The Coyote football team found depth in all the right places on National Signing Day, when high school athletes across the nation chose their future teams Feb. 1.
Coyote football head coach Bob Nielson announced in a press conference on Feb. 1 in Sioux Falls that the Coyotes signed 24 student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent.
Along with the 24 signees, USD also got an additional seven high school standouts that accepted an offer of admissions to USD and a mid-year transfer, Cody Jennings, from Garden City Community College.
One notable recruit that signed with the Coyotes was defensive lineman Peter Klug. Klug notched 144 tackles including 10 sacks and 20 tackles-for-loss in his senior season in high school at Blue Valley North in Kansas. He was graded at 69 out of 100 on ESPN’s RecruitingNation Grading Scale
Another notable recruit that signed on was kicker Dominic Long. Long signing with the Coyotes fills a need, as they will be losing All-American senior Miles Bergner.
Going into his second year of coaching, this was Nielson’s first recruiting class. He said there were two priorities he was looking to address.
The first priority Nielson listed was to “get quality at every position that adds to our current roster,” he said during the press conference. This included adding players like Long, who fill a needed a position, and Klug, who adds depth to the amount of people available at
The second priority that was addressed was adding depth in the offensive and defensive lines. This was a large focus as lineman – 11 offensive and seven defensive – make up over half of the
At the end of last season, Neilson emphasized that both the offensive and defensive lines need to be deeper and stronger.
Sophomore quarterback Brian Woodward said the team is very excited about the recruiting class.
“I think the coaches did a great job,” Woodward said. “They filled a lot of the needs we had coming into signing day and we are looking forward to having them join us in
The Coyotes also maintained their recruiting relationship in the St. Louis and Florida areas.
The Coyotes got three signees from each area this year, continuing their recent success in recruiting in Florida, with five signees coming from there in 2015 and three last year.
In total, the Coyotes signed just three recruits from South Dakota. The Midwest didn’t disappoint, however, with eight signees coming from Iowa, and four coming from Minnesota, Kansas
“It represents the fact that we are highly committed to recruiting regionally,” Nielson said.
At the press conference, Nielson also spoke about what having a large recruiting class means for the team.
“We were able to sign such a large class because we had a large amount of interest,” he said. “The commitment our university is making, signified by the new facilities and Dome renovations on the horizon, are the kinds of things that get young men excited about the future.”
While the Coyotes managed to get 32 recruits total, they did miss out on several prospects.
Several top players missed out on include Anthony Payne (Kansas St.), Brett Kitrell (Ohio) and Austin Schirck (Minnesota).
All three prospects were defensive lineman and rated 78, 73 and 69 on ESPN’s Recruiting Nation Grading
USD’s 2017 season kicks off on Sept. 2 against Drake in Des Moines, IA.