North Dakota

2023 college football recruiting season opens with National Signing Day.

Watertown offensive lineman Jarrett Theisen and Aberdeen central running back Karson Carda are two of the 40 signings Northern State University head football coach Mike Schmidt announced Wednesday on National Signing Day.

Signatories include 2023 high school graduates, college transfers and college grads pursuing masters degrees, all of whom will join the program for the fall 2023 season.

“Most importantly, this group of signers fits in with Northern State, Aberdeen and our football program,” said Schmidt. “They are winners on the field, in the classroom and in life. We had an exceptional signing class last year and we feel we will back that up with another championship class this year.”

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Theisen was a three-year starter and senior team captain for Watertown under head coach John Hodorff. In a total of 366 passing games in his career, Theisen only allowed one sack and 33 pressings. He is the son of Kevin and Joanie Theisen.

The 6-0, 220-pound Carda was a two-year starter and senior team captain for the Golden Eagles under the direction of head coach Justin Briese. In his last two seasons, he rushed for more than 2,600 yards for 21 total touchdowns, averaging 6.2 yards per carry in his career. He was a two-time Class 11AA All-State honoree who also received All-Eastern South Dakota Conference and Argus Leader Elite 45 honors. He is John and Brenda Carda’s On. John, an NSU football alum, received All-American honors in 1989.

Other South Dakota signers for the Wolves include Harrisburg’s LB Carson Barnett, Sioux Falls Lincoln’s WRs Trenton Peterson and Rapid City Stevens’ Julian Scott, St. Thomas More’s RB Matt Larson, Sioux Falls Lincoln’s LB Gabe Gutierrez, S Tate Hoffman from Highmore and DL’s Noah Hutmacher from Chamberlain, Isaac Johnson from Brandon Valley and Gabriel Lindeman from Dell Rapids St. Mary.

After reviewing college websites in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, here is a list of student-athletes from South Dakota and west-central Minnesota who signed or had previously signed Wednesday. Some schools had not published their signatories.

South Dakota

State of South Dakota: Head coach Jimmy Rogers added nine new recruits Wednesday, including Sioux Falls Jefferson safety Beau Giblin and former Gayville-Volin linebacker Andrew Gustad, who enlisted with SDSU last fall. Aberdeen Roncalli kicker punter Jackson Isakson signed in December.

South Dakota: Head coach Bob Nielson on Wednesday announced 10 signings for December’s 14 signings, including LB Reed Rus from Mount Vernon.

Augustana: Head coach Jerry Olszewski announced 27 signings Wednesday, including DLs Jack Detert of Harrisburg and Sam Siegfried of Sioux Falls Jefferson, OL Elliott Renville of Sioux Falls Lincoln, WR Cody Oswald of Yankton and LB Nate Ratzlaff of O’Gorman.

Sioux Falls: Head coach Jim Glogowski’s 30 signings on Wednesday include Pierre OL Christian Busch, WR Jack Merkwan and DB Jayden Wiebe; Harrisburg TE Aidan Foley; and OL Sawyer Huntimer and DB London Kolb from Sioux Falls Jefferson.

Dakota Wesleyan: OL Aidan Brower from Sioux Valley; Lennox’s QB Braeden Wulf and DL Gabe Beman, Sioux Falls Jefferson’s OLs Carson Kruggel and Jackson Knuth, Vermillion’s DE Carter Skogsberg, Hanson’s RB Hadley Wallace and WR Jackson Jarding, Sioux Falls Roosevelt’s DB Jayden Huber, Rapid’s Jed Jenson City Stevens, RB Landon Iverson of Hot Springs, DL Quade Parker of Custer and WR Xzavian Ferris of West Central.

State of Dakota: FS Transfer Kaden Eng from Castlewood (Northern State), MLB Colin Bauman from Deubrook Area, OLB Ronald Begalka from Deuel, TE Gavin Benck from Deuel, WR Gannon Gruenhagen and OLB Noah Harrison from De Smet, OLB Ashton Wienk from Iroquois-Lake Benton, DE transfer Beau Bertram from Colome (Chadron State), WR Dylan Langerock from Brandon Valley, Slot WR Maddox Kihne from Freeman-Marion/Freeman Academy, MLB Kaden Hofer from Howard, QB Tray Hettick from Herreid-Selby Area, TE Owen Heath from West Central, OLB Kyle Bares of Dell Rapids St. Mary, RB Matthew Birkeland and DE Dylan Fuoss of Jones County, MLB Zach Boden and OLB Landon Schurch of Beresford, MLB Cade DeVries of Madison, DE Elliott Devries of Huron, TE Gavin Folkers of White River, C Ethan Nehl by Lemmon-McIntosh, RB Niyongabo Yohana by Sioux Falls Jefferson, WR Landon Puffer by Hitchcock-Tulare, WR Aaron (AJ) Siemsen by Mitchell.

RB Anthony Moser, FS Logan Williams and long snapper Luke Schacher of Douglas; and WRs John Parker and Cruiz Parker, FS Keontay Rawls and CB Terel Williams of Sioux Falls Roosevelt.

Mines in South Dakota: RB Gunner Rohloff of Sturgis.

Black Hills State: LB Matthew Gray from Faith, DL Ethan Helich from Tri-Valley, TE Thomas Salmen from Hitchcock-Tulare and transfer WR Morgan Harkless from Hot Springs (Chadron State, Neb.).


Dortmund: Brandon Valley’s S Lorenzo Nelson and Sioux Falls Jefferson’s RB Nelson Wright (a December commit).

Briar Cliff: Transmit DL Pierce Miller of Spearfish (Chadron State, Neb.) and transmit DB Chayce Montagne of Dakota Valley (Midland University, Neb.).

North Dakota

Jamestown: (Jobs not listed). Potter County’s Chase DeRouchey, Sioux Falls Jefferson’s Antuan Duran, Bridgewater-Emery’s Jaden Eddy, Huron’s Dylan Lichty, and Burke’s Gunnar Stephens.

Dickinson State: TE Gage Gilbert of Harding County.

Talstadt State: LB BoDell Davidson from Britton-Hecla and RB Owen Quail from Deuel. LB Levi Olson of Dawson, Minnesota also signed.

MSU Moorhead: Brookings’ RB Tyson Brandt and Brandon Valley’s QB Lucas Slack.


State of Bemidji: Transfer long snapper Ryan Mitio from Olympia, Washington (Presentation College).

Concordia-St. Paul: Transfer DL Kendis Ledbetter from Sioux Falls Washington (North Dakota).

State of Winona: Transfer QB Cole Stenstrom from La Crescent, Minnesota (South Dakota).

State of Southwest Minnesota: RB Braden Fersdahl of Dawson-Boyd (Minn.)


Wayne State: OL August Anderson from Mitchell, QB Bennett Dannenbring from O’Gorman, DE Austin McNulty from Tri-Valley and transfer Will Washenberger from O’Gorman (Sioux Falls).


Ohio State University: QB Lincoln Kienholz, Pierre (signed in December).

Follow Watertown Public Opinion sports reporter Roger Merriam on Twitter @PO_Sports.

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