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Northern State adds 47 student athletes to football team on national signing day

Northern State University head football coach Mike Schmidt announced the signing of 47 student-athletes to the Wolves 2024 roster today. This National Signing Class hails from 12 states and two countries, with 11 positions represented.
 
“I am thrilled to announce the arrival of our highly anticipated football recruiting class for 2024 on this year’s National Signing Day,” explained Schmidt. “With an emphasis on long-term success and building for the future of NSU football, this group of exceptional young athletes will represent Northern and the city of Aberdeen with pride.”
 
The 2024 class contains several decorated student-athletes with ten state champions, including three players with two or more in their high school career. In addition, 25 signees landed on their respective all-conference teams, nine were all-region or all-district selections, and 22 earned all-state accolades.
 
“Recognizing the importance of building a well-rounded team, we dedicated extensive efforts to select individuals who embody the qualities of great teammates, strong leaders, winners, and high-achieving students,” added Schmidt. “We are proud to note that nearly 90% of the class boasts a 3.0 high school GPA, reflecting our commitment to academic excellence and personal growth.”
 
2024 class members include Jamari Allen (Omaha, Neb.), Emmit Andersen (Pierre, S.D.), Azariah Atonio (Anchorage, Alaska), Jett Carlson (Aberdeen, S.D.), Tate Crosswait (Rapid City, S.D.), Noah Draeger (Hortonville, Wis.), Cooper Eisenbeisz (Aberdeen, S.D.), Brock Ellingson (Tea, S.D.), Carter Fedde (Columbus, Neb.), Cooper Fosher (Aberdeen, S.D.), CJ Gainey (Huron, S.D.), Jaxsen Grevengoed (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Hudson Hodous (Devils Lake, N.D.), James Hushbeck (Cheyenne, Wyo.), Kiyon Johnston (Denver, Colo.), Cade Kaiser (Pierre, S.D.), Jeffrey Kunzman (Bellevue, Neb.), Carson LaPlante (Hutto, Texas), Rayvelle Leak (Kansas City, Kan.), Domingo Lemley (Bothell, Wash.), Carter Luikens (Gettysburg, S.D.), Jackson Maynard (Tulare, S.D.), Carlos McArthur (Regina, Saskatchewan), Parker Messmer (Rapid City, S.D.), Noah Moringlane (Rockwall, Texas), Tayden Nave (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Brock Pedersen (Cheyenne, Wyo.), Dan Peterson (Timber Lake, S.D.), Carl Pevey Jr. (Milwaukee, Wis.), Payton Prestito (La Vista, Neb.), Kai Rigdon (Ferris, Texas), Thomas Risty (Brandon, S.D.), Aidan Roh (Hortonville, Wis.), Brodey Sauerwein (Warner, S.D.), Dawson Siem (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Miles Sillas (Hortonville, Wis.), DJ Smith (Moorhead, Minn.), Cruz Soulek (Chamberlain, S.D.), Mason Stubbe (Dell Rapids, S.D.), Chase Sturm (Stanley, Wis.), Jack Tews (Brandon, S.D.), Joel Thomas (Columbus, Neb.), Ethan Vis (Tea, S.D.), Conner Wallman (Janesville, Wis.), Kadyn Weber (Alexandria, Minn.), Brady Wilker (Green Bay, Wis.), and Owen Zahm (Austin, Texas).
 
“Understanding the need to enhance our program’s competitiveness on a national scale, we diligently sought out elite athletes from various regions across the country,” said Schmidt. Consequently, this remarkable recruiting class showcases the talents of 12 different home states, ensuring a diverse and multi-faceted team that will continue to raise the bar of excellence.”
 
Northern’s largest number of signees hails from the state of South Dakota with 21 student-athletes, followed by Wisconsin and Nebraska with seven and five respectively. Four future Wolves will travel to Aberdeen from the Lone Star State, while two will head east from Wyoming and two will head west from Minnesota. Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, North Dakota, Saskatchewan, and Washington each have one.
 
“A particular focus for our recruiting strategy was dominating our home state of South Dakota,” noted Schmidt. “We did that. Our presence in South Dakota’s football landscape is set to be reinforced by the addition of exceptional local talent and talent throughout the state.”
 
To learn more about each of the signing members of the 2024 class, scroll below. Student-athletes are broken up by position groups in the information below.
 
“We are thrilled to announce the signing class for Northern State University’s football team, particularly the offensive players who will undoubtedly make an impact this upcoming season,” explained Schmidt. “Coach Schlichte always says, ‘Offensively, everything starts and ends with the offensive line’, and as a team, we have always recognized the importance of a strong offensive line; this recruiting cycle was no exception. We have successfully attracted and secured some exceptional talent at that position, ensuring our QB will be well-protected, and our offense will be productive on the field with this group.”

Noah Draeger – Offensive Line, 6-5, 280, Hortonville, Wis. / Hortonville HS
Noah Draeger is a 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive lineman out of Hortonville High School. He was a 2-year starter and team captain for the Polar Bears under the direction of head coach Nicholas Reichert. Draeger was a unanimous first team all-conference selection his final two seasons and first team all-region honoree. He is the son of Shelley and Christopher Draeger.
 
Hudson Hodous – Offensive Line, 6-2, 285, Devils Lake, N.D. / Devils Lake HS
Hudson Hodous is a 6-foot-2, 285-pound offensive lineman out of Devils Lake High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Firebirds under the direction of head coach Todd Lambrecht. Hodous earned all-conference honorable mention and was the 2023 recipient of the Joe Roller Award. He is the son of Stephanie and Jason Hodous.
 
James Hushbeck – Offensive Line, 6-5, 275, Cheyenne, Wyo. / Cheyenne South HS
James Hushbeck is a 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive lineman out of Cheyenne South High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Bison under the direction of head coach Eli Moody. Hushbeck was a 2-time all-conference selection and all-state second team member. He is the son of Walt and Lisa Hushbeck.
 
Jeffrey Kunzman – Offensive Line, 6-2, 280, Bellevue, Neb. / Bellevue West HS
Jeffrey Kunzman is a 6-foot-2, 280-pound offensive lineman out of Bellevue West High School. He was a 2-year starter for the Thunderbirds under the direction of head coach Michael Huffman. Kunzman started 21 games on the offensive line and did not give up a sack. He is the son of Jamie and Jeff Knuzman.
 
Jackson Maynard – Offensive Line, 6-4, 270, Tulare, S.D. / Hitchcock-Tulare HS
Jackson Maynard is a 6-foot-4, 270-pound offensive lineman out of Hitchcock-Tulare High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Patriots under the direction of head coach Tom Salmen. Maynard tallied 105 career tackles, including 9.5 sacks, as a prep. Hitchcock-Tulare won the South Dakota State Championship in 2022 and Maynard earned all-state honors in 2023. He is the Brad Maynard and Mandy and Jake Miller.
 
Jack Tews – Offensive Line, 6-4, 300, Brandon, S.D. / Brandon Valley HS
Jack Tews is a 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman out of Brandon Valley High School. He was a 2-year starter for the Lynx under the direction of head coach Matt Christensen. BVHS finished as the South Dakota State Runner-up his sophomore season. Brandon Valley held a 7-4 record in 2023-24 and the offense tallied 1,982 yards rushing and 1,922 yards passing. Tews won an individual State Championship in powerlifting in 2021 and team State Championship in 2022. He is the son of Leon and Kathy Tews.
 
Joel Thomas – Offensive Line, 6-4, 295, Columbus, Neb. / Columbus HS
Joel Thomas is a 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive lineman out of Columbus High School. He was a 3-year starter for the Discoverers under the direction of head coach Craig Williams. Thomas allowed just one sack in three seasons with CHS. He is the son of Connie and Ed Thomas.
 
Brady Wilker – Offensive Line, 6-4, 280, Green Bay, Wis. / Ashwaubenon HS
Brady Wilker is a 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive lineman out of Ashwaubenon High School. He was a 3-year starter for the Jaguars. Wilker tallied all-conference honorable mention honors in the fall of 2023. He is the son of Diane and Shawn Wilker.
 

“Additionally, we couldn’t be more pleased with the quarterbacks we have brought on board,” noted Schmidt. “These two QBs possess the necessary skills and abilities to lead our offense effectively, and we have no doubt that they will rise to the occasion. They both have tremendous confidence and exceptional athletic ability. Furthermore, we have the privilege of welcoming some incredibly dynamic skill players; highlighted by Cade KaiserMason StubbeJaxsen Grevengoed, and Rayvelle Leak, who all bring a high level of speed, agility, and game-changing abilities to our team. Lastly, we have bolstered our offense even further by adding some exceptional tight ends who will provide an additional layer of versatility and playmaking opportunities. With the additions we have made on offense, we are confident that our team will be set up for success now and in the future.”
 
Azariah Atonio – Quarterback, 6-2, 210, Anchorage, Alaska / West Anchorage HS
Azariah Atonio is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound quarterback out of West Anchorage High School. He was a 2-year starter and team captain for the Eagles under the direction of head coach Tim Davis. In the fall of 2023, Atonio threw for 2,348 yards with 25 passing touchdowns and five rushing scores. He earned first team all-conference honors and led WAHS to the Alaska State Championship. Atonio was honored as both the Alaska Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year. He is the son of Jana and Asema Atonio.
 
Cooper Eisenbeisz – Wide Receiver, 6-2, 180, Aberdeen, S.D. / Central HS
Cooper Eisenbeisz is a 6-foot-2, 180-pound wide receiver out of Central High School. He was a starter for the Eagles under the direction of head coach Justin Briese. As a senior, Eisenbeisz tallied 592 receiving yards receiving, averaging 23.6 yards per catch. He also added 468 return yards. CHS advanced to the State semifinals in 2022. He is the son of Wendy and Joel Eisenbeisz.
 
Brock Ellingson – Wide Receiver, 6-5, 215, Tea, S.D. / Tea Area HS
Brock Ellingson is a 6-foot-5, 215-pound wide receiver out of Tea Area High School. He was a starter for the Titans under the direction of head coach Scott Frey. As a senior, Ellingson recorded 98 yards receiving with one touchdown. He played five games at safety, leading the team with four interceptions. Tea finished as the South Dakota State Runner-up in 2021 and 2022 and reached the semifinal round in 2023. He is the son of Patrick and Erin Ellingson.
 
Cooper Fosher – Tight End, 6-4, 230, Aberdeen, S.D. / Central HS
Cooper Fosher is a 6-foot-4, 230-pound tight end out of Central High School. He was a 2-year starter for the Eagles under the direction of head coach Justin Briese. He is the son of Cory Fosher and Erin Tarver. In addition, Fosher is the grandson of Northern State football alum Larry Olson and nephew of Chad Olson.
 
Jaxsen Grevengoed – Athlete, 5-10, 185, Sioux Falls, S.D. / Roosevelt HS
Jaxsen Grevengoed is a 5-foot-10, 185-pound athlete out of Roosevelt High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Rough Riders under the direction of head coach Kim Nelson. Grevengoed recorded 1,743 yards receiving and 1,946 yards rushing in his high school career. He was a 3-time all-conference honoree, 2-time all-state selection, and 2-time Argus Leader Elite45 team member. He is the son of Lachlyn Grevengoed.
 
Cade Kaiser – Wide Receiver, 6-2, 190, Pierre, S.D. / T.F. Riggs HS
Cade Kaiser is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver out of T.F. Riggs High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Governors under the direction of head coach Steve Steele. As a junior, Kaiser tallied 1,352 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns, leading TFRHS to a South Dakota State Championship. The following season he threw for 2,177 yards and 31 touchdowns and rushed for 1,005 yards and eight touchdowns. Kaiser is a 2-time all-state selection and academic all-state honoree. The Governors won the State Championship in each of his four high school seasons. He is the son of Kim and Bill Kaiser.
 
Carson LaPlante – Wide Receiver, 5-10, 165, Hutto, Texas / Hutto HS
Carson LaPlante is a 5-foot-10, 165-pound wide receiver out of Hutto High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Hippos. In his final two seasons, LaPlante tallied 756 yards receiving with seven touchdowns. He garnered three academic all-district honors and two all-district nods. He is the son of Brad and Christie LaPlante.
 
Rayvelle Leak – Running Back, 5-11, 180, Kansas City, Kan. / Wichita East HS
Rayvelle Leak is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound running back out of Wichita East High School.  He was a 3-year starter for the Blue Aces under the direction of head coach Ene Apkan. Leak sat top-33 in the state of Kansas and won a region championship with WEHS. He is the son of Tameca Leak.
 
Carter Luikens – Athlete, 6-2, 185, Gettysburg, S.D. / Gettysburg HS
Carter Luikens is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound athlete out of Gettysburg High School, playing for Potter County. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Battlers under the direction of head coach Kyle Kusser. Playing both sides of the ball, Luikens racked up career totals of 1,205 yards rushing with 16 touchdowns, 693 yards receiving with eight touchdowns, 698 kick return yards with three touchdowns, and 168 tackles and seven interceptions. Potter County finished as the South Dakota State Runner-up his sophomore season. Luikens is a 2-time all-conference selection and 2023 all-state honoree. He is the son of Mandy Spilde.
 
Payton Prestito – Athlete, 5-11, 190, La Vista, Neb. / Papillion-La Vista HS
Payton Prestito is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound athlete out of Papillion-La Vista High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Monarchs under the direction of head coach Tim Williams. Prestito tallied 3,488 career all-purpose yards, scoring 40 touchdowns. In addition, he added 120 tackles and three interceptions. PLHS won the district championship in 2023 and Prestito closed his career as a 2-time all-state honoree. He is the son of Aaron and Catie Prestito.
 
Brodey Sauerwein – Tight End, 6-5, 215, Warner, S.D. / Warner HS
Brodey Sauerwein is a 6-foot-5 tight end out of Warner High School. He was a 2-year starter and team captain for the Monarchs under the direction of head coach Kerwin Hoellein. Sauerwein recorded 372 yards receiving with five touchdowns and 54 tackles, including 11.0 sacks, as a senior. Warner won the South Dakota State Championship, going 12-0 in 2023. Sauerwein earned all-conference, all-state, and academic all-state honors in his final season. He is the son of Corey and Jen Sauerwein. His grandfather Ray Sauerwein is a Northern State football alum, as well as a pair of uncles (Chad Hauger and Chad Thue).
 
Dawson Siem – Tight End, 6-0, 215, Sioux Falls, S.D. / Lincoln HS
Dawson Siem is a 6-foot, 215-pound tight end out of Lincoln High School. He was a 2-year starter and team captain for the Patriots under the direction of head coach Jared Fredenburg. In his final two seasons, Siem tallied 611 yards receiving and nine touchdowns, averaging 12.5 yards per catch. The Patriots won the 2023 South Dakota State Championship and Siem was honored on the all-metro and all-state teams. He is the son of Landon Siem.
 
DJ Smith – Wide Receiver, 6-3, 200, Moorhead, Minn. / Moorhead HS
DJ Smith is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver out of Moorhead High School. He was a 2-year starter and team captain for the Spuds under the direction of head coach Kevin Feeney. MHS won the Section 5A Championship in the fall of 2022. Smith was a 2023 first team all-conference selection and was nominated to the Top-70 Native All-Star Game. He is the son of Heather Keeler and Daniel Smith.
 
Cruz Soulek – Quarterback, 6-3, 200, Chamberlain, S.D. / Chamberlain HS
Cruz Soulek is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound quarterback out of Chamberlain High School. He was a 4-year starter and team captain for the Cubs under the direction of head coach Jeff Rodamocher. In the fall of 2023, Soulek threw for 1,646 yards and rushed for another 1,110 with 27 total touchdowns. He led CHS to their first South Dakota Class A playoff appearance in school history. He is the son of Clint and Julie Soulek.
 
Kadyn Weber – Wide Receiver, 6-4, 170, Alexandria, Minn. / Alexandria Area HS
Kadyn Weber is a 6-foot-4, 170-pound wide receiver out of Alexandria Area High School. He was a 2-year starter for the Cardinals under the direction of head coach Mike Empting. In his final two seasons, Weber tallied over 700 yards receiving with two touchdowns. Alexandria made it to the semifinal round of the 2023 Minnesota State High School League Tournament. Finally, Weber saw success on the field and in the classroom as a 3-time academic all-state honoree. He is the son of John and Sarah Weber.
 
Owen Zahm – Tight End, 6-4, 225, Austin, Texas / Viroqua HS (Wis.)
Owen Zahm is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound tight end out of Viroqua High School in Wisconsin. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Blackhawks under the direction of head coach Taylor Henry. Zahm recorded 446 yards receiving and seven touchdowns in his career. He earned all-state honorable mention accolades in 2022 and was named to the Wisconsin All-Star Game in 2023. He is the son of Laura and Chris Zahm.
 
Schmidt continued, “our 2023 kicking struggles were well documented and we are excited to add these kickers and punters to the roster. We wanted to get elite talent and create great competition in our kicking game. This group will compete to contribute right away.”
 
Jett Carlson – Punter, 6-4, 180, Aberdeen, S.D. / Central HS
Jett Carlson is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound punter out of Central High School. He was a 2-year starter and team captain for the Eagles under the direction of head coach Justin Briese. In the fall of 2023, Carlson averaged 37.6 yards per punt with a 72-yard long. In addition, he earned academic all-state honors as a senior. He is the son of Cindy and Kim Carlson, and brother of 2014 Wolves football graduate Will Carlson.
 
Parker Messmer – Kicker/Punter, 6-6, 215, Rapid City, S.D. / Stevens HS
Parker Messmer is a 6-foot-6, 215-pound kicker/punter out of Stevens High School. He was a 4-year starter and team captain for the Raiders under the direction of head coach Michael Scott. As a senior, Messmer averaged 35.3 yards per punt. He tallied the most punting yards in the state in 2022, averaging 37.4 yards per punt as a junior. He is the son of Cassandra and Dana Messmer.
 
Brock Pedersen – Kicker, 5-10, 180, Cheyenne, Wyo. / Cheyenne Central HS
Brock Pedersen is a 5-foot-10, 180-pound kicker out of Cheyenne Central High School. He was a 3-year starter for the Indians under the direction of head coach Michael Apodaca. Pedersen concluded his high school career as a 3-time all-conference selection and all-state honoree. CCHS advanced to the state tournament in each of his three seasons on varsity. He is the son of Bryan and Sara Pedersen.
 
“We are thrilled to announce the signing of our newest recruits for the defensive side of the ball at Northern State University,” said Schmidt. “This signing class truly encompasses the qualities we were looking for in constructing a dynamic defensive line. The remarkable size, speed, and high motor exhibited by these young athletes will undoubtedly make a significant impact on our team. Kai Rigdon is a 3-star recruit and Noah Moringlane is one of the most sought-after defensive ends in the country. We couldn’t be more excited about the potential they bring to our program.”
 
Emmit Andersen – Defensive Line, 6-1, 250, Pierre, S.D. / T.F. Riggs HS
Emmit Andersen is a 6-foot-1, 250-pound defensive lineman out of T.F. Riggs High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Governors under the direction of head coach Steve Steele. Andersen was an all-conference, all-state, and Argus Leader Elite 45 selection. TFRHS won South Dakota State Championships all four years of his high school career. He is the son of Rhoda Andersen.
 
Carter Fedde – Defensive Line, 6-0, 240, Columbus, Neb. / Columbus HS
Carter Fedde is a 6-foot, 240-pound defensive lineman out of Columbus High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Discoverers under the direction of head coach Craig Williams. Feede was a 3-time Heartland Athletic All-Conference selection and 2-time Nebraska All-State pick. He is the son of Tina Fedde.
 
Carlos McArthur – Defensive Line/Long Snapper, 6-1, 265, Regina, Saskatchewan / Miller Comprehensive HS
Carlos McArthur is a 6-foot-1, 265-pound defensive lineman and long snapper out of Miller Comprehensive High School in Saskatchewan, Canada. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Marauders under the direction of head coach Jason Duczek. McArthur tallied 124 career tackles, including 13.0 sacks, and six fumble recoveries. MCHS won City and Provincial Championships in his final three seasons with a combined record of 26-1. He is the son of Dion and Carolina McArthur.
 
Noah Moringlane – Defensive Line, 6-4, 220, Rockwall, Texas / Rockwall HS
Noah Moringlane is a 6-foot-4, 220-pound defensive lineman out of Rockwall High School. He was a starter for the Yellowjackets under the direction of head coach Trey Brooks. As a senior, Moringlane tallied 43 tackles, including 27 solo stops, 12.0 tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks. He earned second team all-district honors in the fall of 2023 and RHS won the Regional Championship with an 11-2 record. He is the son of Kim Barry.
 
Dan Peterson – Defensive Line, 5-11, 225, Timber Lake, S.D. / Timber Lake HS
Dan Peterson is a 5-foot-11, 225-pound defensive lineman out of Timber Lake High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Panthers under the direction of head coach Ryan Gimbel. As a senior, Peterson recorded 89 tackles, 9.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception. In the fall of 2023, he was honored on the all-conference and all-state first teams, Best of the West team, and Argus Leader Elite 45 team. He is the son of Leah Peterson.
 
Carl Pevey Jr. – Defensive Line, 6-0, 240, Milwaukee, Wis. / Catholic Memorial HS
Carl Pevey Jr. is a 6-foot, 240-pound defensive lineman out of Catholic Memorial High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Crusaders under the direction of head coach Bill Young. Pevey Jr. tallied 246 career tackles, including 71.0 tackles for a loss and 26.0 sacks. He is a 3-time all-conference and all-county honoree, 2-time all-region selection, and 2023 all-state pick. CMHS won the Wisconsin State Championship in 2021 and tallied Conference and Region Championships in 2021, 2022, and 2023. He is the son of Tiffany and Carl Pevey Sr.
 
Kai Rigdon – Defensive Line, 6-2, 280, Ferris, Texas / Ferris HS
Kai Rigdon is a 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive lineman out of Ferris High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Yellowjackets under the direction of head coach Steven Greek. In his final two seasons, Rigdon tallied 157 tackles, including 29.0 tackles for a loss and 13.0 sacks. Rigdon is a first team all-district selection, academic all-district team member, All-NETSAC honoree, and All-Evergreen pick. He was a member of the Ferris High School team to win the first state playoff game in 20 years. He is the son of Nicholas and Ashley Rigdon. His father earned a graduate degree from Northern State.
 
Thomas Risty – Defensive Line, 6-1, 235, Brandon, S.D. / Brandon Valley HS
Thomas Risty is a 6-foot-1, 235-pound defensive lineman out of Brandon Valley High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Lynx under the direction of head coach Matt Christensen. In the fall of 2023, Risty tallied 45 tackles, including 9.0 sacks, one blocked field goal, one blocked punt, and one fumble recovery. He was a 2-time all-conference selection and 2023 all-state and all-metro honoree. Risty is team state powerlifting state champion, as well as a school and state record holder in the event. In addition, Brandon Valley was the 2021 South Dakota State Runner-up. He is the son of Jeremy and Rebecca Risty.
 
Aidan Roh – Defensive Line, 6-0, 245, Hortonville, Wis. / Hortonville High
Aidan Roh is a 6-foot, 245-pound defensive lineman out of Hortonville High. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Polar Bears under the direction of head coach Nick Reichert. In the fall of 2023, Roh recorded 54 tackles, including 14.0 tackles for a loss and 8.0 sacks. Roh holds Hortonville school records for single game sacks (3.0) and single season sacks (8.0). He was a 2-time all-conference selection and 2023 all-area first team, all-region, and all-state honoree. He is the son of John Roh and Emily Six.
 
Conner Wallman – Defensive Line, 6-4, 290, Janesville, Wis. / Delavan-Darien HS
Conner Wallman is a 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive lineman out of Delavan-Darien High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Comets under the direction of head coach Nathan Wallman. He tallied 136 career tackles, including 9.0 tackles for a loss and 2.0 sacks. Wallman was a 4-time all-conference selection as a tight end, offensive lineman, and defensive lineman. He is the son of Nathan and Emily Wallman.
 
“In recent years, we have established a reputation for recruiting exceptionally talented linebackers, and this year’s signees only further enhance our lineage,” added Schmidt. “Miles, Mingo, Tate, and Chase are outstanding additions to our team, and we have high expectations for them. Miles held multiple Power-5 offers before choosing NSU. All of these young LBs possess the skill, dedication, and commitment that will help take our defense to the next level.”
 
Tate Crosswait – Linebacker, 6-3, 220, Rapid City, S.D. / Stevens HS
Tate Crosswait is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker out of Stevens High School. He was a 4-year starter and team captain for the Raiders under the direction of head coach Michael Scott. Crosswait tallied 346 career tackles, including 12.0 sacks. He played both ways as a senior, passing for 960 yards and seven touchdowns. Crosswait is a 2-time all-state selection, 2-time Best of the West Linebacker, and all-conference honoree, and Argus Leader Elite 45 team member. He holds the SHS records for career tackles and single season tackles. He is the son of Jon and Courtney Crosswait. His aunt, Bethany Crosswait was a member of multiple conference championship women’s basketball team’s at NSU.
 
Domingo Lemley – Linebacker, 6-2, 215, Bothell, Wash. / Bothell HS
Domingo Lemley is a 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker out of Bothell High School. He was a 3-year starter for the Cougars under the direction of head coach Tom Bainter. Lemley tallied 250 career tackles and five interceptions. He was a 3-time all-conference selection, earning first team honors in 2023. He is the son of Andrea and Rob Lemley.
 
Tayden Nave – Linebacker, 6-1, 195, Sioux Falls, S.D. / Roosevelt HS
Tayden Nave is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound linebacker out of Roosevelt High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Rough Riders under the direction of head coach Kim Nelson. Nave tallied over 180 tackles and nine tackles in his career. He was a 2-time all-state selection in 2022 and 2023. He is the son of Jennifer Wixon.
 
Miles Sillas – Linebacker, 6-4, 240, Hortonville, Wis. / Hortonville HS
Miles Sillas is a 6-foot-4, 240-pound linebacker out of Hortonville High School. He was a 3-year starter for the Polar Bears under the direction of head coach Nicholas Reichart. As a senior, Sillas recorded 90 tackles, 14.0 tackles for a loss, 2.0 sacks, and one interception. He was a 3-time all-conference selection and 2023 all-region and all-state honoree. He is the son of Antoine and Jaime Sillas.
 
Chase Sturm – Linebacker, 6-0, 215, Stanley, Wis. / Stanley-Boyd HS
Chase Sturm is a 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker out of Stanley-Boyd High School. He was a 4-year starter and team captain for the Orioles under the direction of head coach Jeff Koenig. He recorded 322 career tackles, including 39.0 tackles for a loss and 17.0 sacks. Sturm is a 3-time all-conference selection, earning first team accolades in 2023, as well as an all-region, all-state, and academic all-state honoree. He is the son of Erica and Nick Sturm.
 
Schmidt resumed, “Lastly, we are proud to welcome a group of great football players and elite competitors to our defensive backfield. The DBs who have signed with us showcaseremarkable talent and a competitive spirit that will undoubtedly contribute to our success in the upcoming seasons. We are excited to see them grow and excel as part of our NSU football family.”
 
Jamari Allen – Safety, 6-1, 200, Omaha, Neb. / Harry A. Burke HS
Jamari Allen is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound safety out of Harry A. Burke High School. He was a 2-year starter and team captain for the Bulldogs under the direction of head coach James Patterson. Allen recorded 72 career tackles and racked up 681 yards of total offense. He is the son of Dontae Allen and Sarah Mayhue.
 
CJ Gainey – Safety, 5-11, 175, Huron, S.D. / Huron HS
CJ Gainey is a 5-foot-11, 175-pound safety out of Huron High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Tigers under the direction of head coach Dru Strand. As a senior, Gainey tallied 74 tackles, including 49 solo stops, as well as three interceptions and one defensive touchdown. He was a 2023 all-state and all-conference selection. He is the son of Carson Gainey and Ali Hein.
 
Kiyon Johnston – Defensive Back, 5-10, 160, Denver, Colo. / Cherry Creek HS
Kiyon Johnston is a 5-foot-10, 160-pound defensive back out of Cherry Creek High School. He was a 2-year starter for the Bruins of CCHS. Cherry Creek went 13-1 in the fall of 2023 and won the Colorado State Championship. He is the son of Richard Johnston.


 
Mason Stubbe – Safety, 6-0, 195, Dell Rapids, S.D. / Dell Rapids HS
Mason Stubbe is a 6-foot, 195-pound safety out of Dell Rapids High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Quarriers under the direction of head coach Jordan Huska. As a high school running back, Stubbe tallied 1,200 yards rushing and 25 tackles as a junior and 2,000 all-purpose yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior. Defensively, he recorded 128 career tackles. Stubbe earned all-conference, all-state, and Argus Leader Elite45 honors in his career. In addition, Dell Rapids won back-to-back South Dakota State Championships in 2022 and 2023. He is the son of Jessie and Shawn Stubbe.
 
Ethan Vis – Defensive Back, 6-0, 170, Tea, S.D. / Tea Area HS
Ethan Vis is a 6-foot, 170-pound defensive back out of Tea Area High School. He was a 3-year starter and team captain for the Titans under the direction of head coaches Scott Frey and Craig Clayberg. As a senior, Vis recorded 17 tackles and two interceptions, and also saw significant time on special teams. He tallied 843 return yards with four returns for a touchdown. He was an all-conference and all-state selection. Tea finished as the South Dakota State Runner-up in both 2021 and 2022, following a State Championship his freshman year. He is the son of Dan Vis.
 
“As we welcome these exceptional recruits to our NSU football family, we are confident that they will contribute significantly to our continued success both on and off the field,” concluded Schmidt. “With their remarkable talent, character, and love for Northern, we are excited to witness the positive impact they will undoubtedly have as ambassadors of our program.”

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