University of South Dakota head football coach Joe Glenn announced Wednesday that 18 student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to join the Coyote football team. USD’s fifth NCAA Division I recruiting class will begin its South Dakota career during the 2012-13 academic year.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our staff, faculty, administration and student-athletes for the concentrated effort they all gave in recruiting this 2012 class,” Glenn said. “That effort in time will prove to be very special.”
In addition to the 18 signees Wednesday, the Coyotes had three junior college signees who inked during the junior college signing period and three walk-ons who signed institutional letters of intent for a total of 24.
The class consists of student-athletes from 10 states including three from South Dakota, six from Iowa, three from Missouri and Oklahoma, two from California, Kansas and Florida and one each from Nebraska, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Offensively, the class features 12 players including four wide receivers, three running backs and three offensive linemen, along with two tight ends and one quarterback. On the defensive side, defensive backs led the way with six signees, while three defensive linemen signed and two linebackers signed with the Coyotes.
“As coaches, we evaluate endless tapes, videos and personalities,” Glenn said. “We must all think alike because most of the kids we signed were recruited by ‘like-schools’. Secretly, I think we all judge our recruiting classes by how we did against the ‘like-schools’. That being said, we feel terrific about this group of student-athletes who chose the University of South Dakota.”
Two Florida and two Iowa wide receivers begin the class on the offensive side with Darrick Jones (5-9, 160, Miami, Fla.,/Palmetto HS) who earned All-Dade County honors in 2011 as a wide receiver/kick returner. He was team captain and named Team Most Valuable Player in 2011. Tyson Graham, Jr., (6-3, 190, Pompano Beach, Fla./Highlands Christian Academy) was named one of the Top 50 players in Broward County, while earning Defensive Player of the Year honors and all-conference honors.
Iowa natives Jasper Washington (6-0, 195, Iowa City, Iowa/City HS) and Ben Kramer (6-2, 190, Ottumwa, Iowa/Ottumwa HS) had outstanding high school careers as Washington helped lead his team to the state championship in 2009 and was a three-year starter for the Little Hawks. He was an all-conference selection, a team captain and selected to the Shrine Bowl. Kramer earned second team all-state honors and first team all-conference honors. He was named the Bulldogs’ Most Valuable Player and carries a 4.0 grade-point average. Kramer ran a 10.9 in the 100 meter dash as a junior.
Running backs Jordan Roberts (5-11, 195, Sheridan, Wyo./Sheridan HS) and Trevor Bouma (5-11, 195, LeMars, Iowa/Gehlen Catholic HS) both have a chance to make an immediate impact as Bouma was a first team all-state and all-district selection. He was selected to the Shrine Bowl and helped lead his team to a 39-9 career record. Roberts helped lead his team to the Wyoming state championship in 2011 as he tallied 2,688 yards rushing with 38 touchdowns. He was named the 4A Offensive Player of the Year and was named Wyoming Gatorade Player of the Year and named to Super 25 Offensive Players in Wyoming.
In addition to Roberts and Bouma, Jasper Sanders (5-9, 195, Kansas City, Kan./Butler Community College) inked with the Coyotes during the junior college signing period. He was named first team all-conference and was an honorable mention all-America candidate as he rushed for 937 yards with 15 touchdowns helping his team to a No. 2 national ranking.
Arrowhead, Wis., native, Ryan Saeger, a 6-4, 210, quarterback earned first team all-conference and first team all-region at Arrowhead High School. He earned second team all-state honors and holds Arrowhead High School’s single-season passing record. Saeger went 17-4 in his high school career.
On the offensive line, Nile Banks (6-4, 280, Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City HS) earned second team all-state honors and earned Iowa Preps Second Team All-State honors, as well as being named Iowa City Press Citizen Honorable Mention, Offensive Player of the Year. La Mirada, Calif., native, Spencer Fox a 6-5, 270, offensive tackle was ranked as the 172nd OT in the country as he helped lead his team to an 8-5 record in the fall and was named WDA First Team All-Area and first team all C.I.F.
Rounding out the offensive linemen is Michael Meinert (6-2, 290, St. Joseph, Mo./St. Joseph Central HS) who was named 5A First Team Associated Press All-State in 2011. Meinert also earned first team all-conference honors for three years and was a second team all-conference selection on the defensive line in 2011.
At tight end, Omaha, Neb., native, Matthew Miller, is a 6-4, 231-pound force who earned all-state honors and all-district honors at Omaha Skutt Catholic High School in 2011. He was a team captain and was named second team All-Nebraska in 2011. Miller has been clocked at 4.8 in the 40.
In addition, Jeremy Henderson (6-5, 205, Rapid City, S.D./St. Thomas More HS) signed an institutional letter of intent for the Coyotes. He was an all-state selection for the Cavaliers and ran a 4.8/40 and has a 34’ vertical. He earned all-conference honors in football, basketball and track.
Six defensive backs highlight the largest contingent of signees on either side of the ball for the Coyotes in 2012. Junior College transfers, D.J. Wakes (6-1, 187, Topeka, Kan./Butler CC) and Devin Taverna (6-1, 185, Carlsbad, Calif./Palomar CC) signed during the junior college signing period. Both Wakes and Taverna are safeties.
Cornerback Ricky Reeves (5-10, 180, Midwest City, Okla./Midwest City HS) earned first team all-state and first team all-district honors. He had 61 tackles and six interceptions to go along with three rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns. Teammate Zeke Lewis (5-9, 200, Midwest City, Okla./Midwest City HS) earned first team all-district and first team all-state honors as a safety. He was named 6A Defensive Player of the Year and led the State of Oklahoma in tackles his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, Lewis had 169 tackles and was named to the Oil Bowl.
The third recruit from Oklahoma, Will Armstead (5-10, 180, Broken Arrow, Okla./Broken Arrow HS) led his team to the 6A championship game and was a first team all-district and honorable mention all-state selection. Armstead has a 39’ vertical and runs a 4.4/40. He had 31 catches for 576 yards and five touchdowns as a senior.
Kansas City, Mo., native, Jalun Brown, (6-2, 180, Kansas City, Mo./Staley HS) is one of three institutional letters of intent for the Coyotes this season. Brown earned all-conference honors while recording 45 tackles and four interceptions as a senior. Brown helped lead Staley to the Missouri Class 5 State Championship with a 35-21 victory over Kirkwood.
Sioux Falls Washington High School products Keyen Lage (6-2, 200, Sioux Falls, S.D./Washington HS) and Devon O’Farrell (5-10, 215, Sioux Falls, S.D./Washington HS) both are outstanding linebackers. Lage was a team captain and earned all-city, all-conference and academic all-state honors. O’Farrell had a stellar career for the Warriors as he was a two-time Elite 45, as well as a two time all-state, all-conference and all-city selection. Lage and O’Farrell paced Washington High School to the South Dakota AA state championship in 2010.
On the defensive line, Sean Bredl (6-4, 248, Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Washington HS) earned first team all-Metro honors and first team all-conference. Lees’ Summit West High School product, Chris Wiseman (6-3, 225, Lee’s Summit, Mo./Lee’s Summit West HS) is a two-time all-state and all-conference selection, while Matt Nagel (6-4, 225, Little Rock, Iowa/Central Lyon/George Little Rock HS) also signed an institutional letter of intent. Nagel earned all-state and all-district honors and was selected to the Shrine Bowl. Offensively, he had 15 catches for 300 yards and four scores.
Fans are invited to tonight’s USD Signing Day Event at 5:30 p.m. at Leo’s in Vermillion for a chance to visit with Glenn and his staff about the class. Callaway’s Event Center in Sioux Falls will host tomorrow’s event at 5:30 p.m.
2012 South Dakota Football Class:
Will Armstead – DB, 5-10, 180, Broken Arrow, Okla. (Broken Arrow HS)
Nile Banks – OL, 6-4, 280, Iowa City, Iowa (Iowa City HS)
Sean Bredl – DL, 6-4, 248, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Washington HS)
Jalun Brown – DB 6-2, 180, Kansas City, Mo. (Staley HS)
Trevor Bouma – RB, 5-11, 195, LeMars, Iowa (Gehlen Catholic HS)
Spencer Fox – OL, 6-5, 270, La Mirada, Calif. (La Mirada HS)
Tyson Graham, Jr., – WR, 6-3, 190, Pompano Beach, Fla. (Highlands Christian Academy HS)
Jeremy Henderson – TE, 6-5, 205, Rapid City, S.D. (St. Thomas More HS)
Darrick Jones – WR, 5-9, 160, Miami, Fla. (Palmetto HS)
Ben Kramer – WR, 6-2, 190, Ottumwa, Iowa (Ottumwa HS)
Keyen Lage – LB, 6-2, 200, Sioux Falls, S.D. (Washington HS)
Zeke Lewis – DB, 5-9, 200, Midwest City, Okla. (Midwest City HS)
Michael Meinert – OL, 6-2, 290, St. Joseph, Mo. (St. Joseph Central HS)
Matthew Miller – TE, 6-4, 231, Omaha, Neb. (Skutt Catholic HS)
Matt Nagel – DL, 6-4, 225, Little Rock, Iowa (Central Lyon/George Little Rock HS)
Devon O’Farrell – LB, 5-10, 215, Sioux Falls, S.D. (Washington HS)
Ricky Reeves – DB, 5-10, 180, Midwest City, Okla. (Midwest City HS)
Jordan Roberts – RB, 5-11, 195, Sheridan, Wyo. (Sheridan HS)
Ryan Saeger – QB, 6-4, 210, Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead HS)
Jasper Sanders – RB, 5-9, 195, Kansas City, Kan. (Butler CC)
Devin Taverna – DB, 6-1, 185, Carlsbad, Calif. (Palomar CC)
D.J. Wakes – DB, 6-1, 187, Topeka, Kan. (Butler CC)
Jasper Washington – WR, 6-0, 195, Iowa City, Iowa (Iowa City HS)
Chris Wiseman – DL, 6-3, 225, Lee’s Summit, Mo. (Lee’s Summit West HS) Courtesy: Kit Strief, USD
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