Local gridders sign letters of intent

Munising quarterback Alec Blank prepares for a pass as Westwood’s Ashton Bergman comes in for a take-down Friday night. Aug. 25, 2017, at Westwood. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

MARQUETTE — Wednesday was the day that the 2018 college football season unofficially began as high school seniors from around the country signed their letters of intent for the upcoming year.

Finlandia landed 15 players, 11 of which came from the Upper Peninsula, including Munising quarterback Alec Blank, Gwinn running back Chris Bosworth and Westwood offensive lineman Tabin Filizetti.

Blank was an All-U.P. honorable mention as a defensive back and earned All-Mid-Eastern Conference honors. He also received the Gil Heard Courageous Athlete Award from the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association last fall. Bosworth made the All-U.P. Dream Team in 2016 and Filizetti was named All-Mid-Peninsula Conference last season.

Also earning spots on the Lions’ roster are Munising defensive lineman Michael Biddinger, Newberry defensive lineman David Carlson, Manistique offensive lineman Steven Knudson and linebacker Liam McKeage, Forest Park running back Connor Bortolini, Bark River-Harris linebacker Jose Laynez, Sault Ste. Marie defensive back Kyle Huskey and Rapid River linebacker Jarrett LaCasse.

In Houghton, Michigan Tech added 20 gridders to its squad, including six from the U.P. Headlining the class is Escanaba defensive back Scout Wunder, who was an MHSAA Division 4 First Team All-Stater and an All-U.P. Dream Teamer. Other new Huskies are Kingsford offensive lineman Liam Gayan, Sault Ste. Marie linebacker Jacob Huhtala, Norway wide receiver Micah Wilson and Menominee linebacker Jason Janquart and strong safety Jacob Rivard.

Finally, Northern Michigan University signed 25 players to its roster, with two coming from the U.P. One is Calumet offensive lineman Cooper Twardzik. He was named to the All-U.P. Dream Team as a defensive end and was an All-State honorable mention.

The other is Engadine tight end Scout Bigger. He was a First Team Eastern U.P. All-Conference running back in eight-player football for three years, a First Team All-Conference linebacker twice and was the conference Defensive Player of the Year last season.

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is rstieg@miningjournal.net.