Michigan Tech signs 36 football players to National Letters of Intent

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HOUGHTON, Mi. Head Coach Steve Olson and the Michigan Tech football program are pleased to announce that 36 student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent and will join the Huskies for the 2019 season. Seven other student athletes have committed to Tech as preferred walk-ons.

Michigan Tech's incoming class includes 18 defensive players, 23 players on offense, and two specialists multi positional players. There are nine players in this year's class that reside in the Upper Peninsula and 29 hail from the state of Michigan.

"First off I'd like to thank our staff for their hard work throughout the signing season," Coach Olson said. "In addition to the football staff, I'd like to thank Dr. Steve Patchin for coming to each one of our recruiting weekend events, as well as the advisors and faculty members that came to visit with the prospective student athletes and their parents. Michigan Tech has a strong reputation academically, but the people here really help students to understand how special MTU is."

Michigan Tech wrapped up the year 4-6, but claimed the Miner's Cup for the ninth straight season with a 35-33 victory at rival Northern Michigan in week nine of the season. The Huskies having been conditioning and lifting weights since returning from semester break. Tech will begin spring practices in late March, with the annual spring game coming up in April.

Below is an alphabetical list of the 36 student-athletes who have signed NLI's at Tech and will play football this fall. A brief biography and highlight/introduction video on each is also available.

Nathan Beckman DB 6'0 175 West Ishpeming, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Westwood High School… 2018 All-UP Dream Team selection… Runner-up Conference Back of the Year in 2017 and 2018… Three Time All-Conference Defensive Back and Quarterback/Running Back… Team Captain during junior and senior seasons… Helped guide his team to 2017 Class C Team of the Year honors, best record in school history, and back to back playoff appearances… Back to Back 1,000 yard seasons… National Honors Society…

Alex Cannoot DL 6'6 245 Marquette, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Marquette Senior High School… Team Captain as a junior and senior… Kiwanis Student Athlete of the Month… 2018 GNC Lineman of the Year… 2018 GNC First Team All-Conference Defensive End… Participant in the UP All-Star Game… 2018 Lou Carlson Football Memorial Sportsmanship Award recipient… National Honors Society… Academic Achievement Awards each semester… Plans to major in Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Tech...

Dante Cardinali LB 6'1 205 Southlake, Texas
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Byron Nelson High School… Named 5-6A Second Team All-District in back to back seasons… Twice named Team MVP and Defensive Player of the Year… Academic All-State… Plans to major in Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Alex Carlson OL 6'1 255 Maple Grove, Minn.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Maple Grove Senior High School… Sports Jam All-Area First Team… First Team West Metro Football All-District… Outstanding Lineman… Crimson Football Award Winner… Helped lead his team to the Class 6A state playoffs in 2017 and 2018… Plans to major in Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Hunter Chambers OL 6'2 275 Lake Orion, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Lake Orion High School… 2018 All-OAA First Team Offensive and Defensive Lineman… 2018 MLIVE All-State Second Team Offensive Lineman… 2018 All-North Second Team Offensive Line… 2018 Detroit Free Press All-State Honorable Mention Offensive Lineman… 2017 All-OAA Second Team Offensive Lineman… Offensive stats include 51 pancake blocks (5th in the State) while not missing any snaps as a senior… Defensive stats include 20 tackles with five going for a loss of yardage… OAA Scholar Athlete and Honor Roll student for three seasons… 2018 Team Captain… 2018 Outstanding Offensive Lineman… 2018 Leadership Team Award… Plans to major in Engineering Management at Michigan Tech…

Mitchell Chosa LB 6'0 190 Green Bay, Wis.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Notre Dame de la Baie Academy… Twice Named First Team All-Conference at Middle Linebacker… FRCC Top 10 Toughest Award… Compiled 80 tackles, including 10 tackles for a loss, three sacks, and three forced fumbles… All-Star Game Participant… Helped lead team to a State Runner-Up finish in 2016… Four Year Honor Roll Student… Notre Dame Academy Service Award Recipient in 2017… Plans to major in Wildlife Ecology at Michigan Tech…

Josh Cribben DL 6'0 205 De Pere, Wis.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Notre Dame Academy… Twice named First Team All-Conference as a Defensive End… Second Team All-Conference as a Tight End… All-State Honorable Mention… Twice named All-Region… Defensive Lineman of the Year… As a senior compiled 60 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, one interception… On offense as a senior picked up 22 receptions for 468 yards and seven touchdowns… As a junior racked up 66 tackles with 16 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and one interception… Earned the team Defensive MVP Award as a junior and was the Team MVP as a senior… National Honors Society… Academic All-State… Plans to major in Electrical Engineering…

Jordan Dent TE 6'3 210 Lowell, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Lowell High School… All-Conference selection… Team Captain… Helped lead the team to the State Semifinals in 2016… Led the team in receptions and receiving touchdowns as a junior and senior… Academic All-State… Major is undecided…

Nate Farm DB 6'0 180 Arden Hills, Minn.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Mounds View High School… All-Conference and All-Star North selection… Team Captain… Recorded 104 tackles, including 35 of the solo variety, and four interceptions on defense… Ran for 275 yards and five touchdowns… Four-Year Academic Award honoree… Plans to major in Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Robert Franklin IV DB 5'10 170 Frankfort, Ill.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Lincoln-Way East High School… Helped lead his team to a 2017 Class 8A State Championship, a 43-2 overall record through four seasons, and Conference Championships in 2017 and 2018… Collected 38 tackles and six pass breakups… Earned the Honor Roll Award twice… Plans on majoring in Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Alex Fries QB 6'2 190 Saginaw, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Swan Valley High School… Three Year Varsity Starter… Saginaw News Offensive Player of the Year… Saginaw News Dream Team Quarterback… Twice named TVC All-Conference Quarterback… Second Team All-State Quarterback… Winningest Quarterback in Swan Valley History… Two-Time Swan Valley Offensive Player of the Year… Helped guide his team to a pair of TVC Central Championships, two District Championships, and two Regional Championships… Generated 2,060 passing yards, tossed 28 touchdown passes, and added eight rushing touchdowns during his senior season… National Honors Society… Summa Cum Laude… Plans to major in Business Management and Administration at Michigan Tech…

Rorey Garner DL 6'1 270 Saginaw, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Swan Valley High School… Two-Time Tri-Valley All-Conference DT/OT... MHSFCA, Detroit Free Press, Michigan Associated Press, and MLive All-State DT/OT… 2018 Saginaw News Football Player of the Year… 2018 Saginaw News Dream Team… Team Lineman of the Year… Team Captain... Helped lead the team to a Division 5 State Finalist and two Semifinalist appearances, District and Regional Championships, and Tri-Valley Conference Championships in 2017 and 2018… Made 49 tackles and had 10 tackles for a loss… National Honors Society and Magna Cum Laude… Plans to major in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Michigan Tech...

Gunnar Gavalis TE 6'3 225 Plainwell, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Plainwell High School… Earned First Team All-Conference honors on defense… 2018 Team Defensive Player of the Year… Averaged 7.3 yards per carry as a running back and reeled in 24 receptions as a tight end for a 10.6 yards per catch average… Will Graduate with an Honors Diploma… Plans to major in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Sam Gilles FB 5'9 210 Ishpeming, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Westwood High School… Two-Time UP Dream Team selection at Defensive End… UP Lineman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year… Two-Time All-Conference Guard, Defensive End, and Lineman of the Year… Twice selected as a Team Captain… All-State Academic Team… Plans to major in Social Sciences at Michigan Tech...

Preston Graf OL 6'5 275 Dansville, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Dansville High School… First Team All-Central Michigan Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Lineman as a senior… All-Area Lansing State Journal… Team Captain… Second Team All-Central Michigan Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman as a junior… Helped lead the team to a 2015 District Championship… Racked up 62 tackles, including 18 for a loss… National Honors Society… PALS Member… LINKS Member… Three-Time Science Student of the Year… Two-Time Social Studies Student of the Year… Three-Time English Student of the Year… Dansville Student Character Award… Williamston Rotary Student of the Month… Plans to major in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech...

Jacob Honstetter RB 6'0 195 Clarkson, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Clarkston High School… 2018 Detroit All-North Team at Outside Linebacker… Three Time All-Conference Player… 2016 Flint Metro League Honorable Mention Defensive Back… 2017 Second Team Running Back… State Bank Athlete of the Week (2015, 2016, 2017)… 2017 Offensive MVP… 2017 Offensive Skill Player of the Year… 2016 Iron Bronco Award… 2015 Flint Metro Sportsmanship Award… Made 41 tackles and had six tackles for a loss in 2018… Rushed the ball for 837 total yards, averaged 5.9 yards per carry, and scored 11 touchdowns in 2018… National Honors Society… National Society of High School Scholars.. Twice named Flint Metro Scholar Athlete… Plans to major in Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Trevor Johns WR 5'8 145 Manistee, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Manistee High School… All-State Honorable Mention Quarterback… First Team All-Conference Quarterback… Recorded 20 rushing touchdowns during his senior year… Helped lead the team to a Conference Championship… Honor Roll Student… Plans to major in Civil Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Nick Kaufman DB 6'0 186 Maumee, Ohio
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Monclova Christian High School… Third Team All-League Honoree… Mercy Health Player of the Week… Received National Football Foundation Recognition… City League Top Qualifier… Twice named MVP… Helped lead the team to three playoff appearances and a league championship two years in a row… Enrolled in Honors classes during his high school career… Plans to major in Engineering Management at Michigan Tech…

Theo Kumpula TE 6'2 200 Negaunee, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Negaunee High School… Three-Year Varsity Player… Recorded two fumble recoveries for touchdowns… National Honors Society… Honor Roll Student… Will be graduating with High Honors… Plans to major in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Brendan LeClaire K 5'10 165 Dollar Bay, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Dollar Bay – Tamarack City High School… Second Team All-Conference Safety… Honorable Mention All-Conference Kicker… President of National Honors Society, Member of Student Council… Plans on majoring in General Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Ethan Martysz WR 6'0 185 Marquette, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Marquette Senior High School… Twice named All-UP Dream Team Wide Receiver… All-State Honorable Mention Wide Receiver… Two Time First Team All-Conference Wide Receiver… First Team All-Conference/All-UP Dream Team Kicker… Caught 45 passes for 939 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior… Generated 2,200 career receiving yards, 24 touchdowns, and 105 total receptions… Outstanding Academic Achievement Award each semester of high school… Honor Roll Student… Plans to major in Exercise Science at Michigan Tech…

Liam McDonough OL 6'3 250 Green Bay, Wis.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at West De Pere High School… Helped lead the team to a bay Conference Championship and a WIAA Division 3 State Runner-Up finish… National Honors Society… Academic Honor Roll… Plans to major in Engineering Management at Michigan Tech…

Brandon Michalak WR 6'1 170 Macomb, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Dakota High School… All-State Honorable Mention… All-East First Team… First Team MLive Dream Team… All-MAC Red First Team… All-County First Team… Caught 39 passes for 1,012 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 26 yards per reception… 2018 Team Receiver of the Year Award… Honor Roll Student… Plans to major in Sports Management at Michigan Tech…

Bryce Neff OL 6'3 275 Gaylord, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Gaylord High School… All-State Honorable Mention… Twice named First Team All-Conference… Second Team All-Conference… All-Area Lineman of the Year… Helped the team log 2,874 rushing yards as an offensive lineman while recording 32 tackles, and one fumble recovery on defense as a senior… Four Year Varsity Starter… Team Captain for three seasons… Three Year Academic All-Conference… National Honors Society for three years… Plans to major in Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Travis Ojala LB 6'1 180 Mohawk, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Calumet High School… MHSFCA All-State Linebacker in Division 6… West PAC Copper Division Offensive Player of the Year… West PAC Copper Division First Team Linebacker… West PAC Copper Division First Team Running Back… West PAC Copper Division First Team Punter… Carried the ball 151 times for 1,028 yards, had 19 total touchdowns, and 1,281 all-purpose yards this past season… On defense, recorded 84 tackles, five interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble… Helped guide the team to UP Class C Team of the Year Honors in 2018, West PAC Copper Division Championship in 2018, undefeated regular season in 2018... Honor Roll Student… Plans to major in Wildlife Management at Michigan Tech...

Austin Schlicht DL 6'2 210 Oxford, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Oxford High School… Two-Time All-League Honors OAA RED Division… Honorable Mention Detroit News All-Metro North… Honorable Mention Detroit Free Press Metro North… Generated 31 solo tackles and 11 tackles for a loss on defense… Ran the ball 43 times for 207 yards… Caught six passes for 93 yards… Four touchdowns in a first round playoff win over Davison High School… Two-Way Starter… Team Captain and Wildcat (MVP) Award recipient… Honor Roll Student… Student of the Month Honoree… Plans to major in Supply Chain Management at Michigan Tech…

Hunter Smith WR 5'10 160 Ishpeming, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Ishpeming High School… 2017 First Team All-MPC at Running Back… 2018 First Team All-West Pack Defensive Back… 2018 Honorable Mention All-West PAC Special Teams… 2018 All-UP Special Teams… 2018 All-UP Dream Team Defensive Back… Helped lead his team to a West PAC Division Championship, District Championship, and UP Team of the Year titles… Four-Year Honor Roll Student… Plans to major in Civil Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Ian Sousa DL 6'4 247 Kingsley, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Kingsley High School… 2018 All-Conference Tight End… 2018 Honorable Mention All-State Tight End… All-Region Dream Team… Second Team Selection (TE)… Multiple Defensive Player of the Week Awards… Offensive Player of the Week… 2017 All-Conference Special Teams… Caught 28 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns… On defense, accumulated 25 tackles, 13 assisted tackles, five sacks, and two fumble recoveries… Helped lead his team to a District Championship and Regional Runner-Up finish… Kiwanis Student of the Month in December 2018… Plans to major in Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Mitchell Stanchina WR 6'3 200 Northfield, Minn.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Northfield High School… Named All-Conference in both 2017 and 2018… Minnesota All-Star Game Participant… Ran 89 times for 546 yards and seven touchdowns while hauling in 26 receptions for 604 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2018… Helped lead his team to two Sectional Runner-Up finishes… Academic All-State… Plans to major in Computer Science at Michigan Tech…

Jared Tarrance DB 5'9 165 Westland, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at John Glenn High School… KLAA All-Conference and KLAA All-Conference Honorable Mention (Twice)… Hauled in 20 receptions for 367 yards and six touchdowns as a senior on offense… On defense, recorded 11 pass break ups and had four interceptions with one returned for a touchdown… Two-Time Team Captain and named the team's Best Receiver… Four-Time KLAA Scholar Athlete Award Winner… Plans to major in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Tucker Taylor TE 6'4 210 Gwinn, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Gwinn High School… Two-Time All-Conference Tight End and Outside Linebacker… Two-Time All-UP Tight End… Two-Time All-State Tight End… Team Captain… Honor Roll Student… Plans to major in Wildlife Ecology and Management at Michigan Tech…

Luke Terrian HB 6'2 225 Kingsford, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Kingsford High School… First Team GNC Running Back and Linebacker… First Team All-UP Large School Running Back… First Team GNC Offensive Back… All-UP Dream Team Running Back… GNC Honorable Mention Tight End and All-UP Honorable Mention Tight End as a sophomore… Invited to UP All-Star Game… Hometown Athlete of the Month… Hometown Lumber Athlete of the Year… Team Outstanding Back as a junior and a senior… Team Captain… National Honors Society… KHS Student of the Week… KHS Student of the Month for AP Chemistry and AP US History… Air Force Math and Science Award Recipient… Plans to major in Exercise Science or Pre-Medicine at Michigan Tech...

Noah Van Berkel DL 6'4 220 Plymouth, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Canton High School… Twice named KLAA All-Conference and Second Team All-Metro West Detroit… Defensive stats include 68 tackles and 5.5 sacks… Offensively, reeled in 16 catches for 218 yards… Earned the Team MVP Award and the Wahbememe Warrior Award… Plans to major in Exercise Science at Michigan Tech…

Mark Vehslage TE 6'3 255 Santa Barbara, Calif.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Bishop Garcia Diego High School… All-County Team selection… Led the team in receptions… Team Captain… Plans to major in Engineering Management at Michigan Tech...

Jaharee Weah S 5'10 180 Sun Prairie, Wis.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Sun Prairie High School… Big 8 All-Conference Honorable Mention… Recorded 49 tackles including 31 solo stops… Collected four sacks and five tackles for a loss… Team MVP Strength and Conditioning… Honor Roll Student… Plans to major in Business and Marketing at Michigan Tech…

Darius Willis WR 5'8 155 Warren, Mich.
-Introduction Video-

Prepped at Warren Mott High School… All-County Second Team… Team MVP Wide Receiver in 2017 and Team MVP Defensive Back in 2018… Caught 31 passes for 565 yards… Recorded 43 tackles with a pair of interceptions and forced fumbles on defense… Plans to major in Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Tech…

The players below have made a commitment to enroll at Michigan Tech as students and be part of the program as preferred walk-ons.

Shane Astrike QB 6'4 195 Midland, Mich.

Prepped at Herbert Henry Dow High School… All-State Honorable Mention… Saginaw Valley League First Team… Midland Daily News Dream Team… Passed for 2,549 yards and 24 touchdowns this past season… Rushed for an additional 496 yards and six touchdowns… Four Year Honor Roll Student… Plans to major in Pre Medical at Michigan Tech…

Dylan Bonk S 5'10 160 Merton, Wis.

Prepped at Marquette University High School… Honor Roll Student… Plans to major in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Hunter Gipp OL 6'2 230 Hatley, Wis.

Prepped at DC Everest Senior High School… Varsity starter for two seasons on the offensive line… Four-Year Honor Roll Student… Plans to major in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Blake Hewitt OL 6'0 240 Ishpeming, Mich.

Prepped at Westwood High School… 2018 All-UP Dream Team Offensive Tackle… 2017 All-UP Dream Team Defensive Tackle… 2017 All-Conference Offensive and Defensive Tackle… 2018 All-Conference Offensive Tackle… 2017 and 2018 Team Captain… Four-Year Honor Roll Student… Plans to major in Exercise Science (Pre-Physical Therapy) at Michigan Tech…

Isaac Miller OL 6'3 280 Holland, Mich.

Prepped at West Ottawa Public School… First Team All-Area... First Team All-OK Red… MHSFCA First Team All-State… AP All-State Division 1-2 Honorable Mention… Team Captain… Three Starter on Offensive Line at Left Tackle… Did not allow a quarterback sack.. Helped two running backs eclipse 1,000 yards rushing… National Honors Society… Senior Survivor Participant… Plans to major in Civil Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Jack Pluta LB 6'1 220 Germantown, Wis.

Prepped at Germantown High School… Greater Metro Conference Honorable Mention Offensive Lineman… On defense recorded 21 tackles and had one fumble recovery… Greater Metro Conference Scholar Athlete… Wisconsin All-State Academic Honoree… Plans to major in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech…

Tom Ross ATH 6'0 165 Lake Ann, Mich.

Prepped at Benzie Central High School… Two-Time First Team All-Conference… Two-Time Honorable Mention All-State… Had 49 career receptions for 1,126 yards and 16 touchdowns... Had 31 total career touchdowns and 2,569 all-purpose yards… Recorded 167 career tackles and five interceptions… Honorable Mention Academic All-State… Plans to major in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Tech…