Tigers football team lands 33 recruitsThirty-three players were announced as new Dakota Wesleyan University football players Wednesday afternoon.
By: Luke Hagen, The Daily Republic
Ross Cimpl was already coaching his new recruits.
At the Dakota Wesleyan University football team’s signing day party Wednesday afternoon, Cimpl lined up the 17 players who were in attendance at the event for a group photo.
“Let’s go three rows,” Cimpl said to the assembly of players.
Thirty-three players were announced as new DWU football recruits on National Signing Day. Not all of them could make it to the Sherman Center for the revealing of the list.
The class, which has 18 offensive players and 15 defensive players, will look to help Wesleyan improve from its 6-4 record last season, Cimpl’s first year as head coach. The Tigers landed seven players who earned South Dakota first-team all-state honors during their high school career. The university kept most of its recruiting efforts local with the addition of 18 players from inside the state.
“We targeted some pretty high-profile guys and we feel good about the guys we were able to sign and get here,” Cimpl said. “I think this is a great group.”
In its most added position, DWU signed seven linebackers. Corsica/Stickney’s Adam Bormann and Garretson’s Brady Mudder were both all-state selections this past fall. They will help boost a defense that runs a 3-4 scheme in which four linebackers are in the base package. The Tigers graduated three key contributors in the linebacker corps from last year’s team.
Five of the seven all-state players who signed with DWU will help the defense. Tyson Kayser and Jared Van Winkle have already transferred to Wesleyan and both have the potential to make an immediate impact.
Kayser, a defensive end, was an all-state player for Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan. Last season he played for Iowa Central Community College and now has sophomore eligibility. Van Winkle is a defensive back who originally chose DWU after graduating from Bon Homme High School, where he was an all-state selection. He transferred to the University of South Dakota last year but chose to come and play with the Tigers again.
Colome’s Cohl Rattermann is a defensive lineman who helped his high school team to the 9B state title in November. He signed with DWU after being named all-state and starting three years for Colome.
The Tigers signed five defensive linemen and three defensive backs in addition to seven linebackers.
“Our front seven has to take care of a lot of things for us,” said Cimpl, also the team’s defensive coordinator. “We’re still looking at adding some (defensive backs) because we were pretty young back there. … Defensively, we signed so many guys because they can play special teams and make tackles for us and do other things. It’s always a focus for us.”
On offense, the Tigers signed five wide receivers, five linemen, three running backs, three quarterbacks, a tight end and a fullback.
Canistota running back Alex Robertson is one of the players who will compete to replace Josh Endres, who holds several of the school’s rushing records. Robertson is an all-state player who helped the Hawks to three straight nine-man football titles.
Todd County’s Ryan Kornely could be paving paths in the future for Robertson as an offensive lineman. He started four years in high school and was an all-state center last fall.
The Tigers landed three quarterbacks to prepare for the loss of Jon Bane, a senior this fall who has started nearly all of DWU’s games the past three years. Senior Steven Batista and junior Joey Olson are also back next season as backups.
The quarterbacks DWU signed are Garrett Bartel, of Yoder, Wyo., Nicholas Kinder, of Fresno, Calif., and Keenan White, of Mohave High School in Arizona.
“Nic Kinder could be a guy who pushes Jon and Joey and Steven,” Cimpl said. “He’s that good and we feel he’s someone for our future that we feel real good about.”
Cimpl said he’s still looking at adding more players to the team’s roster before the start of the season. As of Wednesday afternoon, he was still waiting to hear back from players the team had made offers to who hadn’t committed anywhere.
“There’s been a lot of effort that’s gone into this process,” Cimpl said. “Our goal going into this recruiting season for the coaching staff was we wanted to upgrade some positions, we wanted to increase our abilities athletically and with speed, and we wanted to get the right character of guys here.”
Dakota Wesleyan University football team recruiting class:
Here’s a look at the recruits announced:
Xavier Armijo, RB, Belen, N.M.
Garrett Bartel, QB, Yoder, Wyo.
Joshua Black, FB, Inglewood, Calif.
Adam Bormann, LB, Stickney, S.D.
Andrew Driscoll, WR, Omaha, Neb.
John Fabrizius, Casper, Wyo.
Jade Farlee, LB, Eagle Butte, S.D.
Sawyer Fridrich, DB, Tyndall, S.D.
Seth Fryer, LB, Hamlin, S.D.
Keagen Hadley, TE, Kellogg, Idaho.
Cory Jans, OL, Mankato, Minn.
Tyson Kayser, DE, Emery, S.D.
Nicholas Kinder, QB, Fresno, Calif.
Ryan Kornely, OL, Mission, S.D.
Kyler Krogman, WR, Des Moines, Iowa.
Trevor Krugman, OL, Spen-cer, Neb.
Charles LaRoche, LB, Presho, S.D.
Kodi Larson, WR, Tyndall, S.D.
Dustin Livingston, WR, Irene, S.D.
Sidney McClure, OL, Estelline, S.D.
Brady Mudder, DL, Garretson, S.D.
Cy Norton, LB, Rapid City, S.D.
Nicolas Rascon, DB, Chula Vista, Calif.
Cohl Rattermann, DL, Colome, S.D.
Alex Robertson, RB, Canistota, S.D.
Cassidy Schnabel, LB, Philip, S.D.
Jeremy Schuelke, LB, Milbank, S.D.
Andrew Schwader, DL, Howard, S.D.
Chad Simonek, DL, Redondo Beach, Calif.
Christopher Stockman, WR, Houston, Texas.
Blake Steelman, OL, Bell High School, Texas.
Jared Van Winkle, DB, Tyndall, S.D.
Keenan White, QB, Mohave High School, Arizona.