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On heels of 'tough' season, MSU-Northern football coach Jerome Souers sees upgrade with 2023 recruits

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Posted at 4:25 PM, Feb 03, 2023

HAVRE — There’s no sugarcoating the results, 2022 was a challenging season on the field for the MSU-Northern football team, who finished 0-10 under first year head coach Jerome Souers.

“It was tough on the players, tough on the coaches, tough on the fans,” Souers said. “I mean, it was tough on everybody. But we knew we had to get through it and we got through it and we learned a few things.”

But behind the scenes it was a different story.

“I’m proud of the guys. They never, never gave up. And those guys are all in and they're all training hard and they're in the weight room in the offseason,” he said. “I think we doubled our guys on the Dean's list this year, so we're doing better in a lot of ways and I'm pleased with the direction that we're going.”

Souers and the Lights unveiled their 2023 signing class on Friday. With 25 names added to the roster, including several athletes from the Hi-Line.

MSU-Northern hired the veteran mentor Souers in January of 2022, so he and his staff have had the benefit of a full year to recruit and change the culture.

“There’s been a retention issue in the football program here. We wanted to take a little different approach as to where we went for our talent both academically and athletically,” Souers said. “We want guys to fit in this type of environment. We found that there's wisdom in the thought that we stay closer to our latitude when we're expanding outside of the Hi-Line. And I think we signed our fair share of Hi-Line guys. We're committed to doing that. That's our future.”

But one signing class is not going to change a program. Souers has coached for nearly 40 years, including a 20 year run at Northern Arizona where he became amassed the most coaching wins in Big Sky Conference history.

He believes changing the culture and fortunes of a struggling program requires a patient and deliberate approach. That will serve the program well in the long run.

“There's a lot of hype in recruiting sometimes. We feel good about our class, it's a solid class,” he said. “We need to continue to do better and continue to upgrade as we go. But I think we're on the right direction with the way we're recharging the lifeblood of this program.”

The full list of MSU-Northern recruits is below:
 
Mid-year additions

Maiuri Dante  QB 6-1      220 Hellgate HS MT/CSC Tr Walla Walla, Wash. 
Ready Tyree  OC 6-0      260 Rochester CC Detroit, Mich. 
Grover Ashton  LB 5-10    210 Lewistown HS Lewistown, Mont. 
Knapton Allec  TE/P 6-2      200 Columbia Falls HS Columbia Falls, Mont. 
Kopp Oakley  QB 6-1      185 West Jordan HS West Jordan, Utah 
Lundstrom Fred OL 6-3      290 D Nakota State C.S. Wahpeton, N.D. 
Lehnerz Ben SL 5-8      165 Power HS Power, Mont. 
Woldstad Colter  WR 6-2      195 Harlowton HS Harlowton, Mont. 
Wilson Austin LB/DB 6-0      200 Wolf Point HS Wolf Point, Mont. 

Fall 2023 signees

     
 Last  First Pos Ht/Wt High School Orign 
10 Revert Mateo OL 6-4      280 Clearwater Acad. HS/FL Burlington, ON. Canada 
11 James Logan QB 5-10    175 Wickenburg HS Wickenburg, Ariz. 
12 Aanstad Tucker OL 6-5      250 Scobey HS Scobey, Mont. 
13 Haynes Phillip OL 6-1      250 Scobey HS Scobey, Mont. 
14 Rodriguez Ethan DL 6-2      250 Big Fork HS Big Fork, Mont. 
15 Cline Braydon ATH 6-2      215 Big Sandy HS Big Sandy, Mont. 
16 Platt Ashton QB 6-0      185 Great Falls HS Great Falls, Mont. 
17 Enea Gio LB 5-11    205 Pittsburg, HS Pittsburg, Calif. 
18 Badehurst Damon TE 6-0      215 West LA CC Vancouver, Canada 
19 Chiles Mason DB 5-10    185 Mountain Pt. HS Meridian, Idaho 
20 Wilson Cooper DB 6-3      190 Bonney Lake HS Bonney Lake, Wash. 
21 Wright De'Amoni DE 6-1      235 Garfield HS Seattle, Wash. 
22 Watkins Mike LB 6-0      220 Garfield HS Seattle, Wash. 
23 Perkins Payton TE 6-2      245 Culbertson HS Culbertson, Mont. 
24 Avance Colin DT 6-0      245 Culbertson HS Culbertson, Mont. 
25 Terry Crawford LB 5-11    215 Havre HS Havre, Mont.