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DWU football looking to reload, brings in new QB

It is the most frantic time of the year for college football coaches as teams attempt to restock with by recruiting strong classes.

Dakota Wesleyan University football coach Ross Cimpl is working to fill out the next class of Tigers who will help build on the team’s recent run of success.

“This is a stressful time of the year, but also one of the most fun,” Cimpl said. “We get to have a bunch of kids on campus and offer scholarships and get their decisions.”

The Tigers finished with an 8-3 record and were ranked 20th in the final NAIA poll for the team’s best result in 21 years.

The biggest hole left from last year’s squad came with the departure of the DWU’s all-time leading passer Jon Bane to graduation. The Tigers were left without a quarterback on the roster when freshman Nick Kinder left DWU to pursue other opportunities.

Cimpl has found a potential replacement in junior college transfer Logan Massop, of Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Pipestone, Minn.

“The scheme Logan was in was similar to what we run,” Cimpl said, adding Massop is already on campus preparing for DWU spring practice. “He is little more of a mobile quarterback and that could add a different dimension potentially with the threat of him being able to run the football.”

Massop said his new team has already started with spring workouts, adding that the sessions were tougher than those he experienced at Minnesota West.

In nine games last year with Minnesota West, the 6-foot-1 200-pounder threw for seven touchdowns and 830 yards on 78-of-187 passing. The St. Paul, Minn., native also tossed 16 interceptions and added four rushing touchdowns.

“When I got down here on the visit, everything lined up for me and everyone has welcomed me right away,” said Massop, who has set his sights on being the next starting quarterback for the Tigers.

Massop said Cimpl’s ambition for the DWU program is something that attracted him to Mitchell.

Cimpl said he is still looking to add additional recruits at the quarterback position. The reigning Great Plains Athletic Conference coach of the year has received verbal commitments from “about 12 or 13” players so far.

“These next few weeks we are obviously hoping that the number increases, but they have to be the right kind of guys who fit our program,” Cimpl said. “We are going after some pretty high-profile guys and we may not sign all of them, but if we can get a few, that is going to make a big difference for us.”

Cimpl was at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner in Indianapolis Tuesday. He was honored as one of five regional coaches of the year.

“It was a pretty incredible experience being in a room with (former Texas coach) Mack Brown and Art Briles of Baylor and David Shaw from Stanford,” Cimpl said. “It is overwhelming and a huge honor. It was great to have recognition from outside of the DWU community for what we are doing here.”