Jackrabbits add 28 for football
"Today, Signing Day 2011, is a great day. Signing Day is always special for the football staff, but this one seems a bit more special than others," Stiegelmeier said. "Today's class is the result of a great effort by all of our coaches. Their efforts resulted in winning a number of tough recruiting battles, which translates into a great class for 2011. We have covered all our needs and we have recruited a great class of student-athletes to add to a team of the same. This class is full of winners."
Signing on Wednesday, the first day of the national signing period, were:
• Brandon Andrews, 6-1, 180, wide receiver, El Centro, Calif. (Central Union High School);
• Bryan Burke, 6-4, 270, defensive tackle, Payson, Ariz. (transfer from Scottsdale Community College);
• Je Ryan Butler, 5-11, 180, defensive back, Tempe, Ariz. (Marcos De Niza High School);
• Tory Dibb, 6-3, 235, defensive lineman, Brown Deer, Wis. (Brown Deer High School);
• Jimmie Forsythe, 5-11, 190, defensive back, Omaha, Neb. (Burke High School);
• Reginald Gandy, 5-10, 185, running back, Minneapolis, Minn. (DeLaSalle High School);
• Jake Gentile (pronounced jen-TILL-ee), 6-1, 195, defensive back, Council Bluffs, Iowa (St. Albert Catholic High School);
• David Godley, 6-0, 185, defensive back, Glendale, Ariz. (transfer from Glendale College);
• Cam Jones, 6-6, 230, tight end, Eagan, Minn. (Burnsville High School);
• Eric Kline, 6-4, 200, quarterback, Coon Rapids, Minn. (Blaine High School);
• T.J. Lally, 6-0, 215, linebacker, Aurora, Ill. (Marmion Academy);
• Luke Marks, 6-5, 260, offensive lineman, Mendota Heights, Minn. (St. Thomas Academy);
• Trent Mason, 6-3, 200, linebacker, Laguna Niguel, Calif. (Dana Hills High School);
• Brandon Mohr, 6-0, 225, linebacker, Sioux Falls, S.D. (Washington High School);
• Ben Muff, 6-1, 200, linebacker, Martell, Neb. (Crete High School);
• Mark Pickerel, 6-0, 195, defensive back, Columbia, Mo. (Rock Bridge High School);
• J.R. Plote (pronounced PLOE-tee), 6-3, 235, linebacker, Phoenix, Ariz. (Mountain Pointe High School);
• Dylan Seiter (pronounced SITE-er), 6-3, 265, offensive lineman, Sun Prairie, Wis. (Sun Prairie High School);
• Chad Strehlow (pronounced STREE-low), 6-4, 215, tight end, Suring, Wis. (Suring High School);
• Trevor Wesley, 5-11, 165, wide receiver, Oro Valley, Ariz (Ironwood Ridge High School).
Burke will join the Jackrabbit football program after playing the last two seasons at Scottsdale Community College for head coach Doug Madoski. He led Scottsdale with eight sacks and ranked second with 88 total tackles as a freshman, then added 75 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2010. Burke played on a Class 3A state championship team Payson High School, where he was a two-time first-team all-region selection and second-team all-Arizona honoree as a senior. He also was a standout on the wrestling mat, finishing as runner-up at the state meet two times. Burke plans to further his studies in accounting.
Butler earned all-state recognition at two positions under the direction of coach Ray Lopez, receiving first-team accolades as a return specialist and second-team honors as a defensive back at Marcos De Niza High School. His statistics during his senior season included 10 interceptions and seven touchdowns. Butler also ran on the state championship 4x100-meter relay team in 2009. He plans to major in sociology/criminal justice.
Dibb earned first-team all-conference honors on both sides of the ball during his senior season at Brown Deer High School, seeing action at offensive line, defensive end, defensive tackle and linebacker for coach Rob Green. He also has been a member of the varsity wrestling program for four years, placing at regional and sectional competitions while compiling a 21-1 record at heavyweight so far this season. An honor roll student and active in several community and school organizations, Dibb intends to major in mechanical engineering.
Forsythe was a highly decorated quarterback at Omaha Burke High School, but is expected to move to defensive back at the collegiate level. A two-time first-team all-state selection and the Huskerland Preps Magazine Player of the Year, Forsythe accounted for more than 2,500 yards of total offense. He threw for 1,386 yards and 13 touchdowns for coach Paul Limongi's squad and added 1,171 yards and 24 touchdowns rushing, averaging 8.6 yards per carry, in earning all-Super State honors and being named the honorary capion of the all-state team. In all, Forsythe set eight school records in leading Omaha Burke to the state semifinals while compiling a 23-7 career record as a starter. An honor roll student, he intends to major in broadcast journalism.
Gandy ran his way to the second-highest rushing total in Minnesota high school history under the direction of coach Sean McMenomy, racking up 3,113 yards as a senior at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis en route to first-team all-state recognition. The player of the year as selected by both the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Associated Press, as well as a Mr. Football finalist, Gandy averaged 11.4 yards per carry and scored 42 touchdowns in 2010. A four-time all-conference performer and two-time all-Metro selection, Gandy's career totals including 5,707 yards rushing, 1,332 yards receiving and 89 touchdowns. An academic all-state selection, Gandy has yet to declare a major.
Gentile excelled on both sides of the ball for a Saint Albert Catholic High School team that compiled a 49-3 record and won two state championships under the guidance of coach Kevin Culjat during his four-year career. A two-time first-team all-state selection by the Des Moines Register, Gentile totaled more than 3,900 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving on offense, while scoring 54 touchdowns. Defensively, he recorded 125 total tackles and eight interceptions, returning three interceptions for scores. Gentile also earned first-team all-state recognition from IowaPreps.com, the Iowa Coaches Association and Iowa Radio Networks. An honor roll student, he plans to major in business.
Godley joins the Jackrabbits after playing the past two seasons at Glendale College in Arizona. In 2010, Godley recorded 46 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions — both of which he returned for touchdowns. A 2009 graduate of Paradise Valley High School, Godley earned second-team all-region honors in football under coach Mickey Bell and placed in the top five at the state track and field meet in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. He plans to further his studies in engineering.
Jones was a record-setting quarterback at Burnsville High School in the Twin Cities Metro area, but is expected to move to tight end at the collegiate level. An all-conference performer and honorable mention all-state selection for coach Mark Riggs, Jones set school records with 76 completions for 1,228 yards, along with 11 touchdowns. Jones also ran for another 216 yards with four touchdowns. He has been a three-year starter in both football and basketball. Jones intends to pursue a major in business economics.
Kline was a dual threat at quarterback for Blaine High School and coach Shannon Gerrety, earning Minneapolis Star Tribune and Gatorade Player of the Year honors. Also an all-state selection by the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Kline threw for 2,002 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior, along with 1,086 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. In leading Blaine to a 29-4 record during his prep career, Kline accounted for 30 touchdowns - 16 passing and 14 rushing - and tallied 1,700 yards passing and 850 yards rushing as a junior. He has yet to declare a major.
Lally was one of the top all-around players in the Chicagoland area, earning first-team all-state honors from the Chicago Tribune, as well as player of the year honors from the Aurora Beacon and Kane County Chronicle. Defensively, he recorded 152 tackles in 2010 for Marmion Academy, including 16 tackles for loss and six sacks, along with four forced fumbles and an interception as he was named to the Illinois Coaches Association All-State Team for the second time. Coached by Dan Thorpe, Lally also averaged 9.4 yards per carry en route to 1,389 yards and 17 touchdowns out of the backfield. Lally has added to his all-around athletic prowess by competing in track and field, where he has clocked a time of 11 seconds in the 100-meter dash and thrown the shot put 52 feet. An honor roll student, Lally plans to pursue a major in business.
Marks captained Saint Thomas Academy to a berth in the Minnesota Class AAAA state semifinals for the second year in a row in 2010, earning all-state recognition from the Associated Press and St. Paul Pioneer Press, as well as all-Metro honors from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. A three-year letterman who has been nominated to play in the 2011 Minnesota All-Star Game, Marks helped lead coach Dave Ziebarth's program to a 32-4 record from 2008-10. He also has been selected as a team captain in lacrosse. Marks plans to major in communications.
Mason excelled on both sides of the ball for Dana Hills High School, earning first-team all-league honors as quarterback and second-team recognition as a defensive back. During his senior season, Mason completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,176 yards and 12 touchdowns and added 954 yards rushing with 14 TDs. Defensively, he recorded 31 tackles and broke up two passes. As a junior he tallied 56 tackles, seven pass breakups and seven interceptions, three of which came in one game. He also saw action at wide receiver. Mason plans to major in business.
Mohr started three years at linebacker for a Washington High School squad that went undefeated and won Class AA state titles his junior and senior seasons under the direction of former Jackrabbit Brian Hermanson. A two-time all-state selection by the South Dakota High School Coaches Association and a member of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader's Elite 45, Mohr's career totals included 282 tackles, 39 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and five interceptions. He also ran for 1,382 yards and scored 49 career touchdowns. Selected to play in the South Dakota All-Star Football Game, Mohr racked up 95 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, as well as 820 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns during his senior season.An academic all-state honoree, Mohr intends to major in health promotion.
Muff was a versatile performer for Class B state champion Crete High School, filling the roles of receiver, punt returner and defensive back for coach Chuck McGinnis' team. In earning a spot on the Super-State Second Team, he recorded 23 catches for 666 yards and seven touchdowns, averaged 33 yards on seven punt returns with two touchdowns, and notched 74 tackles with three interceptions. Muff also qualified for the state track and field meet in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.9 seconds as a junior, only months after suffering a broken leg during basketball season. He has yet to declare a major.
Pickerel was a two-time all-district quarterback, who also earned second-team all-state honors after passing for 1,800 yards and 22 touchdowns for Rock Bridge High School and coach A.J. Ofodile. Pickerel, who has been clocked at 10.8 seconds in the 100 meters, also racked up 900 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, but will move to safety at the collegiate level. He plans to pursue majors in history and communications at SDSU.
Plote earned Class 5A all-state recognition from the Arizona Football Coaches Association and the Arizona Republic after tallying 68 total tackles, including 10 sacks. A three-time all-region selection and two-time all-city selection, Plote was credited with 15 career sacks in leading Mountain Point High School to a combined 22 wins his junior and senior seasons and a pair of state semifinal appearances. He intends to major in both engineering and business economics.
Seiter earned first-team all-state honors from both the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association and Associated Press in 2010. A two-time first-team all-conference selection at Sun Prairie High School, Seiter was one of five finalists for the Joe Thomas Award as the most outstanding senior offensive lineman in Wisconsin high school football.
Strehlow has excelled in three sports at Suring High School, earning all-state recognition in football as a senior and all-conference honors three times under coach Mitch Taylor. Selected to play in the North-South Wisconsin All-Star Game, he recorded 52 receptions for 902 yards and 14 touchdowns, while also rushing for 954 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, his career totals included 272 tackles, 32 tackles for loss, six interceptions and eight forced fumbles. Strehlow has eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in basketball, earning all-state recognition as a junior and all-conference honors three times. He also has competed at the state track and field meet, earning third-place medals in the shot put and 200-meter dash, as well as posting a runner-up finish in the 4x400-meter relay. Strehlow plans to major in education.
Wesley was honored as a member of the all-Tucson squad in 2010 and was an honorable mention all-state selection for Ironwood Ridge High School and coach Matt Johnson. His career receiving totals included 96 receptions for 1,593 yards and 22 touchdowns, while adding three rushing TDs. Defensively, Wesley recorded 59 tackles with five interceptions. He plans to pursue a major in criminal justice.
In addition, eight other prep standouts have been accepted for admission at South Dakota State University and plan to join the Jackrabbit football team next fall:
• Taylor Bloom, 6-4, 250, offensive lineman, Madison, S.D. (Madison High School);
• Jay Carlson, 6-1, 195, kicker, Parkville, Mo. (Park Hill South High School);
• Tyler Finnes, 6-4, 185, quarterback, Andover, Minn. (Andover High School);
• Drew Kreutzfeldt, 5-11, 185, defensive back, Wentworth, S.D. (Chester Area High School);
• Alex Schnell, 6-3, 205, linebacker, Rapid City, S.D. (Stevens High School);
• Patrick Schuster, 6-1, 195, linbebacker, Watertown, S.D. (Watertown High School);
• Trevor Sikkink, 6-2, 190, wide receiver, Castlewood, S.D. (Castlewood High School);
• Bryce Siverling, 6-4, 285, offensive lineman, Bloomer, Wis. (Bloomer High School);
A second-generation Jackrabbit football player, Bloom has competed in three sports at Madison High School. He was a two-time team most valuable player and all-conference performer in football under coach Max Hodgen. Bloom also was a member of Madison's state championship basketball team in 2010 and has been a first-team all-conference and all-region player in baseball. His father, Tom, lettered at SDSU from 1987-90, while his mother, Angie, played softball for the Jackrabbits. An honor roll student and a member of the Athletes of Character program, Bloom plans to major in agricultural business.
Carlson was a first-team all-state and all-Kansas City metro area honoree after helping Park Hill South High School to a Class 5A district title and state quarterfinals. A two-time all-conference selection, Carlson made 29-of-31 extra-point attempts and 12-of-19 on field goals for 65 points. Six of his field goals were at least 40 yards, with a long of 52. An honor roll student, Carlson plans to pursue a major in nursing.
Finnes tallied more than 1,000 yards in both rushing (1,050) and passing (1,198) for Andover High School in 2010 to attain second-team all-state honors, adding 20 rushing touchdowns and throwing for eight TDs. A two-time all-conference performer and all-Metro selection in 2009 under the guidance of coach Rich Wilkie, Finnes totaled nearly 3,000 yards of total offense as a junior with a school-record 203 completions for 2,326 yards and 25 touchdowns, along with 622 rushing yards and 10 scores. A member of the National Honor Society, Finnes has chosen mechanical engineering as his intended major.
Kreutzfeldt was a three-time all-state selection as a two-way player for Chester Area High School under the leadership of coach Brad Benson. A two-time member of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader Elite 45, he rolled up 8,284 yards from scrimmage offensively with 110 career touchdowns, adding 250 tackles and nine interceptions on defense. Kreutzfeldt also has been a four-time all-conference performer in basketball, earning Class A all-state recognition in 2010. A member of the National Honor Society, Kreutzfeldt plans to major in accounting.
Schnell was an all-state selection at linebacker for Stevens High School during the 2010 season under the direction of coach Paul Ferdinand. A two-time member of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader Elite 45 and the Rapid City Journal's Best of the West linebacker, Schnell led the Raiders in tackles as a junior and senior. An Eagle Scout and Student Council president, Schnell will pursue a major in history.
Schuster was another dual threat at quarterback at the prep level, but is projected to play linebacker in college. In leading Watertown High School and coach Scott Leitherser's squad to an Eastern South Dakota conference title, Schuster threw for 1,016 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 937 yards and 16 TDs in earning all-conference recognition and Elite 45 recognition from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. He also has been selected to play in the South Dakota All-Star Game. Schuster has been a three-year letterman in basketball and also has excelled on the baseball diamond, earning all-state honors at the American Legion level after setting a program record with a .503 batting average. An academic all-state selection and a member of both the National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society, Schuster has yet to declare a major.
Sikkink caught 23 career touchdown passes during a standout career at Castlewood High School, which is coach by former Jackrabbit player Doug Ruesink. A member of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader Elite 45, Sikkink earned all-state honors as both a tight end and linebacker, as well as being named Dakota Valley Conference MVP. He also saw action at running back his senior year, tallying 827 yards and 10 touchdowns to go along with 11 receptions for 276 yards and five TDs. Sikkink also has excelled on the track, winning state titles in both the 100 and 200 meters. An honor roll student, Sikkink has yet to choose a major.
Siverling anchored a Bloomer High School offensive unit that tallied more than 4,200 yards of total offense in 2010, earning first-team all-county recognition each of his final two years and an honorable mention all-state selection as a senior. He also was an all-conference selection as a defensive lineman for coach John Post, compiling a 27-7 record over three seasons. Active in 4-H, Siverling intends to major in agricultural systems technology at SDSU.
South Dakota State finished the 2010 season with a 5-6 overall record, including a 4-4 mark in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Since joining the Division I Football Championship Subdivision at the start of the 2004 season, the Jackrabbits have posted a 46-33 overall record and qualified for the 2009 FCS playoffs.