The University of Minnesota Crookston football team officially announced the signing of 23 players to either National Letters of Intent or Institutional Letters of Intent. The Golden Eagles signed 21 student-athletes directly from high school, and two from junior college.
The Golden Eagles signed their most decorated recruit in recent memory with the signing of two-time Minnesota 9-Man football champion, Alex Folz of Spring Grove.  

QB Alex Folz, 5-10 190, Spring Grove, Minn./Spring Grove H.S.
Alex Folz is one of the most prolific quarterbacks to come out of Minnesota High School football. He was a five-year starter and led his team to back-to-back state championships in Minnesota 9-Man football the past two years. In the 2018 State 9-man championship game, Folz carried the ball 30 times for 263 yards and four touchdowns and completed 10 of 19 passes for 90 yards. During his senior campaign, Folz completed 160 of 239 passes (67%) for 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns with five interceptions.  He carried the ball 233 times for 2,442 yards (203 yards per game) with 39 touchdowns.
In 2017’s state championship run, Folz led his team to a 27-7 state semi-final victory over Stephen-Argyle and in the state championship game he carried the ball 18 times for 112 yards and one touchdown and completed 16 of 22 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns.   He was named all-conference, all-region, First team All-State, Associated Press All-State and team MVP.
Folz is a three-sport athlete and a four-time letter winner in basketball and the starting point guard. He was the 2017 team MVP, 2017 Conference MVP.  He holds 22 school records at Spring Grove.
In baseball, he was a starting pitcher as a freshman, All-section, MVP.
He is the son of Paul and Kristy Folz and plans to major in Business and Exercise Science.

“Our staff is extremely excited about the student-athletes that will be joining the Golden Eagle football program in 2019,” said Head Coach Mark Dufner. “We have worked exceptionally hard to identify high character student-athletes that will be a great fit both academically and athletically. Our staff feels that we have added much needed depth to the team while also addressing some of the key areas of need.”   

Head Coach Mark Dufner, entering his third season with the Golden Eagles, has continued to emphasize the region with his recruiting classes. Minnesota Crookston signed 13 players from the Midwest Region, included in that number is seven from the state of Minnesota. The Golden Eagles were also able to sign three players from the state of North Dakota, focusing on area players as they were able to sign two players from the Fargo area, and one from Grand Forks.

The Golden Eagles were able to recruit strong talent nationally as they recruited across the country from the Pacific to Atlantic Ocean. UMC inked players from New Jersey, New York, California, Louisiana, Florida, Washington, and Mississippi.

The Golden Eagles addressed key needs in the class, bulking up in the trenches, as they signed eight offensive linemen and four defensive linemen. The Golden Eagles also were able to add talented skill-position players, as they signed three quarterbacks, and four wide receivers. In addition, they inked a linebacker, and five defensive backs.

UMC adds to a strong core that is returning for the 2019 season. The Golden Eagles return a lot of talent from last season’s team. Minnesota Crookston has 61 players back in the fray heading into the spring. The Golden Eagles will look to continue to build their program. They have a strong foundation for the future that they are building with the last two classes, Coach Dufner’s first two classes as head coach for Minnesota Crookston.

The Golden Eagles have a great core returning in the coaching ranks, as well. Joining Dufner is returning coordinators Tom Miller, on the defensive side, and Jared Hottle, on the offensive side of the ball. Assistant coaches Sam Gooding, Sam Smith, Michael Hepp, and Evan Dahl are also back from last season.

UMC still has a couple areas they are looking to address after Signing Day, but they are close to complete after Wednesday’s recruiting class.

By Position
Quarterbacks (3)

Tyrique Alston, QB, 5-11 190, Ewing, N.J./Erasmus Hall H.S.
Kamron Clayton, QB, 5-11 187, Lynwood, Ill./Thornton Fractional South H.S.
Alex Folz, QB, 5-10 190, Spring Grove, Minn./Spring Grove H.S.
Wide Receivers (4)
Jack Anderson, WR, 5-11 167, Grand Forks, N.D./Central H.S.
Clayton Howard, WR, 5-8 165, St. Francisville, La./West Feliciana H.S.
Isaiah Mason, WR, 5-10 175, Baudette, Minn./Lake of the Woods H.S.
Brandan Williams, WR, 5-9 165, Aberdeen, Miss./Aberdeen H.S.
Offensive Line (7)
Ben Brekke, OL, 6-0 255, Fargo, N.D./Fargo North H.S.
Max Chavez, OL, 6-4 330, St. Paul, Minn./Harding H.S.
Sven Lukner, OL, 6-0 253, Sedro-Woolley, Wash./Sedro-Woolley H.S.
Hassan Madkour, OL, 5-11 290, Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata H.S.
Christopher Nickell, OL, 6-1 280, Moline, Ill./Moline H.S.
Fidel Mendes, OL, 6-2 290, Long Beach, Calif./Cerritos College
Devin Shellito, OL, 6-2 250, Braham, Minn./Braham H.S.
Defensive Line (4)
Chris Daniels, DL, 6-4 200, Cedar Grove, Wis./Cedar Grove-Belgium H.S.
Milkaso Dedefo, DL, 6-2 230, St. Louis Park, Minn./St. Louis Park H.S.
Jayvon George, DL, 6-2 215, Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus Hall H.S.
Ryan Martin, DL, 6-2 215, Kissimmee, Fla./Poinciana H.S.
Linebackers (1)
Mason VanVleet, LB, 5-10 163, Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.
Defensive Backs (4)
Dileita Dileita, DB, 5-10 5-10 155, Fargo, N.D./Sheyenne H.S.
Izaiah Hatley, DB, 5-9 165, Inglewood, Calif./Cathedral H.S.
Tysen White, DB, 5-9 176, McFarland, Wis./McFarland H.S.
B.J. Williams, DB, 6-1 190, Aberdeen, Miss./Itawamba Community College

Tyrique Alston (QB, 5-11 190, Ewing, N.J./Erasmus Hall H.S.
Alston was the eighth-best recruit in New York…Has played on Varsity for three seasons…Attended Erasmus Hall H.S.  Plans to major in Software Engineering.

Jack Anderson (WR, 5-11 167, Grand Forks, N.D./Central H.S.)
Went to Grand Forks Central H.S…Was ranked the 41st-best recruit in the state of North Dakota.
Son of Robert and Peggy Anderson……Will study Business at Minnesota Crookston.

Ben Brekke (OL, 6-0 255, Fargo, N.D./Fargo North H.S.)
Attended Fargo North H.S…All Eastern Dakota Conference…Fargo North defensive line MVP…All-State Defensive Second Team.
Son of Shaunda and Kevin Brekke… Plans to major in International Business.

Max Chavez (OL, 6-4 330, St. Paul, Minn./ Harding H.S.)
Attended Harding High School in St. Paul, Minn.  Plans to major in English.

Kamron Clayton (QB, 5-11 187, Lynwood, Ill./Thornton South H.S.)
Attended Thornton South H.S…First-Team All-Conference…Two-year varsity starter.  Son of Sybil and Arie Clayton of Lynwood, Ill… Plans to major in Software Engineering.

Chris Daniels (DL, 6-4 200, Cedar Grove, Wis./Cedar Grove-Belgium H.S.)
First Team All-Conference…First Team All-Region as a Senior…First Team All-Conference as a junior.  Son of Leah Klockow of Cedar Grove and Alan Daniels of Fredonia… Plans to major in Business Management.

Milkaso Dedefo (DL, 6-2 230, St. Louis Park, Minn./St. Louis Park H.S.)
Three-year varsity player at St. Louis Park High School…All-District as a senior…Served as team captain as a senior.  Son of Bedaso Kare and Madina Ulu… Plans to major in Sports Management.

Dileita Dileita (DB, 5-10 155, Fargo, N.D./Sheyenne H.S.)
Attended West Fargo Sheyenne H.S…Ranked as the seventh-best recruit in the state of North Dakota.  Son of Mariam Hassan.

Jayvon George (DL, 6-2 215, Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus Hall H.S.)
Went to High School at Erasmus Hall H.S. in Brooklyn, N.Y…Was ranked the eighth-best recruit in the state of New York by MaxPreps…Posted a 3.4 GPA in high school.

Izaiah Hatley (DB, 5-9 165, Inglewood, Calif./Cathedral H.S.)
Went to Cathedral H.S., in Inglewood, Calif….Second Team All-League defensive back…Ranked as 83rd-best player in the state of California according to MaxPreps.  Son of Issac and Kiana Hatley… Plans to major in Criminal Justice.

Clayton Howard (WR, 5-8 165, St. Francisville, La./West Feliciana H.S.
Went to West Feliciana H.S…First team All-District Athlete…Second-Team All-District running back…478 yards as senior…eight touchdowns.  Son of Shandra Howard… Undecided on Major at Minnesota Crookston.

Sven Lukner (OL, 6-0 253, Sedro-Woolley, Wash./Sedro Woolley H.S.)
Three-time letter award winner in football…All-State nominee Football 2018-19…First team All-Conference offensive line 2018-19…2018-19 District Wrestler of the Year…Finished third in the state in 2017 wrestling tournament.  Son of Sonja and Hans Lukner… Undecided on Major…Little sister Katrina is a cancer survivor; she defeated leukemia between 18 months and four years old…Brother plays football at Bucknell University.

Christopher Nickell (OL, 6-1 280, Moline, Ill./Moline H.S.)

Hassan Madkour (OL, 5-11 290, Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata H.S.)
Ranked as the 71st recruit in the state of Minnesota…Two-year starter at Wayzata High School.  Son of Hatem and Teresa Madkour… Plans to major in Marketing…His father immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt…Second generation college student.

Ryan Martin (DL, 6-2 215, Kissimmee, Fla./Poinciana H.S.)
Went to Poinciana H.S. in Kissimmee, Fla..Two-time All-County…Varsity captain as a senior.
Son of Karl and Earline Martin…Born on Dec. 9, 1999…Plans to major in Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Minnesota Crookston.

Isaiah Mason (WR, 5-10 175, Baudette, Minn./Lake of the Woods H.S.)
Team MVP…All-District…Two-time state wrestling participant…Earned sixth place at state wrestling.  Son of Douglas and Johanna Mason…Plans to major in Exercise Science and Wellness…Was adopted at the age of 14.

Fidel Mendes (OL, 6-2 290, Long Beach Calif./Cerritos College)
Two-time First Team All-Conference at Cerritos College (CA)…Second Team All-American as a sophomore.  Son of Melania Ramirez and Fidel Mendez…Born Oct. 19, 1999.

OL Christopher Nickell (6-1 280, Moline, Ill./Moline H.S.)
Attended Moline H.S…Made the honor roll all four years in high school…Member of the National Honor Society.  Son of Tiffany and Brian Nickell…Undecided on Major but is interested in Business.

Devin Shellito (OL, 6-2 250, Braham, Minn./Braham H.S.)
Played both ways at Braham H.S…On the student council at Braham H.S…Two-Time All-Conference pick in high school.
Son of Amy Graham of Braham, Minn…Born on Nov. 26, 2000…Undecided on major.

Mason VanVleet (LB, 5-10 163, Wyoming, Minn./Forest Lake H.S.)
Played middle linebacker and wide receiver at Forest Lake High School…Had 53 tackles as a senior, including a season-high 13 tackles in a game against Robbinsdale Cooper…Was a two-time All-Conference selection.  Will study Exercise Science and Wellness at Minnesota Crookston. Son of Beth and Jamie VanVleet. Born on July 8, 2000.

Tysen White (DB 5-9 176, McFarland, Wis./McFarland H.S.)
Ran for 877 yards as a senior…Notched 13 touchdowns for McFarland High School…White notched 96 Tackles on defense and two interceptions as a senior…Two-year football captain for McFarland High School.  Son of Jen White of McFarland, Wis., and Scott White of DeForest, Wis…Born June 8, 2000…Undecided on Major.

B.J. Williams, DB, 6-1 190, Aberdeen, Miss./Itawamba Community College
Native of Aberdeen, Miss…Played at Itawamba Community College…Played in eight games as a Freshman…Williams notched six tackles and one forced fumble as a freshman…Williams notched nine games played and 22 tackles as a sophomore.  Brother Brandon will also play for the Golden Eagles next season.

Brandan Williams, WR, 5-9 165, Aberdeen, Miss./Aberdeen H.S.
Williams was ranked as the 149th recruit in Mississippi…Notched 60 total tackles as a senior…Williams tallied over 1000 all-purpose yards in two seasons as a Bulldog…He tallied 11 touchdowns. Brother B.J. will play cornerback next season for the Golden Eagles