughness, competitiveness, lunch pail, old school, throwback, a lot of kick-sand-in-your-face mentality.” 

Rucker-Furlow, sophomore defensive back, Dayton, Belmont 

“We knew he was good in camp. We tried to push the envelope and try push a little bit too early. We threw him in there against Akron. I think it was the second conference or maybe the third conference game, and he probably wasn't quite ready. But coach (John) Hauser, to his credit just, they just kept working and by the end of the year, he obviously was rotating as a starter and played about half of every game and had the pick-six to be Northern.

“He’s an incredibly talented young man, and part of the reason our defense really improved towards the second half of the year was the improvement of guys like Ja’Don that were coming on as the year went on were getting better and better.”  

RedHawks have two Big Ten teams, ancient rival in first month before tough start to MAC play

Dean Lemon, senior defensive lineman, Kettering, Alter 

"He really last year as a junior had his best year. He had a huge sack in our Northern Illinois game in the second half. We're going to start more than four guys at the D-line and he's going to be in that mix of guys. He played some really good football for us down the stretch a year ago and really impacted the OU win, impacted the Northern win, impacted the Ball State win. He's kind of hitting his stride later in his career.”

Max Wynn, freshman linebacker, Centerville 

“Max is a great kid and great player for great program. I don't want to put the weight of the world on his shoulders when he's young, but he's a kid we think that can run and hit. He's got great length. He's gonna be big. He's not big yet, but he's got that frame that he's going to be a 235-pound linebacker that can run.

“ From all accounts seemed like a great leader in high school and everything like that.” 

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