SIOUX FALLS (Feb. 7, 2018) -- University of Sioux Falls Head Football Coach Jon Anderson announced today that 30 student-athletes have signed to play football with the Cougars and enroll at USF for classes in 2018.
USF's 2018 class includes a strong influx of area talent along with several standouts from the region and across the nation.
"We are thrilled about the Class of 2018. With a full recruiting cycle our staff was able to find student-athletes from our recruiting areas who will be able to come in and leave their mark on our program. We have a group that includes size, strength, and athleticism. With the quality of these incoming players, this class will help us continue to pursue NSIC championships and national playoff berths," said Anderson, who, in his first year as head coach at USF, led the Cougars to a 9-3 record and a fourth straight NCAA DII postseason berth.
According to Anderson, the class exudes high character, strong academic backgrounds and is a highly motivated group that has the potential to impact a tradition-rich USF program where "Winners win."
"We are proud of this class's work on the field but also what they represent off the field. We have a group of players who are committed to excelling in the classroom and have been leaders in their schools and communities. The number of team captains in this group is impressive," said Anderson.
"I would like to thank the USF community, especially the faculty, who made it possible to recruit the best and the brightest student-athletes for the University," said Anderson. "It's a process that takes everyone working together and I'm extremely proud of the way the USF community supported our efforts. Our coaches and their families have sacrificed many hours to recruit this class and I'm thankful to work every day with the best group of assistant coaches out there. "
"We look forward to this group of players joining an already dedicated group of outstanding student-athletes who are hard at work striving to be the best on the field and in the classroom," added Anderson.
As listed by position, the Cougars added to the roster six offensive lineman, six defensive linemen, five defensive backs and five wide receivers, three linebackers, two quarterbacks, two running backs and one tight end.
USF has a tradition of excellence, including 24 consecutive winning seasons, including six straight in the NSIC. The Cougars, which won four NAIA national titles, have already won an NSIC title (2016), reached the DII postseason fourth straight years, won nine or more games in fourth straight years, been ranked in 48 straight national polls and earned a #20 ranking in the final AFCA Coaches Poll. USF has been ranked in the final national poll (AFCA D2football.com) in fourth consecutive seasons. In NCAA DII, USF owns a 61-19 record (.762) and a 54-12 (.818) record in NSIC play.
Class of 2018 signees include -
Caleb Annis, OL, 6-6, 305, Hermantown, Minn./Hermantown HS
Notes - Standout offensive lineman at Hermantown High School…two-time all conference, all-section and all-area selection…played left tackle and center on offense and defensive tackle on defense for the Hawks…also played basketball and served as baseball manager at Hermantown…also a member of Student Council and Young Life…service work includes helping at the local food shelf…son of Brian and Kati Annis…has two siblings including Grace and Elin…plans to major in sports management at USF.
Kyle Barnetche, TE, 6-2, 230, Susanville, Calif./Lassen HS/Butte College
Notes - Named all conference at Butte College...standout at Lassen High School, playing football and basketball for the Grizzlies...named all-league and all-section in high school...had prep numbers of 169 carries for 1,073 yards and 20 TDs while recording eight receptions for 102 yards and three TDs...registered 70 tackles and three sacks...son of Maurice and Stacey Barnetche...has two siblings, Kevin and Melissa...plans to major in criminal justice.
Courtney Beane, WR, 5-10, 195, Oakland, Calif./Berkeley HS/Contra Costa College
Notes - Starred at Contra Costa College....named the All Bay All Purpose Player of the Year…also selected all conference…had 14 receptions for 219 yards (15.6 avg.) and four TDs, including a long of 72 yards…also had 24 kick returns for 639 yards or 26.6 avg., and a long of 59 yards…registered 870 all-purpose yards or 96.7 yards per game…played free safety, wide receiver and return specialist at Berkeley HS…service work includes at the Boys and Girls Club of El Sobrante……son of Bridgette Beane and David Beane with two siblings, David and Correy...plans to study business at USF.
Tanner Beaton, WR, 5-9, 160, Fargo, N.D./Fargo South HS
Notes - Selected first team EDC All-Conference three times and twice named second team all-state...accumulated 143 receptions for 1,605 yards (both school records) with 10 receiving TDs for the Bruins..all-around athlete - earned 10 varsity letters...played outfield and shortstop for baseball team and forward on the hockey squad...son of Mike and Betsy Beaton with one sister, Molly...plans to major in special education at USF.
Terrell Conner, OL, 6-5 250, Owatonna, Minn./Owatonna HS
Notes -- Helped team to a 12-1 record and a Class 5A state title with 63-26 win over Elk River...selected all-conference as a senior, playing both sides of the ball...participated in football, basketball and track and field for the Huskies...three-time member of DECA and participated in Young Life organization in high school...son of Josh and Cathy Hall and has three siblings - Sydney, Skylah and Maddison...plans to major in business at USF.
Connor Ekborg, DL, 6-3, 225, Omaha, Neb./Millard West HS
Notes - Standout defensive and offensive lineman at Millard West, earning Academic All-State honors...son of Kevin and Laura Ekborg and has three siblings - Chloe, Will and Jed...plans to major pre-medicine at USF.
Amaurii Grosskopf, DL, 6-3, 290, Beloit, Wis./Beloit Memorial HS
Notes - Standout at Beloit Memorial, earning first team all-conference and all-area honors...during prep career, accumulated 267 solo tackles, 17 sacks, 26 tackles for loss and forced three fumbles...service work includes serving as mentor to elementary students...son of Chad Grosskopf and has two siblings including Abagail and Ada'lynn...plans to major in psychology at USF.
Cody Jantzen, LB, 6-3, 230, St. Germain, Wis./Northland Pines, HS
Notes - Standout for Northland Pines HS...earned first team honors three times in the West-Pac Conference...was a first-team all-league punter and named Channel 12 all-star as a junior...as a senior had 152 tackles, 45 carries for 277 yards, completed two passes for 43 yards and caught two passes for 22 yards...son of Jon and Denise Jantzen...has a brother Jake...plans to major in pre-medicine at USF.
Ja'Tai Jenkins, RB, 5-9, 190, Goodyear, Ariz./Verrado HS
Notes - Two-star recruit by 247 Sports, ranked the 59th best running back in Arizona and 233rd nationally… named regional MVP and first-team all-region…as a senior had 1,900 yards rushing at Verrado HS…during career accumulated 3,674 yards rushing on 452 carries with 51 rushing TDs and 61 total TDs at Verrado High School… starred at running back, wide receiver, punt returner and kick returner for the Vipers…also ran track at Verrado HS…son of Jeff and Keisha Jenkins.
Stephon Johnson, FB, 5-11, 220, Inver Grove, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall
Notes - Starred at Cretin-Derham Hall HS, playing fullback and linebacker...had 10 receptions for 115 yards for the Raiders...son of Kizzie Moman...has three siblings including Stevie Moman, Daaliyah Johnson and Jordan Johnson...plans to major in chemistry at USF.
Jordan Knapke, DB, 6-2,195, Aurora, Colo./Grandview HS
Notes - At Grandview HS, served as team captain, earning first-team All-Centennial League honors two times...three-time Academic All-State selection...twice received the football program's Spirit of the Wolves Award for character, leadership and spirit...accumulated 120 tackles in his career....had 64 tackles, eight pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and interception as a senior...had 57 tackles, six pass breakups, and fumble recovery as a junior in leading team to the playoffs...led team to a 41-9 record and three league titles...also ran track and played basketball...participated in DECA, AP Scholar with honors, and earned academic excellence honors in English and business...service work includes helping with the Ronald McDonald House and Toys for Tots program...son of Jamie and Tammy Knapke and has two siblings Kyla and Aiden...plans to major in business at USF.
Carter Lohr, DB, 6-0, 175, Sioux Falls, S.D./Roosevelt HS
Notes - Standout at perennial AAA playoff power Roosevelt High School… was a two-time All-Metro Conference defense back and named to the Class AAA All-State squad at defensive back…accumulated 134 tackles, seven interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles at Roosevelt HS…played quarterback, free safety and linebacker for RHS…also excelled in wrestling - winning a pair of state titles - and track and field for the Rough Riders… son of Craig Lohr and Lisa Lohr…plans to major in exercise science at USF.
Garrett Lowry, DB, 6-0, 220, Parker, Colo./Chaparral HS
Notes - Accumulated 140 tackles, three interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries during junior and senior seasons with the Chaparral HS Wolverines....named twice to the Mt. Evans All-Conference squad...son of Dana Knauff...has two brothers, Hayden and Bryce...plans to major in media studies at USF.
Ryan Marrano, LB, 6-2, 195, Naperville, Ill./Naperville North HS
Notes –Starred at linebacker at Naperville North, earning all-conference and all-area honors two times……accumulated 105 tackles, 10 sacks, 10 TFLs and an interception at Naperville North…also wrestled…has been involved in service work including Fellowship for Christians and Feeding My Starting Children…son of Susan Marrano and has a brother, Mark…plans to major in sociology at USF.
Yvan Medard, DE, 6-4, 247, Brooklyn, N.Y./Hargrave Military Academy/LA Valley College
Notes - Played defensive end at Los Angeles Valley College...was a prep standout at Hargrave Military Academy...also played soccer, and participated in wrestling and lacrosse...son of Rose Medard and Alex Medard...has one sibling, Axelle...plans to major in business at USF.
Christian Medeiros, DL, 6-2, 230, Mesa, Ariz./Desert Ridge HS
Notes – A standout defensive lineman at Desert Ridge HS…had 102 career tackles, including nine sacks, two forced fumbles and 20 quarterback hurries…twice earned all-conference honors as a defensive lineman…also participated in wrestling for the Jaguars...qualified for state three times...earned honorable mention all-state wrestling honors…was Golden Scholar all four years of high school…named Student of the Year…service work included assisting with Camp of Courage to coach special needs children…son of Tracy and Stephen Medeiros and has six siblings, Kayla, Lucia Lara, Zack, Zane and Zoe…plans to double major in criminal justice and psychology.
Brennan Moran, OL, 6-4, 265, North Sioux City, S.D./Dakota Valley HS
Notes - Starred on offensive and defensive line for Dakota Valley High School…played football, basketball and participated in track for the Panthers…two-time Dakota Athletic Conference selection and also named Class A All-State team on defense as a junior and offense as a senior…led Dakota Valley to state 11A title game in 11-1 season in 2017 and 18-4 record over final two seasons…finished career with 121 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 39 TFLs, fumble recovery, interception and six forced fumbles...twice named Academic All-State and earned selection to the Honor Roll four straight years…son of Mark and Sue Moran and has brother, Aidan…service work include helping with Salvation Army drive…plans to major in pre-medicine.
Peter Narrai, OL, 6-3, 245, Franklin, Wisc./Franklin HS
Notes - Starred at Franklin High School, earning All-SEC honors at offensive left tackle both as a junior and senior...also played basketball and participated in track for the Sabers...named to National Honor Society at Franklin HS...also participated in the Young and Old Stick Together (YOUST) Program...son of Henry and Anne Narrai...has a brother, Josh...plans to major in physical therapy at USF.
Jaylen Newton, WR, 6-1, 175, St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham-Hall HS
Notes - Standout receiver at Cretin-Derham Hall, which won the subdivision and advanced to the Class 6 semifinals…as senior had 20 catches for 468 yards and six TDs with one punt return TD (61 yards) and seven kickoff returns for 239 yards and a TD…finished with 11 career TDs and 700 receiving yards…named offensive MVP after finishing with eight catches for 131 yards and two TDs in the South's 28-14 win in the 45th Annual Minnesota High School Football Showcase…also in the game threw a 40-yard TD pass…was the Suburban East Office Player of the Year…twice named all-state and all-conference…son of Lennard and Jessica Newton…has two siblings, Kamairia and Kiara…plans to major in sports management/business at USF.
Edmond Nkwain, CB, 6-1, 190, Cottage Grove, Minn./Park HS
Notes - Starred at Park High school…named all-district and all-conference…played both ways, recording two interceptions on defense with two fumble recoveries…had 13 catches for 413 yards and returned a punt for a TD…also participated in track and basketball at Park High…son of Quenter Nkwain…has two siblings, Rodrick Ethan and Pharrell...plans to major in business at USF.
Aaron Ortiz, DE, 6-3, 250, Miami, Fla./Keys Gate HS/Coffeeville Community College
Notes -- Standout at Coffeyville Community College, earning the Mikal Cromartie Award for outstanding play on defense and special teams...was a prep standout at Keys Gate HS, earning All-Dade Conference honors...was third in the state with 15 sacks while accumulating 38 tackles, 14 TFLs, two forced fumbles and a pick-six in five games for the Knights...also played quarterback, throwing for 1,763 yards and 17 TDs while rushing for 400 yards and three TDs...son of Jessica Padilla...has six siblings...plans to major in business at USF.
Quinton Ostdahl, LB, 6-2, 215, Parker, Colo./Ponderosa HS
Notes - Starred at Ponderosa High School, earned first-team All-State honors in 2017...selected second-team all-state as a junior...three times selected first-team all-conference linebacker (Foothills League, 2016, 2017; Plains League, 2015)...a two-year captain, accumulated 290 career tackles, including 160 solo stops and 16 career sacks...also had four career interceptions, rushing for 707 yards and had 17 total TDs during prep career...was a Link Crew Leader at his high school...son of Tim Ostdahl and Stephanie Ostdahl...has two siblings, Sterling and Grayson...plays to major in exercise science at USF.
Josh Pauley, OL, 6-3, 285, Flandreau, S.D./Flandreau HS
Notes – Played left tackle on offense and nose tackle on defense…named All-Big East Conference as a junior and senior and All-I-29 Conference as a junior…recorded 51 tackles as a junior and had 32 tackles as a senior…named to Honor Roll at Flandreau…son of Richard Pauley and Mindy Smith and has a brother, Matt…plans to major in sports management at USF.
Sawyer Schick, LS/QB, 5-11, 200, Racine, Wis./Racine Horlick HS
Notes - Standout for Racine Horlick, earning 2017 All-Racine County honorable mention honors...2017 Southeast Conference honorable mention honoree at quarterback...received a four star ranking as a long snapper by Kohl's Kicking...completed 65-of-122 passes for 1,000 yards with 14 TDs and just six interceptions in prep career...team captain...had four rushing TDs...led the Rebels to a 10-1 record, including 9-0 regular season, registering the most wins by a starting quarter in last 25 years at the school...four-time Student-Athlete of the Year (2014-15 basketball, 2015-16, basketball and tennis, 2016-17 football)...earned High Honors three times and was an Honor Roll students all through high school...served as varsity tennis team captain...son of Geoff and Jodie Schick...has two siblings including Spencer and Sasha...plans to major in business (accounting).
Josh Swanson, QB, 6-2, 170, Pewaukee, Wis./Pewaukee High School
Notes - Led team to 8-4 record (4-3) in league play as a senior and 11-2 as a junior...led Pewaukee to a first round playoff 41-21 win over Jefferson before falling to Eisenhower, which advanced to the state title game as a senior...named to the Woodland All-Conference team...selected the team's Most Improved Player in 2016 and 2017...completed 124-of-278 passes for 1,854 yards and 22 TDs...also rushed for 200 yards with four TDs...three-time Scholar Athlete...member of the High Honor Roll since a freshman...nominated for the WIAA School Athlete Award...community service work included helping with the Key Club and as a coach for the Upwards program..son of Jodi and Steve Swanson...plans to major in business (accounting) at USF.
Joseph Timp, DB, 6-0, 180, Cottage Grove, Minn./Park HS
Notes - Starred for Park High School, earning Suburban Maroon All-District honors at wide receiver and defensive back...registered 28 tackles, TD, interception, forced fumble, two tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries...served as a captain for both football and the track and field teams...service work included assistance with the Feeding My Starving Children program...son of Mike Timp and Laurie Timp...has a sister, Katie...plans to major in business at USF.
David Vargas, DT, 6-1, 288, Randolph, N.J./Randolph HS/Lackawanna College
Notes - Started at defensive tackle for Lackawanna College…starred at Randolph HS, playing defensive tackle…participated in the North-South All-Star game…aside from football, participated in wrestling and track and field, finishing seventh in the state in shot put, for the Rams…son of Elizabeth Perez…has two siblings, Jefferson and Chelsy…plans to major in computer science at USF.
Nathan Varns, WR, 6-1, 195, Sioux Falls, S.D./Roosevelt HS
Notes - Named to South Dakota Class AAA Team as a junior and was an Argus Leader Elite 45 honoree as a junior...also earned Metro All-Conference honors that season...played just half a season as a senior for the Rough Riders but earned honorable mention Metro All-Conference honors...had 74 receptions for 1,267 yards and 16 TDs as a junior and 23 receptions for 359 yards and two TDs as a senior...career totals include102 receptions for 1,725 yards and 20 TDs as a receiver...had 27 carries for 235 yards and three TDs in career...also ran track at Roosevelt High competing in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays as well as running the 100 meters, 200 meters and participating in the long jump...son of Scott and Lori Varns...has two siblings including Michael and Kayla...plans to major in pre-medicine (biology) at USF.
Jamin Wurtz, WR, 5-10, 180, Rapid City, S.D./Stevens HS
Notes - Standout in football baseball and track at Rapid City Stevens...named to the both 2016 and 2017 South Dakota AAA All-State teams...honorable mention on the 2017 Argus Leader Elite 45 squad...named Academic All-State in 2017...accumulated 98 career tackles, including 77 solo stops with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery...had 91 yards rushing and two TDs...caught 26 passes for 430 yards and three TDs and had 933 return yards with a TD...accumulated 1,454 all-purpose yards...son of John Wurtz and Heather Wurtz...has two siblings including Gabe and Hannah...plans to major in exercise science at USF.
Sean Zsori, OL, 6-2, 245, Waukesha, Wis./Waukesha North HS
Notes -- As a standout offensive lineman at Waukesha North, named to the All-WIAA Class 8 second team and was also honorable mention selection to the All-WIAA Class 8 team as an underclassman...son of Liz Zsori...has a sister, Jennifer...plans to major in nursing at USF.