Carroll College football coach Mike Van Diest announced the signing of six players today.
The Saints signed linebacker David Anderson of Frenchtown, defensive back Chandler Arbizzani of Billings, tight end Brian Malone of Missoula, tight end Walker Ray of Nampa, Idaho, quarterback Tanner Gustavsen of Boise, Idaho, and defensive lineman Zavier Johnson of Richland, Wash.
“These six commitments have really brought this freshman class to new heights,” Van Diest said. “David Anderson is a very talented player who also happens to be one of the top wrestlers in the state of Montana. I am excited to have an athlete of Chandler’s ability joining our program. Coach (Ron) Lebsock runs a first-class operation and you know his players will perform at their best.
“We feel that we really struck gold with the three out of state recruits. Gustavsen and Ray were our top recruits at the QB and TE positions,” Van Diest said. “Xavier is the type of defensive lineman that will impact our front. All in all I am very excited with the eleven new freshmen that are coming in this fall. We look to add additional signings later this month.”
Van Diest recently completed his 14th season at Carroll College with a record of 164-26. His 86 percent winning percentage ranks number one in the NAIA among all active coaches. This past season he also surpassed legendary NAIA Hall of Famer and Carroll Coach Bob Petrino as number one on the Carroll College Football All-Time Wins List.
During his time here at Carroll the Saints have won 12 Frontier Conference titles and made 8 trips to the NAIA National Championship game.
Following is a rundown of the news Saints:
David Anderson, 6-foot, 185-pound, linebacker from Frenchtown
In 2011 and 2012 David was named to the All- Conference Team as a running back and linebacker. As a senior David was named 1st Team All-State at the linebacker position and selected to the East/West Shrine game. He was also named team captain in football, wrestling, and lacrosse. He is an All-State performer in wrestling and qualified for the state meet in Billings this weekend. He was his team’s MVP in lacrosse this past season. He is a member of the National Honor Society and carries a 3.8 GPA.
Chandler Arbizzani, 6-2, 175-pound defensive back from Billings Skyview
Chandler was a two- year starter at corner back for the Falcons. This past season he was named Honorable Mention All-Conference on defense. He is a member of the track & field team where he runs the 100m, 200m, and the 4×100 relay team. Chandler has a 3.31 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Brian Malone, 6-5, 205-pound tight end from Missoula Big Sky
Brian has lettered two years in football and basketball and will be a four-year letter winner in track & field, where he throws the shot and discus. He has been named Academic All-State each of his four years of high school and carries a 3.92 GPA.
Walker Ray, 6-4, 210-pound tight end, Skyview High School, Nampa, Idaho
Walker was a three-year starter at tight end for Skyview High School. He started 33 consecutive games in his career. In 2011 and 2012 he was named 1st Team All-Conference and 1st Team All-Area as a tight end, and 2nd Team All-Conference as a punter. He was named his team’s Offensive Player of the Year. He had 102 career receptions and scored 19 TD’s.
Tanner Gustavsen, 6-1, 186-pound quarterback from Boise High School
Tanner has participated in football, basketball, track & field, and baseball. He has lettered four years in track & field and in football. In 2011 he was named Honorable Mention All-Conference at QB and in 2012 he was named 1st Team All-Conference and Offensive Player of the Year. Tanner was also named 2nd Team All-State. He has been a four-year starter on the varsity team. He is a member of the National Honor Society and carries a 4.2 GPA.
Xavier Johnson, 6-1 ½, 250-pound defensive end, Hanford High School, Richland, Wash.
Xavier has been a four-year letter winner at Handford H.S. He was a three year starter and received All-Conference honors during his junior and senior years on the defensive line. He was named team captain in 2012. He has also qualified in the discus for the District track & field meet these past two seasons and will be a three-year letter winner in track & field this spring. He is a member of the National Honor Society with a 3.80 GPA.