Football signs 19 new prospects for next season

Nathan Pearson, Staff Writer

Nineteen student-athletes signed national letters of intent for an athletic scholarship last Wednesday to play football at Wayne State College.
Among the recruits, 11 are from Iowa, two from both Nebraska and South Dakota, and others are from Arizona, California and Oklahoma. WSC also signed a junior college transfer from Iowa Central.
“We recruit in western Iowa and eastern Nebraska pretty hard,” Head Coach Dan McLaughlin said. “Western Iowa has more kids. We recruit there more and we’ve always done well.”
One of the top prospects, Zion Williams, recorded eight interceptions last season and returned four for touchdowns, the most in Nebraska’s Class A. He was also named to the All-Nebraska team by the Omaha World Herald. The Omaha North graduate was recruited as a defensive back, but also played wide receiver, adding 24 receptions for 583 yards and seven touchdowns.
“Zion is a great player,” McLaughlin said. “He won the state championship two years ago and played in it again last year.”
At the quarterback position, WSC signed Brady Brandsfield from Norwalk, Iowa. Brandsfield is the Iowa high school all-time leader in combined passing and rushing yards and the second all-time leader in passing yards.
“Brady is a smart kid,” McLaughlin said. “He’s advanced in reading defenses and gets the ball in the right spot. He’s not the type of guy you’re going to run 25 times a game. Passing is his forte, but he also makes a lot of plays on the run.”
Joining Brandsfield in the backfield will be Maliki Wilson, a running back from Xavier (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). Wilson was one of the top running backs in Iowa, rushing for 2,054 yards last year and averaging 9.5 yards per carry.
“Maliki is a great running back,” McLaughlin said. “He has great vision and speed. He hits the hole well and then has the separation speed to run away from the defense.”
Wilson was the MVP of the River Battle Bowl, which was played in Omaha between the Iowa all-stars and Nebraska all-stars.
McLaughlin said the emphasis of this year’s recruiting class was the offensive line and defensive secondary, and he was happy with what he got.
“We got some good offensive linemen and I think all of them are ready to play,” McLaughlin said.
Those offensive linemen include Nick Gray from Hickman, Neb. (Norris HS); Ryan Kennedy from Norwalk, Iowa; Garret Richter from Jesup, Iowa; and Colton Weber from LeMars, Iowa.
McLaughlin also sees promise in safety Nathaniel Jackson from Antioch, Calif., and believes he could be making plays for the defense as soon as this coming fall.
Other defensive backs recruited were MarTavian Borseth from Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Prairie HS), Marshon Crowder from Dubuque, Iowa (Hemptsead HS), Tyler McLaughlin from Queen Creek, Ariz., and Jeremiah Scheid from Norman, Okla.
WSC also beefed up its defensive line by recruiting Soren Jensen from Carroll, Iowa; Syionte Canton from Sioux Falls, S.D. (Roosevelt HS); Ryan Parker from North Sioux City, S.D. (Dakota Valley HS); and junior college transfer Xavier Graham from Iowa Central.
WSC also signed fullback Nick Tarney from Harlan, Iowa; running back Cole Deskin from Carlisle, Iowa (Dowling Catholic HS); and tight end/punter Chase Netusil from Carroll, Iowa.
“The caveat is that you don’t really know what you have for a couple of years,” McLaughlin said. “We anticipate good things and we’ll go from there.”