2007 Jackrabbit football awards full allotment of scholarships

Brian Kimmes

Brian Kimmes

February 7 was a historic day for the SDSU football program. With the announcement of the 17 new Jackrabbit football players, SDSU has reached their full capacity for football scholarships. Redshirts from this class will be the first Jackrabbits eligible for the national championship all four years of their career.

After logging more than 30,000 miles between the coaching staff, SDSU landed players from eight different states, including five Iowans, three Minnesotans, three Texans, two South Dakotans and one player each from Wisconsin, Nebraska and Missouri.

The recent success of the football program and SDSU’s years as a Division-I school have aided in recruitment.

“When you can go out and say you’re ranked in the end, ranked as high as 15th in the power rankings, not only was that a great selling point, but people knew that when we went out,” said Head Coach John Stiegelmeier in a gojacks.com video interview.

“In our region, we had to define what Division-I-AA football is … Now it’s a way of life, and that’s an exciting part of what’s being started at South Dakota State.”

Stiegelmeier said SDSU is a regional school so the football program focuses on getting talent from within the region.

“We’re South Dakota State and we’re going to start in South Dakota,” he said.

The recruitment process begins in the spring and lasts throughout the year.

“We go out and spring recruit. We get film on juniors … in December is when the physical part starts. … It is a long, drug-out process,” Stiegelmeier said. “We start out with 700 (potential recruits) … The process is to get rid of guys, and we just keep whittling away, looking for a guy that fits the student-athlete profile that we think we need to have at South Dakota State.”

He said this year’s class are truly student-athletes. The average grade point average for the incoming class is 3.3 and the average ACT score is 23.

“These guys are going after rigorous degrees and they’re going to do well in the classroom,” Stiegelmeier said.

He said the signees addressed some needs on defense, especially in the secondary, and should make an impact on the football team throughout the next few years.

“I think every one of our guys will be a great success, or has the potential to be a great success,” Stiegelmeier said.