MARQUETTE - For the second-straight year, the Upper Peninsula saw an increase in student-athletes signing National Letters of Intent to play NCAA Division I or II football after the region had only five players from four schools sign NLIs in 2012.
The U.P. went from 12 signees from 10 schools in 2013 to 14 from nine schools on Wednesday, with Northern Michigan University signing nine Yoopers from seven different schools.
NMU third-year head coach Chris Ostrowsky said in his one season recruiting as the offensive coordinator and two seasons as head coach, the U.P.'s Class of 2014 signees is the best yet.
Ishpeming High School senior quarterback and linebacker Alex Briones signs his National Letter of Intent to play football at Central Michigan University in the fall of 2014. Joining Briones is Ishpeming head football coach Jeff Olson, left, and his parents, back. (Photo courtesy of Tommy Potter)
"This year was by far the most talent-worthy in the region," Ostrowsky said about the U.P.
"There were some very good football players that were able to do different things well. I think it's an exciting time for U.P. football."
"If we can sign nine (from the U.P.) every single year, we're going to be a heck of a football team."
The list of U.P. football signees is as follows:
Alex Briones, QB, Ishpeming
Kurt Burmeister, WR, Marquette
NCAA Division II
Devon Harris, ATH, Menominee
James Brown, LB, Menominee
Brad Gustafson, DL, North Dickinson
Luke Sinnaeve, DB, Gwinn
Shane Duquette, LB, Marquette
Tyler LaJoie, RB, Negaunee
Zane Radloff, WR, Negaunee
Ryan LaBerge, K, L'Anse
Jake Pearson, ATH, Rapid River
Keith Denomie, OL, L'Anse
Jeremy Bell, OL, Negaunee
Michael James, P, Sault Ste. Marie