Finlandia announces new football players

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HANCOCK, Mi. There’s excitement on the campus as the Finlandia University football team announces the initial signing class for the 2018 season. The class has a strong Michigan feel with 13 of 15 players coming from in-state and 11 of those from the Upper Peninsula.

“The state of Michigan, especially the Upper Peninsula has been a focus of ours as a staff and university,” said head coach Rob Boss. “We couldn’t be more excited about the group of young me we have in this class and what they bring to our university as students, athletes and young men.”

Christopher Bosworth - Gwinn High School - Head Coach Dion Brown.

In 2017, Gwinn made its first playoff appearance since 1999. Christopher was All-UP Dream Team, Honorable Mention Offensive Player of the Year in the Mid-Peninsula Conference, All Mid-Peninsula running back and honorable mention All-State running back. Chris will be pursuing a degree Business.

Jose Laynez - Bark River-Harris High School (Mich.) - Head Coach Al Stenberg

Jose played offensive guard and linebacker for Bark River-Harris and help lead the Broncos to a playoff berth in 2017. Jose earned All-Mid-Eastern Conference honors this past season. He also competes in track, wrestling and basketball. Jose plans to study Business.

Kyle Huskey - Sault Ste. Marie High School (Mich.) - Head Coach Scott Menard

Kyle played both sides of the ball, offensively he was a running back and defensively played cornerback, for Sault Ste. Marie. Kyle plays baseball for the Blue Devils as well. Kyle plans on studying Criminal Justice.

David Carlson - Newberry High School (Mich.) - Head Coach George Sevarns

David played on both the offensive line and defensive line for Newberry. David was All-Mid-Eastern Conference on both offensive line and defensive line, All-UP and Honorable Mention All-State. Was a Team Captain in 2017 for the Indians and was awarded the Len St. Jean Award, given to a player who makes an impact on and off the field. In addition to football, David does track and powerlifting. David plans on studying Business.

Liam McKeage - Manistique High School (Mich.) - Head Coach Todd Kangas

Liam played multiple positions for Manistique and exceled at linebacker. He is a multiple sport athlete for the Emeralds playing basketball, baseball and competing in track. Liam attends Big Bay De Noc High School where he serves as Class President. Liam will be studying Business.

Steven Knudson - Manistique High School (Mich.) - Head Coach Todd Kangas

Steven played on the offensive and defensive lines for the Emeralds. Steven attends Big Bay De Noc High School where he is a member of the National Honor Society. Steven will be studying Business.

Michael Biddinger - Munising High School (Mich.) - Head Coach Jeff Seaberg

Michael played defensive tackle for Munising and was an Honorable Mention All-Mid-Eastern Conference selection helping lead the Mustangs to a playoff berth in 2017. In addition to football, he is a member of the track team. Michael plans on majoring in Criminal Justice.

Tabin Filizetti - Westwood High School (Mich.) - Head Coach Scott Syrjala

Tabin played on the offensive and defensive line for Westwood. Tabin helped the Patriots to the district championship final last fall and earned All Mid-Peninsula Conference as an offensive linemen. In addition to football, he wrestles and competes in track. Tabin will be pursuing a degree in our PTA program.

Cole Fornwald - Temperance Bedford High School (Mich.) - Head Coach Jeff Wood

Cole handled all the kicking and punting duties for Temperance Bedford. Cole helped the Kicking Mules to a playoff berth in 2017 and he also earned All-SEC Red Division and All Region honors as a kicker. In addition to football, he is a member of the wrestling team. Cole will be in our Nursing program.

Connor Bortolini - Crystal Falls Forest Park High School (Mich.) - Head Coach Dave Graff

This fall Connor and Crystal Falls Forest Park won the 8-Man Division 2 State Championship. Connor played running back and defensive back for the Trojans. Connor earned All-State and All-UP Dream Team. Connor holds four MHSAA 8-Man records: Most Carries in a game (54), Touchdowns in a game (7), Rushing yards in a game (402) and State Final Championship touchdowns in a game (4). Connor was also the Trojans Offensive Player of the Year and Co-MVP of his team. Connor is also on the basketball and track teams. Connor is an Honor Roll student and will be studying Criminal Justice.

Alec Blank - Munising High School (Mich.) - Head Coach Jeff Seaberg.

In 2017 Alec helped Munising gain a playoff berth playing quarterback and defensive back. Alec earned All Mid-Eastern Conference on both sides of the ball as well as Honorable Mention All-UP. In addition, earned the Gil Heard Courageous Athlete Award. Alec is an Honor Roll student and a member of the National Honor Society. In addition to football, he plays basketball, baseball and track. Alec will be in our PTA program.

Jarrett LaCasse - Rapid River High School (Mich.) - Head Coach Steve Ostrenga

Jarrett helped Rapid River qualify for the playoffs all four years of his career. Jarrett played multiple positions for the Rockets including running back and linebacker. Jarrett was an All-Western Eight Conference selection his junior and senior year. In addition to football, he is on the basketball and track teams. Jarrett is a High Honor Roll student and will be in our PTA program.

Ty Thorpe - Green Bay West High School (Wis.) - Head Coach Tommie Williams

Ty played quarterback and defensive end for the Wildcats. Ty earned All-Bay Conference honors as a defensive end in 2017. Ty competes on the basketball and track teams. Ty will be in our PTA program.

Marvin Anthony - Jackson High School (Miami, Fla.) - Head Coach Lakatriona Brunson

Marvin was very versatile for the Generals and played multiple positions in the defensive back field. Marvin earned All-Dade County at defensive back as a senior. In addition to football, he competes on the Generals Track team. Marvin will be pursuing a degree in Business.

Shawn McKinley - Houghton Lake High School (Mich.) - Head Coach Joe Holloway

Shawn was a stand out on both side of the ball on offensive and defensive lines for Houghton Lake. Shawn helped the Bobcats qualify for the state playoffs the last two season. Shawn earned All-Jack Pine Conference and All-State honors as well as being named to the All-UP Dream Team. In addition to football, Shawn competes in basketball and track. Shawn plans on being in our PTA program.

2018 Initial Signing Class

Name High School Position HT WT

Christopher Bosworth Gwinn Running Back 6’0” 180

Jose Laynez Bark River-Harris Linebacker 5’11” 190

Kyle Huskey Sault Ste. Marie Defensive Back 5’11” 180

David Carlson Newberry Defensive Line 6’2” 205

Liam McKeage Manistique Linebacker 6’0” 230

Steven Knudson Manistique Offensive Line 6’1” 250

Michael Biddinger Munising Defensive Line 5’11” 270

Tabin Filizetti Westwood Offensive Line 6’1” 260

Cole Fornwald Temperance Bedford Kicker 6’1” 210

Connor Bortolini C.F. Forest Park Defensive Back 5’10” 160

Alec Blank Munising Quarterback 6’0” 195

Jarrett LaCasse Rapid River Linebacker 6’0” 210

Ty Thorpe Green Bay West Quarterback 6’5” 200

Marvin Anthony Miami Jackson Defensive Back 5’9” 160

Shawn McKinley Houghton Lake Defensive Line 6’3” 245