Wayne State College head football coach Dan McLaughlin and his staff announced today that 24 high school student-athletes and 12 transfers have made commitments to the Wildcat football program on the first day of the 2019 signing period. The incoming class of high school signings includes six athletes from Nebraska, seven in Iowa, nine from Florida and one each from Kansas and Missouri. Nine of the 12 transfers joined the Wildcat program at semester.
Position breakdown of the class includes 10 offensive linemen, five defensive backs, four defensive linemen, four linebackers, four athletes and two each at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end.
“Due to the support of President Marysz Rames, Director of Athletics Mike Powicki and our Foundation, our scholarship increase allowed us to compete on a level playing field for the first time throughout the recruiting process,” remarked Coach McLaughlin. “That support enabled us to sign some very highly recruited student-athletes who we think are going to fortify the foundation of a very successful future for Wayne State football.”
McLaughlin added, “Our primary emphasis this year was the offensive line and with 10 commitments we feel that we have addressed that need with some outstanding young prospects. We also strengthened our defense with a strong group of defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs. We are very comfortable with the depth and breadth of the class and are excited to work with these young men over the next four or five years of their lives as they grow and learn.”
Wayne State College is an NCAA Division II school located in Wayne, Nebraska and competes in the 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Wildcats finished the 2018 season at 3-8 overall and sixth in the NSIC South with a 2-5 divisional mark.
Nebraska signees (6)
Grayson Garey Quarterback 6-3, 180 Broken Bow, Nebraska (Broken Bow HS)
Multi-sport standout in football, basketball and track and field for the Indians…three year starter in football, throwing for 3,015 career yards and 29 TD’s to go with 10 rushing scores…also had 10 career interceptions and two kick returns for touchdowns…All-District and All-State honorable mention selection as a junior and senior…state track qualifier as a sophomore and junior (1600 relay and 400-meter dash) and Academic All-State selection in football.
Brad Hartnett Tight End 6-5, 225 South Sioux City, Nebraska (South Sioux City HS)
Four year letterwinner in football, basketball and track and field for the Cardinals…had 37 catches for 481 yards and two TD’s during senior season…won River Cities Conference shot put title as a junior last spring…earned Academic All-Conference honors in all three sports…coached by former Wildcat standout quarterback and Hall of Famer Silas Fluellen.
Chris (CJ) Jones Wide Receiver 5-8, 180 Lincoln, Nebraska (Lincoln HS)
Three-year starter in football for the Links…earned Lincoln Journal Star Second Team Super State honors as a senior, recording 40 catches for 535 yards and five TD’s and on defense recovered one fumble and had two interceptions with one returned for a touchdown…in his high school career, was a two-time All-City selection and had 123 catches for 1,814 yards and 15 TD’s…also had two punt returns and two kickoff returns for touchdowns.
David Kunes Offensive Line 6-3, 260 Genoa, Nebraska (Twin River HS)
Four year letterwinner in football and track and field at Twin River HS…credited with 33 tackles and six sacks (13 yds) this season…tied school record for career sacks and ranked second this season in sacks in Class C-2 District 4.
Jalen Robinson Offensive Line 6-3, 335 Norfolk, Nebraska (Norfolk Catholic HS)
Two year starter for the Knights on the offensive line that was Class C-2 runner up this year and Class C-1 state champions in 2017…earned Class C-2 All-State honorable mention honors as a senior…also competed four years in track and field and one year in wrestling at Norfolk Catholic.
Noah Scott Running Back 5-9, 180 Randolph, Nebraska (Randolph HS)
Multi-sport standout in football, wrestling and track and field for the Cardinals…helped Randolph reach the state playoffs all four years in high school…gained 527 yards in five games during senior season, earning All-District honors…All-Conference in wrestling four years with two state tournament appearances…in track and field, was a state qualifier in the 300 hurdles and 400 meter relay…earned Academic All-State honors in all three sports.
Iowa signees (7)
Trey Albert Athlete 5-11, 175 Eldon, Iowa (Cardinal Community School District)
Started four years in football and track and field, three years in wrestling and five years in baseball for Cardinal Community Schools…as a quarterback, had 1,015 yards passing with 435 yards rushing and a combined 16 TD’s while making 55 solo tackles with four interceptions as linebacker on defense…earned First Team All-District linebacker honors as a senior and Second Team honors during junior season…was a state track qualifier in the long jump and Second Team All-Conference catcher in baseball…All-State Academic selection in football.
Isaac Bebout Offensive Line 6-3, 275 Kellogg, Iowa (Newton Community HS)
Three year starter in football and two year starter in wrestling and baseball at Newton HS…anchored offensive line that gained the most rushing yards in Iowa Class 3A this season…earned Iowa Print Sports Writers Association First Team All-State honors at offensive lineman…also named First Team All-District and was honorable mention All-District during junior season.
Carter Church Offensive Line 6-6, 315 Ogden, Iowa (Ogden HS)
Three year starter in football and four year starter in baseball for Ogden HS…earned First Team All-District honors in football and baseball…named Lineman of the Year and selected for the Iowa Shrine Bowl and Iowa vs. Nebraska River Battle Bowl…in baseball last summer, named Most Valuable Player after hitting .386 with 34 hits and 24 RBI while going 4-2 on the mound with three saves and a 1.46 ERA, striking out 58 batters in just 38 1/3 innings pitched for team that was 23-6.
Casey Hutchings Offensive Line 6-3, 265 Boone, Iowa (Boone HS)
Two year letter winner and starter in football and two year letter winner in basketball…First Team All-District and All-County selection at offensive line…selected to play in Iowa vs. Nebraska River Battle Bowl and voted team captain…member of National Honor Society and two-time Academic All-District selection.
Jake Landphair Linebacker 6-2, 205 Reinbeck, Iowa (Dike-New Hartford HS)
Three year starter in football and two year starter in track and field…made 35 consecutive starts at linebacker and was a three-time All-District selection at linebacker…during senior season, had 73 tackles with two recoveries, 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks helping team to 12-1 record and Class 1A state runner up finish…earned Class 2A All-State Third Team honors during junior season…finished career with 235 tackles, fourth all-time at Dike-New Hartford HS.
Jonathan Owens Linebacker/Long Snapper 6-1, 185 Harlan, Iowa (Harlan Community HS)
Multi sport standout at Harlan High School, starting three years in football and baseball, two in wrestling and four in track and field…during senior season, named IPSWA Class 3A Second Team All-State and First Team All-District linebacker after recording 44.5 tackles with 8.5 tackles for loss and four interceptions for 60 yards and one TD for 8-3 Cyclones…was a Third Team All-State selection as a junior with 56.5 tackles and two interception returns for a touchdown…hit .263 with 15 hits, 10 RBI and six stolen bases for 33-4 baseball team that was state runner-up the last two seasons and state champion in 2016…Academic All-State selection in football.
Will Pattison Wide Receiver 6-2, 210 Urbandale, Iowa (Urbandale HS)
Two year starter in football and basketball at Urbandale High School…named Iowa Print Sports Writers Association Class 4A Third Team All-State after hauling in 22 catches for 632 yards and six TD’s this season…28.7 yards per catch, highest average in Iowa Class 4A…was a two-time All-District selection in football…averaged 19.2 yards per catch during junior season with 14 catches for 269 yards and three TD’s.
Florida signings (9)
Carter Berkoben Offensive Line 6-4, 285 Geneva, Fla. (Oviedo HS)
Three year starter and letter winner at Oviedo High School…named All-District and All-Seminole Athletic Conference First Team during senior season and named Offensive Lineman of the Year helping team win district and conference titles…played in the Central Florida All-Star Game…during junior season, voted First Team All-Seminole Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman.
Saquahan Cobbs Offensive Line 6-3, 300 Minneola, Fla. (Minneola HS)
Played three sports in high school – football, weight lifting and lacrosse…named Most Valuable Defensive Lineman during senior season and averaged seven pancakes per game.
Caleb Danner Defensive Back 6-2, 185 Winter Garden, Fla. (West Orange HS)
Three year starter in football at West Orange High School in Florida…was an All-Conference selection during senior season…played on three playoff teams during high school career.
Oscar Figueroa Offensive Line 6-5, 325 Orlando, Fla. (Cypress Creek HS)
Competed in four sports in high school and lettered twice in wrestling in weight lifting and three times in football and track and field…selected All-Area honorable mention during senior season.
Josiah Gonzalez Defensive Line 6-3, 205 Oviedo, Fla. (Oviedo HS)
Played football and basketball at Oviedo High School in Florida…named Most Valuable Defensive Lineman and led team in sacks and tackles for loss while finishing second in total tackles during senior season…voted First Team All-Conference and All-District and helped team win conference and district titles.
Dorien Green Defensive Back 5-11, 200 Wesley Chapel, Fla. (Wiregrass Ranch HS)
Three year starter in football and also competed in basketball and track and field…was a First Team All-Seminole Athletic Conference selection and FACA District 10 First Team honoree…named FACA State All-Star and Tampa Bay Times Top 100 List…finished career with over 100 tackles, three interceptions, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one touchdown as a defensive back.
RJ Jones Linebacker 6-2, 225 Casselberry, Fla. (Winter Springs HS)
Two year starter in football and three years in track and field at Winter Springs High School in Florida…earned First Team All-Seminole Athletic Conference and All-District honors during senior season after recording 68 tackles and 4.5 sacks with one interception return for a touchdown…named Most Valuable Player and Central Florida All-Star.
Japerri Powell Defensive Back 5-10, 185 Orlando, Fla. (Dr. Phillips HS)
Multi sport standout competing in football, basketball and track and field…earned Class 8A All-State and All-Conference honors as a junior and senior…helped Dr. Phillips HS win state championship during junior season…had seven forced fumbles during senior season and set school record with 12 career forced fumbles…career totals include 296 tackles, 55 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, one defensive TD and averaged 11.5 tackles per game…had 1,178 all-purpose yards and 14 TD’s.
Jaquarri Powell Defensive Back 5-10, 195 Orlando, Fla. (Dr. Phillips HS)
Four year letter winner in football and basketball…was an All-State Class 8A and All-Conference selection as a junior and senior…averaged 12 tackles per game and finished high school career with 311 tackles, 19 sacks, 56 tackles for loss, five recoveries, two blocked kicks and two defensive touchdowns…helped Dr. Phillips HS win state title as a junior…during junior season, had 96 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and seven sacks during state title season.
Other signings (5)
Nathan Midkiff Tight End 6-3, 220 Catawissa, Missouri (Pacific HS)
Three year starter in football and two years in track and field…selected team captain as a senior and was named Most Valuable Player…two-time Academic All-Conference selection.
Tre’Von Kearney Running Back 5-10, 190 Olathe, Kan. (Olathe East HS)
Three year starter in football and track and field…rushed for 887 yards on 164 carries (5.4 avg) with nine touchdowns during junior season…added 185 yards receiving on 12 catches and one score…earned Second Team All-Sunflower Conference honors and was Class 6A All-State Honorable Mention.
Mike Monette Defensive Line 6-3, 270 Lake Balboa, Calif. (Moorpark College)
Played the last two seasons at Moorpark College in California…had 26 tackles in nine games this season with three tackles for loss for eight yards…credited with 16 tackles during 2017 season…graduate of Birmingham High School in California where he started two seasons.
Johnny Morrison Defensive Line 6-2, 290 Waihee, Hawaii (College of the Canyons)
Played the last two seasons at College of the Canyons in California…recorded 27 tackles with 8.5 tackles for loss (35 yds.) and two sacks for 15 yards with one fumble recovery in 2018, helping team to 10-0 regular season record and 10-1 overall mark…named SFCA National Division Northern League Second Team on defense…played high school football at Kapolei High School in Hawaii where he had seven tackles for loss in one game…two year starter in football, wrestling and judo in high school.
Immanuel Woodberry Linebacker 6-1, 220 Skokie, Ill. (Butte College/Calif.)
Transfers to Wayne State after playing last two seasons at Butte College in California…credited with 33 tackles, four sacks, four tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 2018, helping team to 9-2 record and CCCAA playoff berth.
Semester Transfers (9)
Jalen Burgess Linebacker 5-11, 200 Sanford, Fla. (Monmouth Univ.)
Played eight games and recorded 17 tackles with one interception as a true freshman at Monmouth in 2015 season…credited with 2.5 tackles for loss and one pass defended…in high school, led Lake Mary High School in Florida to 11-1 record and Seminole Athletic Conference Championship, recording 90 tackles with four fumbles as senior…First Team All-Conference selection.
Darius Flowers Athlete 5-10, 160 Homestead, Fla. (San Bernardino Valley CC)
Transfers to WSC from ASA College in Miami, Florida…played high school football at South Dade High School in Florida where he played on Class 8A State Championship team.
Randy Gehl Offensive Line 6-2, 285 Stillwater, Minn. (Ellsworth CC)
Played two seasons at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa…played on 2017 team that won the Graphic Edge Bowl…high school graduate of St. Croix Lutheran in West St. Paul, Minnesota where he was All-State and two-time All-Conference in football, state wrestling qualifier and two-time All-Conference and All-Conference in track and field and state qualifier in shot put.
Johnnie Hankins Athlete 5-10, 185 Miami, Fla. (Tarleton State)
Spent the 2017 season at Tarleton State in Texas after playing two seasons at Fort Scott Community College…credited with 20 tackles as a defensive back and accounted for 777 all-purpose yards as a returner in two seasons at Fort Scott…high school graduate of South Dade High School in Florida where he rushed for 1,155 yards as a junior and seven TD’s helping South Dade to its first state title.
Zaiden Hernandez Defensive Back 5-11, 190 Olympia, Wash. (College of the Siskiyous, Calif.)
Transfers to Wayne State from College of the Siskiyous in California…led team in tackles in 2018 with 68 and was named First Team All-Conference…also had five tackles for loss (13 yds), one interception for 37 yards and three breakups…played high school football at Olympia High School in Washington where he was First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-Area.
Deing Kug Offensive Line 6-6, 330 Lexington, Neb. (North Carolina Central Univ.)
Played two seasons at Dakota College at Bottineau and spent one season at North Carolina Central…was All-Region and First Team All-Minnesota College Athletic Conference selection at offensive line while at Dakota College at Bottineau…played high school football at Lexington High School.
Andy McCance Quarterback 5-10, 190 Dallas, S.D. (Univ. of South Dakota)
Transfers to Wayne State from Division I South Dakota and will have four years of eligibility after redshirting in 2018 season…standout quarterback at Gregory HS in South Dakota where he was two-time All-State selection, leading Gorillas to 41-4 record and three 9AA state championships…accounted for 131 total touchdowns and 8,721 all-purpose yards and was a two-time Joe Robbie Award winner…passed for 6,228 yards and 89 TD’s while rushing for another 2,407 yards and 42 TD’s.
Travis Schuhe Linebacker 6-2, 235 Santa Cruz, Calif. (Cabrillo College)
Named Defensive Most Valuable Player both seasons at Cabrillo College in California…had 133 tackles, averaging 13.3 tackles per game in 2017 season with 17 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks…recorded 108 tackles (10.8 per game) in 2016 season with three sacks and one interception…earned First Team All-California and All-League honors.
Ryyan Wilkins Athlete 5-9, 185 St. Louis, Mo. (Southwestern CC/Calif.)
Transfers to Wayne State from Southwestern Community College in California…also spent two seasons at Southeast Missouri State…rushed for 216 yards in five games at Southwestern CC in 2017 season…played high school football at McCluer North HS in St. Louis, Missouri where he was First Team All-Conference.