College football: UMD coaches beaming from 1,400 miles away after unveiling recruiting class – Duluth News Tribune

College football: UMD coaches beaming from 1,400 miles away after unveiling recruiting class – Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — Minnesota Duluth football coaches always gush at this time of year when they can finally pause and enjoy the fruits of their labor, with all the toil and sweat of the recruiting trail finally hitting the line arrival known as National Signing Day.

UMD head coach Curt Wiese gushed a lot on Wednesday, but this time it was about 1,400 miles away as the Bulldogs coaching staff are in Las Vegas to watch the senior offensive tackle Brent Laing play in the East-West Shrine Bowl at 7:30. pm Thursday, Feb. 2 at Allegiant Stadium (game will be nationally televised on the NFL Network).

“National Autograph Day is as exciting as game day for us,” Wiese said.

The UMD skipped its traditional National Signing Day press conference, but sent out a statement that included a video clip of Wiese, who was also reached by phone Wednesday from Las Vegas.

With 32 rookies, it’s the largest class since Wiese arrived on campus in 2008 and likely ranks among the largest the Bulldogs have ever brought.

“Our staff is super excited about this class,” Wiese said. “This definitely replenishes our roster closet.”

The reason for the monster class is threefold.

Wiese said UMD graduated 16 players and five players did not return for various reasons. On top of that, the Bulldogs were already operating five players under the 105-player limit.

The Bulldogs knew what they had to do and how to do it, and it started last March and culminated on Wednesday.

“To assess these guys athletically is the easy part,” Wiese said. “It’s about making sure we have a chance to sit down with these guys one-on-one, meet their head coach and be able to find out the character behind the person and find out what drives them as as a student and as an athlete.. This has been the secret to the success of UMD football and we are thrilled to welcome this group and bring them around a great culture that already exists in our locker room and teach them the ways of UMD football.

While Wiese’s trip this weekend is strictly fun, to watch Laing play, rather rightly the Bulldogs are bringing three more players from Las Vegas as part of this year’s class. Wiese said that takes them to 11 or 12 on Silver State’s roster.

Another focal point was the defensive back, where UMD recruits eight rookies, and the quarterback, where the Bulldogs landed Holy Angels product AJ Boarman from Minneapolis and Mason Keyes from DeForest, Wisconsin.

A new rule this year allows freshmen to come in and play three games while preserving their redshirt season, something Wiese called new and exciting and something they look forward to. And with all the injuries UMD suffered last fall as part of an 8-3 NSIC campaign, it’s absolutely necessary.

“I think our staff has done a phenomenal job of attracting guys to campus and finding the right guys on campus,” Wiese said. “I really like the athleticism in a few positions, the corner position, and that’s something that from a body perspective right now in our program we wanted to make sure we solidified, and the quarterback position -back. Usually we only sign one quarterback in the class, this year we signed two; so we’re really excited about the class as a whole.

Brent Laing

Contribution / UMD Athletics

Wiese was even more excited for Brent Laing.

Wiese said between Laing’s family and friends, coaches and other important people from UMD and the alma mater at Laing High School, Lakeville, Minn. North, there will be about 50 people. present Thursday at Allegiant Stadium to cheer on the 6-foot-4. , 294-pound earth-moving machine.

Wiese said UMD coaches got to see Laing twice, just in the lobby between meetings.

“Brent felt really good about prep week,” Wiese said. “Our staff are so excited about the opportunity Brent has won. His athleticism, in-game situational thinking and adaptability, along with his attitude make him a legitimate NFL prospect.

UMD hasn’t had any local recruits this year, but there are plenty of players who plan to play at the college level.

Among them:

Duluth East’s Carter Svobodny is part of the 26-man Mary Marauders recruiting class announced Wednesday in Bismarck, North Dakota. Svobodny was a two-year starter on the offensive line.

Svobodny’s teammate Brady Schubitzke will play at Wisconsin-Stout. Schubitzke was a three-year starter on the offensive and defensive lines.

Coach Joe Hietala says he still hasn’t heard of Greyhounds star running back Austan Orvedahl.

Cloquet’s coach Jeff Ojanen said Reese Sheldon would play in the North Dakota State Football Championship subdivision as his favorite player. Perry Goad joined Dakota State University (Madison, SD) from the NAIA as an offensive lineman.

Sheldon plays basketball and track and field and Ojanen said he was clocked at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard sprint. The bison consider it a security.

“Reese has worked really hard to get to the level he is at,” Ojanen said. “The fun thing about Reese is that he can still take it to another level. It will be exciting to watch him grow as a player and I look forward to seeing him play in the future.

Top offensive lineman Ryan Kirk watches St. Scholastica while defensive linemen Wyatt Culwell and Bo Waletzko and wide receiver/defensive back Isaiah Essien visit the schools. Quarterback/defensive back Carson Gotelaere is undecided on whether to pursue hockey or football options.

Hermantown fullback Josh Muehlbauer has had conversations with St. John’s, and offensive and defensive lineman Austin Wunner has signed up for Wisconsin-River Falls.

Esko had a banner state qualifying run last fall and there was certainly plenty of talent there as safety Javontae Gregory is part of Winona State’s 33-man recruiting class. Gregory was a two-time All-Area selection that helped the Eskomos go 11-1.

Gregory’s teammate, running back Nolan Witt, will travel to Wisconsin-Stout, while quarterback Ty Christensen will travel to Concordia-Moorhead. Matt and Alec Peterson plan to play college football but aren’t sure where.

Additionally, Mason Perich, the older brother of junior Koi Perich, the 2022 News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year receiving Division I interest, is destined for NSIC powerhouse Minnesota State Mankato. Perich, who graduated from Esko in 2022 before taking a semester off, is expected to join the Mavericks for Spring Ball.

Northwestern coach Jovin Kroll said he asked the players to take offers from the NCAA Division II NSIC, but was committed to the DIII WIAC: Quarterback- fullback Luke Sedin (Stout), tight end Trevor Eliason (Whitewater) and outside linebacker Tanner Kaufman (River Falls). Jase Nelson is still undecided. Kroll said the bulk of interest in Sedin at the DII athletic scholarship level has been in the defensive back.

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