UNK football announces Held’s first signing class
KEARNEY, Neb. (Press release) – The Nebraska Kearney football team today announced the names of seven transfers and 18 high school students who will play for the Lopers this fall.
The class is broken down into 13 defensive players, 10 on offense and two specialists. By position, there are six d-linemen, four receivers, three defensive backs, linebackers and tight ends, two o-linemen, one quarterback, one kicker, and one kicker. Then 13 are Nebraskans with Kansas (three), Alabama, Florida and Georgia (two each), Arizona, California and Oklahoma (one each) also represented. Finally, four of the transfers are currently registered with UNK and are going through winter conditioning.
“In a short time we have been able to acquire some very good football players who meet the needs of our team,” said new UNK head coach Ryan Held. “It’s a team effort on the part of the Loper family to make this happen. We’ve taken a one guy at a time approach which is what we want here in our culture to be disciplined, detailed and tough. »
The transfers include linebacker Joko Willis (Auburn U.), wide receivers Cole Brown (U. of Central Arkansas) and Stephen Lewis (Minnesota West), tight end Luke Fletcher (Butler CC), d-linemen Stephen Matina ( Hutchinson CC) and Darius Hurd (Contra Costa CC, Calif.) and kicker Gabe Heins (Nebraska). The Lopers had a great senior/COVID 2022 class with another to come.
UNK traveled to the Capitol to find prep talent, adding four natives of Lincoln, while signing four from metro Omaha. This prep class is used to winning as five incoming Lopers were on state or state title finalist teams in 2022 and 2021. These players will have a chance to play in 2023 as NCAA Division II recently passed a rule allowing real freshmen to appear in three games without using an eligibility season.
“We decided to sign high school players from Nebraska, which we accomplished. We also scoured the region and country to bring in players who will have an immediate impact and grow in our program,” Held said.
Held noted that the Lopers will continue to add talent to the 2023 roster over the coming months. The spring ball is expected to begin in late March with the opening of fall camp in early August. The season opener is Aug. 31 (Thursday) at Central Oklahoma.
“We will be working all spring to continue to meet a few other needs that we have. We will also be focusing on the Class of 2024 from Nebraska and regionally,” Held said. “Overall, I’m pleased with the work done by my coaching staff and everyone who helped make this happen.
Mid-year transfers…currently registered with UNK and undergoing winter training (4)
Cole Brown (WR, R-So., 6-3, 205 lbs., Dallas, Ga./U. of Central Arkansas & East Paulding HS)
Luke Fletcher (TE, Jr., 6-6, 240 lbs., Hays, Kan./Butler CC, Kan. & Hays HS)
Stephen Matina (DL, Jr., 6-5, 360lbs, Lansing, Kan./Hutchinson CC, Kan. & Lansing HS)
Joko Willis (LB, R-Jr., 6-3, 215 lbs., LaGrange, Ga./Auburn U. & Troup County HS)
Declaration of transfers in August (3)
Gabe Heins (K, R-Jr., 6-0, 180 lbs., Kearney/U. of Nebraska-Lincoln & Kearney HS)
Stephen Lewis (WR, Jr., 6-2, 190 lbs, Gardendale, Ala./Minnesota West & Gardendale HS)
Darius Hurd (DL, Jr., 6-5, 275lbs, Vallejo, Calif./Contra Costa CC, Calif. & Benicia HS)
Nebraska high school students (12)
Zach Cross (OL, 6-5, 300 lbs, Omaha/Millard West HS)
Cael Dembinski (OL, 6-5, 265 pounds, Valley/Douglas County West HS)
Weston Heinemann (DE, 6-4, 240lbs, Bennington/Bennington HS)
Garret Hoefs (LB, 6-0, 215lbs, Lincoln/Lincoln Lutheran HS)
Maccoy Holtam (LB, 6-0, 200 lbs, Omaha/Skutt Catholic HS)
Cole Luedtke (DL, 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Lincoln/Lincoln Southwest HS)
Marty Mormino (P, 6-0, 200 lbs., Omaha, Neb./Westside HS)
Kamdyn Roebke (WR, 6-0, 175lbs, Lincoln/Lincoln East HS)
Abram Scholting (QB, 6-0, 175 lbs, Pierce/Pierce HS)
Kade Seip (DL, 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Lincoln/Lincoln North Star HS)
Dalton Snodgrass (TE, 6-2, 225 lbs, York/York HS)
Tucker Thomas (DE, 6-4, 235lbs, Mitchell/Mitchell HS)
Out-of-state high school seniors (6)
Seth Anderson (TE, 6-5, 250 lbs., Norton, Kan./Norton HS)
Saieed Hasan (CB, 6-2, 190 lbs, Peoria, AZ/Peoria HS)
Caden McGruder (S, 6-2, 200 lbs, Gardendale, Alabama/Gardendale HS)
Kai McPherson (WR, 6-2, 185lbs, Miami, Fla./Barbara Goleman HS)
Garhett Reese (S, 6-2, 185 lbs., Stillwater, Okla./Stillwater HS)
Dereon Walker (DL, 6-foot-3, 285 pounds, Cocoa, Fla./Rockledge HS)
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