CHADRON – The Chadron State College football program continues to add to its roster. Thirty-one high school seniors have signed National Letters of Intent to play football at Chadron State.
Wednesday, Feb. 1 was the first day high school seniors could sign a letter of intent.
“We are very excited about the young men who have committed to Chadron State. We feel that they are great athletes along with being exceptional students and citizens,” offensive coordinator Chris Stein said. “This is an important time in the history of Chadron State football and all of these young men are happy to be a part of it.”
The 31 commits Chadron State received will be featured primarily on defense. Ten are defensive backs, seven are linebackers and five are defensive linemen. The remaining nine are comprised of six receivers, one offensive lineman, one quarterback and one tailback.
Eight players are from Nebraska. They are Trey Allison of Gordon, Buomkuouth Lual of Grand Island, Sawyer Burke of Brady, Frantzlee LeCrete of Lewellen (Garden County High), Wade Reeves of Chadron, Eric Vejvoda of Ralston, Parker Young of Hershey and Will Burgess of Omaha.
Seven are from Colorado, six are from California and five from Louisiana.
The Rocky Mountain recruits are Marcus Brown of Colorado Springs, Austin Gutierrez of Longmont (Skyline High), Dalton Hall, Jordan King and Sergi Ruiz all from Frederick High, Palmer White from Horizon High and Timmy Ornelas of Fort Lupton.
The California natives joining CSC are Maurice Boyd, Brian Wood and Ryan Wood of Stockton, Isaac Griffen of San Diego, Marcus Phillips of La Mesa and Cody Paul of Los Alamitos.
The Louisiana recruits include Tre Brown, Courtland Joshua and Cortez Mitchell all of Donaldsonville, D’Vonnte Matthews of Jeanerette and Treston Decoud of Mandeville.
Two teammates from Grandview, Mo., have also inked with CSC. They are Christian Drummer and Zane Moore.
Also joining the Eagles are Taylenn Arnett of Lusk, Wyo., Burke Burgess of Gillette, Wyo., and Jamel Gilliam from Fayetteville, Ga.
The Eagles, who finished the 2011 season with a 6-5 record and a 6-3 mark in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, return 60 letter winners and 17 starters. Since 2000, Chadron State has won or shared the RMAC title five times. No other school in the conference has more than three championships during that stretch.
Profiles of each student-athlete follow.
Burke Burgess, defensive back, 5-10, 180 pounds (Gillette, Wyo./Campbell County High)
Named to Wyoming’s Class 4A All-State First Team … Nominated as a scholar athlete by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame … Also a talented wrestler who has placed in the top five at the Wyoming State Tournament three years in a row … He was first at 160 pounds in 2011.
Will Burgess, quarterback, 6-1, 192 pounds (Omaha, Neb./Omaha Central)
A three-year starter at quarterback for Omaha Central and helped lead his team to the Class A State Semifinals … Named all-district honorable mention by the Nebraska High School Coaches Association in 2010 … Threw for over 1,000 yards and had just three interceptions in 2011.
Video Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/23435/will-burgess#highlights
Christian Drummer, linebacker, 6-2, 210 pounds (Grandview, Mo./Grandview High)
A big linebacker from Missouri who had an excellent 2011 campaign … Finished the season with 66 tackles and 13 sacks … He also forced two fumbles.
Video Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/184161/christian-drummer
Zane Moore, inside receiver, 6-1, 205 pounds (Grandview, Mo./Grandview High)
Another decent-sized receiving prospect … Joins high school teammate, Christian Drummer, in the 2012 signing class … In 2011, he had 26 receptions for 324 yards, averaging over 12 yards a catch … Defensively, he added 25 tackles, 1.5 sacks and blocked two kicks.
Video Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/184175/zane-moore
Cody Paul, tailback, 5-5, 170 pounds (Los Alamitos, Calif./Los Alamitos High)
A shifty tailback who ran for 1,260 yards and 21 touchdowns last fall … Named his league’s offensive player of the year … Ran for more than 700 yards as a junior … Gained recognition when he was a 12-year-old Pop Warner player when his highlight film found a national audience on YouTube … It’s been seen by nearly 9 million people … Bench presses 310 pounds and is a member of his high school’s 1,200-pound club.
Video Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0N6VqpzcOY
Palmer White, inside receiver, 6-4, 220 pounds (Thornton, Colo./Horizon High)
A big tight end who primarily blocked in high school but could prove valuable as an inside receiver at Chadron State … He had six receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown and he added 10 pancake blocks … He also played on the offensive line and at fullback at Horizon High.
Trey Allison, linebacker, 6-0, 215 pounds (Gordon, Neb./Gordon-Rushville High)
The leading tackler for the Mustangs in 2011 … He finished with 92 total tackles and was placed on the all-conference team.
Taylen Arnett, defensive line, 6-3, 295 pounds (Lusk, Wyo./Niobrara County)
A big defensive line prospect who is nimble for his size … Named honorable mention all-state.
Maurice Boyd, defensive back, 5-11, 170 pounds (Stockton, Calif./A.A. Stagg High)
One of three Amos Alonzo Stagg High School football players to sign with the Eagles … He ran for 535 yards and scored four TDs, despite missing three games … He also returned kicks … On defense, he had 30 tackles and returned two interceptions for 119 yards.
Marcus Brown, wide receiver, 6-1, 180 pounds (Colorado Springs, Colo./Mesa Ridge High)
Led his team in a number of receiving categories last fall … He had 20 receptions for 519 yards and scored four TDs … His receiving yards accounted for more than 60 percent of his team’s passing attack … He also had 43 tackles and an interception.
Tre Brown, defensive back, 5-9, 185 pounds (Donaldsonville, La./Donaldsonville High)
A two-star ranked player from Scout.com and a 4-year starter … Ran for 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior at Donaldsonville High and was named the MVP at the Baton Rouge 7-on-7 after having four interceptions … Primarily played running back in high school but will be a defensive back at Chadron State … Has been timed in the 40-yard dash at 4.4 seconds and the 100 meters in 10.9 … One of three Donaldsonville players to join the Eagles in 2012.
Video Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGoZVGGWRsc\
Sawyer Burke, defensive back, 6-2, 175 pounds (Brady, Neb./Brady High)
The younger brother of all-conference defensive lineman, Keifer Burke at Chadron State … Like his brother, he’s athletic and showed that for Brady High School … He had 134 carries for 1,027 yards and 15 touchdowns and he also had 13 receptions for 291 yards and three touchdowns … An all-conference selection … Will play defensive back in college … Also plays for Brady’s basketball team, averaging 18 points and five rebounds.
Treston Decoud, defensive back, 6-2, 190 pounds (Mandeville, La./Lakeshore High)
An all-district safety with good speed … He’s been timed in the 40-yard dash 4.56 seconds and the 100 meters in 10.96 … Had 23 receptions for 356 yards and three TDs, in addition to rushing for 178 yards and a touchdown on just 12 attempts … On defense, he recorded 56 total tackles, forced and recovered two fumbles and had three interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns.
Video Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/387425/treston-decoud
Jamel Gilliam, defensive back, 5-9, 175 pounds (Fayetteville, Ga./Sandy Creek High)
A three-sport athlete from Georgia … Played a bevy of positions on the football field, including quarterback, running back, wide receiver, safety and several special teams positions … Had 34 tackles, one sack, three forced fumbles and two interceptions … Also had four rushes for 89 yards and scored two TDs.
Video Highlights: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/498606/jamel-gilliam
Isaac Griffin, linebacker, 6-0, 225 pounds (San Diego, Calif./Mission Bay High)
Named First Team Defense by the Western League … Averaged 13 tackles a game – 130 for the season – and had nine sacks that resulted in a loss of 45 yards … Griffin helped turn Mission Bay around in 2011 … In 2010 the Buccaneers went 3-9, but in 2011 they qualified for the CIF Playoffs.
Video Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqtAv7IVZlE
Austin Gutierrez, inside receiver, 6-0, 200 pounds (Longmont, Colo./Skyline High)
He averaged nearly 20 yards a reception for Skyline High in 2011, finishing the season with 32 receptions for 635 yards and three touchdowns … He also played well on defense, accumulating 29 total tackles and three sacks.
Dalton Hall, linebacker/running back, 6-0, 175 pounds (Frederick, Colo./Frederick High)
He’s one of three Frederick Warriors joining the Eagles … He averaged over 5.8 yards a carry for Frederick High last fall … He finished the season with 1,042 yards on 177 carries … He also scored 11 touchdowns and had eight receptions for 69 yards.
Video Highlight: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/47735/
Courtland Joshua, linebacker, 6-0, 215 pounds (Donaldsonville, La./Donaldsonville High)
One of three Donaldsonville products to sign with the Eagles in 2012 … He was an all-district choice and a second team all-state selection at linebacker … He had 97 total tackles, four sacks, five forced fumbles and seven interceptions … He also broke up seven passes, blocked three field goals and scored four touchdowns … He also played long snapper and on the offensive line.
Video Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKBNjMsK2t0
Jordan King, linebacker, 6-2, 215 pounds (Frederick, Colo./Frederick High)
The second Warrior to ink with CSC … He had a whopping 114 tackles and 12 sacks in 2011 … He also had two interceptions, three passes defended and three forced fumbles … He also scored two touchdowns.
Frantzlee LaCrete, defensive line, 6-2, 250 pounds (Lewellen, Neb./Garden County High)
A big product from Garden County High School … He had 85 total tackles, seven sacks and forced two fumbles while being named to the Class D-I All-State First Team by the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal Star … As a junior, he had four sacks … During his final two seasons, he’s had 25 quarterback hurries and knocked down the quarterback another 15 times.
Buomkuoth Lual, defensive line, 6-3, 220 pounds (Grand Island, Neb./Grand Island Senior High)
Played on the offensive and defensive line for the Islanders …
D’Vonnte Matthews, defensive line, 6-1, 305 pounds (Jeanerette, La./Jeanerette High)
A big defensive line prospect … He didn’t play his senior season because of age restrictions but was a two-time all-district first team selection.
Video Highlight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcVucXSi2bE
Cortez Mitchell, linebacker, 5-8, 160 pounds (Donaldsonville, La./Donaldsonville High)
The third Donaldsonville product to ink with the Eagles … Also played baseball and basketball … Had 50 tackles, two interceptions and two passes defended as a defensive back … Had 16 receptions for 379 yards and scored five touchdowns as a wide receiver.
Video Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC9LTWxdH80
Timmy Ornelas, offensive line, 6-1, 250 pounds (Fort Lupton, Colo./Fort Lupton High)
An offensive line prospect from Colorado … Also a talented high school wrestler, who is currently ranked No. 1 at 220 pounds … Had two pins under six seconds.
Highlight Video: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/649047/
Marcus Phillips, cornerback, 6-1, 175 pounds (La Mesa, Calif./Grossmont High)
Will join his older brother Jojo at Chadron State … Jojo is also a cornerback for the Eagles.
Highlight Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxHVU3ls7tw
Wade Reeves, inside receiver, 6-3, 200 pounds (Chadron, Neb./Chadron High)
A hometown product who had a successful 2011 season … Recorded 33 receptions for 523 yards … He was named to the all-conference team ... His brother, Travis, is a wide receiver for the Eagles.
Sergi Ruiz, defensive line, 6-1, 265 pounds (Firestone, Colo./Frederick High)
The third Frederick High School product to ink with the Eagles … He had 50 tackles and one sack in 2011.
Video Highlight: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/175139/
Eric Vejvoda, linebacker, 6-1, 205 pounds (Ralston, Neb./Ralston High)
Had a successful season at running back for Ralston, earning honorable mention all-state … He had 200 carries for 1,177 yards and scored six times … Will play linebacker at Chadron State.
Video Highlight: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/125120/
Brian Wood, defensive back, 6-1, 170 pounds (Stockton, Calif./A.A. Stagg High)
Had a stellar season at quarterback but will roam the defensive backfield for Chadron State … He threw for 1,786 yards and 21 touchdowns and added 283 yards and four TDs rushing … Defensively, he had 90 tackles, three interceptions and broke up six passes … He was a first team all-league selection three years in a row and all-area twice … Has been timed in the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds … He also runs on his high school’s relay team … His twin brother, Ryan, also signed to play football with the Eagles.
Video Highlight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIuRcAh8Vlw
Ryan Wood, defensive back, 6-2, 175 pounds (Stockton, Calif./A.A. Stagg High)
Was one of his brother’s favorites targets last season, catching 44 passes for 722 yards and 12 touchdowns … He also returned punts and kicks … On defense, he accounted for 71 tackles, three interceptions and broke up eight passes … He was a three-time first team all-league choice and like his brother, Brian, he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.
Video Highlight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oah_3sKPHDo
Parker Young, inside receiver, 6-2, 220 pounds (Hershey, Neb./Hershey High)
A talented receiver who had a solid season for Hershey … In 2011, he had 18 receptions for 243 yards and was named all-conference.
Video Highlight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOgUvFNEDRQ
—Alex Helmbrecht, Sports Information Director