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​Western Michigan Univerisity Athletics Update

by Colin Windecker

Broncos Basketball Adds Center to 2014-15 Roster

The Western Michigan men's basketball team announced that Khadim Dieng, a 7-0 center from Senegal by way of Grand Rapids, Mich., has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend WMU. He will join the Broncos for the 2014-15 season and will have freshman eligibility.

"We are very excited to announce that Khadim will be joining our Bronco family," said head coach Steve Hawkins. "I know that from the moment our fans get the chance to know him, they'll immediately recognize him as a Bronco, and the kind of person we've always strived to bring to this program."

Dieng has spent the last two years in the United States, attending prestigious Oak Hill Academy in Virginia during the 2012-13 school year before moving to Grand Rapids and attending NorthPointe Christian high school last year. He played with the AAU team Grand Rapids Storm during the summer but was unable to play during the school year for NorthPointe Christian after the Michigan High School Athletic Association ruled him ineligible to compete. Most recently, Dieng helped lead the Storm to a 5-1 record and the Silver championship at the King James Classic in Akron, Ohio.

"He's very talented, and a very skilled seven-footer," said Hawkins. "He uses both hands well, and is a very good basketball player for being that tall. Normally, when you have someone that big, they are raw and you have to develop their basketball skill. Khadim is different in that he's further along in terms of basketball skill, but we need to develop his strength.

"We feel like that's something we can develop in him," said Hawkins. "We have had similar players in the past, like Donald Lawson and Shayne Whittington, who came in here skinny and left having gained weight and strength and impacting the program. When you combine Khadim's coachability and his work ethic, we feel like we can help him develop the other traits that he doesn't yet have.

Former Michigan Wolverine Transfers to WMU

Western Michigan football announced the official addition of University of Michigan graduate Richard Ash to the program. The Pahokee, Fla., native is enrolled in graduate classes this summer and will be a part of the team during the 2014 campaign.

Similar to Mike Jones coming from Michigan in 2013 and John Deyo coming from Michigan State in 2012, Ash completed his undergraduate coursework at Michigan, graduating this spring, and has one year of eligibility remaining.

As a Wolverine, Ash appeared in 14 career games at defensive tackle and also contributed on special teams. He made his collegiate debut at nose tackle against Minnesota on Oct. 1, 2011 and appeared in three games during Michigan's Sugar Bowl championship season. Ash made his first career tackle against Ohio State on Nov. 30, 2013.

During his high school career, Ash was a three-year varsity letterman with the football program, registering 45 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and recovered two fumbles as a senior. He racked up 84 tackles with 7.0 TFLs, 5.0 sacks to go along with an interception, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries as a junior. Ash was the nation's No. 25 defensive tackle according to Rivals.com coming out of Pahokee High School.

Jon Hoffing Named to Rimington Trophy Watch List

The Rimington Trophy Committee has released its 2014 Spring Watch List with senior Jon Hoffing being named one of the 64 student-athletes eligible for the award bestowed upon the best center in Division I football.

Hoffing, a senior from Libertyville, Ill., set career highs for games started and played in with 12 in 2013. His 827 offensive snaps were also a career high. He appeared in a career best 87 snaps against Nicholls on Sept. 7, 2013.

While more than a dozen All-America teams are selected annually, the Rimington Trophy committee used these three prestigious teams to determine a winner:

Walter Camp Foundation (WCF)

Sporting News (SN)

Football Writers Association of America (FWAA)

Because the selectors of these three All-America teams can place centers in a "mix" of offensive linemen that includes guards and tackles, their 11-man first teams can often have two centers. The Rimington Trophy committee's policy is to count all players that play primarily the center position for their respective teams as centers, even though they may be listed as guards or tackles on the four All-America teams.

The center with the most first team votes will be determined the winner. If there is a tie with first team votes, then the center with the most second team votes will win. If there is still a tie, the winner will be determined by a majority vote from the Rimington Trophy committee. The winner will be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday, January 17, 2014.