Press Box

MARQUETTE, Mich. – Bernie Anderson, the head football coach at Northern Michigan University, announces 26 student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to join the NMU football program. The group will join seven individuals who are currently enrolled at NMU.
“We are excited about this class just like any program is about their recruits. We really filled our needs with character, academics and athleticism. Getting six from the U.P. is taking care of our backyard. I really like what we have committed from the U.P. this year. This is an important area for us and we are back on track where we want to be with U.P. players,” Anderson said. “There are some key players in this group who I think can contribute next year already.”
A total of six states are represented in the class. The geography is Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Texas and Wisconsin.
2007 Commitments:
Matt Blanchard-QB, 6-3, 195
Lake Zurich HS-Lake Zurich, Ill.
-Led 2006 team to Illinois Class 7A State Championship Game
-All-Conference (North Suburban Conference)
-Daily Herald All-Area Team
-Team Offensive MVP
-17-3 as a starter
-Senior Stats-865 yards rushing/1010 passing yards/20 TD’s
-Two years of basketball
-Four-year member of track team-triple jump/high jump/low hurdles/100-yd. dash
-Honor Roll Student
-Jr. Marshall for 2006 Graduation Ceremony
-North Suburban Leadership Program Representative for Lake Zurich HS
Gus Blanzy-OL, 6-2, 260
Gaylord HS-Gaylord, Mich.
-First Team All-Conference (Jr/Sr Years)
-All-Region (Jr/Sr years)
-Three-year varsity starter
Josh Brewer-Athlete, 6-3, 195
Allen Park HS-Allen Park, Mich.
-24 receptions/371 yds./2 TD’s
-Two fumble recoveries for TD’s
-One kickoff return for TD
-39 tackles
-All-Conference Mega Red
-The News Herald Top 24 Downriver Team
-Detroit Free Press All-West Team Honorable Mention
Jared Buss-ILB, 6-2, 220
Cedarburg HS-Cedarburg, Wis.
-2003-07 Honor Roll Student
-2005-07 Scholar-Athlete Award
-2005 North Shore Conference Second Team All-Conference
-2006 North Shore Conference Second Team All-Conference
-2005-2006 W.I.A.A. State Playoff Qualifier
-2006 W.I.A.A. State Quarterfinalist
-Team captain
-Junior Stats-66 tackles/5 sacks/4 forced fumbles/2 fumble recoveries
-Senior Stats-84 tackles/4 sacks/4 forced fumbles/2 fumble recoveries
Brad Davis-DT, 6-2, 275
Wisconsin Rapids HS-Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
-First Team All-Conference (Wisconsin Valley)
-First Team All-Region
-First Team All-State (Wisconsin Football Coaches Association)
-Honorable Mention All-State Associated Press
-WSAW Channel 7 All-Star
-2004-2006 Stats-64 solo tackles/150 assisted tackles/47 TFL/19 sacks/3 forced fumbles/6 fumble recoveries/1 INT/8 pass breakups/2 FG blocks
Cedric Douglas-OLB, 6-0, 180
Milan HS-Belleville, Mich.
-First Team All-Academic Team
-Honorable Mention All-League
-Honorable Mention All-Region
-54 tackles/1KO return for TD/4 TFL/3 sacks/3 forced fumbles
Trevor Fiege-ILB, 5-9, 210
Menomonie HS-Menomonie, Wis.
-2005 Underclassmen MVP
-Big Rivers Second Team
-All-Northwestern, Wis. Honorable Mention
-2006 Big Rivers Conference Player of the Year
-2006 First Team All-Conference (Big Rivers) (LB & RB)
-First Team All-Northwestern, Wis.
-First Team All-State LB (Wisconsin Football Coaches Association)
-Honorable Mention All-State RB (Wisconsin Football Coaches Association)
-First Team All-State Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
-First Team All-State as selected by Associated Press
-North All-Star Football Team
Justin Fugate-DE, 6-4, 245
Milan HS-Milan, Mich.
-First Team All-State
-First Team All-League
-First Team All-Conference
Eddie Knoblock-ILB, 6-1, 230
Farmington HS-Lake Orion, Mich.
-First Team All-Area
-140 tackles/3 forced fumbles/18 TFL
-Detroit News All-Metro North Second Team
-Playing in Michigan East-West All-Star Game
Carter Kopach-QB, 6-0, 195
Mount Carmel HS-Bolingbrook, Ill.
-National Honor Society Member
-J. Kyle Braid Leadership Award Winner
-Senior Leader
-2006 Tony Lawless Award Winner (Chicago Catholic League Blue MVP)
-Two-time All-State Honorable Mention (Chicago Sun Times & Tribune)
-Two-time state runner-up
-Two-Time Soldier Field HS Football Opener MVP
-Two-year combined record of 25-3
-Team captain
-ESPNU Old Spice Player of the Game
-Team MVP
Jon Kraai-OL, 6-3, 255
Zeeland West HS-Zeeland, Mich.
-2005 All-Area Advanced Team
-2006 All-Area Advanced Team
-2006 Zeeland Record All Area
-2006 Second Team All-Conference (OK Green)
Eric Kutches-Athlete, 6-3, 210
Escanaba HS-Escanaba, Mich.
-U.P. All-Class Honors
-First Team All-Conference (Great Northern Conference)
-Defensive Player of the Year (Great Northern Conference)
Andy Lanser-TE, 6-3, 240
Sheboygan South HS-Sheboygan, Wis.
-First Team All-Conference (Fox River Valley Conference)
-Earned three varsity letters for football
-Earned three varsity letters for basketball
-19 receptions/184 yards/4 TD’s
-20 tackles/6 sacks
Jake Lehmann-Athlete, 5-10, 165
Ishpeming HS-Ishpeming, Mich.
-First Team All-Conference
-U.P. Dream Team Member
-Team captain
Nate Linsmeier-OL, 6-3, 305
Menominee HS-Menominee, Mich.
-U.P. Dream Team Member
-Member of state championship team
Kevin Oberle-OL, 6-3, 255
East Lansing HS-East Lansing, Mich.
-First Team Academic All-Conference
-Honorable Mention All-Conference
-Team captain
Chad Pepper-DT, 6-7, 395
Union HS-Caledonia, Mich.
-Three-year varsity starter
-Team captain
Zach Pierson-Athlete, 6-2, 185
LaSalle HS-St. Ignace, Mich.
-Played one year at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia
-First Team All-Straits Area Conference
-First Team All-U.P.
-Honorable Mention All-State
-LaSalle High School Athlete of the Year
-Stats at Fork Union-29-42 for 410 yards and six TD’s
Luke Reitsma-OL, 6-3, 260
Brother Rice HS-Orland Park, Ill.
-2006 Chicago Prep Bowl Champions
-Team captain
-Most Improved Player Overall
-Most Improved Lineman
-2006 Nike Camp Invite at Ohio State University
Brandon Reynolds-HB, 5-10, 235
Battle Creek Central HS-Battle Creek, Mich.
-Over 2,900 total yards rushing
-2003 First Team All-Conference
-Rookie of the Year
-2004 First Team All-City
-2004 First Team All-Conference
-2005 First Team All-City
-2005 First Team All-Conference
-Three years of varsity basketball and track
-2006 First Team All-City
-2006 First Team All-Conference
-2006 Honorable Mention All-State
-Team captain
Kyle Senn-WR, 6-1, 185
Fond du Lac HS-Fond du Lac, Wis.
-2006 Honorable Mention All-State (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
-2006 Unanimous All-Conference wide receiver (Fox Valley)
-2006 Honorable Mention All-Conference Punter (Fox Valley)
-2005 First Team All-Conference Punter (Fox Valley)
-2005 Second Team All-Conference wide receiver (Fox Valley)
-2006 Stats-37 receptions/889 yards/24 yards per catch/10 TD’s-school record 96-yard reception
-20-22 PAT’s/5-8 FG’s long 41 yards
-51 punts/35.1 avg./School record long of 79 yards/Inside 20-18 times
Joby Sullivan-DB, 5-11, 165
Iron Mountain HS-Iron Mountain, Mich.
-All-Conference as a wide receiver and defensive back
-U.P. Dream Team Member
-Team captain
Craig Thompson-QB, 6-3, 185
Allendale HS-Allendale, Mich.
-2005 First Team All-Conference (OK Silver)
-2005 All-Area Advance West Team
-Injured most of 2006 Season
Brennan VanEffen-Athlete, 6-2, 200
Escanaba HS-Escanaba, Mich.
-Missed most of 2006 with injury
Stefan White-OLB, 6-1, 185
Samuel Clemens HS-Shertz, Texas
-Class 4A State Semifinalists (14-1)
-2006 stats 57 tackles/4 INT
Cody Worden-ILB, 6-1, 225
DeWitt HS-DeWitt, Mich.
-2004 Honorable Mention All-League
-2005 First Team All-League
-2005 Detroit Free Press All-State
-2006 Lansing State Journal Defensive Player of the Year
-2006 Lansing State Journal Dream Team
-2006 Detroit Free Press All-State Captain
-Elite 8
-Selected to play in East-West Michigan All-Star Game
Newcomers in Spring 2007:
Charles Wright-DL, 6-2, 285
Hamady HS-Flint, Mich.
-2004 All-State as selected by the Associated Press
-2004 All-Conference
-Transfer from Jackson State University
Keven Hagans-WR, 6-1, 195
Franklin HS-Milwaukee, Wis.
-2005 First Team All-State
-2004 Second Team All-State
-2004-2005  First Team All-Conference
-2004 First Team All-North Division
-Sports Illustrated Preseason All-American
-Played in Wisconsin Shrine Game
-Overall Varsity Record of 23-9
-2005 Team MVP
Tysan Pa’aga-ILB, 6-1, 225
Punahou HS-Honolulu, Hawaii
-Transfer from Arizona Western Junior College
-2003, 2004, 2005 All-Star
-2003, 2004, 2005 Honorable Mention All-State
-Ranked 15 in Top 20 on (2005)
-2005 Team MVP
-2005 Hawaii All-Star Game
David Reese-DL, 6-2, 250
Brighton HS-Brighton, Mich.
-2005 First Team All-State
-2005 First Team All-State Dream Team
-2005 Kensington Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year
-2005 First Team All-Conference
-2005 First Team All-Region
-Stats-83 tackles/28 TFL/16 sacks/2 INT/1 blocked kick
Loren Wiechman-DB, 5-10, 175
Birch Run HS-Birch Run, Mich.
-2005 First Team All-State
-2005 FirstTeam All-Tri Valley Conference as a wide receiver and defensive back
-Saginaw County Dream Team
-Genesee County Dream Team
Justin Athans-DB, 6-2, 190
West Seneca West HS-West Seneca, N.Y.
-Transfer from Mansfield University (Pa.)
-Stats at Mansfield (2006)-9 tackles/1 INT/2 pass breakups-as true freshman
-Set numerous records as a QB at West Seneca HS
-All-Conference (ECIC)
Mike Lyman-OLB, 5-11, 190
Ishpeming HS-Ishpeming, Mich.
-2005 Co-Defensive Player of the Year Mid-Peninsula Conference
-U.P. Dream Team Member
-First Team All-Conference (2005)
All stats are from the 2006 season unless noted
### NMU ###

Prepared By
David Faiella
Sports Information Director