The Minnesota State University-Moorhead Dragons have for a long time held a special place in my heart amongst the NSIC competitors. My senior year of high school in 2013 my good friend and high school teammate Jimmy Roth signed his NLI to the Dragons after a dominant career at Southwest. He went to have a great career with the Dragons (junior year college highlights), and the following year our great buddy Connor McCarthy from Holy Angels - who led the state in tackles his senior year - joined him up in Moorhead. It was really exciting having them playing in the NSIC, and I made sure to follow and keep tabs on the Dragons just about every game day since, even after my boys graduated. Last season MSUM had somewhat of a down season with an overall record of 6-5, so there will be some room to compete for the incoming freshman class. This of course includes the 13 Minnesotans signed in the group, and these former MN prep standouts bring a lot to the table as student-athletes. This group of Minnesota boys mostly come from up North, but includes studs from the Metro and as far South as Winona and Jordan.
The Minnesota State University-Moorhead Dragons have for a long time held a special place in my heart amongst the NSIC competitors. My senior year of high school in 2013 my good friend and high school teammate Jimmy Roth signed his NLI to the Dragons after a dominant career at Southwest. He went to have a great career with the Dragons (junior year college highlights), and the following year our great buddy Connor McCarthy from Holy Angels - who led the state in tackles his senior year - joined him up in Moorhead. It was really exciting having them playing in the NSIC, and I made sure to follow and keep tabs on the Dragons just about every game day since, even after my boys graduated. Last season MSUM had somewhat of a down season with an overall record of 6-5, so there will be some room to compete for the incoming freshman class. This of course includes the 13 Minnesotans signed in the group, and these former MN prep standouts bring a lot to the table as student-athletes. This group of Minnesota boys mostly come from up North, but includes studs from the Metro and as far South as Winona and Jordan. Get to know the athletes below, and thank you for reading!
What stands out to PrepRedzoneMN about the Dragons 2020 crop of Minnesota recruits is the versatility and upside of the 13 signees. Almost every kid on the list played both ways as a prep, and the group has a ton of experience as well as great size with the lightest member of the group being Alexandria’s Cody BransonCodyBranson6'3" | WRAlexandria | 2020StateMN
who is in no way small at 6’3, 175 pounds. Speaking of size, the lineman in the class are as big as they are accomplished, with three of the five over 285 pounds and Moorhead’s Tyler Martin (6’4, 315) is coming off of a season in 2019 where he didn’t allow a single sack. Of the 13 commits I am most excited for 9-man Nevis high school standout and All-State selection Luke Dewulf, Osakis’ All-Star North MVP Luke Imdieke, and Pillager’s DL Spencer Schaefer. I was particularly excited to see where on the field Dewulf was going to play in college, as he finished with over 4,000 career All-Purpose yards and 46 TDs. He’s a heckuva athlete, and I’m excited to see how he performs in his new DB position for the Dragons. Imdieke - at 5’8, 185 lbs. - is an explosive and powerful RB who finished with 3,435 career rushing yards and 35 touchdowns, was named the Minnesota Football Showcase All-Star North Offensive MVP and is going to be a fun back in the NSIC, which does not discriminate against shorter running backs. Schaefer - at 6’4, 215 lbs. - has a great frame to put on weight in college and was a 1,000 point scorer on Pillager’s basketball team. This athleticism will come in handy fending off the gigantic hogs on the Northern Sun offensive lines. Additionally, two of the signees from the Land of 10,000 Lakes had their senior season cut short due to injury, so there is a ton of upside with these additions to MSUM. To get to know a little bit more about each recruit, check out the detailed report on each signee below. Quotes from Head Coach Steve Laqua taken from the MSUM Football Signing Day article located here
Brenden Adams (Fergus Falls) 6’4, 312 lbs. OL. @bear_brenden
Adams started on the Fergus Falls OL in 2019 when the team went 5-5 overall, 5-3 in district play, and advanced to the section semifinals. Dragon head coach Steve Laqua had this to say about Adams: ""A guy who we know has commitment not just on the football field, but he’s got commitment to the classroom, He’s got commitment to service.." - @CoachLaqua" 2019 Highlights
Macauley Bartells (Jordan) 6’0, 185 lbs. RB. @macauleybart131
A three-year letterwinner who was named Most Improved while a prep, Bartells had 428 yards through six games as a senior before suffering an unfortunate season-ending injury. In his career at Jordan-Human he finished with a total of 882 yards and 12 TDs. His future HC Steve Laqua noted about the Jordan native: ""I think that he is a guy who loves college football, who loves the grind and loves the work, and those are things that you can’t go wrong with." - @CoachLaqua" Senior Year
Cody BransonCodyBranson6'3" | WRAlexandria | 2020StateMN
(Alexandria) 6’3, 175 lbs. WR @codybranson
A big athlete with a ton of room to grow who played both ways for Alexandria, Branson was named All-District twice, All-Section HM, and a team captain his senior year. In the three years he lettered he finished with 57 career catches for 768 yards and four touchdowns, and on the defensive side also had 10 career interceptions and 57 tackles. He’s got a really high ceiling as an athlete. His future coach Steve Laqua said that Branson "makes a ton of plays and has great body control. At camp he made a lot of plays. It worked out that we could continue the journey of football together." - @CoachLaqua" Senior Year Highlights
Luke Dewulf (Nevis) 6’1, 190 lbs. DB. @lukedewulf
Named to the A.P. All-State Third Team as a wide receiver, Dewulf was one of the best 9-man players in the state during the 2019 season and was named All-Distrct twice, District MVP, and was twice the captain of the football team. In his three years of lettering he totaled 4,000 all-purpose yards and 46 TDs. He also lettered in basketball, baseball, and track and field. HC Steve Laqua said that Dewulf is a " really exciting small town Minnesota football player that is hard nose, that’s athletic, that’s able to make plays and we are excited to see what he can bring to our defence ." - @CoachLaqua" Senior HighlightsCheck out his commitment report for PrepRedzoneMN here:
Christian Fromm (Pine City) 6’3, 210 lbs. OL/TE
An intriguing prospect who excelled as an undersized OT for Pine City who was awarded All-Conference twice and was also a 2x team captain, and also played basketball and baseball. His future HC Steve Laqua said that "he has the ability to commit to challenging himself to play at a higher level. Those are guys you want in the program." - @CoachLaqua"Highlights
Cyrinus GeorgeCyrinusGeorge5'10" | DBSpring Lake Park | 2020StateMN
(Spring Lake Park) 5’10, 190 lbs. DB. @CyrinusGeorge
The second athlete listed who lost his senior year due to injury, George was named All-Conference twice and was a team captain his senior year when he got hurt. His junior year he posted 61 tackles, two forced fumbles, four passes defensed and an interception. Head Coach of the Dragons Steve Laqua said that George "brings that extra attitude that teams need in order to be successful and then to fit within the program was the right fit.." - @CoachLaqua" Junior Year highlights
Bennett Heftman (Winona) 6'1, 235 lbs. OL. @bennett_heftman
Heftman was a stud member of the Winhawks four straight state playoff appearance squad, and was named All-District twice in his four years he lettered. As a senior he totaled 30 tackles and 7.5 sacks while playing on the OL and DL of Winona. Laqua said in the MSUM commitment article that: "he's got great leadership qualities, which you're going to need out of a guy who plays center/guard within your offensive line. We are excited for him to add in to our offensive line group." - @CoachLaqua" Senior Season
Luke Imdieke (Osakis) 5'8, 185 lbs. RB. @Lukeimdieke
A 2x All-District pick who was named District RB of the Year, Imdieke plays fast and lettered thrice in his prep career and finished with 3,435 career rushing yards and 35 touchdowns. His success translated to the MN All-Star Game, as he was named North Offensive MVP of the All-Star game. Laqua had an interesting note about the Osakis native, and said that he was ""an unbelievable running back that had a tremendous career at Osakis. A guy who came to our football camp who I felt just jumped out on the field." - @CoachLaqua" Junior Highlights
Carter Kieke (Sauk Rapids-Rice) 6'3, 285 lbs. OL. @carter_kieke
Another stud OLineman who gave up 0 sacks in his 21 career starts, Kieke helped the Storm team reach Section 6AAAAA championship game and was named All-District HM twice. In another great note about the importance of camps in recruiting, Laqua said that "camps are an important piece to the recruiting process not only to see physically what players are able to do, but also to see how hard they are willing to work and if they are coachable. Carter checked all those boxes. " - @CoachLaqua" Highlights
Tyler Martin (Moorhead) 6'4, 315 lbs. OL.
Martin was the Spuds best offensive lineman who was named OL MVP as a senior, All-District, and team captain. He also lettered in track and field, weightlifting, and trap shooting. Laqua said that he is "extremely excited about what he has done in his high school career and what he can do here." - @CoachLaqua some of the highlights
Spencer Schaefer (Pillager) 6'4, 220 lbs. DL.
A four-year letterwinner who was named All-District HM, All-Section 2x, and the Midwest Blue Sub-Distrct Player of the Year in 2018. He also lettered in track and basketball, and was a 1,000 point scorer for the Pillager basketball team. Laqua said that he is "a football player that has a lot of upside, played a lot of different positions ." - @CoachLaqua" Senior Season First 4 Games
Luke Schany (Rogers) 6'2, 190 lbs. LB. @lukeschany81
The star linebacker on Rogers 2019 conference championship team, Schany was a team captain and was named All-Conference HM. He lettered thrice in his career and also played weightlifting and basketball. Laqua stated that "he has the athleticism to be able to play those special teams and to really add to the depth of our football team." - @CoachLaqua" Senior highlights
Ben Staehling (Brainerd) 6'2, 195 lbs. LB. @BenStaehling
A two-way star for the Warriors who was named Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, twice named All-Section, and a team captain. He also had 69 tackles as a senior and lettered thrice. Laqua noted that the Brainerd native ""At camp he excelled in many different camps. To be able to see his instincts for the football, to be able to cover defensively. He is a guy who will certainly play multiple positions " - @CoachLaqua Senior clips
Go Dragons, baby!