The Golden Eagles inked 23 student-athletes from 11 states.

    The University of Minnesota Crookston football team officially announced the signing of 23 players to either National Letters of Intent or Institutional Letters of Intent. The Golden Eagles signed 21 student-athletes directly from high school, and two from junior college.

    “Our staff is extremely excited about the student athletes that will be joining the Golden Eagle football program in 2019,” said Head Coach Mark Dufner. “We have worked exceptionally hard to identify high character student athletes that will be a great fit both academically and athletically. Our staff feels that we have added much needed depth to the team while also addressing some of the key areas of need.”   

    Head Coach Mark Dufner, entering his third season with the Golden Eagles, has continued to emphasize the region with his recruiting classes. Minnesota Crookston signed 13 players from the Midwest Region, included in that number is seven from the state of Minnesota. The Golden Eagles were also able to sign three players from the state of North Dakota, focusing on area players as they were able to sign two players from the Fargo area, and one from Grand Forks. The Golden Eagles were also able to sign Mason from Baudette, Minn., another talented area player that will add to the ranks. Minnesota Crookston also inked two players from Wisconsin, and two from Illinois.

    The Golden Eagles were able to recruit strong talent nationally as they recruited across the country from the Pacific to Atlantic Ocean. Minnesota Crookston inked players from New Jersey, New York, California, Louisiana, Florida, Washington, and Mississippi.

    The Golden Eagles addressed key needs in the class. Minnesota Crookston bulked up in the trenches, as they signed eight offensive linemen and four defensive linemen. The Golden Eagles also were able to add talented skill-position players, as they signed three quarterbacks, and four wide receivers. In addition, Minnesota Crookston inked a linebacker, and five defensive backs.

    Minnesota Crookston adds to a strong core that is returning for the 2019 season. The Golden Eagles return a lot of talent from last season’s team. Minnesota Crookston has 61 players back in the fray heading into the spring. The Golden Eagles will look to continue to build their program. They have a strong foundation for the future that they are building with the last two classes, Coach Dufner’s first two classes as head coach for Minnesota Crookston.

    The Golden Eagles have a great core returning in the coaching ranks, as well. Joining Dufner is returning coordinators Tom Miller, on the defensive side, and Jared Hottle, on the offensive side of the ball. Assistant coaches Sam Gooding, Sam Smith, Michael Hepp, and Evan Dahl are also back from last season.

    Minnesota Crookston still has a couple areas they are looking to address after Signing Day, but they are close to complete after Wednesday’s recruiting class.

    The student-athletes listed today as having signed National Letter of Intents or Offers of Admission to play at University of Minnesota Crookston have been verified by the Minnesota Crookston Compliance Office once they sign the National Letter of Intent or once the student-athlete has accepted an Offer of Admission from Minnesota Crookston.

By Position

Quarterbacks (3)
Tyrique Alston, QB, 5-11 190, Ewing, N.J./Erasmus Hall H.S.
Kamron Clayton, QB, 5-11 187, Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South H.S.
Alex Folz, QB, 5-10 190, Spring Grove, Minn./Spring Grove H.S.

Wide Receivers (4)
Jack Anderson, WR, 5-11 167, Grand Forks, N.D./Central H.S.
Clayton Howard, WR, 5-8 165, St. Francisville, La./West Feliciana H.S.
Isaiah Mason, WR, 5-10 175, Baudette, Minn./Lake of the Woods H.S.
Brandan Williams, WR, 5-9 165, Aberdeen, Miss./Aberdeen H.S.

Offensive Line (7)
Ben Brekke, OL, 6-0 255, Fargo, N.D./Fargo North H.S.
Max Chavez, OL, 6-4 330, St. Paul, Minn./Harding H.S.
Sven Lukner, OL, 6-0 253, Sedro-Woolley, Wash./Sedro-Woolley H.S.
Hassan Madkour, OL, 5-11 290, Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata H.S.
Christopher Nickell, OL, 6-1 280, Moline, Ill./Moline H.S.
Fidel Mendes, OL, 6-2 290, Long Beach, Calif./Cerritos College
Devin Shellito, OL, 6-2 250, Braham, Minn./Braham H.S.

Defensive Line (4)
Chris Daniels, DL, 6-4 200, Cedar Grove, Wis./Cedar Grove-Belgium H.S.
Milkaso Dedefo, DL, 6-2 230, St. Louis Park, Minn./St. Louis Park H.S.
Jayvon George, DL, 6-2 215, Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus Hall H.S.
Ryan Martin, DL, 6-2 215, Kissimmee, Fla./Poinciana H.S.

Linebackers (1)
Mason VanVleet, LB, 5-10 163, Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.

Defensive Backs (4)
Dileita Dileita, DB, 5-10 5-10 155, Fargo, N.D./Sheyenne H.S.
Izaiah Hatley, DB, 5-9 165, Inglewood, Calif./Cathedral H.S.
Tysen White, DB, 5-9 176, McFarland, Wis./McFarland H.S.
B.J. Williams, DB, 6-1 190, Aberdeen, Miss./Itawamba Community College

By State

Minnesota (7)
Max Chavez, OL, 6-4 330, St. Paul, Minn./Harding H.S.
Milkaso Dedefo, DL, 6-2 230, St. Louis Park, Minn./St. Louis Park H.S.
Alex Folz, QB, 5-10 190, Spring Grove, Minn./Spring Grove H.S.
Hassan Madkour, OL, 5-11 290, Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata H.S.
Isaiah Mason, WR, 5-10 175, Baudette, Minn./Lake of the Woods H.S.
Devin Shellito, OL, 6-2 250, Braham, Minn./Braham H.S.
Mason VanVleet, LB, 5-10 163, Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.

North Dakota (3)
Jack Anderson, WR, 5-11 167, Grand Forks, N.D./Central H.S.
Ben Brekke, OL, 6-0 255, Fargo, N.D./Fargo North H.S.
Dileita Dileita, DB, 5-10 5-10 155, Fargo, N.D./Sheyenne H.S.

Wisconsin (2)
Chris Daniels, DL, 6-4 200, Cedar Grove, Wis./Cedar Grove-Belgium H.S.
Tysen White, DB, 5-9 176, McFarland, Wis./McFarland H.S.

Illinois (2)
Kamron Clayton, QB, 5-11 187, Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South H.S.
Christopher Nickell, OL, 6-1 280, Moline, Ill./Moline H.S.

Mississippi (2)
B.J. Williams, DB, 6-1 190, Aberdeen, Miss./Itawamba Community College
Brandan Williams, WR, 5-9 165, Aberdeen, Miss./Aberdeen H.S.

California (2)
Izaiah Hatley, DB, 5-9 165, Inglewood, Calif./Cathedral H.S.
Fidel Mendes, OL, 6-2 290, Long Beach, Calif./Cerritos College

New York (1)
Jayvon George, DL, 6-2 215, Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus Hall H.S.

New Jersey (1)
Tyrique Alston, QB, 5-11 190, Ewing, N.J./Erasmus Hall H.S.

Louisiana (1)
Clayton Howard, WR, 5-8 165, St. Francisville, La./West Feliciana H.S.

Florida (1)
Ryan Martin, DL, 6-2 215, Kissimmee, Fla./Poinciana H.S.

Washington (1)
Sven Lukner, OL, 6-0 253, Sedro-Woolley, Wash./Sedro-Woolley H.S.

Tyrique Alston (QB, 5-11 190, Ewing, N.J./Erasmus Hall H.S.
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Alston was the eighth-best recruit in New York...Has played on Varsity for three seasons...Attended Erasmus Hall H.S.

Personal: Born Oct. 25, 2000...Plans to major in Software Engineering.

Jack Anderson (WR, 5-11 167, Grand Forks, N.D./Central H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Went to Grand Forks Central H.S...Was ranked the 41st-best recruit in the state of North Dakota.

Personal: Son of Robert and Peggy Anderson...Born July 8, 2000...Will study Business at Minnesota Crookston.

Ben Brekke (OL, 6-0 255, Fargo, N.D./Fargo North H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Attended Fargo North H.S...All Eastern Dakota Conference...Fargo North defensive line MVP...All-State Defensive Second Team.

Personal: Son of Shaunda and Kevin Brekke...Born Nov. 22, 2000...Plans to major in International Business.

Max Chavez (OL, 6-4 330, St. Paul, Minn./ Harding H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Attended Harding High School in St. Paul, Minn.

Personal: Born May 17, 2001...Plans to major in English.

Kamron Clayton (QB, 5-11 187, Lynwood, Ill./Thornton South H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Attended Thornton South H.S...First-Team All-Conference...Two-year varsity starter.

Personal: Son of Sybil and Arie Clayton of Lynwood, Ill...Born Jan. 11, 2001...Plans to major in Software Engineering.

Chris Daniels (DL, 6-4 200, Cedar Grove, Wis./Cedar Grove-Belgium H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: First Team All-Conference…First Team All-Region as a Senior...First Team All-Conference as a junior.

Personal: Son of Leah Klockow of Cedar Grove and Alan Daniels of Fredonia...Born Nov. 12, 2000...Plans to major in Business Management.

Milkaso Dedefo (DL, 6-2 230, St. Louis Park, Minn./St. Louis Park H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Three-year varsity player at St. Louis Park High School...All-Distruct as a senior...Served as team captain as a senior.

Personal: Son of Bedaso Kare and Madina Ulu...Born Nov. 21, 1999...Plans to major in Sports Management.

Dileita Dileita (DB, 5-10 155, Fargo, N.D./Sheyenne H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Attended West Fargo Sheyenne H.S...Ranked as the seventh-best recruit in the state of North Dakota.

Personal: Son of Mariam Hassan...Born August 3, 2001.

Alex Folz (QB, 5-10 190, Spring Grove, Minn./Spring Grove H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Four-time letter winner for Basketball...Starting point guard...Ranked No. 3 on high school's all-time three-point percentage...Led the team with top free throw percentage in 2015-2016 season...Named Team MVP in 2017…Earned 2017 Conference MVP...Starting Pitcher as a ninth grader..Earned a letter in baseball…Named All-Section for baseball and earned Team MVP…Led the team in batting average...Also led the Southeast Minnesota, in all divisions, in strikeouts with 87 his freshman season...Named MVP and best pitcher, along with best batter during his sophomore year...Earned best pitcher honors as a junior...Five-year varsity starter for football...Named First Team All-Conference…Folz earned First Team All-Region accolades…Named First Team All-Area for football…A First Team All-State pick at Spring Grove High School…Named District Back of the Year…Folz earned AP All-State honors…He was named the team MVP as a junior...He helped lead his high school team to a conference championship, sectional championship, and Minnesota State Championship as a junior…Holds 22 School records at Spring Grove...Helped lead his squad to two-straight State nine-man championships.

Personal: Son of Paul and Kristy Folz...Plans to Major in Business and Exercise Science...Born on Sept. 13, 2000.

Jayvon George (DL, 6-2 215, Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus Hall H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Went to High School at Erasmus Hall H.S. in Brooklyn, N.Y...Was ranked the eighth-best recruit in the state of New York by MaxPreps...Posted a 3.4 GPA in high school.

Izaiah Hatley (DB, 5-9 165, Inglewood, Calif./Cathedral H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Went to Cathedral H.S., in Inglewood, Calif....Second Team All-League defensive back...Ranked as 83rd-best player in the state of California according to MaxPreps.

Personal: Son of Issac and Kiana Hatley...Born on April 5, 2001...Plans to major in Criminal Justice.

Clayton Howard (WR, 5-8 165, St. Francisville, La./West Feliciana H.S.
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Went to West Feliciana H.S...First team All-District Athlete...Second-Team All-District running back...478 yards as senior...eight touchdowns.

Personal: Son of Shandra Howard...Born August 14, 2000...Undecided on Major at Minnesota Crookston.

Sven Lukner (OL, 6-0 253, Sedro-Woolley, Wash./Sedro Woolley H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Three-time letter award winner in football...All-State nominee Football 2018-19...First team All-Conference offensive line 2018-19...2018-19 District Wrestler of the Year...Finished third in state in 2017 wrestling tournament.

Personal: Son of Sonja and Hans Lukner...Born May 16, 2001...Undecided on Major...Little sister Katrina is cancer survivor; she defeated leukemia between 18 months and four years old...Brother plays football at Bucknell University.

Christopher Nickell (OL, 6-1 280, Moline, Ill./Moline H.S.)

Hassan Madkour (OL, 5-11 290, Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Ranked as the 71st recruit in the state of Minnesota...Two-year starter at Wayzata High School.

Personal: Son of Hatem and Teresa Madkour...Born April 12, 2001...Plans to major in Marketing...His father immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt...Second generation college student.

Ryan Martin (DL, 6-2 215, Kissimmee, Fla./Poinciana H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Went to Poinciana H.S. in Kissimmee, Fla..Two-time All-County...Varsity captain as a senior.

Personal: Son of Karl and Earline Martin...Born on Dec. 9, 1999...Plans to major in Business, Marketing and Entrepeneurship at Minnesota Crookston.

Isaiah Mason (WR, 5-10 175, Baudette, Minn./Lake of the Woods H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Team MVP...All-District...Two-time state wrestling participant...Earned sixth place at state wrestling.

Personal: Son of Douglas and Johanna Mason...Plans to major in Exercise Science and Wellness...Was adopted at the age of 14.

Fidel Mendes (OL, 6-2 290, Long Beach Calif./Cerritos College)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Two-time First Team All-Conference at Cerritos College (CA)...Second Team All-American as a sophomore.

Personal: Son of Melania Ramirez and Fidel Mendez...Born Oct. 19, 1999.

OL Christopher Nickell (6-1 280, Moline, Ill./Moline H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Attended Moline H.S...Made the honor roll all four years in high school…Member of the National Honor Society.

Personal: Son of Tiffany and Brian Nickell...Undecided on Major but is interested in Business.

Devin Shellito (OL, 6-2 250, Braham, Minn./Braham H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Played both ways at Braham H.S...On the student council at Braham H.S...Two-Time All-Conference pick in high school.

Personal: Son of Amy Graham of Braham, Minn...Born on Nov. 26, 2000...Undecided on major.

Mason VanVleet (LB, 5-10 163, Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Played middle linebacker and wide receiver at Forest Lake High School...Had 53 tackles as a senior, including a season-high 13 tackles in a game against Robbinsdale Cooper...Was a two-time All-Conference selection.

Personal: Will study Exercise Science and Wellness at Minnesota Crookston. Son of Beth and Jamie VanVleet. Born on July 8, 2000.

Tysen White (DB 5-9 176, McFarland, Wis./McFarland H.S.)
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Ran for 877 yards as a senior...Notched 13 touchdowns for McFarland High School...White notched 96 Tackles on defense and two interceptions as a senior...Two-year football captain for McFarland High School.

Personal: Son of Jen White of McFarland, Wis., and Scott White of DeForest, Wis...Born June 8, 2000...Undecided on Major.

B.J. Williams, DB, 6-1 190, Aberdeen, Miss./Itawamba Community College
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Native of Aberdeen, Miss...Played at Itawamba Community College...Played in eight games as a Freshman…Williams notched six tackles and one forced fumble as a freshman...Williams notched nine games played and 22 tackles as a sophomore.

Personal: Brother Brandon will also play for the Golden Eagles next season.

Brandan Williams, WR, 5-9 165, Aberdeen, Miss./Aberdeen H.S.
Prior to Minnesota Crookston: Williams was ranked as the 149th recruit in Mississippi...Notched 60 total tackles as a senior...Williams tallied over 1000 all-purpose yards in two seasons as a Bulldog...He tallied 11 touchdowns.

Personal: Brother B.J. will play cornerback next season for the Golden Eagles