Oredigger football unveils 2020 recruiting class

Oredigger football unveils 2020 recruiting class
Butte High lineman Lucas Kingston carries the Bulldog flag onto the field. Oct. 26. (Butte Sports file photo)

Montana Tech head football coach Kyle Samson announced his first recruiting class today. The group of 40 student-athletes, mostly from inside the state of Montana, includes 36 coming off successful prep careers and four transfers. The recruiting class has 33 signees from Montana.

“We are very excited to announce the signings of these student-athletes,” Samson said.

Samson found numerous quality signees from the local area. Six are coming to Tech from Butte High and Butte Central, as well as five more from Jefferson, Twin Bridges and Beaverhead County High Schools.

Butte Sports previously reported on the signing of Butte High’s Kameron Moreno, Kobe Moreno, Konor McClafferty and Tucker Winston and Butte Central’s Trevor Neumann. The addition of Butte High lineman Lucas Kingston is new.

Kingston earned all-conference and second-team All-State honors while helping lead Butte High to an 11-1 season last fall.

He was named as an alternate to represent the West in the 2020 Montana East-West Shrine Game.

“We have signed some very talented high school kids from the state of Montana as well as some great out of state athletes,” Samson said. “We are also very proud to have some hometown kids from Butte joining our program.”

The out of state signees come from all over the United States including California, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Washington, and West Virginia.

The recruiting class has 27 student-athletes nominated for one or more all-star games this year and 24 will play in the East-West Shrine Game in Billings this summer.

“All of them are great competitors and will represent our program very well in the classroom, the community and on the field,” Samson said. “These are the types of student-athletes that we want in our program. We are extremely excited about the caliber of players that we have brought in.”

In tune with the academic rigors of Montana Tech, the recruiting class contains a number of outstanding academic award winners, student-athletes at the top of their class and 4.0 GPAs.

“We are close to wrapping up our recruiting for the year and we expect to sign a couple more recruits in the next couple weeks,” Samson said. “I want to thank our staff for doing a tremendous job to get these student athletes to Tech.

“We have great coaches on our staff that truly value the relationship piece in recruiting, and I can’t thank them enough for all their time and effort. I also want to personally thank all of our campus community for helping us in our recruiting efforts as well. The whole Tech Community is the reason that these young men have chosen to come to Butte and we want to welcome them all to our Family.”

Following is a list of the new Orediggers.

Isaiah Allik                          DB          6-2          180         Charlo, Mont.                    Charlo HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Reese Cox at Charlo HS. Finished in third place at Alaska State Wrestling Tournament as a freshman. Finished in fourth place at Montana State Wrestling Tournament as a junior.

Personal: Isaiah, son of Lindsey Swelle and Casey Allik, plans on pursuing a degree in Occupational Safety Health.

Andrew Almos                  DB/QB  6-1          207         Great Falls, Mont.           Great Falls HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Mark Samson at Great Falls HS. Team captain for the Bison. Selected all-conference and all-state at quarterback and punter. Chosen to play in Down Under Bowl.

Named academic all-state twice.

Personal: Andrew, the son of Kerry and Travis, plans on pursuing a degree in Biology.

Max Anderson                  OL           6-3          280         Kalispell, Mont.                               Flathead HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Matt Upham at Flathead HS. Named first team all-state as a junior and first team all-conference as a senior. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

Personal: Max, the son of Valerie and Arthur, plans on pursuing a degree in Nursing.

Xavier Atkins                     WR         6-4          195         Spokane, Wash.               Shadle Park HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Jim Mace at Shadle Park HS. Named all-area at wide receiver two times.

Personal: Xavier, son of Stacey, plans on pursing a degree in Business.

Alex Balkenbush              OL           6-1          205         Billings, Mont.                  Billings Central HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Jim Stanton at Billings Central HS. Helped lead team to 2018 State Championship. Three-time all-conference selection at offensive guard. Named all-state at guard. Selected first team all-conference at defensive end. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Named Academic All-State.

Personal: Alex, son of Terri and Justin, plans on pursuing a degree in Engineering.

Seif Benjemia                   OL           6-3          310         West Lafayette, Ind.      West Lafayette HS

High School: Played prep and team captain for head coach Shane Fry at West Lafayette HS. Helped lead team to 3A State Championship. Selected first team all-conference and all-area. Selected honorable mention all-state. Chosen to play in Indiana All-Star Game. Named MVP at Indiana Prep Showcase. Graduated with academic honors.

Personal: Seif, the son of Holly, plans on pursuing a degree in Construction Technology and Management.

Aidan Cyr                            DB          5-11       175         Frenchtown, Mont.        Frenchtown HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Ryne Nelson at Frenchtown HS. Selected second team all-conference at wide receiver as a junior. Selected second team all-conference at linebacker and wide receiver as a senior. Earned all-state in 4x100m relay in track and field.

Personal: Aidan is the son of Dana Scheffer and Michael Cyr.

Cole Dalager                      OL           6-6          270         Kalispell, Mont.                               Flathead HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Matt Upham at Flathead HS. Named first team all-conference and honorable mention all-state.

Personal: Cole, son of Tami Dalager and Bill Jesky, plans on pursuing a degree in Construction Management.

Finngan Davis                    RB           5-10       180         Red Lodge, Mont.            Red Lodge HS

High School: Played prep for head coach John Fitzgerald at Red Lodge HS. Selected second team all-conference defensive back as a sophomore. Selected first team all-conference running back and linebacker as a junior and senior. Chosen to play in the Badlands Bowl and East-West Shrine Game. Named academic all-state three times.

Personal: Finengan is the son of Stephanie Naftal and Nathan Davis.

Garett Diekhans               TE           6-6          200         Geraldine, Mont.            Fort Benton HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Jory Thompson at Fort Benton HS. Two-time all-state selection in football at quarterback and linebacker. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Two-time all-state selection in basketball. Finished in third place in 110m hurdles in track and field.

Personal: Garett, son of Shana and Chris, plans on pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Garrett Dostal                   OL           6-4          265         Billings, Mont.                  Billings Senior HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Chris Murdock at Billings Senior HS. Named all-conference and all-state as a junior. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Member of National Honors Society.

Personal: Garrett, son of William, plans on pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering.

Max Evenson                     LB           6-2          208         Billings, Mont.  Rocky Mountain Coll. (Billings Senior HS)

2019: Played at Rocky Mountain College. Totaled 5 tackles (1 solo, 4 assisted). Had 1 sack.

High School: Played prep for head coach Chris Murdock at Billings Senior HS. Named all-conference and all-state at linebacker. Named honorable mention all-state at tight end.

Personal: Max, son of Tami and Mike, plans on pursuing a degree in Construction Management.

Jared Griffith                     K             5-11       165         Jane Lew, W. Va.             Lewis County HS

High School: Played prep and team captain for head coach Dustin Cogar at Lewis County HS. Selected honorable mention all-state as a sophomore. Selected second team all-state as a junior. Selected first team all-state as a senior. Named West Virginia Big 10 Conference first team as a senior. Member of the National Honors Society. Member of the Art National Honors Society. Member of the Youth Leadership Association.

Personal: Jared, the son of Anessa and Jeff, plans on pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering.

Jordan Jackson                  WR         6-3          195         Lawrenceville, Ga.          Loganville Christian Academy

High School: Played prep for head coach Patrick Stewart at Loganville Christian Academy. Two-time all-state selection. Two-time all-state selection in football. Selected all-state in basketball. Chosen to play in the Elite Raw Talent All-American Bowl.

Personal: Jordan is the son of Ann and Joseph.

Keyshawn James-Newby DL       6-3          235         Helena, Mont.                  Helena HS         

High School: Played prep for head coach Scott Evans at Helena HS. Selected second team all-conference. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

Personal: Keyshawn, son of Kassidy Merrill and Erniest James, plans on pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering.

Parker Johnston               WR         6-0          175         Helena, Mont.                  Capital HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Kyle Mihelish at Capital HS. Selected second team all-conference and honorable mention all-state at wide receiver as a junior. Selected first team all-conference and all-state at wide receiver and defensive back. Chosen to play in East-West Shrine Game.  Member of the National Honors Society.

Personal: Parker, the son of Sheri and Mark Johnston, plans on pursuing a degree in Nursing.

Bo Kelley                             LB           6-0          208         Polson, Mont.                   Polson HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Kaden Glinsman at Polson HS. Selected all-conference and all-state. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

Personal: Bo, the son of Tammy and Randy, plans on pursuing a degree in Petroleum Engineering.

Lucas Kingston                  OL           6-2          265         Butte, Mont.                      Butte HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Arie Grey at Butte HS. Selected all-conference and second team all-state as a junior. Selected first team all-conference and al-state as a senior. Named academic all-state.

Personal: Lucas is the son of Lisa and Brian.

Nate Konen                        LB           6-3          200         Whitehall, Mont.            Twin Bridges HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Brett Nordahl at Twin Bridges HS. Selected first team all-state at fullback and linebacker. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Selected all-conference and all-state in basketball. Named academic all-state. Member of National Honors Society. Ranked first in class in GPA.

Personal: Nate, the son of Bobbie Jo and Gary, plans on pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering.

Gunnar Landrum              LB           5-11       195         Kalispell, Mont.                               MSU Northern (Flathead HS)

2019: Played at Montana State University Northern on special teams.

High School: Played prep for head coach Kyle Samson at Flathead HS. Selected all-conference at fullback and linebacker as a junior. Selected first team all-conference and all-state at fullback and linebacker as a senior.

Personal: Gunnar, the son of Erin and Mark, is pursuing a degree in Applied Health Science.

Konor McClafferty          OL           6-7          240         Butte, Mont.                      Butte HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Arie Grey at Butte HS. Selected first team all-conference and second team all-state as a junior. Selected first team all-conference and all-state as a senior. Named academic all-state twice. Chosen to play in East-West Shrine Game. Member of the National Honors Society and Science National Honors Society.

Personal: Konor, the son of Kim and Jason, plans on pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Jade Morast                       DL           6-2          240         Dillon, Mont.                     Beaverhead HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Zach McRae at Beaverhead County HS. Selected first team all-conference and all-state on offensive line and at defensive end. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Member of the National Honors Society.

Personal: Jade, the son of Raquel and Darrin, plans on pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering.

Kameron Moreno            RB           5-10       200         Butte, Mont.                      Butte HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Arie Grey at Butte HS. Selected first team all-conference and all-state as a running back. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game. 2019 State Champion in wrestling at 205 pounds. Named 2018 NHSCA 182 pound All-American. Named academic all-state.

Personal: Kameron, the son of Kerry Guidi and Thomas Galipeau, plans on pursuing a degree in Occupational Safety and Health. Kameron’s twin brother Kobe is a linebacker for the Orediggers.

Kobe Moreno                    LB           5-10       200         Butte, Mont.                      Butte HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Arie Grey at Butte HS. Selected first team all-conference and all-state at fullback. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Earned all-state in wrestling. Named academic all-state.

Personal: Kobe, the son of Kerry Guidi and Thomas Galipeau, plans on pursuing a degree in Occupational Safety and Health. Kobe’s twin brother Kameron is a running back for the Orediggers.

Trevor Neumann             WR         6-0          175         Butte, Mont.                      Butte Central HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Don Peoples at Butte Central HS. Selected all-conference at defensive back. Selected all-conference and all-state at wide receiver. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Named academic all-state.

Personal: Trevor, the son of Joclynn and Daniel, plans on pursuing a degree in Occupational, Safety and Health.

Derek Nygaard                  OL/DL    6-6          280         Clancy, Mont.                    Jefferson HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Clint Layng and Jefferson HS. Selected second team all-conference on offense and defensive lines. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

Personal: Derek is the son of Jana and Troy.

Levi Parker                         LS            6-1          200         Boise, Idaho                       Bishop Kelly HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Tim Brenna at Bishop Kelly HS. Selected honorable mention all-league on offensive line. Named academic champion five times in football and wrestling.

Personal: Levi, the son of Jamie Parker and Chad Nicholson, plans on pursuing a degree in Construction Management.

Tanner Parsons                 LB           6-1          210         Shelby, Mont.                   Shelby HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Mike White at Shelby HS. Two-time first team all-conference and all-state selection at running back. Selected first team all-conference and all-state at linebacker as a junior. Selected second team all-conference on defensive line as a senior. Chosen to play in the Class C All-Star Game and the East-West Shrine Game.

Personal: Tanner, the son of Brandee and Terry, plans on pursuing a degree in Construction Management and Business.

Derek Pearse                     QB          6-3          203         Post Falls, Idaho               Post Falls HS

High School: Played prep for Blaine Bennett at Post Falls HS. A two-year team captain. Named the Inland Empire League Offensive MVP senior season while leading the state in Passing TDs, Total Offense, and Total TDs. Set 13 school records including career, single season and single game passing yards, pass completions and passing TDs, career, single season and single game total offense. Four-year scholar athlete award recipient. Member of National Honors Society.

Personal: Derek, the son of Heidi and Dan, plans on pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Justus Peterson                                QB          6-4          185         Dillon, Mont.                     Beaverhead County HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Zach McRae at Beaverhead County HS. Selected second team all-conference at quarterback as a junior and senior. Selected first team all-conference and all-state at defensive back. Chosen to play in Badlands Bowl and East-West Shrine Game. Helped lead team to Class A Track and Field State Championship. Earned all-state as a junior in the 300m hurdles, 4x100m, 4x400m. State champion in 4x400m and finished 5th in 300m hurdles and 3rd in 4x100m. Named academic all-state seven times.

Personal: Justus, the son of Jenny and Jesse, plans on pursuing a degree in Business.

Jett Rebish                         DB          5-11       175         Lolo, Mont.                        Big Sky HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Matt Johnson at Big Sky HS. Selected first team all-conference and all-state at safety. Set school record for most tackles. Chosen to play in East-West Shrine Game. Finished in fourth place twice at the state wrestling tournament.

Personal: Jett, the son of Catherine and Daniel, plans on pursuing a degree in Construction Management and Business.

Ethan Renner                    RB           5-10       175         Laurel, Mont.                    Laurel HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Mike Ludwig at Laurel HS. Selected all-conference and all-state at running back as a senior. Selected second team all-conference running back and honorable mention linebacker as a junior. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Part of 2019 track and field state championship team. Two-time all-state sprinter and four-time all-state long jumper. Seven-time academic all-state honoree. Member of National Honors Society.

Personal: Ethan, the son of Heidi and Bradley, plans on pursuing a degree in Occupational Safety and Health.

Carter Smith                      TE           6-1          212         Woodinville, Wash.       Woodinville HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Wayne Maxwell at Woodinville HS. Selected All-KingCo League first team tight end as a senior. Selected honorable mention All-KingCo League as a junior.

Personal: Carter, the son of Jessica and Michael, plans on pursuing a degree in Business.

Kyle Smith                          OL/DL    6-2          245         Billings, Mont.                  Billings Senior HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Chris Murdock at Billings Senior HS. Team captain for the Broncos. Selected second team all-state on offensive and defensive line. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

Personal: Kyle, son of Rebekah and Jens, plans on pursuing a degree in Nursing.

Brandon Spencer             OL           6-3          315         Lolo, Mont.                        Sentinel HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Dane Oliver at Sentinel HS. Selected second team all-conference and honorable mention all-state as a junior. Selected first team all-conference and all-state as a senior. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game.

Personal: Brandon, the son of Tiffany and Michael, plans on pursuing a degree in Business Management.

Avery Stiles                        DB          6-1          180         Clancy, Mont.                    Jefferson HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Clint Layng. Selected first team all-conference and all-state safety. Chosen to play in East-West Shrine Game. State Champion in high jump and long jump in track and field as a junior. Three-time all-state selection in track and field. Member of the National Honors Society.

Personal: Avery, the son of Danielle and Eric, plans on pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering.

Kyler Tesch                         WR         6-1          170         East Helena, Mont.         Helena HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Scott Evans at Helena HS. Selected second team all-conference and honorable mention all-state. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Member of the National Honor Society.

Personal: Kyler, the son of Brandi Shepherd and Rob Tesch, plans on pursuing a degree in Business.

Jared Troxell                      OL           6-3          280         Discovery Bay, Calif.       Los Medanos College (Liberty HS)

2019: Selected first team all-conference for Los Medanos College in the Pacific 7 Conference in the CCCAA.

2019: Selected first team all-league for the Pacific 7 League of the CCCAA.

Personal: Jared, the son of Karen Lee and Steve, plans on pursuing a degree in Business with a Landman Certification.

Thomas Walkup                               OL           6-1          270         Bozeman, Mont.              Bozeman HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Levi Wesche at Bozeman HS. Selected honorable mention all-conference on offensive line as a sophomore. Selected first team all-conference and second team all-state as junior. Selected first team all-conference and first team all-state as a senior. Chosen to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Named academic all-state.

Personal: Thomas, the son of Danielle Bashore, plans on pursuing a degree in Business.

Tucker Winston                                WR/DB 5-11       175         Butte, Mont.                      Butte HS

High School: Played prep for head coach Arie Grey at Butte HS. Six-time letter winner in football and track and field. Named academic all-state.

Personal: Tucker, the son of Cindy and John, plans on pursuing a degree in Business.



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