South Dakota State University head football coach John Stiegelmeier announced that 15 high school standouts signed a national letter of intent Wednesday, indicating they plan to enroll at SDSU in the fall and compete for the Jackrabbits.
"Our staff is excited to complete this phase of recruiting and we feel tremendous about the student-athletes who have committed. Our list of needs has been addressed; now we are looking for difference-makers at a few positions," Stiegelmeier said. "Again, I want to compliment our assistant coaches for their tireless work of evaluating hundreds of recruits to get to the student-athletes we were able to sign."
The 2019 recruiting class includes:
• Matt Barnett, 6-3, 205, linebacker, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Alburnett H.S.);
• Canyon Bauer, 6-0, 190, wide receiver, Sioux Falls, South Dakota (O'Gorman H.S.);
• Adam Bock, 6-1, 215, linebacker, Solon, Iowa (Solon H.S.);
• Baily Darnell, 6-0, 195, safety, Auburn, Nebraska (Auburn H.S.);
• Jarod DePriest, 6-5, 285, defensive tackle, Trivoli, Illinois (Farmington Central H.S.);
• Bo Donald, 6-6, 300, offensive lineman, Kimball, South Dakota (Kimball H.S.);
• Diamond Evans, 5-10, 180, cornerback, Chicago, Illinois (Nazareth Academy);
• Keaton Heide, 6-3, 195, quarterback, Wayzata, Minnesota (Wayzata H.S.);
• Quinton Hicks, 6-2, 225, defensive end, Wichita, Kansas (Campus H.S.);
• Caden Johnson, 6-3, 245, defensive end, Wahoo, Nebraska (Bishop Neumann H.S.);
• Tucker Kraft, 6-5, 245, tight end, Timber Lake, South Dakota (Timber Lake H.S.);
• Thomas Motzko, 6-0, 220, linebacker, Highland Park, Illinois (Highland Park H.S.)
• Payton Shafer, 6-0, 205, linebacker, Cottage Grove, Minnesota (Park H.S.);
• Ethan Vibert, 6-4, 290, offensive lineman, Regina, Saskatchewan (Miller H.S.);
• Alex Westendorf, 6-5, 285, offensive lineman, South Elgin, Illinois (St. Charles North H.S.)
Barnett played on both sides of the ball at Alburnett High School, twice earning first-team all-district honors as a wide receiver. As a junior, he caught 37 passes with 11 touchdowns, adding eight total touchdowns (3 receiving) and an average of 164 all-purpose yards while limited to four games his senior season due to injury. Projected as a linebacker at the collegiate level, Barnett recorded 43 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles during his junior campaign.
An Honor Roll student, he plans to major in exercise science.
Bauer was a prolific pass catcher at O'Gorman High School, tallying 168 receptions and a state 11-man-record 2,731 receiving yards while earning all-state recognition three times. He posted consecutive 50-catch seasons in 2017 and 2018, tallying 62 receptions for 922 yards and 16 touchdowns his senior year. He added three more touchdowns on the ground and also returned kicks in being named South Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year. A two-time member of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader Elite 45, Bauer holds nine school records in football. He has received an invitation to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl.
Bauer also holds the O'Gorman record in the 100-meter dash and ran on the Knights' state-champion 4x400-meter relay in 2017. An academic all-state selection and member of the National Honor Society, he intends to pursue a major in exercise science.
Bock has been a man for all seasons at Solon High School, competing in five different sports during a standout prep career. In football, he was a first-team all-state selection and member of the Des Moines Register All-Iowa Team in 2018 after earning third-team all-state recognition as a junior. During his senior campaign, Bock recorded 74.5 tackles on defense, while adding 645 rushing yards (6.2 ypc), 12 catches for 146 yards and a combined 13 touchdowns on offense, and averaging 42.6 yards per punt attempt on special teams.
Bock also has competed in baseball, track and field, basketball and wrestling during his prep career. An academic all-state selection in several sports and a member of the National Honor Society, he plans to pursue a degree in engineering.
Darnell excelled on both sides of the ball at Auburn High School, earning all-state and first-team Super State honors this past fall. His career totals include more than 5,000 all-purpose yards and 60 touchdowns. As a senior, he logged 63 tackles and an interception on defense, while rushing for 1,253 yards and 18 touchdowns. He added 21 receptions, 460 yards and four more scores in the passing game.
Darnell plans to major in construction management.
A three-time all-conference selection and two-time all-state honoree at defensive end, DePriest racked up a combined 198 tackles his junior and senior seasons at Farmington Central High School. Of his 111 total tackles in 2018, 30 were tackles for loss with 11 sacks.
Honored three times as an academic all-state selection for his work in the classroom, DePriest has yet to declare a major.
Donald excelled on both lines for the Kimball/White Lake football team. A member of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader Elite 45, he was a dominant blocker on offense, while racking up 37 tackles and 5 sacks defensively. He plans to major in business economics.
Evans helped lead Nazareth Academy to back-to-back state-title game appearances, seeing action all over the field as a cornerback and wide receiver. His team finished as Illinois Class 6A runner-up in 2017 before winning the Class 7A state title this past fall. In the 2018 state championship game, he caught four passes for 81 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown, and was credited with three tackles.
He plans to major in exercise science.
Heide was a first-team all-district and honorable mention all-state selection at quarterback for Wayzata High School in 2018. He completed 80-of-144 passes for 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns against only three interceptions. Heide also ran for 250 yards and scored four touchdowns.
He intends to major in exercise science.
Hicks received all-conference honors as both a tight end and linebacker, while also earning all-metro and first-team all-state recognition on defense. He registered 105 tackles at Campus High School his senior season, including 20 tackles for loss and nine sacks.
A Kansas Honor Scholar, Hicks plans to pursue a degree in business economics.
Johnson was honored on all-state teams as a junior and senior at Bishop Neumann High School, including earning Nebraska Super-State recognition in 2018 from the Lincoln Journal Star. The Class C1 all-state defensive captain, he recorded 93 total tackles, including 16 tackles for loss and 8 sacks.
Johnson intends to enroll in the biology/pre-medicine program at SDSU.
Kraft was a force in all three phases of the game at Timber Lake High School, seeing action primarily at running back, middle linebacker and punter. He rushed for 1,405 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior, while adding 132 receiving yards and 56 tackles en route to a spot on the Sioux Falls Argus Leader Elite 45. A four-year starter, his career totals included 3,130 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns on offense, to go along with 142 tackles and eight sacks on defense. He also saw limited action at quarterback, throwing five touchdown passes.
Kraft plans to major in biology.
Motzko played both linebacker and running back for Highland Park High School in the Chicago metro area. He registered 112 tackles and 9.5 sacks in earning honorable mention all-state recognition as a junior. Motzko plans to major in business economics.
Shafer started three years at linebacker at Park High School, earning first-team all-conference honors his junior and senior seasons. After posting back-to-back 60-tackle seasons his first two years, Shafer was credited with 115 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles and 6 pass breakups en route to earning first-team all-state recognition and being named district defensive player of the year. He also was selected to play in the 2018 Minnesota All-Star Game.
He has yet to declare a major.
Vibert played a key role on Miller Catholic High School's provincial championship team this past fall. He captained the 2018 Team Saskatchewan squad that won the Canada Cup championship this past summer and has been selected to play on the U18 Team Canada in 2019.
Vibert plans to major in exercise science.
Westendorf anchored an offensive line for a Saint Charles North High School program that won 28 games during his three seasons in the lineup, finishing with a state runner-up finish in 2018. He earned all-conference and all-area honors during both his junior and senior years.
He intends to major in construction management.
In addition, eight other prep standouts have been accepted for admission to SDSU and have announced their intentions to join the Jackrabbit football program next fall. They include:
• Brady Beck, 6-8, 260, offensive lineman, Sioux Falls (O'Gorman H.S.);
• Jharret Bloomenrader, 6-6, 240, tight end, Highmore (Highmore-Harrold H.S.);
• Shane Dailey, Jr., 5-9, 160, wide receiver, Omaha, Nebraska (Bellevue West H.S.);
• Jordan Gandy, 5-10, 175, defensive back, DeKalb, Illinois (DeKalb H.S.);
• Karst Hunter, 6-4, 205, quarterback, Miller, South Dakota (Miller H.S.);
• Payton Madison, 6-3, 235, fullback, Spicer, Minnesota (New London-Spicer H.S.);
• Chase Norblade, 6-1, 185, safety, Papillion, Nebraska (Papillion-La Vista South H.S.);
• Torren Union, 6-2, 180, cornerback, Mesa, Arizona (Marcos de Niza H.S.).
Beck was a key contributor along the offensive line for O'Gorman High School, earning all-Metro Conference recognition as a senior. He also competed in track and field, placing eighth in the shot put at the 2018 state meet. A member of the National Honor Society, he plans to major in pre-medicine.
Bloomenrader has been an all-state honoree in both football and basketball during his prep career at Highmore-Harrold High School. He posted nearly identical numbers over his last two seasons in football en route to a total of 39 receptions for 630 yards. Bloomenrader also registered 45 tackles as a senior and 35 as a junior on defense. In basketball, he has been a four-time all-conference selection and averaged a double-double as a junior with 18 points and 15 rebounds per game. The top-ranked student in his class, he intends to major in agricultural business.
Shane Dailey, Jr.
Dailey displayed big-play ability in the passing game first at Omaha North High School and later at Bellevue West High School. In earning first-team all-state and all-Metro recognition, he totaled 1,046 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 20.9 yards per reception as a senior.Dailey also was named the state winner of the Burlsworth Character Award.
Gandy was an all-area selection each of his three years in the starting lineup at DeKalb High School and was a two-time all-state honoree. As a junior, he recorded 94 tackles, 6 pass breakups and 1 interception, then posted 108 tackles, 9 pass breakups, 2 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles during his senior campaign. He plans to major in entrepreneurial studies.
Hunter has been a three-sport athlete at Miller High School who earned all-state honors three times in football. His football career totals included 3,900 passing yards and 3,300 rushing yards with a combined 81 touchdowns. A two-time member of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader Elite 45, he led his team to the state semifinals in 2017.
In addition, Hunter has been an all-state honoree in basketball while averaging a double-double over the past two seasons. He also ran on school-record and state-placing 4x100 and 4x200-meter relays. A member of the National Honor Society, he plans to major in sport management.
Madison was selected as sub-district MVP and earned all-area honors from the West Central Tribune after averaging 8.8 yards per carry en route to 1,150 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns during his senior season at New London-Spicer High School. In being selected to play in the Minnesota Vikings All-Star Showcase, he added two receiving touchdowns to go along with 60 tackles and 2.5 sacks on defense. Madison also has earned all-conference recognition in hockey and baseball.
An Honor Roll student, he plans to major in agronomy.
Norblade was a second-team all-Metro selection and honorable mention all-state pick after tallying 52 tackles, 4 interceptions, 11 pass breakups and 3 forced fumbles during his senior season at Papillion-La Vista South High School. He also scored four touchdowns. A four-year honor student, he plans to seek a degree in business economics.
Union was a two-time first-team all-conference selection on defense at Marcos de Niza High School. He tallied 35 solo tackles, 4 pass breakups and 2 interceptions during his senior season, while racking up 1,200 all-purpose yards offensively and on special teams. He has yet to declare a major.
South Dakota State made its seventh consecutive appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs during the 2018 season, advancing to the semifinal round for the second year in a row. The Jackrabbits ended the 2018 campaign with a 10-3 overall record, including a 6-2 mark in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
A second football signing day is set for Feb. 6, 2019.