MARSHALL, Minn. - Southwest Minnesota State University head football coach Cory Sauter announced today the signing of 44 high school and four 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. The three junior college transfers have already enrolled at SMSU for 2014 spring semester.
The list includes student-athletes from 10 different states including Minnesota (19), Wisconsin (10), Iowa (6), Illinois (3), Colorado (3), Washington (2), South Dakota (1), Arkansas (1), California (1), Florida (1), and Pennsylvania (1). The list of signees includes 11 defensive backs, 10 offensive lineman, eight defensive lineman, five wide receivers, four linebackers, four running backs, two tight ends, three quarterbacks and one long snapper.
"Over the past four seasons we have built a very competitive football program in the NSIC," Sauter said on Wednesday. "Coming off a 7-4 regular season and program's first ever bowl game; we have been able to attract several top tier student-athletes to SMSU. We are very excited for the 48 young men who have decided to make SMSU their top choice. I would like to thank our coaching staff, who has worked relentlessly over the past year recruiting these talented prospects. There is no question that this year's recruiting class will create additional depth and competition within our football program."
Southwest Minnesota State is an NCAA Division II school located in Marshall and competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. SMSU concluded the 2013 season with a record of 7-5, finished fourth in the 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and played in the Mineral Water Bowl. The seven victories is a program record at the Division II level and is tied for the third highest in team history.
SMSU is scheduled to begin spring practice on March 31 and will open the 2014 season the first weekend of September (4-6) with a conference game at the University of Mary.
2014 SMSU National Letter of Intent Signees Name (Pos., Ht., Wt., Hometown / High School / Previous College) Hayden Acker (DL, 6-2, 312, Cross Plains, Wis. / Middleton HS) Evan Bungum (WR, 6-2, 190, Sargeant, Minn. / Hayfield HS / Rochester C.C.) *** Jack Burke (DL, 6-3, 224, North Aurora, Ill. / Aurora Christian HS) Quinn Compton (LB, 6-2, 195, Mt. Calvary, Wis. / New Holstein HS) Jake Conn (OL, 6-0, 297, Rosemount, Minn. / Rosemount HS) Hunter Cushman (DB, 5-11, 187, Spencer, Iowa / Spencer HS) Alex Dequaine (LS, 5-8, 200, Zimmerman, Minn. / St. Francis HS) Shay Dingfelder (OL, 6-0, 317, Issaquah, Wash. / Issaquah HS) Saul Eugene (LB, 5-10, 218, Plymouth, Minn. / Wayzata HS) Alonzo Fanakos (DB, 5-10, 181, Miami, Fla. / Gulliver Prep) Eric Gauer (LB, 6-0, 202, Watertown, S.D. / Watertown HS) Joe Grant (OL, 6-2, 300, Tobyhanna, Pa. / Pocono Mountain West HS / Antelope Valley College, Calif.) Max Gust (RB, 5-10, 171, Isanti, Minn. / St. Francis HS) Andrew Hagan (OL, 6-5, 330, Austin, Minn. / Austin HS) Jaimen Hampton (RB, 6-0, 190, Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Osseo HS) Austin Hilgert (OL, 6-3, 290, Bloomington, Minn. / Jefferson HS) Anthany Hoard (DB, 5-10, 165, Milton, Wis. / Milton HS) Zachary Hoard (DB, 5-10, 161, Milton, Wis. / Milton HS) Hunter Huddleston (QB/ATH, 6-1, 207, Woodland, Wash. / Woodland HS) Cole Jalivay (WR, 6-0, 165, Eagan, Minn. / Rosemount HS) Colt Jones (OL, 6-7, 335, Aurora, Colo. / Cherokee Trail HS) Chris Kartes (DB, 5-10, 172, Albertville, Minn. / St. Michael-Albertville HS) Tanner Kroon (DT, 6-3, 290, Spirit Lake, Iowa / Spirit Lake HS) Jack Kuehnel (DB, 5-10, 170, Napa, Calif. / Vintage HS) Andrew Landgrebe (RB, 5-10, 186, Oskaloosa, Iowa / Oskaloosa HS) Bryce Leszczynski (LB, 6-0, 210, Muskego, Wis. / Pius XI) Michael Marchese (WR, 5-11, 187, Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie HS) Trevor Matczak (TE, 6-4, 200, Oswego, Ill. / Oswego HS) James Mayfield (DB, 5-9, 165, Minneapolis, Minn. / Cooper HS) Alan McCaulley (OL, 6-3, 305, Fountain, Minn. / Kingsland HS/Rochester C.C.) *** Elijah McGeehan (DB, 5-10, 170, St. Paul, Minn. / Tartan HS) Shawn-Michael Murphy (DL, 6-2, 225, Ventura, Iowa / Garner-Hayfield-Ventura HS) (continued on page 2) Kevin Parks (WR, 5-10, 183, Colorado Springs, Colo. / Fountain Fort-Carson HS / Ridgewater College) *** Arbnor Prelvukaj (OL, 6-4, 244, Conway, Ark. / Conway HS) Nick Rathke (QB, 6-0, 186, Fridley, Minn. / Fridley HS) Albert Rogalski (DB, 5-10, 165, Trevor, Wis. / Wilmot Union HS) Nick Salter (DL, 6-6, 180, Portage, Wis. / Portage HS) Bobby Scherer (DL, 6-2, 257, New Holstein, Wis. / New Holstein HS) Connor Simpson (OL, 6-3, 285, Henderson, Colo. / Prairie View HS) Tommy Steidler (TE, 6-4, 210, St. Peter, Minn. / St. Peter HS) Chance Steward (DE, 6-4, 215, Spencer, Iowa / Spencer HS) Jonah Walker (DL, 6-2, 225, Yorkville, Ill. / Aurora Christian HS) Jon Weyker (DB, 5-10, 186, Mequon, Wis. / Homestead HS) Austin Wick (WR, 6-0, 165, St. Michael, Minn. / St. Michael-Albertville HS) Connor Wilkie (QB, 6-5, 202, Andover, Minn. / Andover HS) Chris Williams (RB, 5-7, 172, Coon Rapids, Minn. / DeLaSalle HS) Drake Zabloudil (OL, 6-4, 279, Cedar Rapids, Iowa / Kennedy HS)
** already enrolled at SMSU for 2014 spring semester
Evan Bungum, WR, 6-2, 190, Sargeant, Minn. (Hayfield HS/Rochester C.C.) Transfer from Rochester Community and Tech. College … played for coach Bill Quistorff … two-time all-conference honoree … 2011 graduate of Hayfield HS … played at Chad Anderson … four-year letterwinner … two-time captain … all-area selection … multi-year letterwinner in both basketball and baseball … son of David and Lisa Bungum.
Jake Conn, OL, 6-0, 297, Rosemount, Minn. (Rosemount HS) Prepped at Rosemount HS for coach Jeff Erdmann … two-year letterwinner … honorable mention all-conference … team player of the year … member of state runner-up team in 2013 and state semifinalist in 2012 … three-year letterwinner in track & field … also letterwinner in weightlifting … son of Keith and Meriah Conn.
Alex Dequaine, LS, 5-8, 200, Zimmerman, Minn. (St. Francis HS) Prepped at St. Francis HS for coach Chris Lindquist … starter on offensive line as a senior and also spent two seasons as the team's long snapper … earned team's "Iron Saint" award for hardest worker in the weight room … three-year letterwinner … member of National Honor Society … son of Ken and Chris Dequaine.
Saul Eugene, LB, 5-10, 218, Plymouth, Minn. (Wayzata HS) Prepped at Wayzata HS for coach Brad Anderson … three-year letterwinner … second team all-conference … recorded 30 tackles and 3.5 sacks as a senior … member of honor roll … son of Scott and Samara Eugene.
Max Gust, RB, 5-10, 171, Isanti, Minn. (St. Francis HS) Prepped at St. Francis HS for coach Chris Lindquist … two-time all-conference … named conference MVP as a senior … all-state honoree … rushed for 1,373 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior … recorded 34 career touchdowns … son of Steve and Linda Gust.
Andrew Hagan, OL, 6-5, 330, Austin, Minn. (Austin HS) Prepped at Austin HS for coach Brett Vesel … honorable mention all-conference … three-time all-area … four-year letterwinner … three-year starter … also all-conference in track & field … son of Dwayne & Mary Hagan.
Jaimen Hampton, RB, 6-0, 188, Brooklyn Park, Minn. (Osseo HS) Prepped at Osseo HS for coach Darrin Lamker … three-year letterwinner … rushed for 1,100 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior … four-year letterwinner in track & field … son of Nate and Tami Hampton.
Austin Hilgert, OL, 6-3, 290, Bloomington, Minn. (Jefferson HS) Prepped at Bloomington Jefferson HS for coach Tim Carlson … team MVP … all-conference honoree … lineman of the year … also in hockey and baseball … son of Scott and Robbin Hilgert.
Cole Jalivay, WR, 6-0, 165, Eagan, Minn. (Rosemount HS) Prepped at Rosemount HS for coach Jeff Erdmann … will also compete in track & field at SMSU … three-year letterwinner in football … member of state runner-up team in 2013 and state semifinalist in 2012 … five-year letterwinner in track … tru-team finalist in long jump and tru-team finalist in 2012 … tru-team state qualifying long jump of 20.3 … career best 40-0 in triple jump … two-time junior Olympic AAU track and field in hurdles and long jump … son of Ray and Kathy Jalivay.
Chris Kartes, DB, 5-10, 172, Albertville, Minn. (St. Michael-Albertville HS) Prepped at St. Michael-Albertville HS for coach Jared Essler … three-year letterwinner … ranks third in school history with 2,220 rushing yards … named team MVP … all-conference honoree … rushed for 1,155 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior … racked up 882 yards and seven touchdowns … son of Kevin and Michelle Kartes.
James Mayfield, DB, 5-9, 165, Minneapolis, Minn. (Cooper HS) Prepped at Robbinsdale HS …
Alan McCaulley, OL, 6-3, 305, Fountain, Minn. (Kingsland HS/Rochester C.C.) Transfer from Rochester Community and Tech. College … played for coach Bill Quistorff … member of two MCAC championship teams … honorable mention all-conference as a sophomore … 2011 graduate of Kingsland HS … played for coach John Fenske … three-time letterwinner … honorable mention all-conference as a senior … also multi-year letterwinner in both basketball and baseball … son of Mike and Gwen McCaulley.
Elijah McGeehan, DB, 5-10, 170, St. Paul, Minn. (Tartan HS) Prepped at Tartan HS for coach Aaron Mullen … three-year letterwinner … three-year starter … two-time all-conference … two-time team captain … named team and defensive MVP as a senior … recorded 79 tackles, forced four fumbles and had two interceptions … honorable mention all-metro honoree … four-year letterwinner in wrestling … state qualifier … all-conference and team captain in wrestling … all-conference honoree in track & field … son of Tim McGeehan and Tanya Swift.
Nick Rathke, QB, 6-0, 186, Fridley, Minn. (Fridley HS) Prepped at Fridley HS for coach Adam Fischer … three-year captain … three-year starter … two-time all-conference … team MVP … passed for 1,381 yards and 15 TDs as a senior … completion percentage of 61.8 as a senior … finished career passing for more than 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns … rushed for 12 career touchdowns … also in basketball … son of Steven and Courtney Rathke.
Preston Robinson, DB, 5-10, 197, Northfield, Minn. (Northfield HS) Prepped at Northfield HS for coach Bubba Sullivan … team MVP … named all-conference … team leader in rushing yards, touchdowns and receptions … also led the team in sacks and tackles for loss … recorded 44 tackles, including seven for loss and seven sacks … rushed for 477 yards and five touchdowns … son of
Tommy Steidler, TE, 6-4, 210, St. Peter, Minn. (St. Peter HS) Prepped at St. Peter HS for coach Brian Odland … team captain … three-year letterwinner … team offensive MVP … all-conference honorable mention … played both quarterback and receiver during career … rushed for 523 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior … also passed for 782 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior … all-conference in both basketball and baseball … son of Chuck Steidler and Rebekka and Fred Molenaar.
Austin Wick, WR, 6-0, 165, St. Michael, Minn. (St. Michael-Albertville HS) Prepped at St. Michael-Albertville HS for coach Jared Essler … two-year letterwinner … two-time special teams player of the week … had one kickoff return for TD as a senior … also caught 21 passes for 233 yards and two touchdowns … ranks among the top 10 in several school weightlifting records … son of Mike and Chris Wick.
Connor Wilkie, QB, 6-5, 202, Andover, Minn. (Andover HS) Prepped at Andover HS for coach Rich Wilkie … three-year starter … team captain … all-state honorable mention … first team All-Pioneer Press … two-time all-conference … member of section championship team … holds school record for touchdown passes in a career (55) and passing yards in a career (5,351) … also holds school single-season passing yards record of 2,631 … all-conference and three-year starter in basketball … son of Rich and Beth Wilkie.
Chris Williams, RB, 5-7, 172, Coon Rapids, Minn. (DeLaSalle HS) Prepped at DeLaSalle HS for coach Sean McMennomy … four-year letterwinner … two-time team captain … team MVP as a senior … three-time all-conference honoree … two-time Star Tribune Athlete of the Week in 2013 … all-metro second team … rushed for 1,701 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior … helped team to state semifinals in 2013 … four-year starter … rushed for 4,818 yards in career with 63 touchdowns … ranks among top 20 in state history in rushing yards … son of Keri Maki.
Hayden Acker, DL, 6-2, 312, Cross Plains, Wis. (Middleton HS) Prepped at Middleton HS for coach Tim Simon … first team all-conference … honorable mention all-area … team captain … two-year starter … selected for Wisconsin All-Star game … son of Carl and Susan Acker.
Quinn Compton, LB, 6-2, 195, Mt. Calvary, Wis. (New Holstein HS) Prepped at New Holstein HS for coach Matt Rupp … two-year letterwinner … team captain … first team all-conference at running back … nominated for all-star game … rushed for 900 yards and nine touchdowns … recorded 80 tackles … son of Jeff Compton and Wendy Van Handel.
Anthany Hoard, DB, 5-10, 165, Milton, Wis., (Milton HS) Prepped at Milton HS for coach Bill O'Leary … state qualifier in track … son of Richard and Lisa Hoard.
Zachary Hoard, DB, 5-10, 161, Milton, Wis., (Milton HS) Prepped at Milton HS for coach Bill O'Leary … second team all-conference … member of state qualifying 4x400 relay team … son of Richard and Lisa Hoard.
Bryce Leszczynski, LB, 6-0, 218, Muskego, Wis. (Pius XI) Prepped at Pius XI HS for coach George Machado … two-time first team all-conference … two-year team captain … four-year letterwinner … recorded 89 tackles, including 14 for loss with five sacks as a senior … also letterwinner in basketball … member of National Honor Society … son of John and Cathy Leszczynski.
Michael Marchese, WR, 5-11, 187, Sun Prairie, Wis. (Sun Prairie HS) Prepped at Sun Prairie HS for coach Brian Kaminski … team captain … program's all-time leader with 162 receptions … three-time all-conference … two-time all-area … caught 55 passes for 670 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior … finished career with 1,906 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns … member of Division 1 state runner-up team as a junior … also letterwinner in baseball and basketball … son of Jack and Kelly Marchese.
Albert Rogalski, DB, 5-10, 165, Trevor, Wis. (Wilmot Union HS) Prepped at Wilmot Union HS for coach Mike Greinke … three-year letterwinner … all-conference punter … recorded 54 tackles and two sacks as a senior … team captain … multi-year letterwinner in both basketball and track … state qualifier in 4x200 … son of Chris and Kathryn Rogalski.
Nick Salter, DL, 6-6, 180, Portage, Wis. (Portage HS) Prepped at Portage HS for coach Sean Stout … three-year letterwinner … started on both offensive and defensive lines … named all-conference honorable mention as a junior … son of Victoria and Scott Peschel and Sean Salter.
Bobby Scherer, DL, 6-2, 257, New Holstein, Wis. (New Holstein HS) Prepped at New Holstein HS for coach Matt Rupp … started on both the defensive and offensive line … all-conference honoree … all-area selection … also in track & field … son of Robert E. Scherer.
Jon Weyker, DB, 5-10, 186, Mequon, Wis. (Homestead HS) Prepped at Homestead HS for coach Dave Keel … three-year letterwinner … named all-conference … recorded 60 tackles and two interceptions … member of state championship team … also letterwinner in hockey … son of Joe and Becky Weyker.
Hunter Cushman, DB, 5-11, 187, Spencer, Iowa (Spencer HS) Prepped at Spencer HS for coach Jim Tighe … three-year letterwinner … three-time all-district honoree … two-time all-state … rushed for 591 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior … recorded 32 tackles with two interceptions as a senior … had nine interceptions as a junior … recorded 122 career tackles with 12 interceptions … also played soccer … son of Lance and Jamie Cushman.
Tanner Kroon, DL, 6-3, 275, Spirit Lake, Iowa (Spirit Lake HS) Prepped at Spirit Lake HS for coach Josh Bolluyt … District 2A Lineman of the Year … two-time all-state … three-time all-conference … recorded 185 tackles as a senior … also competes in track & field … son of Scott Kroon and Nancy Roskam.
Andrew Landgrebe, RB, 5-10, 186, Oskaloosa, Iowa (Oskaloosa HS) Prepped at Oskaloosa HS for coach Mike Sterner … four-year letterwinner … first team all-state … led class 3A in rushing with 1,760 yards during regular season as a senior with 26 touchdowns … also state qualifier in both track & field and wrestling … son of Monica and Jesse Burress and Rick Landgrebe.
Shawn-Michael Murphy, DL, 6-2, 225, Ventura, Iowa (Garner-Hayfield-Ventura HS) Prepped at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura HS for coach Scott Vandusseldrop … four-year letterwinner … two-time first team all-conference … team captain … 42 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss as a senior … also multi-year letterwinner in basketball and track … son of Alan and Heike Murphy.
Chance Steward, DE, 6-4, 215, Spencer, Iowa (Spencer HS) Prepped at Spencer HS for coach Jim Tighe … three-time letterwinner … first team all-state at offensive line … two-time all-conference honoree at defensive line … recorded six sacks as a senior despite missing three games … state qualifier in track & field in the discus … son of Todd and Connie Steward.
Drake Zabloudil, OL, 6-4, 279, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Kennedy HS) Prepped at Kennedy HS for coach Tim Lewis … two-year letterwinner … honorable mention all-conference … second team all-metro … named team most improved … also in track & field … son of John and Julie McDaniel and Darren and Diana Zabloudil.
Jack Burke, DL, 6-3, 224, North Aurora, Ill. (Aurora Christian HS) Prepped at Aurora Christian HS for coach Don Bebee … three-year letterwinner … named all-conference and all-area … member of two state championship teams … son of Mike and Aimee Burke.
Trevor Matczak, TE, 6-4, 200, Oswego, Ill. (Oswego HS) Prepped at Oswego HS for coach Brian Cooney … two-year letterwinner … all-conference selection … helped team to state quarterfinals … finished senior season with 27 receptions for 514 yards and six touchdowns …named team breakout player of the year … four-time honor roll member … son of Tristin and Ben Holman and Mark and Doria Matczak.
Jonah Walker, DL, 6-2, 225, Yorkville, Ill. (Aurora Christian HS) Prepped at Aurora Christian HS for coach Don Bebee … two-time all-conference honoree … all-area selection … member of two state championship teams … recorded 56 tackles with 12 for loss and four sacks as a senior … racked up a school record 10.5 sacks as a junior … finished career with 182 tackles and 18.5 sacks … also competes in track & field … son of Dave Teresa Walker.
Colt Jones, OL, 6-7, 335, Aurora, Colo. (Cherokee Trail HS) Prepped at Cherokee Trail HS for coach Monte Thelen … three-year letterwinner … first team all-conference … team captain … member of honor roll … also in track & field.
Kevin Parks, WR, 5-10, 183, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Fountain Fort-Carson HS / Ridgewater College) Transfer from Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minn. … played for coach Rob Baumgarn … caught 34 passes for 674 yards and six touchdowns as a sophomore … named second team All-America … also named all-region and all-conference … finished two-year career with 59 receptions for 1,097 yards and eight touchdowns … 2011 graduate of Fountain Fort-Carson HS … played for coach Mitch Johnson … three-time all-conference … son of Patricia and Casey Parks.
Connor Simpson, OL, 6-3, 275, Henderson, Colo. (Prairie View HS) Prepped at Prairie View HS head coach Todd Riccio … four-year letterwinner … two-time all-conference honoree at offensive line … named second team all-conference as a defensive lineman as a senior … second team all-conference at linebacker as a junior … two-year honor roll member … son of Brian Simpson and Trisha Kramer.
Shay Dingfelder, OL, 6-0, 317, Issaquah, Wash. (Issaquah HS) Prepped at Issaquah HS for coach Chris Bennett … selected for Washington State East-West All-Star game … first team All-Kingco on both offensive and defensive line as a senior … also named All-Kingco as a sophomore and junior … named team lineman of the year … son of Vance Dingfelder and Stephanie Hemsworth.
Hunter Huddleston, QB/ATH, 6-1, 207, Woodland, Wash. (Woodland HS) Prepped at Woodland HS for coach Mark Greenleaf … three-time team captain … four-year letterwinner … two-time first team all-conference at quarterback … league offensive Co-MVP as a senior … second team all-state in 2013 … passed for 1,815 yards and 26 touchdowns, while rushing for 511 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior … passed for 2,867 yards and 41 touchdowns in final two seasons … also all-league and all-state in baseball … son of Mark and Sonia Huddleston.
Eric Gauer, LB, 6-0, 202, Watertown, S.D. (Watertown HS) Prepped at Watertown HS for coach Steve Svendsen … team captain … three-year letterwinner … two-year starter … recorded 50 tackles, five sacks and forced three fumbles as a senior … multi-year letterwinner in track and basketball … son of Brad and Shelley Gauer.
Arbnor Prelvukaj, OL, 6-4, 244, Conway, Ark. (Conway HS) Prepped at Conway HS for coach Clint Ashcraft … second team all-conference … member of National Honor Society … son of Afrim and Fatima Prelvukaj.
Jack Kuehnel, DB, 5-10, 170, Napa, Calif. (Vintage HS) Prepped at Vintage HS for coach Kyle Hofmann … two-year starter … honorable mention all-conference … Schuman's West Coach All-Star Game invitee … recorded 53 tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks as a senior … racked up 110 career tackles … also in track and field … son of Andy and Stefanie Kuehnel.
Alonzo Fanakos, DB, 5-10, 181, Miami, Fla. (Gulliver Prep) Prepped at Gulliver Prep for coach Earl Sims … team captain … has played both wide receiver and quarterback … caught 27 passes for 600 yards and three touchdowns as a senior … passed for more than 1,200 yards in career with 16 TDs … earned program's sportsmanship award and brave heart award … district champion in track & field … member of honor roll … son of Thomas and Sandra Fanakos.
Joe Grant, OL, 6-2, 300, Tobyhanna, Pa. (Pocono Mountain West HS/Antelope Valley College, Calif.) Transfer from Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, Calif. … played for coach Mike Martinez … named first team all-conference … 2011 graduate of Pocono Mountain West HS … named all-conference … selected all-area … son of Joshina Clemons.