College footabll: RCTC focuses on region for recruiting class
Second-year Rochester Community and Technical College football coach Eric Waldstein hopes relying heavily on the region for his 2017 recruiting class makes for a strong commitment to the Yellowjackets.
Waldstein’s desire is to land players who will stick around the full two years at the junior college. With that in mind, he and his staff recruited heavily in the Midwest.
“We want regional guys,” Waldstein said. “Region kids are used to the Midwest, they’re used to the weather. They won’t leave town the first time it snows.”
The coach announced a recruiting class of 30 players on Wednesday. Ten of those hail from Minnesota, seven from Wisconsin, two from Iowa, three from Illinois and one from South Dakota.
“I’m excited,” Waldstein said. “We have a lot of local kids and region guys who are committed to being here.”
Just one player hails from Rochester, Gabe Supalla, a senior at Century. Supalla is listed as a wide receiver, but also played defensive back at Century. He said he “might play both” at RCTC.
The class includes a trio of players from Albert Lea, including twins Trent and Tristan Johnston. Cody Olson of Mankato East in one of three quarterbacks in the class.
“We filled a lot of spots we needed today,” Waldstein said. “We really wanted to shore up our quarterback position and we got a couple of good ones.”
Jamal Stovall, RCTC’s 2016 quarterback, was a sophomore and cannot return to the Yellowjackets.
The other two QBs who signed on Wednesday were Joseph Lane of South Dakota and Ryan Fyke of Illinois.
Waldstein was just hired last April and didn’t have much time to add to the 2016 recruiting class. As a result, the Yellowjackets were weak in a few area and struggled (for them) to a 6-4 record.
“We needed some lineman and we got some big boys in that group, both on the O-line and D-line,” Waldstein said.
“We have a pretty salty defensive line,” he added. “I’m excited to see those guys come together and play this fall.”
Waldstein said RCTC lost one strong recruit from Minnesota who decided to go to Division I Kansas State as a preferred walk-on. The coach is hoping most of the freshmen from the 2016 team return this fall. Standout linebacker Brandon Perce of Wisconsin was a freshman last year, but he could still get an offer from a four-year school and depart.
Waldstein said he and his staff will continue to look at other players to bring in. Many are still weighing, or hoping, for offers from four-year schools and could join RCTC in the near future.
“Those are good numbers for us so far,” the coach said of his 2017 class, “and we’re still working on and waiting for some others.”
2017 RCTC football recruits
(Player, hometown, position)
Lewis Griffin (Aurora, Colo, OL), Cody Olson (Mankato East, QB), Trent Johnston (Albert Lea, RB), Tristan Johnston (Albert Lea, LB), Ben Witham (Albert Lea, ATH), Tyler Snyder (Colfax, Wis., WR), Thomas Miller(Glendale, Wis., WR), Gabe Supalla (Rochester Century, WR), Damarius Hilton (Manning, S.C., OL), Tavian Kaschub (Fennimore, Wis., RB/FB), Jared Armstrong (Monteplier, Ohio, OL), John Spaeth (Hammond, Wis., OL), Jadyn Jensen (Menomonie, Wis., RB/FB), David Schumer (Foley, LB), Javon Whitesell (LaCrosse, Wis., DL), Brandon Day (Park Rapids, DB), Ryan Fyke (Forsyth, Ill., QB), Dorren Sheegog (Hastings, DB), Joseph Lane (Beresford, S.D., QB), Tyler Nolan (Jacksonville, Fla., OL), Thomas Bradley (St. Paul/Cretin-Derham Hall, DB), Jalen Benton (Chicago, DL), Cameron Cooper (Glendale, Wis., DL), Brett Styve (Calmar, Iowa, TE/OL), Greg Jurich (Waukee, Iowa, DL), Davon Limes (Fort Washington, Md., WR), Nicholas Stueve (Colorado Springs, Colo., DL), Jaikub Jones (Osseo, DE), Robert Madley (Livonia, Mich., OL), Darryl Kelley (Danville, Ill,, DB).