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Mosbrucker, Hardy lead Blue Hawks' new recruits

Press Photo by Dustin Monke Beach senior Jake Hardy has signed with the Blue Hawk football team and hopes to play either running back or defensive, not the quarterback spot he played in high school.1 / 3
Press Photo by Dustin Monke Mott-Regent senior receiver Chad Mosbrucker is headed to Dickinson State after setting numerous school records for the Wildfire.2 / 3
Hot Springs (S.D.) RB/DB Brady Harkless3 / 3

Jake Hardy's high school career was cut short by a knee injury.

However, the senior from Beach High School has no intention of ending his playing days that way.

Hardy is one of 23 recruits who have signed to play for the Dickinson State football team next season.

"I wasn't ready to quit playing football yet," Hardy said. "It's a lot of fun to play. I didn't want to let it go."

Hardy, a 6-foot, 185-pound quarterback, rushed for 1,157 yards and 16 touchdowns on 148 carries before tearing the ACL and meniscus in his left knee in the sixth game of the season. Despite the injury, he was named 9-man, Region 4 Senior Athlete of the Year.

"He's a real workhorse," Dickinson State head coach Hank Biesiot said. "If there's a guy who had a load to carry and did carry it this fall, it was him until he got hurt. You like to see that type of intensity and ability to go and go."

Hardy won't be calling signals for the Blue Hawks though. Biesiot and DSU's coaching staff view him as either a running back or a defensive back.

Hardy is one of three local recruits who have signed with the Blue Hawks.

The others include 9-man all-state first team receiver Chad Mosbrucker of Mott-Regent and Hardy's teammate, Beach linebacker Lloyd Weinreis, a 6-3, 195-pound outside linebacker and a 9-man, all-Region 4 selection.

Mosbrucker had 1,027 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns on 64 catches. Defensively, he made four interceptions and had 126 total tackles.

Mosbrucker broke nearly all of Mott-Regent's school receiving records held by former Blue Hawk Clint Grosz. The 6-3, 188-pound senior finished his career with 2,133 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns on 133 receptions while also averaging 37.2 yards per punt.

"I like the coaching staff up there," Mosbrucker told The Press when he made his verbal committment to DSU in January. "I've been going to Hawk games since I was young and I always dreamed about playing there."

DSU signed just one player from South Dakota, but he's one with huge potential.

Brady Harkless, the brother of DSU sophomore quarterback/receiver Matt Harkless, comes to the Blue Hawks as a running back or defensive back.

He was a finalist for the state's inaugural Mr. Football award, was twice named to the Rapid City Journal's Best of the West team and was a Class A 11-man all-state selection.

He rushed for 50 touchdowns in his football career and was a 160-pound state champion in wrestling.

"I think he's one of the top athletes out of South Dakota," Biesiot said.

The Blue Hawks signed seven players from Montana, including a pair of all-state defensive backs.

Robert Nalewaja was a Class 1A first team all-state cornerback for Custer County and Jack Humphreys was a Class B first team all-state cornerback at Ronan.

The lone quarterback in the recruiting class is Brian Cronnelly, a 6-foot-4, 204-pound Idaho Class 3A Intermountain first team selection from Timberlake High School in Spring Lake, Idaho.

He isn't the Blue Hawks' only recruit from Idaho either. They also signed St. Anthony South Fremont kicker Miles O'Donnell and fullback Kurt Aiken, a spring semester transfer from Grangeville, Idaho.

This round of recruits includes three players from Wyoming, an offensive lineman from California and six semester transfers, including Dickinson High School graduate T.J. Dempsey.

Dempsey will be a sophomore defensive back after spending his freshman season at Jamestown College.

"I'm happy with the group here. It's a good start," said Biesiot, who said the team has more recruits on the line, including some from Southwest North Dakota. "There are, I think, a number of guys here that have opportunities to be front-line guys someday."

DSU football recruits

North Dakota (3): Jake Hardy, 6-0, 195, RB-DB, Beach; Chad Mosbrucker, 6-3, 190, WR, Mott-Regent; Lloyd Weinreis, 6-3, 195, LB, Beach.

Montana (7): Mark Angvick, 6-2, 205, RB-LB, Plentywood; Trevor Howe, 6-2, 225, OL, Laurel; Jack Humphreys, 6-0, 180, DB, Ronan; Nate Knudson, 6-3, 260, OL-DL, Sidney; Robert Nalewaja, 5-9, 170, RB-DB, Miles City; Jay Phipps, 5-10, 170, RB-DB, Jordan; Dalton Reid, 5-10, 170, WR, Miles City.

Wyoming (3): Curran Irvine, 6-3, 270, OL-DL, Wheatland; Shane Noonan, 5-11, 197, FB-LB, Cheyenne; Cody Okray, 6-3, 210, LB, Campbell County.

Idaho (2): Brian Cronnelly, 6-4, 204, QB, Spring Lake; Miles O'Donnell, 6-1, 210, K, St. Anthony.

California (1): Victor Lopez, 6-1, 270, OL, Norwalk

South Dakota (1): Brady Harkless, 5-11, 170, RB-DB, Hot Springs.

Semester transfers (6): Kurt Aiken, 5-11, 215, Fr., FB, Grangeville, Idaho; T.J. Dempsey, 5-11, 185, So., DB, Dickinson, Jamestown College; DeeJay Hacklin, 6-2, 190, Fr., RB, Moorcroft, Wyo., Black Hills State; Wyatt Mette, 6-3, 225, LB, Peoria Centennial, So.; Alex Sami, 6-0, 210, Fr., LB, Tongue River, Wyo., Northwest College (Wyo.); Terrance Yelder, 5-11, 188, RB, Leroy, Ala.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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