You’ve come to know it as National Signing Day – when, every first Wednesday in February, high school seniors from around the country can sign binding National Letters of Intent to join NCAA member schools.
Don’t worry. We’re on it. We at the Argus Leader will be all over the announcements as they come across next week, but in the meantime there’s plenty to catch up on.
Several area athletes have already made early college commitments, including three this week: Washington’s Ty Smith and Lincoln’s Kyle Sim declared football futures for the University of Sioux Falls, while O’Gorman’s Jack Peery will join the University of South Dakota.
Smith’s high school coach, Chad Stadem, said he thinks the Cougars are getting a top-notch player.
“I really feel like he’s a Division I talent,” Stadem said. “Nebraska offered him a preferred walk-on, and he chose USF over Nebraska. He is that talented. USF got a Division I-caliber football player.”
Smith burst onto the scene last season as a game-changing tight end after anchoring the Warriors as an outside linebacker in his junior season. The Argus Leader Elite 45 selection finished with 36 catches for 589 yards, with a third of those grabs going for touchdowns (12). In the state championship against O’Gorman, Smith hauled in seven catches for 108 yards. Smith also turned in 45 tackles (10 for loss) at linebacker.
“Athletically we could see that he had that ability, but he’d never played tight end before,” Stadem said. “He started working and it really blossomed – it was a natural fit.”
Peery, meanwhile, brought similar playmaking ability to the runner-up Knights, catching 36 passes for 673 yards and eight touchdowns. Peery also took a 50-yard end-around for a score in the championship game, showcasing the perimeter receiver’s impressive speed. Like Smith (who stands 6-foot-4), Peery is blessed with ideal wideout size at 6-5.
Sim anchored the Patriots as a three-year starter on the offensive line and finished his career with multiple all-conference and all-state honors. Sims’s coach, Aaron Beavers, commended the guard’s intelligence.
“Kyle is one of the smartest players I have had the privilege to coach,” Beavers said. “Outstanding pulling lineman, zone block and pass protector.”
Sim could be a perfect fit for the up-tempo Cougars.
Teammates wide receiver Lee Ransom and offensive tackle DeyShon Davis, one has to imagine, are also coveted recruits.
For anyone keeping score – we’re talking sports, so someone likely is – the Rough Riders have the early lead on football recruits. The Riders have seven early commits, followed by Washington (five), and O’Gorman, Harrisburg and Brookings with two each.
Below is the list of early in-state recruits heading to in-state and area colleges. We’ll keep adding to it as the recruits flow in.
* = indicates Argus Leader Elite 45 honoree
** = indicates Elite 45 honorable mention
- *Luke Fritsch (O’Gorman)
- Tyler Van Voorst (Roosevelt)
- Justin Mueller (Roosevelt)
- Isaiah Feterl (Washington)
- Michael Enalls (Washington)
University of Sioux Falls
- *Jett Thune (Roosevelt)
- Nathan Durfee (Roosevelt)
- *Ty Smith (Washington)
- **Joey Wehrkamp (Washington)
- **Kyle Sim (Lincoln)
- *Jack Schelhaas (Washington)
University of South Dakota
- **Ethan Roth (Harrisburg)
- *Jacob Headlee (Harrisburg)
- *Jack Peery (O’Gorman)
- *Brevin Kaiser (Pierre)
South Dakota State
- *Kanin Nelson (Mitchell)
- *Wesley Genant (Parkston)
- *Preston Tetzlaff (Brookings)
Minnesota State – Mankato
- Cole Schroedermeier (Roosevelt)
- Tanner Iwan (Scotland)
- Jacob Boettcher (Waverly-South Shore)
- *Gerald Maxawell (Brookings)
- Stephen Cordell (Washington)
- Jenson Amdahl (Washington)
- Nick Walker (O’Gorman)
- Kreg Kepplinger (Scotland)
- **Sean Powell (Roosevelt)
- **Tanner Machacek (Roosevelt)