The Early Signing Period in college football was reinstated last year, so this will be the second year that high school players can make their college commitment in a three-day period from December 19-21.
There is still the “regular” National Signing Day in February, but…most of the guys you’re going to get are signing right now.
Most recruiting classes at the FCS level generally include 20-25 players and 12-15 of those will end up sticking around and cracking the lineup.
Four or five will become the stars of tomorrow.
Jordan Brown, Isaac Wallace and Tyler Weir were part of the 2014 class at South Dakota State.
Taryn Christion, Ryan Earith, Christian Rozeboom, Chase Vinatieri and Brady Hale committed in 2015.
Logan Backhaus, Wes Genant and Cade Johnson signed on in 2016.
So, there are a handful of young men in the class of 2018 that could lead the Jacks to a national championship in 2022.
You never know for sure who those guys will be – and that’s the intrigue that surrounds Signing Day.
South Dakota State has played in the FCS national semi-finals the past two years.
The Jacks are knocking on the door.
They’ve become a contender by stacking great recruiting classes on top of each other.
Here are the latest Jackrabbit additions, along with who is GONE after this year and who is BACK for 2019 (with some wisdom and personal thoughts).
2018 Starters are indicated by *
Newest commits are indicated as either National Letter of Intent (NLI) signee or Walk-On.
Jordan Brown* (NFL next? There were 30 corners drafted last year. By most accounts, JB will be in top 30 this year.)
Seniors - Marshon Harris*, Zy Mosley (Led team with four INT in 2018.) Lance Eide
Junior - Don Gardner (Great in kick coverage on Special Teams.)
Sophomores - Bryce Banks (Transfer from NC State, played one game in 2018.) Malik Lofton
RFR - Ti'Jaih Davis and DyShawn Gales (Both played three games in 2018, which allows them to count it as redshirt season under new rule.)
Diamond Evans 5-9, 175 from LaGrange, IL
Jordan Gandy 5-10, 175 from DeKalb, IL and Torren Union 6-1, 175 from Tempe, AZ
Seniors - Ryan Earith* (Led team with 5.5 sacks.) Austin Smenda* (Was good in 2018, but needs to be great in 2019.)
Juniors - Elijah Wilson (Showed some promise, but he – or somebody – needs to turn into the nasty, speedy rush end the Jacks are still searching for.) Tolu Ogunrinde (Same as Wilson – three sacks in limited snaps this year.)
Sophomore - Malachi Johnson and Reece Winkelman
RFR - Cade Terveer
Quinton Hicks 6-2, 230 from Haysville, KS and Caden Johnson 6-3, 240 from Wahoo, NE
Seniors - Spencer Hildahl (Starter in last two games with Krolikowski out.) and Zach Dorgan
Juniors - Andrew Mueller, Thomas Stacker and Xavier Ward* (Forced fumbles, ate space and made tackles in the middle – great combo with Krolikowski.)
Sophomores - Krockett Krolikowski* (Four sacks in first season, hopefully healthy for 2019 to keep rolling with Ward in the middle.) and Caleb Sanders (Former Iowa high school wrestling champ was truly impressive as true freshman.)
RFR - Matthew Borowicz, Trajan Walhof and Ryan Van Marel
Jared DePriest 6-5, 290 from Farmington, IL (The “get” of the class – big behemoth with “Blind Side” highlight reel.)
Eric Kleinschmit (Great player, great guy – really gonna miss him.) and Dalton Cox* (Great player, great guy – really gonna miss him, too.)
Senior - Christian Rozeboom* (Three straight years as Jacks’ top tackler – set to break Greg Osmundson’s school record in 2019.)
Juniors - Seven Wilson (Playmaker – should step in as starter in 2019?), Logan Backhaus* (Fast and rangy – set to be a star in 2019.) and Preston Tetzlaff (Special Teams madman…made every tackle on punt coverage.)
Sophomore - Levi Brown
RFR - Saiveon Williamson, Josh Fenske and Kinser Madison
Matt Barnett 6-3, 205 from Cedar Rapids, IA, Adam Bock 6-1, 215 from Solon, IA, Thomas Motzko 6-2, 225 from Highland Park, IL and Payton Shafer 6-0, 195 from Cottage Grove, MN
Makiah Slade* (Made a lot of “wow” plays with incredible closing speed.) and Brandon Snyder* (Fit right in after late transfer from Iowa – fourth on team in tackles + two INT)
Senior - Larenzo Williams (I thought he earned more time after great sophomore season, but could/should/might be starter in 2019 along with Manchigiah.)
Juniors - Joshua Manchigiah (Seemed to be zero drop-off when he rotated in as third guy.), Jarek Berg and Michael Griffin
Sophomores -Tylen Small and Tyler DeMartra (Played in 12 games.)
RFR - Jaden Snyder (Brandon’s brother – transfer from Iowa – listed as LB, but looks to be more suited for Safety.)
Baily Darnell 6-1, 180 from Auburn, NE
Chase Norblade 6-2, 180 from Papillion, NE
Seniors - Luke Sellers* (Rock solid blocker – deserves first career rushing attempt in 2019!) and Turner Blasius
RFR - Michael Morgan
Payton Madison 6-3, 235 from Spicer, MN
O - LINE
Tiano Pupungatoa* (Brought some good “badassness” to the Fat Guys as a three-year starter.) and Tyler Weir* (Fought through injuries to excel at Right Tackle spot for two seasons.)
Seniors - Wes Genant* (Wicked smart and really good – should be a Rimington Award candidate for best FCS center in 2019.), Evan Greeneway* (Big man from Yankton has turned into a very reliable LT.) and Grant Schmidt
Juniors - Eddie Miller, Jack Domandle, Eagan Lickiss* (Solid starter as a sophomore at RG.) and Logan Busch (6’4” and 320 pounds – Mike’s kid could enter rotation in 2019.)
Sophomores - Austin Boen, Aron Johnson, Jason Titus and Jon Gruetzmacher
RFR - Mason McCormick and Garret Greenfield
Bo Donald 6-7, 280 from Kimball, SD
Ethan Vibert 6-4, 280 from Regina, Saskatchewan
Alex Westendorft 6-5, 285 from St. Charles, IL (Another big behemoth with “Blind Side” highlight reel – also a Long Snapper.)
Brady Beck 6-8, 255 from Sioux Falls, SD (O’Gorman)
Taryn Christion* (SDSU GOAT at QB – mature, tough, smart, and always took the blame and the praise in stride – incredible leader, and it is going to be strange for a while without him.)
Senior - Justin Roberts (One game/four plays in 2018)
Junior - Kanin Nelson (Eight games/Eight pass attempts in 2018)
RFR - J'Bore Gibbs (Zero game snaps in 2018, but the guy who came in last year pegged as the next TC.) and Matt Connors
Keaton Heide 6-3, 195 from Plymouth, MN
Karst Hunter 6-4, 200 from Miller, SD
Isaac Wallace (Was averaging 100 yards and a TD per game before senior season cut short by injury in game 5.)
Senior - Mikey Daniel* (10 rush TD in 2018 and 22 in career – not just a “short yardage.” guy!)
Junior - Blair Mulholland
Sophomores - Pierre Strong, Jr.* (27 carries/200 yds/0 TD in first seven games… 90/916/11 in last six.) and C.J. Wilson (Missed six games because deep thigh bruise took forever to heal – should be part of potent 1-2-3 punch with Daniel and Strong in 2019.)
RFR - Jefferson Lee
Senior - Kal Hart* (11 catches in 2018.)
Junior - Skyler Cavanaugh (Zero catches in 2018.)
Sophomore - Caleb Schauf, Arthur Egan, Blake Kunz* (20 catches/three TD – has some WR skills.)
RFR - Zach Heins (At 6’7”, looks like a monster in pads – great hands in his high school days.)
Tucker Kraft 6-5, 220 from Timber Lake, SD
Jharett Bloomenrader 6-6, 230 from Miller, SD
Seniors - Jacob Brown* (11 catches, three TD in 2018.), Marquise Lewis (Injury kept him out almost all of 2018 – unsure of status for 2019.) and Adam Anderson* (Trailed off a bit late in the year, but still 47 grabs and seven TD.)
Junior - Cade Johnson* (Little dude was amazing – 17 TD catches breaks Jake Wieneke’s school record, just one year after Jake left!)
Sophomores - Deyon Campbell, Jake Aanderud, Isaiah Hill and Michael Wandmaker
RFR - Jadon Janke (One game), Jaxon Janke (Four games) and Jayd Vanderwerff (Zero games). Three South Dakota kids who will have impact in next 2-3 years.
Canyon Bauer 6-1, 200 from Sioux Falls, SD (O’Gorman)
Senior - Chase Vinatieri* (Great weapon when the Jacks wanna fake a FG – nailed career-long 57 yarder at Northern Iowa, caught a couple of cases of the yips on PATs, but still best K in the Valley.)
Sophomore - Jake Wolfe
Junior - Bradey Sorenson
Brady Hale (Rain, sleet, snow, cold, wind – didn’t matter. He always delivered. Four years went fast. Can’t believe he is done, and I also have no idea who takes over now.)