Shelby quarterback Aaron White delivers a pass at practice. (TOM WYLIE/MTN Sports)

DICKINSON, N.D. — Coach Pete Stanton and the Dickinson State football program announced the signings of six Montana student-athletes on Thursday.

Scobey’s Riley Linder, Glendive’s Jayden Holley, Baker’s Javon DeGrand, Shelby’s Aaron White and Ennis’ Corbin and Tanner Wood will join the Blue Hawks, who have won the past three North Star Conference championships to qualify for the NAIA playoffs.

“We are excited about this first group that has signed,” said Stanton, a Baker native. “Montana players have always been one of the cores of our program over the years. We feel good about these young men joining our program that we have targeted for over a year now. This group has a nice balance of speed, size and athleticism.”

Linder, a 5-foot-10, 205-pound running back, was a two-time all-state player for the Spartans, acccumulating 3,355 yards and 70 touchdowns during his junior and senior seasons.

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Holley is a 6-3, 235-pound tight end and defensive end who helped the Red Devils qualify for the Class A state playoffs for the first time since 1995. Holley will also throw for the DSU track and field team after earning a second-place shot put finish at last year’s state meet.

DeGrand, 6-3 and 290 pounds, is a three-sport athlete at Baker and was an all-conference selection in 2016 and 2017 for the Spartans on the offensive line.

White wa a two-time all-state performer at Shelby, where he helped the Coyotes to a berth in the Class B state championship game. The 6-2 quarterback finished his career with more than 6,000 passing yards and totaled 31 touchdowns during his senior season despite missing two games with an injury.

Ennis’ Wood brothers helped the Mustangs to the 2016 8-Man state championship and the semifinals in 2017. Corbin Wood was a two-time all-state performer at running back and linebacker. He totaled more than 2,600 all-purpose yards and 36 touchdowns during his junior and senior seasons. Tanner Wood was a first-team all-state selection three times, rushing for 67 touchdowns and passing for 68 during his career. As a senior, Tanner Wood rushed for 1,751 yards and 34 touchdowns and passed for 1,640 yards and 28 touchdowns.

“We are currently recruiting several other area players and are looking forward to them joining our program in the near future,” Stanton said.

Dickinson State finished its 2017 season with a 9-2 overall record, losing to Southern Oregon in the first round of the NAIA playoffs.

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