BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) – Welcome to the 5th journal of 5th Down.

In an attempt to take a deeper dive into who these young men are as people, each week three members of the Jackrabbit football program will be featured here within this article.

(From left to right: Zach Heins, Angel Johnson, Dalys Beanum)

Angel Johnson | RS Freshman Running Back | Irene, SD (Viborg-Hurley HS)

Major: Consumer affairs

Background Bio:

Johnson comes from the southeastern part of South Dakota playing his high school ball at Viborg-Hurley. The redshirt freshman lined up more often at slot receiver than running back in high school, catching passes from another current Jackrabbit in Chase Mason.

“I had a few other offers (coming out of high school) but I actually came here (SDSU) when I was younger to a little kids camp and that made an impact on me,” Johnson said.

“My parents and a lot of other people in my family went here, so this was like my family’s school, it just felt like home.”

  1. Toughest moment of your career and how did you get through it?

“Not playing when I first got here. I’ve kept my head down and stayed patient. You might be on scout team, you might not be getting the reps that you want. So, really just staying in the playbook, talking with the coaches and watching film.

2. Growing up, who was your role model?

“I’d have to say my mom. She has a big heart and did a lot for us growing up as a kid, so for sure my mom.”

(Angel speaking about his mother can be watched above)

3. What one word best describes who you are as a person?

“Charismatic – I’m a pretty laid back guy but I think people like to be around me.”

Zach Heins | Senior Tight End | Sioux Falls, SD (Washington HS)

Major: Business Economics

Background Bio:

Born and raised in Sioux Falls, today the 6’7 South Dakotan is a standout tight end on the gridiron, but for most of his life, it appeared he was destine for the hardwood.

“I always thought I was going to play college basketball. I was playing AAU and I was just better at basketball at the time, basketball was my first love,” Heins said.

Several schools in the NSIC were recruiting the Washington High School product, but ultimately Heins felt his potential was greatest as a football player and chose to take his talents to Brookings.

1. Toughest moment of your career and how did you get through it?

“My injury. (Suffered a serious knee injury in the fall of 2019). There were a lot of days I couldn’t walk. Teaching yourself how to walk, you don’t realize how much you take that for granted until you’re trying to do it and can’t figure it out,” Heins remembered with a smile.

(Heins’ full quote about his injury can be watched in the video above)

2. Growing up, who was your role model?

“My older brother Austin. He was always kind of that figure I could look to. He got up and lifted at six in the morning, so I got up and lifted at six in the morning. He would go to open gyms in the summer time for basketball, well that’s what I’m going to do because Austin did.”

3. What one word best describes who you are as a person?

“Understanding- Just trying to brighten peoples day. Understanding that if I can be positive to other people, in just in the slightest way, it could help someone.”

Dayls Beanum | Junior Cornerback | Omaha, NEB (Millard West HS)

Major: Advertising

Background Bio:

Coming from Omaha, Nebraska, Beanum took the field mainly as a wide receiver until his senior year of high school at Millard West.

“I was playing receiver, but when SDSU started recruiting me (late during his junior season) they told me they saw me as a cornerback,” Beanum remembered.

With that in mind, during his final year of high school, Beanum began playing on both offense and defense.

“It was a smooth transition because that summer going into my senior year I was in a lot more DB drills than I was receiver. I trusted what SDSU saw in me”

Beanum burst onto the scene with 4 interceptions in 2021 and has become one of the better defensive backs in the program.

  1. Toughest moment of your career and how did you get through it?

“I’d say I have two. First the recruiting process. It just started really late for me. I’m glad I stuck with it but I didn’t think it was going to turn out like this, I thought I wasn’t going to get any looks,” Beanum stated.

“Second, your first year coming into college is hard. There’s a lot of older guys in front of you. It’s really about sticking to it, trusting what the coaches say and keep putting in the work knowing that your time is coming and being ready for it.”

2. Growing up, who was your role model?

“My brother and my dad. They taught me how to be a man, how to handle life as I got older. So, I think a lot of the things I’m going through now has been handled well because of them.”

(Beanum speaking about his father and brother, as well as answering the final question, can be watched in the video above)

3. What one word best describes who you are as a person?

“Chill – I’m cool with everyone. First time meeting someone I’m gonna be cool with them, I can make a conversation with anyone. So, I’ll go with chill.”