Showing posts from July, 2017

Fall Camp Review: Day 5

The Jackrabbits had their fifth day of practice in a row and ended on a high note before they enjoy a one day break on Monday.  Again, the energy and intensity was high throughout practice.  Players were moving and the competition within and between position groups was fierce.  It is clear that the players realize that there are a lot of snaps and travel roster spots that are up for grabs.  It's great to see the players compete and then help each other up or give a younger player a word of advice.

That's a wrap! — Jackrabbit_Illstrtd (@JackIllustrated) July 30, 2017 Here are a few random observations.
1.  We will start previewing offensive position groups later this week, so I don't want to give too much away, but wow, the Jackrabbits are talented and deep at the skill positions.  At running back, Mikey Daniel, Isaac Wallace, and Brady Mengarelli all made sensational plays through out practice.

2.  There were a few candidates …

Position Preview: Safeties

This is the 3rd installment of the position group previews.  We have previously covered the Cornerbacks and the Linebackers.

Today we are focusing on the safety positions.  The safety position lost a multi-year starter and leader in Nick Mears, but returns a plethora of experienced players who have started or played extensively in recent seasons.  The group learned a lot from Mears and now the seniors have stepped up and are providing the same type of mentoring to the younger players.

This year the safeties are coached by Brian Bergstrom who is in his first year with the Jacks.  Bergstrom previously was the defensive coordinator for the Augustana Vikings.  Bergstrom has been really impressed with how intelligent this group is and said, "As the quarterback of the defense, they need to be smart."  Bergstrom plans to keep guys fresh by substituting and using different combinations of players throughout the game.

"The whole community shuts down on know you h…

Fall Camp Review: Day 2

So I was lucky enough to watch about 45 minutes of practice on Thursday.  It had been awhile since I watched an extended portion of live practice so it was great to be back.  I only have a few thoughts on the day but wanted to share them quickly.

1.  Camp/Practice is intense.  There were really no breaks and players were rarely stationary.  They ran from spot to spot and if they didn't hustle, were told to start again.  It was also hot down on the field even though it was only 80 degrees out. 

2. These early practices are all about details. Most of the players have made plenty of tackles both in their prep and collegiate careers so it was interesting to watch the tackling progression drills that Coach Brown led the defense through.  Not exciting stuff, but definitely important.
Tackling progressions. Beautiful day! — Jackrabbit_Illstrtd (@JackIllustrated) July 27, 2017 3. Similarly, the amount of technique that was drilled home during one-on-one pass …

Position Preview: Linebackers

This is part two of our position preview.  In the first installment we talked about the cornerbacks with Coach Dan Jackson.  Today we are looking at the linebackers with Coach Jimmy Rogers who has now been with the Jacks since 2013 as the linebackers coach.

The Jacks return freshmen All-American Christian Rozeboom but lose multi-year contributors Jesse Bobbit, Dallas Brown, and Cody Hazelett.  The Jacks also lost potential starter Jake Harms to an accumulation of injuries during spring ball.  Rogers shared that this is an incredibly deep and talented bunch.  What they are lacking in game experience will quickly be erased at the start of the season.  He is excited for their potential as a group because they are young, hungry, and talented.

#2 Christian Rozeboom returns for his Sophomore season and as a preseason all MVFC selection.  Rozeboom was a finalist for nearly every freshmen award and was on every major freshman All-American team.  Rozeboom benefitted last year being flanked by…

MVFC Conference Preview

Last week, we previewed the Jackrabbits non-conference schedule.  Today we are taking a quick look at the Missouri Valley Football Conference schedule.

(photo courtesy of During the season we will do a breakdown of the upcoming opponent.  However, as we are still in preseason mode and recently released the game times, I figured it was a good time to take a quick preview of the schedule.

On Tuesday, the conference released its preseason poll and this should add some context to my team by team analysis.
NDSU edges SDSU in closest pre-season vote in MVFC history.... — Valley Football (@ValleyFootball) July 25, 2017
Missouri Valley Football Pre-Season Poll
#3 Young
#4 UNI
#5 Ill State
#6 West Ill
#7 USD
#8 South Ill
#9 Miss St
#10 Ind St — craig mattick (@craigmattick) July 25, 2017
@ Youngstown State Penguins
Saturday, September 30, 6pm cst

What to Know:
Youngstown (YSU) ended last season with a flurry and rattle…

Position Preview: Cornerbacks

This blog will be part one of our Position Preview.  Each blog will look at one position group on the team and give a preview for what Jackrabbit fans can expect this year.  We are kicking off the position preview with the cornerback group.

The Jackrabbits return all of their cornerbacks from the 2016 team and are joined by three talented players who red-shirted their freshmen year as well as one highly touted freshman.  The group had an up and down year but that experience should pay off in 2017.  There were certainly high points in the season. Holding Youngstown State to only 152 yards passing in the Hobo Day victory would be one.  However, there were also games that proved to be frustrating as opponents moved the ball through the air too easily (Think Southern Illinois and allowing 5 touchdown passes and 466 yards passing).  Obviously, allowing this many yards is a combination of things; pass rush, poor communication between levels, not playing assignment football (do your 1/11th),…

How Do They Stack Up? Pre-Season Two Deep

With fall camp about to kickoff, it's time we take a look at the two deep to see where there may be competition this fall and what spots are set.  Starting this week I will provide complete position group breakdowns and have interviews with each position group coach.

Note:  These are my own projections based on how last year finished and observations from spring ball.

(Yes, we included 12 guys as SDSU operates with a Fullback or Slot "W" receiver about 50/50)

QB1: Taryn Christion (Jr)              QB2: Dalton Douglas (Sr)
RB1: Brady Mengarelli (Sr)           RB2: Isaac Wallace (JR) or Mikey Daniel (So)
FB1: Kane Louscher (Sr)               FB2: Luke Sellers (So)
"X"WR1: Jake Wieneke (Sr)          "X" WR2: Alex Wilde (Jr)
"Z"WR1: Adam Anderson (So)      "Z"WR2: Jacob Brown (So)
"W" WR1: Marquise Lewis (So)    "W" WR2: Cade Johnson (Fr)
TE1: Dallas Goedert (Sr)                TE2: Sam Steckman (Fr) or Kall…

All Roads Lead to Brookings. A look at where they are from.

Yesterday, Illinois football blogger, Coach Big Pete, made a post about the success that SDSU, USD, NDSU, and UND have had recruiting in Illinois.  I went through our roster and realized we did indeed have a number of student athletes from the Land of Lincoln.  It got me thinking, where else does the Jackrabbit football program draw players from?
Every program thrives off of "pipelines" or certain states where they draw lots of recruits from.  SDSU certainly has pipeline states but also draws from a wide variety, 16 to be exact.  The list below breaks down the roster by state and notes how many athletes call each state "home."

Current Roster
South Dakota: 33
Nebraska: 20
Minnesota: 18
Iowa: 9
Wisconsin: 8
Illinois: 7
Arizona: 6
Florida: 6
Colorado: 3
Indiana: 2
Alaska: 1
Arkansas: 1
Michigan: 1
Missouri: 1
North Dakota: 1
Ohio: 1

Current Verbal Commitments: 
South Dakota: 5
Iowa: 3
Nebraska: 2
Illinois: 2
Minnesota: 1

It is not surprising that we have such a high nu…

Non-Conference Schedule Preview

During the season we will do a breakdown of each upcoming opponent.  For now, we are still in preseason mode.  Recently, the athletic department released the game times to complete the 2017 schedule.  Today is a perfect time to take a quick preview of the schedule.
(Photo courtesy of Trevor Forest) Duquesne Dukes
Thursday, August 31st, 7pm
"Dairy Drive"

What to Know:
Duquesne had a successful run in 2016 finishing 8-3 and again had a share of the Northeast Conference (NEC) championship for the 6th year in a row.  Duquesne is again favored to win the NEC and represent the conference in the FCS playoffs.

The Dukes return 13 starters including 5 on offense and 8 on defense.  OL Ben Huss, OL Matt Fitzpatrick, DL Andy Struttman, LB Nathan Stone, DB Abner Roberts, and RB AJ Hines were name preseason all-conference.  In addition, Hines was named the 2016 Jerry Rice Award winner which is given to the nations top freshman.

Last season they scored 31 ppg while only allowing 24 ppg. …

Men's Basketball 2018 recruits

Jackrabbit men's basketball Coach T.J. Otzelberger and his assistant coaches have had a busy summer.  With a successful 2017 recruiting class in the books, the coaches have shifted to 2018 and beyond.  Lets just say they have been busy!

The first to hop on board was Owen King a 6'3 PG from Caledonia, MN.  In his junior campaign, King averaged 19.7 points per game, while shooting 44% from the field including 61 made three pointers.  King also stuffed the stat sheet with 5.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 3.2 steals per game.  Owen is also a standout quarterback and could have gone with college football as his sport.  This summer he is playing for the AAU squad the Wisconsin Playmakers.
South Dakota State commit Owen King putting on a show this morning in the 17U quarterfinals for @WIPlaymakers. #NY2LANEXTLEVEL2K17— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) July 16, 2017

Aaron Fiegen brings a familiar name to the roster as a 6'6 forward from Madison, SD. His highlight tape shows a long and athlet…

7 Big Questions for 7 Days Away

Jackrabbit football is right around the corner.  2017 brings a new rule that bans two-a-day practices.  The 2017 edition of the Jackrabbit football team reports in just one week.  Last year was a great season but there are some questions as the Jacks enter this season.

7. Who steps up as the third receiving option?
Everyone knows about Jake Wieneke and Dallas Goedert.  Both have had prolific careers and will be drafted next spring.  The big question is, who emerges as the third option?  There are many candidates who may fill that role.  Adam Anderson (20 rec 222 yds), Marquise Lewis (12 rec 166 yds), Alex Wilde (9 rec 114 yds, 2 TD's), and Jacob Brown (2 rec 4 yds) are the primary candidates.  However, there are redshirt and true freshman who are also incredibly talented.    Opposing defenses will do everything they can to slowdown Wieneke and Goedert so someone will need to step up.  This is prime opportunity for a young receiver to step up and make a difference.

6. Can the defen…

Potential for Impact: Top 5 Freshmen Who Could Contribute in 2017

The recruiting class of 2017 was heralded back in February as one of the best in the history of Jackrabbit football.  However, we all know that games aren't won on signing day.  It takes work in the weight room, in practice, and in the classroom in order to reach success. The true test to see how this class stacks up will be in 3-4 years; hopefully the Jacks will have hung a few banners by then.

 Here is a quick list of the men who are joining the program this year.  Below the list are five who I feel can, or may need to, contribute right away. 
QB - Ethan Bullock, 6'4" 200, Maitland, FL (Orangewood Christian) - HUDL
WR - Chase Templeman, Gretna, NE - HUDL
WR - 
Deyon Campbell, 5'7" 178, Hopkins, MN - HUDL
RB - Pierre Strong, 6'0" 195, Little Rock, AR, (McClellan) - HUDL
RB - C J Wilson, 5'10" 180, Daytona Beach, FL (Mainland) - HUDL
WR - Jake Aanderud, 5'10" 165, Rapid City, SD (St. Thomas More) - HUDL
WR - Isaiah Hill, Minooka, IL…

2018 Football Recruitment: Quick Roundup

It feels like it wasn't that long ago that many of us were doing back-flips about the football signing class of 2017.  However, the  coaches have been busy this spring and summer putting together another strong class.  Because the 2017 class had over 30 scholarship and preferred walk-on players, the 2018 class will be smaller.  Another wrinkle that has been added is the earlier signing date, December 20th.  Before we had to wait until February to find out who had signed. Now we get an early Christmas present!

Here is who has verbally committed so far along with their twitter, their tape, and who I think they compare to (Remember, I've only been closely following SDSU football since 2006 so I may not have all the historic names as some of you).  As new verbals get on board, I will dedicate a unique post with along with a quick update for the player.  At this point it would just be too much to go back do one for each individual player.

QB - J'Bore Gibbs, 6'…