USD football adds 30 on signing day - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

USD football adds 30 on signing day

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VERMILLION, S.D.—South Dakota head football coach Joe Glenn is pleased to announce the signing of 25 student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent and five players who have signed institutional letters of intent to join the Coyote football team this fall.

  "There are similarities between this year's class and last year's class in that we are looking for long, athletic and fast players who can compete at the Division I level," said Glenn. "Our staff did a terrific job of identifying, recruiting and landing the type of athlete we think it takes to win at South Dakota."

  The class includes players from 10 states including South Dakota (6), Illinois (6), Iowa (5), Nebraska (3), California (3), Missouri (2), Wisconsin (2), Florida (1), Kansas (1) and Oklahoma (1). The list includes 15 defensive players, 11 offensive players, three listed as athletes and one long snapper.

 "The areas we recruit heavily are where families can be a part of their son's life," said Glenn. "They are a day's drive from Vermillion and in most case a day's drive to away games. In the strongest years that I have seen our program, these are the places where we have got our best athletes."

  The Coyotes will graduate five starters from its secondary and that area was certainly a focus for this year's class, which includes nine defensive backs. Three linebackers, three linemen on both sides of the ball and three wide receivers are included as well.

 "We hit big on the lines a year ago," said Glenn. "This year, we are a lot of heavier in the secondary, linebacker and athlete level. We are anxious to see the junior college players come in and get on the field right away. We also have some high school athletes who have the ability to contribute as soon as they hit campus with their athleticism and speed.

 "There were so many close games last year and we were just a few athletes away last year on offense, defense and special teams from 2-3 more wins. These players can help us get over the hump."

Paul Anderson (West Park, Fla.) -- Wide Receiver, 5-11, 190 lbs.




Anderson was a two-year starter for Hallandale who compiled 675 yards rushing and 430 yards receiving with eight touchdowns. On defense, he was featured at corner and safety. Anderson also competes in track and is an outstanding sprinter. Coach Glenn's Take: "Paul came on our radar screen fairly late, but his speed on film caught our attention right away. He played running back, wide receiver and was a return specialist at Hallandale. He is not afraid of contact and will be a terrific player for us."

Tanner Anderson (Haysville, Kan.) -- Offensive Line, 6-5, 255 lbs.

High School: Derby Head Coach: Brandon Clark Parents: Ben & Linda Anderson





Anderson earned all-state honors as the starting tackle for the Panthers, who won the Kansas Class 6A championship. He has great feet and active hands. His older brother, Travis, is an offensive guard at Missouri Western. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Tanner is a winner. He has great athleticism for an offensive lineman, has good feet and can run. He was a first-team all-state performer at the highest level in Kansas and was highly recruited."

Isaac Armstead (Broken Arrow, Okla.) -- Defensive Back, 5-9, 180 lbs.

High School: Broken Arrow Head Coach: Steve Spavital Parents: William & Tina Armstead





Armstead joins his older brother, Will, on the Coyotes' football team. Isaac was an all-district defensive back for Broken Arrow, which competed in the 6A semifinals last season. He registered 52 tackles and returned two of his three interceptions for touchdowns. Armstead is also a fierce competitor on the track where he shines in the hurdles. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Isaac comes from a strong high school program where he had a stand-out career. He has terrific speed and tremendous play-making abilities as evidenced by his defensive scores."

Shay Bratland (Watertown, S.D.) -- Running Back, 5-10, 205 lbs.

High School: Watertown Head Coach: Steve Svendsen Parents: Scott & Peggy Bratland





Bratland is one of the top prospects in South Dakota. He earned all-state honors and accounted for 2,297 yards for Watertown last season, including 1,565 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns. He averaged 36 yards per kick return and ran one back for a touchdown in the state championship game at the DakotaDome. Bratland competed in the finals of the 100-meter dash at the state track meet and also competes on Watertown's basketball team. His father, Scott, is a graduate of the USD Law School. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Shay is a big, physical running back who likes to work downhill. Give him a crease and he can take it to the house. He averaged 36 yards on kickoff returns and we think he can help us in that regard as well."

Tacari Carpenter (Robbins, Ill.) -- Wide Receiver, 6-0, 190 lbs.

High School: Richards Head Coach: Tony Sheehan Parents: Ernest & Lalisa Carpenter





Carpenter was a two-time all-conference performer at Richards. He had 49 catches for 928 yards and 14 touchdowns during his senior season. He also ran 19 times for 183 yards, and on special teams he blocked two field goals. Carpenter will be joined in Vermillion by teammate Dylan Jiles. Coach Glenn's Take:

"We identified Tacari as a game-changing receiver from the get go. He is the real deal. He is one of the top receivers to come out of the state of Illinois and he can factor into our return game as well."

Alex Coker (Washington, Iowa) -- Defensive Back, 6-1, 195 lbs.

High School: Washington Head Coach: Randy Schrader Parents: Robert & Connie Coker





Coker was an all-state defensive back as a junior and an all-state running back as a senior at Washington. On offense, he ran for 1,650 yards and scored 30 touchdowns. As a defensive back, he registered 52 tackles and had three interceptions in leading the Demons to a trip to the state championship game. Coker was a four-year starter and a team captain. He is also a state qualifier on the track. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Alex was a do-everything player for Washington. We had him in camp and he was absolutely the top player in it. He can play a variety of positions and we can't wait to see what he can do in a Coyote uniform."

Brandon Colpitts (Crescent, Iowa) -- Defensive Back, 6-0, 190 lbs.

High School: C.B. Lincoln Head Coach: Justin Kammrad Parents: Chris & Cindy Colpitts





Colpitts is an all-state wide receiver who set career records at Lincoln for catches (89) and is second in both receiving yards (1,445) and touchdowns (15). The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs named Colpitts its Football Player of the Year this past season after he registered 887 yards receiving with 11 touchdowns. On defense, he had 62 tackles, two interceptions and six pass breakups. Colpitts also competes in track and was a state qualifier in the shuttle hurdles. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Brandon absolutely lit up our camp. He is a well-rounded athlete and a terrific football player. He has natural abilities as a return man and his statistics speak for themselves."

Ethan Fenchel (Hull, Iowa) -- Tight End, 6-3, 220 lbs.

High School: Western Christian Head Coach: Travis Kooima Parents: Mark & Darlene Fenchel





Fenchel will compete in both football and track at USD. On the gridiron, he played multiple positions including tight end, wide receiver, running back and defensive end. He had 33 catches for 580 yards and seven touchdowns last season in earning all-district honors. He added 319 yards and five scores rushing. Fenchel is one of the top discus throwers in the nation and has reached 187 feet. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Ethan is going to be a big threat for us as a tight end. We think he is a steal. He was impossible to stop at the level of football he was playing. He breaks tackles, has good speed and a solid frame. In addition, Ethan is one of the top high school discus throwers in the country. He is a great addition to both our football and track programs."

Clay Fisher (Omaha, Neb.) -- Athlete, 6-1, 210 lbs.

High School: Millard North Head Coach: Fred Petito Parents: Todd & Cathy Fisher





Fisher is a two-time all-super state performer in Nebraska for one of the top programs in the state. He quarterbacked the Mustangs back to the Class A playoffs this past season, running for 1,709 yards and combining for 25 touchdowns (22 rush, 3 pass). He was a defensive back when North won the state championship in 2012. Fisher comes from a football family. His dad and brother, Sean, both played at Nebraska. His brother, Cole, plays linebacker at Iowa. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Clay is one of the best all-around athletes to come out of Nebraska. He was a super-state honoree in both his junior and senior seasons. He can play a variety of positions and he is going to help us in a lot of different ways."

Chase Glazier (Custer, S.D.) -- Quarterback, 6-4, 180 lbs.

High School: Custer Head Coach: Russ Bailey Parents: Craig Glazier, Monni & Karen Karim





Glazier is a multi-sport athlete at Custer. On the football field, he passed for 1,457 yards and threw 16 touchdowns as a senior. Overall, he compiled a 20-10 record as the Wildcats' starting quarterback. Glazier also plays basketball and runs track, where excels in the 400 and 800. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Chase is a tall, lengthy athlete with range. He is competitive and plays almost every other sport. He showed us a lot of skill and ability in our camp and we are thrilled to have him become part of our program."

Brandon Godsey (Raymore, Mo.) -- Long Snapper, 6-2, 215 lbs.

High School: Ray-Pec Head Coach: Tom Kruse Parents: Dave & Liz Godsey





Godsey is the 11th-ranked long snapper in the country according to He is one of 15 long snappers in the nation who were awarded a five-star ranking. Godsey earned honorable mention all-conference honors as a defensive lineman for the Panthers. He also plays baseball at Ray-Pec and has an older brother, David, who plays football at Missouri State. Coach Glenn's Take: "Brandon is one of the best pure deep snappers we have seen. He has a terrific opportunity to come in and play right away."

Andrew Gray (New Lenox, Ill.) -- Defensive Back, 6-2, 185 lbs.

High School: Lincoln Way West Head Coach: Dave Ernst Parents: Ken & Chrissy Gray





Andrew and his twin brother, Alex, have both signed with USD. Both were team captains for the Warriors. Andrew was a three-year starter and a two-time all-conference and all-area safety. He was rated as one of the top 20 defensive backs in Illinois and led Lincoln Way West to the playoffs this past season. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Andrew shined in high school while playing for a terrific coach and a highly successful program. He has size, great range, runs to the ball and plays physical when he gets to it."






Alex and his twin brother, Andrew, have both signed with USD. Both were team captains for the Warriors. Alex was a three-year starter and two-time all-Southwest Suburban honoree who led the team with 60 tackles this past season. Coach Glenn's Take: 


"Alex was a three-year starter at one of the best high school programs in Illinois. We believe Alex will have a major impact on our football team."

Josh Hale (Antigo, Wis.) -- Tight End, 6-3, 245 lbs.

High School: Antigo Head Coach: Matt Weberpal Parents: Denise Hale





Hale is the first Antigo player to be selected to three first-team positions. As a senior, he was an all-conference tight end, defensive lineman and punter. He caught 17 passes for 416 yards and hauled in five touchdowns for the Red Robins. On defense, he registered 50 tackles and had six sacks. Hale also averaged 40 yards on 25 punts and pinned 10 inside the 20-yard line. Hale is a standout pitcher and he's also competed in track. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Josh is tough with a capital T. He is one of the most bruising football players we have seen. He played both sides of the ball for Antigo. We see him as a tight end, H-back and fullback."

Justin Harkless (Hot Springs, S.D.) -- Quarterback, 5-10, 174 lbs.

High School: Hot Springs Head Coach: Ben Kramer Parents: Scott & Kelly Harkless





Harkless passed for 2,784 yards and 30 touchdowns and ran for 566 yards and 15 scores in a fine career at Hot Springs. The two-time all-conference honoree holds Bison records for passing yards in a game (398) and points scored in a game (36). As a senior, Harkless threw for 649 yards and 10 scores and ran for 288 yards and six touchdowns. Coach Glenn's Take:

"We can't wait to see Justin in a red and white uniform. He was a standout at our camp. He has a lot of fight, plays with a fire and is a terrific competitor."

Adam Harris (West Des Moines, Iowa) -- Defensive Back, 5-10, 195 lbs.

High School: Valley Head Coach: Gary Swenson Parents: Jeff & Shannon Harris





Harris, who is originally from Clearwater, Fla., earned second-team all-state honors at Valley last season, a year in which he compiled 75 tackles, had two interceptions (one he returned for a touchdown), forced three fumbles, had four sacks and was credited with 11 pass breakups. Harris helped lead the Tigers to a 10-3 record and a trip to the state semifinals. Adam's brother, Jason, played at Iowa State and his other brother, Chad, played for San Jose State. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Adam moved to Des Moines before his senior year and immediately performed at an all-state level with incredible statistics. We watched him play running back in Florida, but he is an all-around athlete who can play a number of positions."

Spencer Hopkins (Sioux Falls, S.D.) -- Linebacker, 6-3, 205 lbs.

High School: O'Gorman Head Coach: Steve Kueter Parents: Jack & Gina Hopkins





Hopkins is a multi-sport athlete for the Knights. He earned honorable mention all-state honors this past season when he posted 63 tackles and forced two fumbles. Hopkins also plays basketball and runs track. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Spencer has a great future at USD. When he walks onto the field, you know he comes to play. He has range and is competitive by nature. He plays a lot of sports at a high level and is a terrific all-around athlete."

Nick Jensen (Vermillion, S.D.) -- Offensive Line, 6-6, 270 lbs.

High School: Vermillion Head Coach: Andy Homan Parents: Kari & Rusty Jensen





Jensen played both sides of the ball for the Tanagers and is one of the top kids in his class. His parents both graduated from USD and Jensen is said to have "grown up in the DakotaDome". Jensen is also a stand out basketball player for Vermillion. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Nick has been a stellar three-sport athlete for Vermillion. We love how he gets after it in the weight room. He has the credentials to be a terrific college football player. His parents are Coyotes and we can't wait to watch him follow in their footsteps."

Dylan Jiles (Chicago Ridge, Ill.) -- Defensive Back, 5-11, 190 lbs.

High School: Richards Head Coach: Tony Sheehan Parents: Felicia Jiles & Danwayne Williams





Jiles scored three defensive touchdowns while earning all-conference honors for Richards as a senior. He returned a fumble 90 yards for a touchdown early in the season and returned two interceptions for scores. He also logged 70 tackles and forced four fumbles. Jiles helped lead Richards to a 12-2 record and a state runner-up finish at the Class 6A level. He earned second-team all-state honors as a punter and will be joined in Vermillion by teammate Tacari Carpenter. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Dylan is gifted in a lot of ways. He is tough as nails with incredible speed and quickness. He made a lot of p, lays for a terrific program and we can't wait to see him on campus."

Kray Krolikowski (Winner, S.D.) -- Defensive End, 6-5, 230 lbs.

High School: Winner Head Coach: Dan Aaker Parents: Jeff & Dondee Krowlikowski





Krolikowski is an all-state defensive end for the Warriors who registered 48 tackles including seven sacks for the team this season. He helped lead Winner to a state championship in 2012 and back to the playoffs again in 2013. Krolikowski was recognized for his work in the classroom by being named to the all-state academic team. His sister, Keely, played basketball at Black Hills State and is now attending graduate school at USD. Coach Glenn's Take:

"The first thing that catches your eye about Kray is his length. He is tall, long and physical on the field. He loves the game and plays with a lot of spirit."

Jake Leohr (Iowa City, Iowa) -- Linebacker, 6-3, 215 lbs.

High School: Iowa City Head Coach: Dan Sabers Parents: Brian & Kathleen Leohr





Leohr was a multi-sport athlete for City High. On the football field, he served as team captain in leading the team to the playoffs. He was named a first-team all-conference linebacker for the Little Hawks, but played a variety of positions including running back, quarterback, tight end, fullback, defensive end and punter. Leohr had 60 tackles, five sacks and 10 tackles for loss last season. He also caught 25 passes for 400 yards and a touchdown. Coach Glenn's Take:

"Jake never came off the field at City High and is a terrific all-around football player. He is impressive both on and off the field. He was highly recruited and we are thrilled to welcome him to our team."

Michael Lilly (Santa Ana, Calif.) -- Defensive Back, 5-9, 170 lbs.

High School: Tustin Previous School: Santa Ana City College Mom: Jackie Lewis





Lilly was an all-conference performer and the defensive player of the year for Santa Ana City College last season when he registered 49 tackles and had two interceptions. He and his brother, Romel, attended Tustin High School and competed alongside each other at Santa Ana City College as well. Lilly was a two-time all-conference performer for Tustin and helped lead the Tillers to a league championship. Coach Glenn's Take: "Michael has all of the skills to come to Vermillion and compete for playing time right away. He was a terrific player for Santa Ana and he will be just as successful at USD."

Emmett McCoy (Elmhurst, Ill.) -- Linebacker, 6-3, 205

High School: York Head Coach: Steve Nye Father: Jeff





McCoy was a three-year starter for the Dukes who was twice named team defensive most valuable player. McCoy is also an all-state track athlete who has won a conference championship in the 55-meter indoor sprint and who anchored the 4x200-meter relay team in the state finals. Coach Glenn's Take: "Emmett is a tall, rangy athlete who can flat our run. His speed really caught our attention and he can jump as well. He made a lot of plays for York."

Noah Roberts (Yorkville, Ill.) -- Athlete, 6-2, 196 lbs.

High School: Aurora Christian Head Coach: Don Beebe Parents: Doug & Michelle Roberts





Roberts competed in three championship games at Aurora Christian and came away with two state titles. He was named team captain during the 2013 season for the Eagles. In eight games his senior year, Roberts had 49 tackles and two interceptions in earning all-conference honors. He scored touchdowns as a defender, receiver and a punt returner for the Eagles and holds the school record with three punt return touchdowns. Coach Glenn's Take: "Noah has excellent speed, terrific ball skills and plays a physical brand of football that we love. He can play any number of positions. We see him having a lot of success on the defensive side of the ball and in our secondary."

Mason Ruiz (Tulare, Calif.) -- Defensive End, 6-4, 290 lbs.

H.S.: San Joaquin Memorial Previous: College of the Sequoias Parents: LeeAnn Wesley & Donald Ruiz





Ruiz had more than 20 tackles with 1.5 sacks and six tackles-for-loss while helping College of the Sequoias to a 6-4 record. Ruiz played two seasons for the Giants following a prep career at San Joaquin Memorial where he also played basketball. Coach Glenn's Take: "Mason is athletic, good on his feet and brings a big presence to our front. He is an outstanding basketball player, which is probably why he has such great footwork. He can compete for a spot right away."

Eric Shufford (Rialto, Calif.) -- Wide Receiver, 5-11, 190 lbs.

High School: AB Miller Previous School: San Bernardino Valley Parents: Diana & Shan Baker





Shufford was an all-conference wide receiver, return specialist and all-purpose back at San Bernardino Valley last season. Voted a team captain, Shufford hauled in 59 catches for 659 yards and scored seven touchdowns. He also returned 23 punts for 342 yards. Shufford graduated from AB Miller High School where he played football, basketball, baseball and ran track. He was league MVP as a quarterback during his senior season. He went to Weber State out of high school and caught nine passes for 120 yards in 2011. Coach Glenn's Take: "Eric did everything in high school and then went on to shine as a wide receiver for San Bernardino. He is quick, competitive and will greatly boost both our receiving corps and our return game."






Steinke was a first-team all-conference performer for Janesville Parker where he shined on both sides of the ball. He is also a state qualifier in the discus where he has surpassed 150 feet. Coach Glenn's Take: "Tyler is a powerful individual who fires off the ball and gets after it. He is a worker in the weight room, a thrower in track and has a bright future here in Vermillion."


Bailey Sutko (Kansas City, Mo.) -- Defensive Line, 6-2, 260 lbs.

High School: Staley Head Coach: Fred Bouchard Parents: Chad & Stephanie Sutko





Sutko was an all-state honoree and four-year starter on a defense that recorded 29 wins in the last three seasons and won a state championship in 2011. Sutko had 40 tackles including five sacks and nine tackles-for-loss as a senior. He is also a state champion heavyweight wrestler and is currently the top-ranked wrestler in Missouri's Class 3 rankings. Coach Glenn's Take: "Bailey absolutely controlled the line of scrimmage for Staley. On top of that, he is one of the top wrestlers in the nation. He is





Tyler was a quarterback out of Omaha North. He began his collegiate career as a signal caller at Kearney before moving to defense at Iowa Western where he won a national championship in 2012. That season, Tyler had 18 tackles in six games. Coach Glenn's Take: "We love that Chris was a high school quarterback. He is intelligent, has great size and is just the type of defensive back we are looking for. He won a national championship at Iowa Wesleyan and we are thrilled he has two seasons to spend in Vermillion."





Vigneri was the Class B Player of the Year as a junior in 2012 and performed at an all-state level again in 2013. He led the Cougars in tackles with 90 this past season. As a running back in 2012, he ran for 1,157 yards and scored 12 tochdowns in leading Gross Catholic to its first state championship. Coach Glenn's Take: "Anthony is a tough, physical football player who never came off the field at Gross Catholic. We love his competitiveness. He is versatile and can play a number of different positions."



Anthony Vigneri (Plattsmouth, Neb.) -- Athlete, 5-10, 195 lbs.

High School: Omaha Gross Catholic Head Coach: Tim Johnk Parents: Larry & Rita Vigneri

Chris Tyler (Omaha, Neb.) -- Defensive Back, 6-2, 200 lbs.

High School: North Previous School: Iowa Western CC Parents: Chris Tyler & Theresa Ross

Tyler (TJ) Steinke | 6-3 | 285 | offensive line | Janesville, Wis. | Janesville Parker HS

Tyler (TJ) Steinke (Janesville, Wis.) -- Offensive Line, 6-3, 285 lbs.

High School: Janesville Parker Head Coach: Eric Skrzypchak Father: Thad Steinke

Alex Gray | 6-3 | 195 | defensive back | New Lenox, Ill. | Lincoln Way West HS

Alex Gray (New Lenox, Ill.) -- Defensive Back, 6-3, 195 lbs.

High School: Lincoln Way West Head Coach: Dave Ernst Parents: Ken & Chrissy Gray

High School: Hallandale Head Coach: Dameon Jones Parents: Easton Anderson & Novette Grizzle

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