DILLON — University of Montana Western head football coach Ryan Nourse announced the signing of 28 student-athletes for the 2020 season.
“Our staff worked hard to reach our recruiting goals this off season,” Nourse said. “We added depth and talent to the defensive backfield and bolstered our offensive and defensive lines with this initial group, which were two of the main areas we were looking to focus on with this class. We were also able to add playmakers at running back, tight end and wide receiver, increasing our overall team speed and adding some more players into the mix to help keep our offense performing at a high level for years to come.”
Kaden Bankhead DT/NG 6-2 195 Sunset, Utah / Clearfield HS
Kaden is a two-sport athlete from Sunset, Utah. He recorded 24 tackles, eight sacks and was named defensive player of the year. He lettered in football three times and participated in track and field.
Kaden is the son of Cami Dalton John Bankhead and plans on majoring in psychology.
Noah Braden RB/S 6-0 190 Helena / Capital HS
Noah is a three-sport athlete from Helena. He rushed for 731 yards and 71 receiving yards and recorded 51 tackles on defense. As a junior was named honorable mention all-conference and All-State kick returner. As a senior was named second-team all-conference and honorable mention safety and
honorable mention all-conference running back. The honor roll student is the son of Paul and Sarah
Braden and plans on majoring in environmental science.
Corey Chaney TE/DE 6-2 195 Eureka / Lincoln County HS
Corey is a three-sport athlete from Eureka. The team captain won three state championships and was named first-team all-conference as a tight end and defensive end. As a junior he received second team all-conference honors and was named all state in track as a sophomore. Corey is the son of Benjy and Ellen Chaney and plans on majoring in elementary education with a minor in art.
Reece Connolly DB/ATH 6-0 165 Billings / Billings Senior HS
Reece is a two-sport athlete from Billings. He recorded 74 tackles and four interceptions and was an All-State selection. Reece is the son of Shane Connolly and Melissa Hopkins and plans on majoring in psychology.
Brayden Cromwell OL/DL 6-5 255 Scobey / Scobey HS
Brayden is a three-sport athlete from Scobey. He had 22 pass receptions for 238 yards (10.8
average), recorded 59 unassisted tackles, 122 assisted tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 19 quarterback sacks and recovered three fumbles. He was named all-conference and All-State tight end and defensive end.
He is a three-time letter winner in football, track and basketball. He was an honorable mention for all conference selection in basketball. The honor roll student is the son of Sean and Kyla Cromwell and plans on majoring in Elementary Education.
Mason Dionne RB/LB 5-11 210 Havre / Havre HS
Mason is a two-sport athlete from Havre. He rushed for 2,421 yards on 593 carries for 27 touchdowns. As a linebacker he recorded 210 tackles and 17 tackles for loss. He was a two-time all-conference selection as both a running back and linebacker. He is a two-time All-State running back and was named All-State linebacker as a senior. Mason is the son of Joe and Julie Dionne and plans on majoring in health and human performance.
Skye Gallaway RB 5-11 190 Mullan, Idaho / Mullan JR/SR HS
Skye is a four-sport athlete from Mullan, Idaho. As a senior he rushed for 921yards on 39 carries and 15 touchdowns. He totaled over 4000 yards in his high school career. He was three-time All North Star League selection, two-time Idaho All-State team selection, two-time offensive MVP, and an defensive MVP. He lettered four times in football and basketball, two-time in baseball, and one in track. Skye is the son of Mark Gallaway and Lisa Baird and plans on majoring in business administration.
Kyle Hotvedt WR/DB 6-1 180 Manhattan / Manhattan HS
Kyle is a three-sport athlete from Manhattan. The All-State wide receiver and defensive back had 47 receptions for 749 yds, 10 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and four pass break-ups. He lettered in football for four years, basketball for three years, and track for four years. He earned All-State high jump honors in the 2018 track season. The honor roll student is the son of Pam and Darin Hotvedt and plans on majoring in physical education & health K-12 with a minor in coaching.
Ben Howerton LB/ATH 6-0 195 Horseshoe Bend, Idaho / Horseshoe Bend HS
Ben is a seven-sport athlete participating in football, baseball, lacrosse, wrestling, basketball, soccer, and track. He recorded 93 tackles and six sacks junior year and 22 sacks, five forced fumbles and one interception returned for a touchdown his senior year. He is a two-time first-team all-conference selection on defense., first-team tight end. He was named All-State and defensive player of the year. He was also a first-team selection in baseball with a .600 batting average. Academically Ben received five honor roll awards, three high honor roll awards, and six mustang club awards. Ben is the son of Brandon and Hilary Howerton and plans on majoring in business.
Matthew Jorgensen RB/ATH 5-10 160 Deer park, Wash. / Deer Park HS
Matthew was a three-sport athlete from Deer Park, Wash. He rushed for 1,174 yards and was named NEA conference offensive MVP. He lettered in wrestling, football, and track. The honor roll student is the son of Matt and Shannon Jorgensen and plans on majoring in health and human performance.
Luke Kaniho DE/DT 6-1 245 Kamuela, Hawaii / Kamehameha HS
Luke is a two-sport athlete from Kamuela, Hawaii. He recorded 47 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. In 2018 he was named all-BIIF on offense and all-BIIF on defense in 2019. He is also a two-time Rep 5- All-Star game invitee and a 2020 Polynesian All American Bowl Invitee. Luke is the son of Richard and June Kaniho and plans on majoring in environmental science.
Keith Kippenhan OL/DL 6-4 240 Deer Lodge / Powell County HS
Keith is a two-sport athlete from Deer Lodge. He recorded 11 sacks and was named first-team all-conference and all state in 2019. He was a second-team all-conference selection as a junior. He is a four-time letter winner in football and twice in basketball and track. Keith is the son of Dean and Colleen. Kippenhan and plans on majoring in business.
Jacob Kirkwood WR 6-2 195 Newport, Wash, / Newport HS
Jacob is a three-sport athlete from Newport, Wash. He is a first-team all-conference wide receiver and first-team All-State punter. Jacob is the son of Michael and Karli Kirkwood and plans on majoring in psychology.
Zayne Konkol DT/DE 6-0 225 Belgrade / Belgrade HS
Zayne was a three-sport athlete from Belgrade, Mont. He recorded 46 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and a sack. He was the team’s defensive MVP, two-time second-team all-conference selection and honorable mention All-State. Zayne is the son of Josh and Stacy Konkol and plans on majoring in health and human performance.
Kenai Liua DL 6-2 266 Hauula, Hawaii / Kahuku HS
Kenai is a defensive lineman from Hauula, Hawaii. He recorded 30 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He is a three-time letter winner in football and was the team MVP in 2013. The honor roll student is the son of Polikapo and Lei Liua and plans on majoring in business.
Marcus Lombard OL 6-0 285 Laie, Hawaii / Kahuku HS
Marcus is a two-sport athlete from Laie, Hawaii. He was named offensive lineman of the year and was named MV) in wrestling. The honor roll student is the son of Brian and Oti Lombard and plans on majoring in mathematics and secondary education.
Carson McGinness QB/DB 6-0 175 Eden / Centerville HS
Carson was a three-sport athlete from Eden, Mont. He is a three-time All-State quarterback and a two-time All-State defensive back selection. Carson set the school record for scoring and passing yards in a season and a career. He is a four-time letter winner in football, track and basketball. He is also a three-time all conference selection in basketball. The four-time academic All-State selection is the son of Kevin and Jill Mackey and plans on majoring in psychology.
John Mears K/P 5-9 170 Belgrade / Belgrade HS
John is a two-sport athlete from Belgrade, Mont. He was named second-team all-conference as a kicker, All-State honorable mention and has a career-long of 40 yards. He lettered in football three years and was a four-time letter winner in wrestling where he also received All-State honors. He is a 4.0 student and made the honor roll every semester. John is the son of John and Lois Mears and plans on majoring in elementary education, with a minor in mathematics.
Grant Michaliszyn LB/ATH 6-0 200 Coleville / Coleville HS
Grant was a two-sport athlete from Coleville, Wash. He ran for 1557 yards on 205 carries for 22 touchdowns and had six catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns. On defense he recorded 41 tackles, nine tackles for loss three forced fumbles and recoveries, two sacks, two interceptions and seven pass break-ups. He is a first-team all-league running back and linebacker and first-team All-State linebacker and honorable mention All-State running back. He was also named second-team all-league punter. Grant is the son of Steve and Jody Michaliszyn and plans on majoring in ecology.
Luke Nichols OL 6-3 275 New Port, Washington / New Port HS
Luke is a three-sport athlete from New Port, Washington. The two-time captain averaged 10.8 tackles a game. He is a two-time all-league selection on offense and defense and won the Brandon Burlsworth Character Award. Academically Luke is a honor roll student, NEA League Academic All-Conference selection and won the Distinguished Scholastic Award Football in 2016. Luke is the son of Jeff and Marianne Nichols and plans on majoring in secondary education and K-12 education with a minor in coaching.
Chance Sheldon-Allen DB/WR 5-10 165 Kalispell / Flathead HS
Chance is a three-sport athlete from Kalispell, Mont. he is a first-team all-conference cornerback and kick returner. As a senior he had six interceptions, 15 pass break ups. In track he was the state champion in the 100 meters and took second in the 200. He lettered three times on football, wrestling and track.
Chance is the son of Jeff and Trish Sheldon-Allen and plans on majoring in Environmental Science.
Paul Skirko WR/TE 6-4 210 Colville, Wash. / Colville HS
Paul is a two-sport athlete from Coleville High School in Coleville Wash. He lettered in football and baseball for two years. As a wide receiver, he earned first team all-league wide receiver, second team all-league linebacker, offensive MVP, and defensive MVP awards. Paul is the son of Eric and Kaye Skirko and plans on majoring in Physical Education & Health K-12 and a minor in Kinesiology.
Nick Sosa LB/TE 6-3 200 Yakima, Wash. / A.C. Davis HS
Nick is a three-sport athlete from Yakima, Wash. He was named all-league Big9 tight end. He is a three-time letter winner in football, and a two-time winner in basketball and baseball. Nick is the son of Willie and Rachel Sosa and plans on majoring in business.
Caden Thomas MLB/OLB 6-0 200 Boise, Idaho / Mountain View HS
Caden is a linebacker from Boise, Idaho. He forced three fumbles and returned two for touchdowns. He was named first-team All-State and 5A 2019 defensive player of the year Caden is grandson of Jack and Sharon Thomas and plans on majoring in business.
Riley Thurber FS/ATH 6-2 180 Rexburg, Idaho / Sugar Salem HS
Riley is a three-sport athlete from Rexburg, Idaho. He recorded 40 tackles, five interceptions and a sack. He is a two-time first-team all-conference selection and two-time second-team All-State selection. Riley is the son of Jodi and Randy Thurber and plans on majoring in physical education and health K-12.
Colton Van Dijk LB 6-0 235 Allyn, Wash. / Central Kitsap HS
Colton is a two-sport athlete from Allyn, Wash. As a senior he recorded 84 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles. He led the conference in tackles for loss. He is a two-time first-team all-conference selection and a two-time first-team all-west sound linebacker by the Kitsap Sun. Colton is the son of Matt and Krista Van Dijk and plans on majoring in secondary education and K-12 education.
Jaxson Yanzick RB/KR 5-8 160 Boulder / Jefferson HS
Jaxson is a three-sport athlete from Boulder, Mont. He ran for 870 yards and 11 touchdowns., seven receptions for 145 yards and two scores. He had 375 return yards and two scores and on defense he recorded 55 tackles, three interceptions and a score. He was named first-team all-conference and all-state running back, linebacker and kick returner. The academic All-State selection is the son of Shawn Kremer and Jeff Yanzick and plans on majoring in psychology.
Craig Young QB/ATH 6-2 210 Blackfoot, Idaho / Blackfoot HS
Craig is a two-sport athlete from Blackfoot, Idaho. He threw for 2150 yards, 23 touchdowns, five interceptions and was named all-area and all-conference. He is a three-time letter winner in football twice in basketball. Craig is the son of Heath and Wendi Young and plans on majoring in health and human performance.
— Montana Western