CFB: USD Completes 2019 Signing Class

VERMILLION, S.D.— South Dakota head football coach Bob Nielson is pleased to announce the signing of four student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent. In addition, Nielson announced that five other high school standouts have accepted an offer of admissions to the University of South Dakota and plan to join the Coyote football program. Nielson also introduced sophomore quarterback Devon Moore (Iowa State) and sophomore linebacker Sam Gerst (Ellsworth Community College), high school teammates from Waterloo, Iowa, who have transferred to USD and begun taking classes.

The 11 additions when added to December’s early signing day period of 15 brings the 2019 class to 26 student-athletes.

While the early signing period consisted in large part to the offensive and defensive lines, the newest signees include two running backs, a wide receiver and a linebacker. Running back Travis Theis was the all-classes offensive player of the year in Kansas this past season. Makiya Caesar ran for Butler Community College and has two years of eligibility remaining. Billy Conaway was an all-state receiver in Kansas and Jason Simon-Ressler is an all-state linebacker from Iowa.

When you factor in Moore and Gerst, four of the latest additions hail from Iowa. The Coyotes also successfully recruited in Minnesota (2), Kansas (2), Illinois (1), Wisconsin (1) and New Jersey (1).

2019 South Dakota Football Signing Class
Signed Wednesday:
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown Previous School
Noah Alling* OL 6-4 275 Whitefish Bay, Wis. Whitefish Bay
Lucas Becker* DL 6-5 270 Blaine, Minn. Blaine
Makiya Caesar RB 5-11 205 Neward, N.J. Butler CC
Billy Conaway WR 6-1 210 Shawnee, Kan. Shawnee Mission North
Hayden Ekern* QB 6-3 210 Chicago, Ill. St. Rita
Colton Harberts* OL 6-6 250 Dike, Iowa Dike-New Hartford
Joe Mather* LS 6-0 170 St. Paul, Minn. Highland Park
Jason Simon-Ressler LB 6-3 220 Farley, Iowa Western Dubuque
Travis Theis RB 5-11 205 Pratt, Kan. Pratt

Have Enrolled at USD
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown Previous School
Devon Moore QB 6-4 225 Waterloo, Iowa Iowa State
Sam Gerst LB 6-0 220 Waterloo, Iowa Ellsworth CC

Signed in December:
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown Previous School
Carter Bell WR 5-10 180 Bettendorf, Iowa Bettendorf
Ryan Bena OL 6-3 275 Omaha, Neb. Creighton Prep
Brady Booker LB 6-3 240 LaSalle, Ill. Iowa Central CC
Cori Fant Jr. DB 6-1 185 Tampa, Fla. Jefferson
Robert Ford III DB 6-1 175 St. Peters, Mo. Lutheran
Nick Gaes DL 6-4 235 Alta, Iowa Alta-Aurelia
D.J. Gross LB 6-2 215 McCook, Neb. McCook
Blake Holden DL 6-3 265 Watertown, S.D. Watertown
Cliff Johnson* OL 6-5 285 Lake Andes, S.D. Andes Central
Jake Larsen* DL 6-3 270 Harrisburg, S.D. Harrisburg
Joey Lombard OL 6-5 305 Anoka, Minn. Anoka
Jontrell Oliver DL 6-3 245 Tampa, Fla. East Bay
Tyler Perry DB 6-3 190 North Port, Fla. Port Charlotte
Tyler Smith OL 6-5 270 Joplin, Mo. Joplin
Siler Tschirhart OL 6-8 250 Overland Park, Kan. Blue Valley

*Players have accepted an offer of admissions to the University of South Dakota and plan to join the Coyote football program.

Note: More detailed information on each of the latest signees is included in the attachment.