Finishing touches: UND announces recruits from second signing period, including Michigan QB
GRAND FORKS -- In piecing together the second phase of the 2019 recruiting class, the University of North Dakota football coaching staff had to maintain long-lasting relationships and also develop a connection only days old.
UND added seven players in the second signing period, which opened Wednesday, Feb. 6, including the only quarterback of the 2019 class.
Quarterback Tommy Schuster of Clinton Township, Mich., wasn’t on UND’s radar until this week.
“It happened fast,” UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. “We’re really excited. In our research, we’ve got a great leader who is well respected in his school and community. He can flat out make plays. We have a great opportunity for a high school senior to learn our system and compete for the job.”
At Chippewa Valley High School, Schuster was named the Michigan Division 1-2 Player of the Year.
He led Chippewa Valley to a 14-0 season and a state championship as a senior, a season in which he had 26 touchdown passes to one interception.
In his three years as a starter, Schuster threw for 67 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He passed for 4,958 yards with a 65 percent completion percentage. The 6-foot-1 Schuster also ran for 14 touchdowns and 1,033 yards.
In the state championship game, Schuster was 13-for-13 passing for 207 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-30 victory. He became the first quarterback in Michigan high school history to not throw an incompletion in a state title game.
UND, which didn’t sign a high school quarterback in the 2018 recruiting class, was sent scrambling for a quarterback in 2019 when Lincoln, Neb., product Cedric Case decommitted shortly before the first signing period to opt with Texas State.
The Fighting Hawks also secured letters of intent from two California teammates at Folsom High School.
Cornerback Caleb Nelson -- the brother of UND safety Lenny Nelson -- and defensive lineman Chandon Pierre led Folsom to a state championship.
Nelson and Pierre visited UND in late January after having to push back the visit due to California’s wildfires impacting the prep playoff schedule.
“We stuck with those guys for a long time,” Schweigert said. “We’re real pleased with those two. We think they can have good, long careers here and make an impact.”
One of UND’s signees is already on campus in Hawaii transfer cornerback Jeremie Dominique, a 6-foot-2 cornerback from Montreal.
Dominique, who played sparingly in 13 games as a freshman and sophomore with the Rainbow Warriors, adds size at corner, where UND loses 6-foot-3 senior Deion Harris.
UND also added three specialists on Wednesday -- Mandan kicker Evan Arenz, punter-kicker Reid Sanders of Plymouth, Minn., and kicker Brady Stevens of Highlands Ranch, Colo.
UND’s spring football practices begin March 1.
The Fighting Hawks signed 23 athletes during the early signing period.
UND’s latest recruits
DL Chandon Pierre, 6-3, 255, Reno, Nev., Folsom High School (Calif.)
DB Caleb Nelson, 6-0, 170, Roseville, Calif., Folsom High School (Calif.)
DB Jeremie Dominique, 6-2, 190, Montreal, Quebec, U of Hawaii
K Evan Arenz, 6-0, 150, Mandan, N.D., Mandan High School
K-P Reid Sanders, 6-3, 185, Plymouth, Minn., Wayzata High School
QB Tommy Schuster, 6-1, 195, Clinton Township, Mich., Chippewa Valley High School
K Brady Stevens, 6-1, 155, Highlands Ranch, Colo., University of Colorado