NORMAL — Illinois State has strengthened its defense and offensive line depth with the addition of four former Football Bowl Subdivision players who have enrolled in classes for the spring semester.
ISU's newcomers include one at each level of the defense in lineman David Kenney from Indiana, former Iowa linebacker Reggie Spearman and cornerback Stephen Amoako from Oregon.
The Redbird offensive line receives a large addition in 6-foot-8, 295-pound James Henry, a former Toledo player.
Kenney is a 6-2, 250-pounder and a former Hoosiers' teammate of Redbird quarterback Tre Roberson. Kenney played in seven games and had nine tackles as a true freshman in 2013 and did not see game action this past season. He has three years of eligibility at ISU.
"We know a lot about him. He was heavily recruited," ISU coach Brock Spack said of the Indianapolis native. "He wants a change of scenery. He could play all four spots in our front."
The Redbirds lose defensive tackles Collin Keoshian and Bradon Prate to graduation. End Teddy Corwin also could move inside on occasion.
The 6-3, 230-pound Spearman is a product of Chicago Simeon who played in 21 games the past two seasons at Iowa, totaling 49 tackles. He was among only four true freshmen to see action for the Hawkeyes in 2013 and will have two years to play for the Redbirds.
"We think he's a very good player. He could play will linebacker and allow us to shuffle a little bit," said Spack. "He looks like a Big Ten linebacker. He's got good feet and good change of direction."
The transfer of Spearman, who will face his former team on Sept. 5 when the Redbirds travel to Iowa City, likely will lead to ISU shifting linebacker Oshay Dunmore to safety. Both of the Redbirds' starting safeties in 2014, Dontae McCoy and Tevin Allen, were seniors.
Amoako is a former teammate of Dunmore at Oregon who will have two years of eligibility at ISU. The Arlington, Texas, native is 5-11, 185 pounds.
"Oshay really likes him. He's a mature guy who can play boundary corner or safety," Spack said. "He will allow us to be more multiple in what we do (in coverage schemes)."
Henry could help ease the loss of senior tackles Jermaine Barton and Mike Liedtke.
The product of Columbus, Ohio, has two years of remaining eligibility.
Prep linebacker commits: LaGrange Park Nazareth Academy linebacker Decxavier Kelly-Martin has committed to sign a national letter of intent with ISU on Feb. 4.
The 6-3, 200-pound Kelly-Martin was the leading tackler with 104 for the undefeated Class 6A state champions. He also had scholarship offers from North Texas, Southern Illinois and Western Illinois.