Kearney, NE -- Nebraska-Kearney head football coach Josh Lynn announced today the names of 17 high school seniors and three transfers who will suit up for the Lopers this fall.
UNK will add a few more to the 2019 roster later this spring and summer. Lynn and his coaching staff will talk about the recruiting class tonight at Cunningham's on the Lake.
"In regards to the overall number, this group is a completely different class than what UNK has signed the past three years. Our retention has been outstanding the past couple of years … the young men in our program are happy," Lynn told the Doug & Daddy Show today on ESPN Superstation KXPN AM 1460. "We recruit nationally but our primary focus will always be Nebraska kids."
Overall, the group breaks down to six defensive linemen, four offensive linemen, three linebackers and defensive backs, two athletes, one quarterback and a receiver. By state, 12 come from Nebraska, three from Colorado, two from Illinois and one each from California, Florida and Texas.
"The focus again with this class was up front. The other priority was transfer defensive backs because both of our staring corners (Famous McKinnon and Malik Webb) were seniors last year. We tried to fill a need there," said Lynn.
In October 2017, UNK announced it would offer in-state tuition rates for Colorado and Kansas residents who enroll as regular on-campus undergraduate students and meet assured admission requirements. The new rates began last fall.
"Making those states in-state is a game changer for us. Right off the bat, it takes off $6,000 and that's huge in Division II football. When you compare UNK to other Colorado schools, we're one of the most affordable. We're able to stretch our money and that allows us to get additional players," said Lynn
Lynn and his coaching staff again ventured into Chicagoland; Illinois is one of eight states part of the Midwest Exchange which reduces out-of-state tuition for incoming students.
As usual, there are family ties with this recruiting class. Mullen native Tell Spies follows older brothers Jake and Tye to UNK. Spies, a linemen like his brothers, spent the fall of 2018 at the University of South Dakota. Next, Lincoln Southwest's Dru Sovereign will have a chance to play with his older brother, Alec. The younger Sovereign is an "athlete" with Alec set to be a fifth-year senior at linebacker.
The Lopers, weather permitting, began spring ball on Tuesday, March 26. UNK reports to fall camp in August with the 2019 opener set for Thursday, September 5, at Missouri Southern State.
Nebraska High School Seniors (11)
Sam Clinch (OL, 6-4, 285 lbs., Kearney, Neb./Kearney Catholic H.S.)
McKinney Edwards (WR, 6-4, 180 lbs., Superior, Neb./Superior H.S.)
Evan Fisher (LB, 6-3, 200 lbs., Imperial, Neb./Chase County H.S.)
Colin Giron ((DL, 6-3, 240 lbs., McCook, Neb./McCook H.S.)
Carter Henry (Athlete, 6-0, 220 lbs., Albion, Neb./Boone Central H.S.)
Zach Pettit (DL, 6-3, 240 lbs., Sidney, Neb./Sidney H.S.)
Cameron Raffaeli (OLB, 6-2, 200 lbs., Ogallala, Neb./Ogallala H.S.)
Jackson Ritchhart (OL, 6-4, 295 lbs., Fremont, Neb./Fremont H.S.)
Dru Sovereign (Athlete, 5-10, 170 lbs., Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln Southwest H.S.)
Tristan Stroup (OL, 6-5, 240 lbs., Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln North Star H.S.)
Carson Zwingman (LB, 5-11, 190 lbs., Columbus, Neb./Columbus H.S.)
Out of State High School Seniors (6)
Ty Beaman (DL, 6-2, 260 lbs., Berthoud, Colo./Berthoud H.S.)
Casen Cavalier (QB, 6-0, 200 lbs., Canadian, Texas/Canadian H.S.)
Steve Crady (CB, 6-0, 180 lbs., Wood Dale, Ill./IC Catholic Prep)
Ben Earnest (DL, 6-3, 260 lbs., Littleton, Colo./Columbine H.S.)
Sam Snider (OL, 6-4, 260 lbs., Centennial, Colo./Rock Canyon H.S.)
Brandon White (DL, 6-2, 295 lbs., Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook H.S.)
Mid-Year Transfer (1)
Tell Spies (Fr-R, DL, 6-4, 270 lbs., Mullen, Neb./Mullen H.S./U. of South Dakota)
David Tolentino (Jr., CB, 5-11, 180 lbs., Sacramento, Calif./Center H.S./Yorba College, Calif. )
Terrell Williams (Jr., CB, 6-2, 180 lbs., Miami, Fla./Miami Central H.S./ASA College-Miami)