MARSHALL, Minn. - Southwest Minnesota State University head football coach Cory Sauter announced today the signing of 33 high school and junior college student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to continue their academic and football careers at SMSU. Today's announcement came on the first day student-athletes are allowed to sign National Letters of Intent. One of the junior college transfers has already enrolled at SMSU for 2013 spring semester.
The list includes student-athletes from 10 different states including Minnesota (12), Wisconsin (8), Florida (3), Iowa (3), South Dakota (2), California (1), Colorado (1), Georgia (1), Illinois (1) and Indiana (1). The list of signees includes eight defensive backs, six offensive lineman, five defensive lineman, four linebackers, three wide receivers, two running backs, one tight end, one quarterback. Two others are listed as running backs/defensive backs, while another is listed as a running back/wide receiver.
"This is a special day for the Mustang football program," Sauter said on Wednesday. "I would like to welcome the 33 student-athletes who are making the commitment to Southwest Minnesota State University. Our coaching staff has worked diligently over the past year developing strong relationships with these young men. I feel like we have enhanced the talent level of our football program and expect several of these student-athletes to push for playing time in the near future. They are eager to begin their college careers and have a positive impact in the community of Marshall."
Southwest Minnesota State is an NCAA Division II school located in Marshall and competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. SMSU finished with an overall record of 4-7 in 2012, tying for 10th place overall in the 16-team conference. SMSU finished 3-4 in the NSIC South Division, tying for fourth place in the eight-team division.
SMSU is scheduled to begin spring practice on April 1 and will open the 2013 season on Saturday, Sept. 7, with a conference home game versus St. Cloud State University.
2013 SMSU National Letter of Intent Signees Name, Pos., Ht., Wt., Hometown / High School / Previous College Kevin Baumann, DL, 6-4, 225, Pewaukee, Wis. / Pewaukee HS Dante Copeland, OL, 6-5, 325, Panora, Iowa / Panorama HS Rakeem Felder, DL, 6-2, 255, Osseo, Minn. / Osseo HS Dallin Finley, RB/DB, 5-9, 170, Kennesaw Ga. / Kennesaw Mountain HS Austin Fisher, DL, 6-3, 260, Hartland, Wis. / Arrowhead HS Alex Giles, RB/DB, 5-9, 185, Belgium, Wis. / Cedar Grove-Belgium HS Blake Gimbel, QB, 6-4, 197, Marshalltown, Iowa / Marshalltown HS Jake Glotzer, DB, 5-10, 175, Skokie, Ill. / Niles West HS Kane Hutchinson, OL, 6-7, 275, Granby, Colo. / Middle Park HS Nathaniel Huot, WR, 6-1, 190, Dawson, Minn. / Dawson-Boyd HS Matt Iverson, DB, 5-11, 185, Hudson, Wis. / Hudson HS Justin Lee, LB, 6-1, 195, Dawson, Minn. / Dawson-Boyd HS Clint Long, OL, 6-4, 260, Gillett, Wis. / Gillett HS Bilal Louzati, LB, 6-0, 220, Fitchburg, Wis. / Verona HS Derek Malbrue, LB, 6-1, 230, Blaine, Minn. / Spring Lake Park HS Jake Mills, DB, 6-0, 185, Ames, Iowa / Ames HS Bryan Mitchell, DB, 6-0, 172, Lakeland, Fla. / Lakeland HS Matt Overgaard, TE, 6-2, 220, Luverne, Minn. / Luverne HS Cameron Parus, WR, 6-4, 200, Newburg, Ind. / Castle HS Ashanti Payne, RB, 5-10, 190, Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Robbinsdale Cooper HS Michael Rivera, DB, 5-11, 160, Windom, Minn. / Windom HS Andrico Rolle, DB, 6-3, 190, Miami, Fla. / Somerset Academy HS / Ridgewater College Jay Schneider, RB/WR, 5-10, 175, Mequon, Wis. / Homestead HS Brandon Schmitt, DL, 6-1, 260, Dawson, Minn. / Dawson-Boyd HS Davontay Stevens, RB, 5-8, 195, Jacksonsville, Fla. / Wolfson HS / Ridgewater College Andrew Terwilliger, OL, 6-5, 280, Fitchburg, Wis. / Verona HS Alex Thorson, LB, 6-0, 205, Onida, S.D. / Watertown HS Tony Tripp, DB, 5-10, 183, Brandon, S.D. / Brandon Valley HS Johnny Ware, DB, 5-9, 170, Minneapolis, Minn. / Osseo HS / Itasca C.C.
Max Weaver, OL, 6-4, 285, Northfield, Minn. / Northfield HS Alex Werner, DL, 6-6, 230, Marshall, Minn. / Marshall HS Sam Westre, OL, 6-5, 285, Hastings, Minn. / Hastings HS Mike Williams, WR, 6-0, 198, Lancaster, Calif. / Lancaster HS/Antelope Valley College **
** already enrolled at SMSU for 2013 spring semester
Rakeem Felder, DL, 6-2, 255, Osseo, Minn. (Osseo HS) Prepped at Osseo HS for coach Derron Lampker … all-conference honoree … named second team all-metro and second team all-state … finished senior season with 51 tackles and seven sacks … also in basketball … son of Alison Felder.
Nathaniel Huot, WR, 6-1, 190, Dawson, Minn. (Dawson-Boyd HS) Prepped at Dawson-Boyd HS for coach Cory Larson … two-time all-conference honoree … honorable mention all-state … all-area by Marshall Independent and West Central Tribune … caught 58 passes for 1,079 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior … also rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries … recorded seven interceptions as a junior … helped lead team to 2011 Class A state championship and 2012 state semifinals … six-year letterwinner in football … two-time all-conference honoree … named Marshall Independent Player of the Year … honorable mention all-state … averaged 16.9 points per game as a junior with 67 3-pointers … four-year letterwinner in basketball and three-year letterwinner in baseball … son of Roy and Chutima Huot.
Justin Lee, LB, 6-1, 195, Dawson, Minn. (Dawson-Boyd HS) Prepped at Dawson-Boyd HS for coach Cory Larson ... three-time all-conference honoree ... named co-conference offensive MVP ... rushed for 1,239 yards and 22 touchdowns during senior season ... also racked up 65 tackles ... named all-area ... rushed for 1,621 yards and 19 touchdowns during junior season with 108 tackles ... finished career rushing for 4,161 yards ... recorded 264 career tackles with 10.5 sacks ... helped lead team to 2011 Class A state championship and 2012 state semifinals ... also in baseball ... son of Dan and Karolee Lee.
Derek Malbrue, LB, 6-1, 230, Blaine, Minn. (Spring Lake Park HS) Prepped at Spring Lake Park HS for coach Jeff Schlieff … team captain … three-year letterwinner … all-conference as a senior … started on offensive line and linebacker … member of conference championship football team … racked up 30 tackles and 3.5 sacks … also had one interception … all-conference honoree in track … also a letterwinner in wrestling … son of Janine and Keith Malbrue.
Matt Overgaard, TE, 6-2, 220, Luverne, Minn. (Luverne HS) Prepped at Luverne HS for coach Todd Oye … two-time letterwinner … also letterwinner in basketball and baseball … son of Mark and Amy Overgaard.
Ashanti Payne, RB, 5-10, 190, Brooklyn Park, Minn. (Robbinsdale Cooper HS) Prepped at Robbinsdale Cooper HS for coach Willie Howard … named all-conference … named conference offensive MVP … named to the Minnesota Vikings All-State team … rushed for 1,432 yards during senior season … also recorded 52 tackles.
Michael Rivera, DB, 5-11, 160, Windom, Minn. (Windom HS) Prepped at Windom HS for coach Bob Schlaeger … named all-conference … three-year letterwinner … also in track … son of Mike and Kym Rivera.
Brandon Schmitt, DL, 6-1, 260, Dawson, Minn. (Dawson-Boyd HS) Prepped at Dawson-Boyd HS for coach Cory Larson … all-conference and all-area honoree … named conference most valuable offensive and defensive lineman of the year … Minnesota Vikings all-state team … team captain … helped lead team to 2011 Class A state championship and 2012 state semifinals … four-year letterwinner … racked up more than 100 career tackles and 25 sacks … also standout in wrestling … two-time state qualifier … has won more than 100 career matches … son of Andy and Jane Schmitt.
Johnny Ware, DB, 5-9, 170, Minneapolis, Minn. (Osseo HS/Itasca C.C.) Transfer from Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Minn. … has three years of eligibility remaining at SMSU … recorded 14 tackles during 2012 season … 2011 graduate of Osseo HS … finished with two interceptions and 14 pass break-ups … son of Tanika O'Hara and Johnny Ware.
Max Weaver, OL, 6-4, 285, Northfield, Minn. (Northfield HS) Prepped at Northfield HS for coach Bubba Sullivan … two-time all-conference … team MVP … two-time team offensive lineman of the year … named team most inspirational … also played on defense line and recorded 27 tackles and two sacks during senior season … son of Nick and Mary Weaver.
Alex Werner, DL, 6-6, 230, Marshall, Minn. (Marshall HS) Prepped at Marshall HS for coach Terry Bahlmann … three-year letterwinner … named all-conference and all-area … led team with eight sacks … also started on the offensive line … member of three conference championship teams … older brother Nate, is a member of SMSU football team … son of Tom and Melanie Werner.
Sam Westre, OL, 6-5, 285, Hastings, Minn. (Hastings HS) Prepped at Hastings HS for coach Dana Strain … EXCEL academic award honoree … also in basketball and baseball … son of Margaret and Scott Westre.
Kevin Baumann, DL, 6-4, 225, Pewaukee, Wis. (Pewaukee HS) Prepped at Pewaukee HS for coach Justin Friske … all-conference during senior season as offensive lineman … two-time honorable mention all-conference at defensive end … recorded 32 tackles and five for loss during senior season … finished career with 58 tackles and four sacks … son of Ken and Lorie Baumann.
Austin Fisher, DL, 6-3, 260, Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead HS) Prepped at Arrowhead HS for coach Greg Malling … three-year letterwinner … second team all-conference honoree … racked up 32 tackles and four sacks during senior season … member of starting defense in 2012 that allowed only eight touchdowns all season and won state championship … also in track … son of Scott and Melissa Fisher.
Alex Giles, RB/DB, 5-9, 185, Belgium, Wis. (Cedar Grove-Belgium HS) Prepped at Cedar Grove-Belgium HS for coach Chris Zablocki … three-time letterwinner … three-time team offensive MVP … team captain … three-time first team all-conference … two-time all-state honoree … school's all-time leading rusher … rushed for more than 5,000 yards in career … also in basketball and track … son of Chuck and Jennifer Giles.
Matt Iverson, DB, 5-11, 185, Hudson, Wis. (Hudson HS) Prepped at Hudson HS for coach Adam Kowles … two-year letterwinner … named honorable mention all-conference … recorded 36 tackles and 5.5 sacks during senior season … racked up 79 career tackles and five pass break-ups … also in track … son of Jim and Susan Iverson.
Clint Long, OL, 6-4, 260, Gillett, Wis. (Gillett HS) Prepped at Gillett HS for coach Rick Kamps … three-year letterwinner … second team all-conference on both the offensive and defensive line … played defensive tackle and had 24 tackles … also in basketball and track … son of Russ and Tara Long.
Bilal Louzati, LB, 6-0, 220, Fitchburg, Wis. (Verona HS) Prepped at Verona HS for coach Dave Richardson … two-time first team all-conference … conference inside linebacker of the year … all-area … all-region … named first team all-state … team captain … racked up 126 tackles with 15 for loss and four sacks as a senior … recorded more than 220 tackles in career with seven sacks … son of Omar and Tijania Louzati.
Jay Schneider, RB/WR, 5-10, 175, Mequon, Wis. (Homestead HS) Prepped at Homestead HS for coach Dave Keel … also will run track at SMSU … two-time all-conference … named all-region … member of 2012 Division 2 state championship team … three-year letterwinner … rushed for 875 yards during senior season … also caught 20 passes for 333 yards … finished season with 19 touchdowns … named team and special teams player of the year … three-time state track medalist … also in swimming … son of Brian and Nancy Schneider.
Andrew Terwilliger, OL, 6-5, 280, Fitchburg, Wis. (Verona HS) Prepped at Verona HS for coach Dave Richardson … two-time all-conference … helped team to nine victories … honorable mention all-state … named conference offensive lineman of the year … all-region … team rushed for more than 2,600 and 33 touchdowns in 2012 … team averaged 258 yards rushing and 35 points per game … three-year starter.
Bryan Mitchell, DB, 6-0, 172, Lakeland, Fla. (Lakeland HS) Prepped at Lakeland HS for coach Bill Castle … recorded 31 tackles and three pass break-ups during senior season … racked up three career interceptions and 58 career tackles … son of Duane and Xiomara Mitchell.
Andrico Rolle, DB, 6-3, 190, Miami, Fla. (Somerset Academy HS/Ridgewater College) Transfer from Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minn. … played for coach Rob Baumgarn … has two years of eligibility remaining at SMSU … 2010 graduate of Somerset Academy … played for Charles Hafley … selected to North vs. South South Florida All-Star game … finished high school career with 63 tackles, 15 pass break-ups and two interceptions … son of Eleisa Edgecombe.
Davontay Stevens, RB, 5-8, 195, Jacksonsville, Fla. (Wolfson HS/Ridgewater College) Transfer from Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minn. … played for coach Rob Baumgarn during the 2010 and 2011 seasons … has two years of eligibility remaining at SMSU … two-time all-conference honoree … rushed for 714 yards and six touchdowns in 2011 … named Ridgewater's offensive most valuable player both seasons … named to all-academic team … 2009 graduate of Wolfson HS … played for coach Law Johnson … named most valuable player in the 2009 Florida versus Georgia All-Star game … son of Bonnie and Donal Burden.
Dante Copeland, OL, 6-5, 325, Panora, Iowa (Panorama HS) Prepped at Panorama HS for coach Lyle Alumbaugh … first team all-district and third team all-state as a senior… named first team all-state as a junior … three-time all-district honoree … four-year letterwinner … also in basketball and track … son of Nikki Klinkefus.
Blake Gimbel, QB, 6-4, 197, Marshalltown, Iowa (Marshalltown HS) Prepped at Marshalltown HS for coach Dave Holdiman ... two-year starter … passed for state record 3,979 yards during both junior and senior seasons … set state record with 301 pass completions as a senior with 39 touchdowns passes … also rushed for 257 yards and seven touchdowns during 2012 season… in 2011, set state single-game record with 567 yards passing … finished career passing for 8,158 yards and 77 touchdowns … two-time first team all-conference … two-time first team all-state … also named all-conference in basketball.
Jake Mills, DB, 6-0, 185, Ames, Iowa (Ames HS) Prepped at Ames HS for coach Bruce Vertanen ... first team all-conference ... named to Elite All-Western team ... second team all-state ... led Iowa Class 4A in interceptions and return yards ... tied national high school record with two interception returns for touchdowns in one quarter ... finished career with eight interceptions, including returning three for touchdowns ... twice named second team all-conference ... son of Mark and Karen Mills.
Alex Thorson, LB, 6-0, 205, Onida, S.D. (Watertown HS) Prepped at Watertown HS for coach Steve Svendson … all-conference honoree … honorable mention all-state punter … named team defensive MVP … recorded 44 solo tackles and two interceptions during senior season … also had four forced fumbles … four-year letterwinner … named team outstanding running back as a junior … son of Mike and Kellie Yackley and Brad and Desiree Thorson.
Tony Tripp, DB, 5-10, 183, Brandon, S.D. (Brandon Valley HS) Prepped at Brandon Valley HS for coach Chad Garrow ... named first team all-conference as a running back ... rushed for 864 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior ... named all-state as defensive back ... helped lead team to runner-up finish in Class AA ... named all-conference and all-state at defensive back as a junior ... also in track.
Mike Williams, WR, 6-0, 198, Lancaster, Calif. (Lancaster HS/Antelope Valley College) Transfer from Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Calif. … has two years of eligibility remaining at SMSU … caught 28 passes for 383 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore in 2012, ranking 10th in the conference in yards … 2010 graduate of Lancaster HS … played for coach Chad Shrout … named second team all-conference … played in HDCFA all-star game … named team most valuable defensive back in both junior and senior seasons … also in track … son of Kelley Hester.
Kane Hutchinson, OL, 6-7, 275, Granby, Colo. (Middle Park HS) Prepped at Middle Park HS for coach Troy Schmidt … three-time all-conference … first team all-state … named all-conference in shot put and discus … son of Lauri and Alice Hutchinson.
Dallin Finley, RB/DB, 5-9, 160, Kennesaw Ga. (Kennesaw Mountain HS) Prepped at Kennesaw Mountain HS for coach Andy Scott … team captain … team MVP named all-county … selected for North Georgia Senior Bowl game … multi-year letterwinner in track … son of Anthony and Monica Finley.
Jake Glotzer, DB, 5-10, 175, Skokie, Ill. (Niles West HS) Prepped at Niles West HS for coach Scott Baum … two-year letterwinner … named team MVP … recorded 46 tackles and four interceptions during senior season … also rushed for 150 yards and added 111 yards receiving … ended senior season with seven touchdowns … finished career with 79 tackles and seven interceptions … also in basketball and baseball … son of Jay Glotzer and Dina DeNapoli.
Cameron Parus, WR, 6-4, 200, Newburg, Ind. (Castle HS) Prepped at Castle HS for coach Doug Hurt … two-time first team all-conference … two-time first team all-metro … caught 74 passes for 1,273 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior … finished career with 149 receptions for 2,646 yards and 36 touchdowns … set school record for career touchdowns … tied school record for receiving touchdowns in a single-season … 2011 honorable mention all-state … three-year letterwinner … also in basketball … son of Brian and Kendra Parus.