Tiger football targets playmakers in 2018 recruiting class

Tiger football targets playmakers in 2018 recruiting class

MITCHELL, S.D. – Head football coach Ross Cimpl is entering his seventh season with Dakota Wesleyan University, and hopes to continue the success into next year. Cimpl has an overall record of 44-21. The Tigers finished last year 6-5 overall and 4-4 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. The coaching staff targeted impact players who could make a difference on and off the field.

 "This class is exactly what we were looking for in terms of athleticism, speed and difference makers," Cimpl said. "We wanted to target the right kids for our program and our coaching staff did a tremendous job with our most recent commitments."

 This class features 22 total recruits including nine from South Dakota, six from Nebraska, four from Washington and three from Minnesota. 

 Alex Pohlen 

 Freshman, 5-11, 180, Minneota, Minn., Minneota High School, Quarterback

 Pohlen finished his career completing 447-of-762 pass attempts, 7,243 passing yards, 93 passing touchdowns and eight rushing touchdowns. He was a two-time football captain, three-time All-District and four-time All-Area team. He was also voted Prep Bowl Most Valuable Teammate, was an Excel Award Winner and Academic All-State. He was a four-year starter and five-time letterwinner in football for the Vikings. He also competed in baseball for six seasons, and was a two-time All-Conference member in baseball. 

 Matthew Mason 

 Sophomore, 6-0, 230, Brookings, S.D., Brookings High School, Defensive End

 Mason was named Most Improved on the Brookings Bobcats football team. He was a scholar-athlete team member and participated in football for four years. Mason was also a three-year starter in baseball. He plans to major in sports management. 

 Trent Esping 

 Freshman, 6-3, 260, Minneota, Minn., Minneota High School, Defensive Line

 Trent was a five-time letterwinner in football and a three-year starter. He also wrestled and was a starter for the Vikings for six years and was heavyweight state champion in 2017. He was named to the Independent All-Area Team and also participated in golf. He will major in law enforcement and psychology. 

 Jaden Bloemendaal 

 Freshman, 5-9, 162, Edgerton, Minn., Edgerton Public High School, Running Back

 Jaden was a four-time letter recipient and a three-year starter for the Edgerton Dutchmen. In his senior season he recorded 1,100 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns. During his junior season he tallied 1,000 rushing yards, 300 receiving yards and 18 total touchdowns. He was named to the All-District team his junior and senior year. He was named to the All-Area team his senior year and was also named the Dutchmen Back of the Year his senior year. Bloemendaal was member of the 'B' honor roll and a member of the National Honor Society. He received varsity letters four times in baseball and two times in basketball. He plans to major in sports broadcasting. 

 Tate Larson 

 Freshman, 6-2, 185, Mitchell, S.D., Mitchell High School, Wide Receiver

 Larson participated in football, basketball and track at Mitchell High School. In his senior year, Larson recorded 13 catches for 205 yards and two touchdowns, while recording 17 tackles as a defensive back. In his junior season he caught 10 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown, while notching 14 tackles. Larson was a part of the 2016 11AA State Football Championship team. He was named captain of the football team his senior year. Larson won the Golden "M" award twice for lettering in three sports and received the Gary Munsen Memorial Scholarship award. He plans to major in Business. 

 Nathan Rupprecht 

 Freshman, 5-11, 185, Bennington, Neb., Bennington High School, Defensive Back

 Nathan participated four years in football and three years in track at Bennington High School. During his senior year, he recorded 33 tackles and four interceptions. He was named All-Conference and All-State Honorable Mention. Rupprecht was a Blue-Grey All American Bowl invitee in 2017. In track, he was J.O. State Decathlon Champion, four-time All-Nebraska Track and Field team member, named Skill Lifter of the Year and named team captain his senior year. He plans to major in Sport, Exercise and Wellness. 

 Daymein Lucas 

 Freshman, 5-10, 200, Volga, S.D., Sioux Valley High School, Linebacker

 Lucas holds school records for career rushing yards with 3,063, rushing yards in a season with 1,789, scoring in a season with 168 points and scoring in a career with 262 points. He was named All-State, All-Conference Big East and Elite 45. He was also named to the Brookings All-Register Team and was an All-Star game qualifier. He helped lead his high school to a 10-1 record his senior year. Lucas was named Academic All-State for his efforts in the classroom. He was a four-year starter in football, four-year participant in basketball and three-time letterwinner in track. 

 Chance Sorensen 

 Freshman, 5-9, 155, Rapid City, S.D., Douglas High School, Wide Receiver

 Sorensen was named All-State and All-Conference in football. He finished his senior season leading the team in tackles. He was a two-year starter and three-time letterwinner in football. He also participated in track for three seasons and was named a state finalist. Sorensen competed in basketball for four years. 

 Tyler Olson 

 Freshman, 5-10, 240, Rapid City, S.D., Rapid City Central High School, Offensive Line

 Olson was named team captain and won the Football Leadership Award. He was a three-year starter in football and a two-year participant in wrestling. He plans to major in criminal justice at DWU. 

 Joao Souza 

 Freshman, 6-3, 205, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nebraska Evangelical Lutheran High School, Wide Receiver

 During his junior and senior seasons, Souza tallied 491 receiving yards, 13.6 yards per catch, 10 touchdowns and seven sacks. He helped lead the Knights to a District Championship in 2017 after an 8-2 season. He was named All-State First Team, All-District First Team and Athlete of the Week for the state of Nebraska. Souza was a two-year starter for football and a two-time letterwinner in track. He plans to major in athletic training. 

 Brendan Sokolowski 

 Freshman, 6-2, 187, Wakonda, S.D., Irene-Wakonda High School, Wide Receiver

 He was named All-Conference, All-State, Elite 45 and All-Star Game participant at the wide receiver position. During his senior season, Sokolowski recorded 1,106 receiving yards on 78 catches, 41 rushing yards and 12 total touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, he notched 86 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, 13 hurries and two fumble recoveries. Throughout his freshman and sophomore seasons, he totaled 91 receiving yards, three touchdowns, 58 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. Sokolowski was named to the 'A' and 'B' honor roll, as well as receiving the Academic Team Award. He was a four-year starter in football and track, while being a five-year participant in basketball. 

 Manny Borrero-Lewis 

 Freshman, 5-8, 180, Lakewood, Wash., Lakes High School, Linebacker

 Manny finished his high-school career as a three-year starter and four-year participant in football. He also participated in wrestling and track. He finished with a 3.5 GPA his senior year. Manny plans to major in teaching at DWU. 

 TJ Benton 

 Freshman, 6-4, 280, Colbert, Wash., Mount Spokane High School, Offensive Line 

 Na'hoku Agor 

 Freshman, 5-8, 180, Hanapepe, Hawaii, Lakes High School, Defensive Back

 Agor was named All-League First Team defensive back. He helped his team to a 7-4 record his senior year and a 7-5 record his junior campaign. He was a three-year starter in football and also competed in track for four seasons. He plans to major in athletic training at DWU. 

 Miles Davis 

 Freshman, 6-0, 160, Hemingford, Neb., Hemingford High School, Defensive Back

 Davis tallied eight career interceptions and 152 career tackles. He recorded 831 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns and 81 tackles his senior season. Davis helped his team win the District Championship his senior season. He was named team captain and Offensive MVP his senior season, while being named Western Trails All-Conference Honorable Mention, Panhandle All-Conference and All-District Honorable Mention his senior and junior seasons. Davis was a two-year starter in football, basketball and track. 

 Shayden Neptune 

 Freshman, 6-1, 165, Atkinson, Neb., West Holt High School, Wide Receiver

 In his career, Neptune recorded 972 receiving yards on 72 catches for eight touchdowns, while notching 213 tackles and 20 interceptions. On special teams, he tallied 500 return yards and two touchdowns. He helped his team to a District Championship. Neptune was named All-District twice, All-State Honorable Mention in 2017 and All-State safety in 2018. He was a three-year starter for the Huskies, while also competing in basketball and track for four years. Neptune was a member of the Principal's Honor Roll and plans to major in athletic training. 

 Jon Wilhelmsen 

 Freshman, 6-1, 190, Baltic, S.D., Baltic High School, Kicker/Linebacker

 Wilhelmsen finished his senior season with 90 total tackles, three interceptions, a fumble recovery, 408 kick return yards, 347 punt return yards and a 38-yard field goal. On offense he tallied 622 passing yards, six passing touchdowns, 396 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns, 319 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. He was named All-State punter, Big East All-Conference receiver and Tri-Valley Conference receiver. Wilhelmsen was a four-year starter in football and basketball while also competing in track and golf. He plans to major in accounting at DWU. 

 DJ Rediger 

 Freshman, 6-3, 215, Lincoln, Neb., Lincoln Southeast High School, Tight End

 Rediger helped his team to a city championship and a conference championship. He was named Academic All-Conference for his efforts in the classroom. He was also a member of the National Honor Society, honor roll and was a scholar athlete. He was a two-year starter for the Knights. Rediger plans to major in criminal justice. 

 Jett Evans 

 Freshman, 5-10, 150, Chamberlain, S.D., Chamberlain High School, Running Back 

 Daniel Libolt 

 Freshman, 5-9, 170, Chambers, Neb., Chambers Public High School, Running Back

 Libolt tallied 1,485 rushing yards on 154 attempts, 214 receiving yards on 15 catches, 118 tackles, 2,268 all-purpose yards and 31 touchdowns his senior year. In his career, Libolt finished with 3,813 rushing yards on 478 attempts, 1,333 receiving yards on 74 catches, 372 tackles and 93 total touchdowns. In 2015 he helped his team to a D2 State Runner-Up. Libolt was named All-State First Team in the Omaha, Lincoln, Huskerland and Grand Island newspapers his senior year. He was also named All-Area in the Norfolk and O'Neill newspapers and All-District First Team his senior season. From his freshman through junior years, he was named All-District three times and All-State twice. 

 Christian Hutton 

Freshman, 6-0, 165, Spanaway, Wash., Steilacoom High School, Safety 

 Levi Backhaus

 Freshman, 6-3, 195, Colton, S.D., Tri-Valley High School, Tight End

 "All of these kids will make an impact in our program on and off the field" Cimpl said. "We are looking for this class to accomplish some tremendous things during their career here."

 The Tigers begin the 2018 season against in-state rival Dakota State University on August 23 at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell.