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Signing Day 2020: mining true Dawgs

By Jacob Knabel on Feb. 5, 2020 in Football

As of Signing Day 2020 (Feb. 5), the Concordia University football program has secured the pledges of 42 high school seniors from nine states around the country. Through scouting, large and small visit days, many connections, conversations and careful evaluation, head coach Patrick Daberkow and his staff are putting together a recruiting class that aligns with what it means to be a Concordia Bulldog.

Offensive line and defensive back are positions receiving particular attention in this recruiting cycle, but there’s a lot more to it than that. Of course this is a time when all coaches feel optimistic about their incoming recruits, but Daberkow has reason to believe his staff have honed in on how to evaluate the right fits.

“As with every recruiting class, you’re trying to bring in impact guys at every position,” Daberkow said. “We feel like every year we’re getting better at identifying the right fit for Concordia University football. It’s really important that we bring in the right guys who fit in our locker room and what we’re building from a culture standpoint. When you bring in guys who value what you value you can hit the ground running. We feel very good about that aspect of this recruiting class. Ultimately we’ll find out how we did in three years.”

Daberkow isn’t ready to highlight specific players out of this class. That philosophy goes with the team-first attitude that he and his staff have tried to create. Daberkow has preached a desire to find student-athletes who are about more than just fielding a bunch of offers that they can then go announce via their social media. In his own Twitter profile, Daberkow has used the hashtag #GrowthMindset as a point of emphasis.

The past couple of years have been about growth after the program graduated several star veterans from the 2017 squad. Part of the answer to the equation revolves around injecting some life into an offense that has struggled to find the end zone over the last two seasons. This class will have the opportunity to write a new chapter for Bulldog football, which is already stocked with players who have the right mindset.

“Every class is unique,” Daberkow said. “We’re just trying to get recruits around our guys and get them in front of our players. I really feel like our players are our biggest selling point. We have so many great facilities and so many great people. Ultimately, recruits want to get a feel for what their future teammates are going to be like. That’s our main aim.”

An outsider until joining the program as a volunteer coach this past fall, former Nebraska Cornhusker offensive lineman Tanner Farmer can speak to the type of people leading the program – and to the players within it. Said Farmer recently, “They’re all just great people. This is just an amazing university, amazing staff.”

One thing the Bulldogs have done well lately is sell potential recruits both near and far. Last year’s recruiting class included local talents such as Carson Core (Seward HS) and Wyatt Ehlers (Centennial HS), adding them to an already long list of standouts who chose to stay close to home. So far, this class features 14 native Nebraskans and at least one recruit each from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Like a lot of football programs, Concordia regularly mines the state of Texas and its rich talent core.

Signing day is an important marker in the recruiting process and a significant day in the lives of many aspiring student-athletes. Daberkow hopes his Bulldogs-to-be are just as excited about getting to work this offseason and clear into fall camp.

“You can get caught up in the hype of signing day, but we want guys to get excited about getting caught up in the hype of preparation and report date,” Daberkow said. “I feel like we’ve gotten a lot of that in this recruiting class – guys who are just going to work. The hype is there every year, but the work ethic is what we’re looking for.”

2020 Concordia Football Pledges

(As of Feb. 5, 2020)

K James Araya | The John Cooper School (Texas)

DL Cody Arbogast | Apache Junction High School (Ariz.)

RB Fisher Bass | Brook Hill School (Texas)

OLB Anthony Boose | Manvel High School (Texas)

RB Lou Carnazzo | Gretna High School (Neb.)

DE Nicholas Carnes | Cordova High School (Tenn.)

S Liam Carr | Immanuel Lutheran Christian (Okla.)

S Christian Cruz | Turlock High School (Calif.)

DT Javriel Dillard | Little Elm High School (Texas)

S Michael Doiel | Manhattan High School (Kan.)

T Jarryd Doucet | West Brook High School (Texas)

ILB Gabe Ellis | Bucklin High School (Kan.)

RB Taygen Fletcher | Holton High School (Kan.)

G Alex Helfrich | Concordia Omaha High School (Neb.)

DE Stephen Hughes | Columbine High School (Colo.)

DE Xavier Jackson | Park Hill South High School (Mo.)

OLB Jaxson Kant | Lutheran High Northeast (Neb.)

DE Jordan Kavulak | Seward High School (Neb.)

QB Dominic Lee | Sumner Academy (Kan.)

G James Luehr | Prospect Ridge Academy (Colo.)

CB Caleb Matlock | Concordia Omaha High School (Neb.)

CB Malcolm McKibben | Olathe North High School (Kan.)

S Colton Munoz | Pine Tree High School (Texas)

QB Ben Myers | Seward High School (Neb.)

T Derric Overbey | Vista Ridge High School (Colo.)

T Kaden Peters | Wood River High School (Neb.)

T Angus Poulsen | Broomfield High School (Colo.)

T Michael Ramos Murphy | Mcgregor High School (Texas)

FB Trevor Reeves | Seward High School (Neb.)

G Cameron Roulston | London High School (Neb.)

TE Daylan Russell | Alma Public School (Neb.)

S Joshua Sagehorn | Seward High School (Neb.)

ILB Zakary Salinas | Pearland High School (Texas)

CB Jack Sanchez | United High School (Texas)

DL Joseph Seger | West Holt High School (Neb.)

S Dominic Sis | Dundy County High School (Neb.)

G Brady Soukup | Blair High School (Neb.)

DE Carson Stauffer | Milford High School (Neb.)

DL Emmanuel Taylor | Vista Ridge High School (Colo.)

G Tyler Walford | Ellsworth High School (Kan.)

OLB Isaac Wilson | Lutheran High School South (Mo.)

C Dawson Younker | Celina High School (Texas)