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National Signing Day 2012: NMU, MTU posts list of recruits

February 1, 2012 - Matt Wellens

Welcome to National Signing Day 2012, the first day of the new year that high school football, field hockey, soccer, track and field, cross country and men's water polo can sign National Letters of Intent to play collegiate sports at an NCAA Division I or Division II institution.

I know, I'm excited to see where all the top men's water polo athletes head as well.

No, football steals all the spotlight on National Signing Day and while that will be my focus, I'm going to keep an eye on soccer as well.

Besides athletes signing with Northern Michigan University, I'm going to use this space to keep you updated on other GLIAC schools like Michigan Tech and where other athletes from around the Upper Peninsula are heading.

UPDATE: Northern Michigan has released its 2012 recruiting class. Click here to see the complete list.

UPDATE: Michigan Tech has released its 2012 recruiting class. Click here to see the complete list.

Here is a rundown of what others posted leading up to today.

Note that these are all verbal commitments so far and are not official until the letters are signed. For example, according to a few Twitter reports, Brother Rice defensive back Eddie Kidd is going to Northwood after The Oakland Press said earlier in the week he had committed to NMU.

Another Brother Rice verbal commitment, according to Bloomfield , in DB Jamie Hendrix also has backed out on NMU and will now head to Wayne State.

In Marquette County, there are three athletes I am keeping an eye on, however, it appears only one at most may sign somewhere today.

Westwood linebacker and fullback Nick Benda was considering offers from NMU and Hillsdale, as well as Division I University of Pennsylvania, as is Penn of the Ivy League. Benda is a 4.0 student with a 30 ACT score so hopefully he gets that shot out East. Benda did not appear on either NMU's or Hillsdale's list of recruits today and Penn had not posted anything as of 1:52 p.m. EST.

From Marquette Senior High School, running backs Kasaim Koonala and Garrett Pentecost will hold off on signing a NLI today as they continue to look at schools. Both have worked out for NMU.

NMU did grab a Yooper out of Escanaba, all-state quarterback Austin Young. He won't be playing QB for the 'Cats, but like former St. Ignace QB Gerrit Mortensen, Young will move to slot receiver. Escanaba Daily Press Sports Editor Denny Grall has that story in the links to the right.

As first reported by my former Gannett Wisconsin preps colleague Scott Venci of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, two-time Wisconsin Division 3 state championship quarterback Jay Tollefson of West De Pere High School has verbally committed to NMU to play QB, turning down an offer from Minnesota Duluth. He went 28-0 as QB as West De Pere. I have a link to Venci's story on Tollefson on the right.

On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Evan Bishop of Jacobs High School outside of Chicago has committed to NMU according to multiple sources, including has Rockford DL Matt Boonstra, Grand Rapids Christian DB/WR Christan Benn and Grand Haven RB Dakota Smith committed to NMU.

According to the Kenosha News, Wilmot quarterback Chris Nelson is heading to NMU after an offer from Eastern Kentucky fell through.

Check back throughout the day for more National Signing Day updates and give me a follow on Twitter at @mattwellens

To learn more about the National Letter of Intent process, visit



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