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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • College football: Golden Eagles spread their wings to sign 21 players


  • Golden Eagle head coach Paul Miller, who is in his second season at the helm, stressed the recruiting process is far from over.
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  • Minnesota, Crookston Football went far and wide, and even down under, to put together the 2013 recruiting class, adding 21 players to their roster during National Signing Day Wednesday. UMC addressed several areas of need and added depth at other positions.
     
    Golden Eagle head coach Paul Miller, who is in his second season at the helm, stressed the recruiting process is far from over.
     
    "We are not done. We are still in the process of recruiting," he said. "Yesterday was a pretty good day, but we have a few guys still out there. It's not over by any means but I think we made some progress."
     
    Miller's Golden Eagles went to 2-9 last season, finishing the season with a thrilling 37-36 victory over Mary to end the season at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. It was the most wins in a season for UMC since it had two wins in each of the 2004, 2007 and 2008 seasons.
     
    When asked who highlights this large class, coach Miller pointed to a kicker, Mike Maw out of White Bear Lake, to make a big impact.
     
    "It goes beyond one or two guys," said Miller. "The kicker out of White Bear Lake, we feel really good about him. He will impact us right away with our two guys from last year graduated. That needed to be addressed and I think we did very well there."
     
    Coach Miller sees members of this class being two to three year starters.
     
    "In the recruiting process we're looking at guys to be two to three year starter kids," said Miller. "We feel good about that. They will compete for playing time along with the guys that are here. Our depth is getting better and we bring back more kids than a year ago."
     
    The Golden Eagles first announced the additions of three transfers, a quarterback and defensive back from Vermillion Community College in Ely, Minn. and a running back from Contra Costa Community College in California. They will all be juniors.
     
    Four players from Minnesota were added, while California had the most players with seven. Six players from Hawaii were also announced.
     
    "We are glad wherever we can sign them," said Miller. "It was worth our while this year spending time (in California and Hawaii). I don't care where they're coming from we just want to get them here."
     
    Coach Miller and his staff worked hard for all 21 players.
     
    Page 2 of 3 - “We’re pretty excited about this signing class,” said coach Miller. “I credit our coaches who worked hard at it. We are really excited. We bring some outstanding athletes at a lot of different positions. You want to leave the day feeling like you are a better football team and I think we’ve accomplished that. Our work still continues after signing day. We have some key guys out there that we are still after so you are going to see some addition signings.”
     
    Reaching even further than Hawaii, coach Miller and his staff signed an athlete from Melbourne, Australia, Vincent Scheffer, who offered admission.
     
    With the quarterbacks, two-year starter A.J. Barge, a junior, remains the only one left from last year's squad. Barge will be joined by Vermillion transfer Jordan Manahan, Kyle Larson out of Clayton Wis. and Nathan Cole out of Aliso Viejo, Calif., who is 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds.
     
    The Golden Eagles had one of the smaller recruiting classes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference as Concordia-St. Paul had the largest with 41 signees. Bemidji State added 37 and both Upper Iowa and Augustana signed 36. Minot State had the smallest class with 15 newcomers.


     
    National Letter of Intent (16)
    Mike Atuaia, LB, 6-0,  185 lbs., Mililani, Hawaii, Mililani H.S.
    Jake Christopherson, DL, 6-2, 240 lbs., Sturgeon Lake, Minn., Moose Lake-Willow River H.S.
    Nathan Cole, QB, 6-4, 215 lbs., Aliso Viejo, Calif., Aliso Niguel H.S.
    Landon Cook, ATH, 5-9, 200 lbs., San Clemente, Calif., San Clemente H.S.
    Trent Galkoski, DB, 5-11, 190 lbs., La Mesa, Calif., Grossmont H.S.
    Bobby Hitchcock, OL, 6-1, 245 lbs., Dellwood, Minn., Cretin-Derham Hall H.S.
    Sam Hunter, OL, 6-0, 255 lbs., San Clemente, Calif., San Clemente H.S.
    Billy Kellogg, Jr., RB, 5-10, 180 lbs., Minneapolis, Minn., Robbinsdale Cooper H.S.
    Kyle Larson, QB, 6-2, 180 lbs., Clayton, Wis., Clayton H.S.
    Mike Maw, K, 5-7, 170 lbs., White Bear Lake, Minn.,     White Bear Lake H.S.
    Drew McDurmin, OL, 6-3, 270 lbs., Ewa Beach, Hawaii, Aiea H.S.
    John Mitzel, OL, 6-5, 285 lbs., Aliso Viejo, Calif., Aliso Niguel H.S.
    Keoni Piceno, WR, 5-9, 175 lbs., Wahiawa, Hawaii, Leilehua H.S.
    Ekolu Ramos, WR, 5-10, 160 lbs., Mililani, Hawaii, Mililani H.S.
    Justin Tago-Su’e, ATH, 5-11, 180 lbs., Ewa Beach, Hawaii, Campbell H.S.
    Mychal Traylor, DB, 5-10, 155 lbs., Santa Ana, Calif., Mater Dei H.S.


     
    Transfers (Already Enrolled) (3)
    Roman Hauser, RB, 5-10, 185 lbs., Vacaville, Calif., Contra Costa C.C.
    Page 3 of 3 - Jordan Manahan, QB, 6-0, 190 lbs., Shuniah, Ontario, Vermillion C.C.
    Collin Rainey, DB, 6-0, 190 lbs., Westminster, Colo., Vermillion C.C.


     
    Offers of Admission (2)
    Vincent Scheffer, ATH, 6-3, 190 lbs., Melbourne, Australia, John Paul College
    Beau Winchester, DB, 5-8, 155 lbs., Mililani, Hawaii, Mililani H.S.


     
    By State
    California (7) – Cole, Cook, Galkoski, Hauser, Hunter, Mitzel, Traylor
    Hawaii (6) –Atuaia, McDurmin, Piceno, Ramos, Tago-Su’e, Winchester
    Minnesota (4) – Christopherson, Hitchcock, Kellogg, Maw
    Colorado (1) - Rainey
    Wisconsin (1) – Larson
    Australia (1) - Scheffer
    Canada (1) – Manahan


     
    By Position
    Quarterback (3) – Cole, Larson, Manahan
    Running Back (2) – Hauser, Kellogg
    Wide Receiver (2) –Piceno, Ramos
    Offensive Line (4) –Hitchcock, Hunter, McDurmin, Mitzel
    Defensive Line (1) –Christopherson
    Linebacker (1) – Atuaia
    Defensive Back (4) – Galkoski, Rainey, Traylor, Winchester
    Kicker (1) – Maw
    Athletes (3) – Cook, Scheffer, Tago Su’e

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