One of the most fun things to do on national signing day is to look at all the bios of teenagers who are going to play college athletics such as football at the schools in the region.
Take for example Northern State offensive line recruit 6-foot-3, 290-pound Thomas Geyer of White Lake, who was grand champion of his school's science fair in 2010. Geyer also is a South Dakota State B wrestling champion as is fellow recruit Devin Olson of Wishek in North Dakota. Last summer, Geyer competed with his school's Future Problem Solvers team at the international contest in Wisconsin.
And then there is offensive line recruit Hayden Gowan of Papillion, Neb. The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder not only can move but sing as well. He is a member of his high school's varsity show choir.
Also, NSU linebacker recruit Jordan Cole is one of many Hitchcock-Tulare college recruits. Teammates Cordell Muilenburg and Trent Peterson will play football for Dakota State while another football teammate, Joey Mitchell, will play basketball for Black Hills State. Also, 2010 Hitchcock-Tulare multisport standout Ryan Huizenga has decided to play football at Dakota State.
Hitchcock-Tulare has a high school enrollment of 61 with 17 seniors this year. That means almost 25 percent of the senior class will become collegiate athletes.
Here are some of the fun facts that I found about athletes who signed with NSU on Wednesday:
· The former national champion NSU club rugby team will like this one. The Wolves' 6-foot-2, 300-pound lineman recruit Robert Johnson of Apple Valley, Minn., was a member of his high school rugby team, which won the state championship.
· Not only does tight end recruit Dakota Lutz of Eureka-Bowdle have the most fitting first name of any recruit in the Dakotas, Lutz is an Eagle Scout.
· Quarterback recruit Shane Erickson of Tracy, Minn., must have good hands. He is a Gold Glove award winner in baseball.
· Wide receiver transfer Chris Morton went to the same Snow College in Utah as former Aberdeen Central/Oklahoma standout and now OU coordinator Josh Heupel. Morton also won his high school's sportsmanship award.
· Defensive back recruit Zach Neer of Mapleton, N.D., has been a member of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) since 2007.
· Running back recruit Jordan Hayes of Brainerd, Minn., made the Minnesota Vikings' 2010 all-state team and was a top 10 finalist for the Mr. Football Minnesota award.
· Cornerback recruit Dyan Kreutzfeldt of Chester scored 67 career touchdowns. His twin brother, Drew Kreutzfeldt, who will be a preferred walk-on at South Dakota State, had 110 career TDs.
· Quarterback recruit Brock Wieber of Lidgerwood, N.D., had a hand in 73 career TDs.
· Kreutzfeldt, Erickson, defensive back/wide receiver recruit Chris Malsam of Aberdeen Roncalli and Tyler Rau of Eureka-Bowdle are members of the National Honor Society.
· Not only can the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Wieber throw, but he can lay a lick on opponents as well. Also a linebacker for the North Dakota nine-man state champion Wyndmere-Lidgerwood Warbirds, Wieber had 104 tackles last fall and won the team Pancake Award for his hard hits.
· Last fall, running back recruit Aaron Mayo of Chandler, Ariz., ran back a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown for his high school team.
· Wide receiver recruit Kalen Kjellsen of Groton and tight end recruit Scott Shanks of Elk Point-Jefferson have been on the honor roll throughout their high school careers.
· The 6-foot-5 Shanks' dad, Brian, was a 7-foot basketball player at NSU.
· Wide receiver recruit Tanner White of Ellendale recently scored his 1,000th point in basketball.