Rock Valley standouts sign with DII teams
Two of the Rock Valley Conference’s most accomplished football players signed national letters of intent on Wednesday with Division II schools that play in the same conference.
Mike Walker, who helped lead Walworth Big Foot to the WIAA Division 4 state title last fall, signed with St. Cloud State University.
Brodhead/Juda’s Ethan Douglas signed with Upper Iowa University.
Walker earned second-team, all-state honors from the Associated Press as a running back and defensive back this past season. The 5-foot-10, 198-pounder accounted for 2,311 yards of offense for the Chiefs and scored 36 touchdowns. He also intercepted six passes and finished with a 36.6 average as a punter.
In three seasons as the featured back, Walker finished with more than 5,300 yards of total offense. St. Cloud State liked what it saw and will use Walker primarily at tailback. The Huskies were 7-4 overall last season, including 7-3 in the North Division of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
“It’s a good fit for me,” Walker said of St. Cloud State. “They were the first coaching staff that contacted me, and I’ve really developed a special relationship with everybody up there.
“There were some other options, but St. Cloud just felt right.”
Walker will likely red-shirt his first season. The Huskies have a number of running backs returning, and Walker would like to get to around 210 or 215 pounds to compete at the collegiate level.
“I’ve just got to concentrate on school, and try to get myself as big and strong and fast as I can,” Walker said. “It will be kind of weird to not be playing, but I think it’s the right thing to do.”
Douglas will make his home in Fayette, Iowa. Upper Iowa University was 3-8 overall last season, including 3-7 in the South Division of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. The Peacocks lost 57-10 to St. Cloud State in a regular-season meeting at Fayette.
Despite battling an Achilles injury last fall, Douglas finished his senior season with 1,274 yards rushing and 23 touchdowns.
The 6-1, 205-pound Douglas also was a force on defense. He finished with 19 tackles for losses and had eight tackles in the fourth quarter in a playoff game against Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau. Douglas will play linebacker for the Peacocks.
“I might miss offense a little bit, but playing defense and hitting people is what I enjoy most,” Douglas said.
“It’s only about 22 hours to Fayette, so I like the fact that I’m still kind of close to home. I know I need to get a little bigger and stronger, but the coaching staff said I’ve got a shot to play right away.”
Douglas narrowed his choices to Northern Michigan and Upper Iowa, but chose the Peacocks because of the proximity to Brodhead and the opportunity to play right away.
Other area commitments:
-- Minnesota—Tom Parish (6-3, 200), Hartland Arrowhead quarterback, son of former Evansville High all-state quarterback Steve Parish.
-- Wisconsin—Marquis Mason (6-3, 210), Madison East, wide receiver,.
-- Wisconsin—Drew McAdams (6-3, 183), Madison East, quarterback (preferred walk-on).
-- Minnesota—Marcus Krien (6-2, 236), Burlington, defensive lineman (preferred walk-on).
-- Wisconsin—Jacob Ninneman (6-1, 270), Oregon, defensive tackle (preferred walk-on).
-- Winona State—Kyle Johnson (6-0, 240), Edgerton, fullback (preferred walk-on).
-- Augustana (S.D.)—Trevor Houser (6-4, 290), Sun Prairie, offensive lineman.
-- Minnesota Duluth—Marc Dahlin (6-8, 300), Madison Edgewood, offensive lineman.
-- Minnesota State-Mankato—Trent Cummings (6-1, 205), Waunakee, quarterback.
-- Minnesota State-Mankato—Adam Karlberg (6-0, 165), DeForest, defensive back.
-- Northern Michigan—Austin Barlow (6-2, 300), Monona Grove, offensive lineman.
-- St. Cloud State—Jarek Kunz (6-2, 175), Lake Geneva Badger, defensive back (walk-on).
-- UW-Platteville—Brandon Booth (6-2, 260), Brodhead/Juda, offensive lineman.
-- UW-Platteville—Merrick Grumke (6-3, 268), Monona Grove, offensive lineman.
-- Defensive back—Nate Angles (5-11, 170), Waukesha West.
-- Running back—Cody Brad (6-0, 220), Kenosha Bradford.
-- Quarterback/strong safety—Kellen Miller (6-0, 205), Racine Horlick.
-- Linebacker—Brad Slomkowski (6-1, 205), Kenosha Bradford.
-- Offenesive lineman/linebacker—Jimmy Treslley (6-2, 280), Madison Abundant Life.
-- Defensive back—Brandon Zold (5-11, 180), Kewaskum.