Among the 45 athletes the Dickinson State Blue Hawks signed Wednesday, nearly 40% were not from the state of North Dakota. In fact, most of them will be a long way from home, ranging from states as close as South Dakota to as distant as Alaska.

Make no mistake — each athlete is ready to make Dickinson, N.D., their new home.

“It is the highest number of recruits we’ve ever had, and that’s a good thing,” head coach Pete Stanton said. “Numberwise, we’re really high and got good quality (athletes) too.”

The athlete that will be closest to home will be linebacker Samuel Adams. Adams is a two-time All-Conference and All-State player and was a strong leader on the field, helping his team make playoff appearances numerous times throughout his high school career.

One athlete will be coming from a farther distance in Mac Laird from Washington. The 6-foot linebacker played at Ephrata High School and was named first-team All-League as both a junior and senior. Washington may be far from Dickinson, but it is not the farthest.

In Wyoming, five athletes will be playing for the Blue Hawks next season. The team will be acquiring three defensive and two offensive players. Among the five, three played on the same team, which was led by wideout Braedon Walk’s father, Brent Walk. Walk was one of the five athletes to declare for DSU and will play as a wideout for Dickinson State.

For some athletes, the colder weather may hit almost as hard as a brutal tackle — mainly for those coming from the state of Arizona. Three out of the five athletes that declared to become Blue Hawks played at Cesar Chavez High School. Stanton credited his assistant coaches, Michael McGuire and Jason Their, with acquiring those athletes.

“Coach Their is originally from Arizona as well, (and) Coach McGuire recruited very well,” he said. “It’s different to recruit in distancewise, but got them to come up for a visit, and then once Lucas (Arnds) decided to sign, then Deavon (Crawford) and Antwaun (Winfield) followed, just really good players.”

The five athletes from Arizona may have to fight the cold season together, but they won’t be alone, as two athletes hailo from the sunshine state of California. Linebackers Ian McCullough and Robbie Kindle will be adding to the Dickinson State roster next season. Both men will be transferring from different colleges: McCullough played at L.A. Pierce College and Kindle competed at Pasadena City College.

Lastly, the athletes who will be the farthest away from home will come from the state of Alaska. Galen Brantley III, Aaron Faletoi and Jayden Heartwell each played in different positions and different high schools but will quickly become teammates in August when the Blue Hawks begin preparing for the 2020 season.

The names and positions of the players are labeled below.

Desmond Medina - 6’1 170 DB - Campbell County High School, WY.

Breckin Barnes - 6’2 235, DL - Mountain View High School, WY.

Braeden Walk - 5’10, 170, WR - Mountain View High School, WY.

Briggen Bluemel - 6’3, 205, LB - Mountain View High School, WY.

Brian Steger - 6’2, 210, TE - Pine Bluff High School, WY.

Lucas Arnds - 5’11, 195, QB - Cesar Chavez High School, AZ.

Antwaun Winfield - 6’0, 215, DL - Cesar Chavez High School, AZ.

Deavon Crawford - 5’11, 185, DB - Cesar Chavel High School, AZ.

Anthony Cano - 6’3, 245, DL - Independence High School, AZ.

Kyle Schoeppe - 5’10, 170, WR - Shadow Mountain High School, AZ.

Galen Brantley III - 6’2, 215, TE - Soldotna High School, AK.

Aaron Faletoi - 6’1, 230, FB - Soldotna High School, AK .

Jayden Heartwell - 6’0, 180, DB - South Anchorage High School, AK.

Ian McCullough - 6’1, 275, DL - L.A. Pierce College, CA.

Robbie Kindle - 6’1, 250, DL - Pasadena City College, CA.

Samuel Adams - 6’1, 215, LB - Harding County High School, SD.

Mac Laird - 6’0, 205, LB - Ephrata High School, WA.