Wednesday, February 03, 2010

UMD Inks Football Recruits

I don't get into Signing Day. It's hard to muster much enthusiasm for the college decisions made by teenagers who I have never seen play.

However, I do always (I think) post on here when UMD signs a recruiting class. The Bulldogs announced 18 football signees on Wednesday, and while none of them will make the kind of waves Seantrel Henderson made by deciding on USC, these kids will get the chance to help the Bulldogs build on a pretty strong foundation.

UMD won the Division II national title in 2008, then made the quarterfinals in 2009 before losing to eventual NCAA runner-up Grand Valley State (Mich.).

Here is the release from UMD:
A talent-laden group of 18 student-athletes, including a pair of local high school standouts, have signed national letters of intent to attend and play football for the the two-time defending Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference champion University of Minnesota Duluth in 2010.

"All and all, we are extremely pleased with this recruiting class -- it's a high-quality and promising group of athletes," said Bob Nielson, the 2008 national coach of the year who completed his seventh season with the Bulldogs last fall.

"I think our coaching staff once again did a tremendous job in identifying and addressing our future needs on offense, defense and special teams. We were successful in bringing the kids we had targeted at each of the various positions and that's a testament to all of the hard work our staff put into our recruiting efforts."

The 2010 UMD recruiting class, which is comprised of five incoming freshmen from Minnesota, 10 from Wisconsin, and one each from Illinois, Michigan and Washington, is as follows:

Player Pos Hgt Wgt Hometown (High School)
Jacob Brusehaver DL 6-4 220 Hutchinson, Minn (Hutchinson HS)
Marc Dahlin OL 6-8 300 Verona, Wis. (Edgewood HS)
Dan Desorcy DB 6-0 175 Plover, Wis. (Stevens Point HS)
Aaron Esala OL 6-4 305 Ashland, Wis. (Ashland HS)
Gavin Grady LB 6-3 215 Minnetonka, Minn. (Hopkins HS)
Yusef Hassan LB 6-0 220 Burnsville, Minn (Burnsville HS)

Kal Herzog WR 6-5 195 Eau Claire, Wis. (Memorial HS)

Tyler Hilar WR 6-4 205 Conover, Wis. (Northland Pines HS)

Greg Hynes QB 6-2 185 St. Louis Park, Minn. (St. Louis Park HS)

Michael Maguire TE 6-4 220 Sammamish, Wash. (Eastlake HS)

Kerwin McKay DB 6-0 185 Kettle Moraine, Wis. (Bradford HS)

Ryan Miesbauer RB/FB 5-9 210 South Range, Wis. (Northwestern HS)

Andrew Pattock OL 6-3 295 Circle Pines, Minn. (Centennial HS)

Sam Renk DB 5-9 165 Peru, Ill. (LaSalle-Peru Township HS)

Philip Rutz OL 6-5 270 Amherst, Wis. (Amherst HS)

Austin Sikorski RB 5-10 185 Plover, Wis. (Stevens Point HS)

Mitch Van Effen WR 6-0 195 Escanaba, Mich. (Escanaba HS)

Mitch Ziegler TE 6-3 230 Kenosha, Wis. (Bradford HS)

UMD closed out its 77th season of intercollegiate football with an 11-2 overall record and made its second straight NCAA Division II playoff appearance (and third in five years) before bowing out to Grand Valley State University in the quarterfinal round. The 2008 national champion Bulldogs also laid claim to their second NSIC crown in as many years with a perfect 10-0 mark and, along the way, established 21 individual and team single-game, single-season and career marks while producing three All-Americans.

UMD has always done well with local recruits, and while they didn't get everyone this year, the two they got should be good.

Esala was a rock on the Oredockers' offensive front, and he could have a chance to play as a freshman because of his big frame.

Miesbauer starred at Northwestern, and was a big key to the quick turnaround that program experienced over the last two years. The Tigers went from a 1-8 season in 2007 to the Wisconsin Division 4 semifinals in 2009. Miesbauer might not carry the ball as much at UMD, but he is a good athlete for his size and will only get better as a fullback with the experience he will get as a Bulldog.

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