UNI Panthers

UNI football recruiting: Panthers secure 32 in 2019 class

Pair of quarterbacks expected to compete for starting job with returners

Decorah defensive back/running back Drake Shelton is part of Northern Iowa football's 2019 recruiting class. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Decorah defensive back/running back Drake Shelton is part of Northern Iowa football's 2019 recruiting class. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR FALLS — After securing 13 commitments in the early signing period, Northern Iowa finished its 2019 recruiting class Wednesday with eight additional scholarship signees and 11 preferred walk-ons.

UNI coach Mark Farley expressed his pleasure with his staff’s hard work, along with its ability to overcome an occasional lack of resources when competing with larger programs for recruits.

“The staff did a tremendous job. Knocked it out of the park,” Farley said. “We’ve got some great players that are coming in at a very high level, let alone what they can become.”

Farley said eight or more of UNI’s scholarship recruits could contribute as freshmen and added that at least half of the 12 preferred walk-ons could contribute immediately.

“Because of the change in football and recruiting of (players), that group of players is just as important as anybody on this football team,” Farley said. “They were scholarship players in my head. They have the ability to play here and they wanted to play at the highest level. We’ve got some very talented young men that will earn scholarships while playing for UNI.”

Defensive back Omar Brown, running back Kendall Robinson, wide receiver Michael Zachary, and quarterback Justin Fomby were all mentioned by name by Farley when it came to February signees.

With Colton Howell set to leave the program, Fomby, a three-star pro-style QB from Lawrenceville, Ga., will compete with early-period signee Nate Martens — an early enrollee already on campus — along with underclassmen Jacob Keller and Will McElvain in a competition Farley said will go well into fall camp.

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Farley said Keller brings experience, McElvain is “dynamic” and Martens has a college-ready body and can make all the throws, as can Fomby. He also described how pro-style QBs with the ability to extend plays “fit UNI football” and offer all teams across all levels of football the best chance to win a championship.

“(Martens and Fomby) are exactly what I’m looking for,” Farley said. “Both have that tall range to them so they can see over these linemen that we have and can find these receivers, and yet they have the escapability, because I think if you’re going to win it all, it’ll be with a quarterback that’ll make plays and extend plays.”

UNI football 2019 commits

Nate Martens

Position: QB

Height: 6-3

Weight: 220

Hometown: St. Louis, Mo.

High school: De Smet Jesuit

Scholarship: Yes (3 stars)

Commitment date: Oct. 17, 2018

 

Justin Fomby

Position: QB

Height: 6-4

Weight: 195

Hometown: Lawrenceville, Ga.

High school: Central Gwinnett

Scholarship: Yes (3 stars)

Commitment date: Feb. 2, 2019

 

Kendall Robinson

Position: RB

Height: 6-2

Weight: 210

Hometown: Waterloo

High school: Waterloo East

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Feb. 6, 2019

 

Christian Seres

Position: RB

Height: 5-9

Weight: 185

Hometown: Hudson

High school: Hudson

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Feb. 6, 2019

 

Sam Gary

Position: RB/WR

Height: 5-10

Weight: 200

Hometown: Cedar Falls

High school: Cedar Falls

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Feb. 3, 2019

 

Liam McComas

Position: FB/TE

Height: 6-2

Weight: 215

Hometown: Iowa City

High school: Iowa City High

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Feb. 6, 2019

 

Logan Wolf

Position: WR

Height: 6-4

Weight: 180

Hometown: Cedar Falls

High school: Cedar Falls

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Aug. 1, 2018

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Adrian Adams

Position: WR

Height: 6-2

Weight: 185

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.

High school: Robbinsdale Cooper

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Feb. 2, 2018

 

Michael Zachary

Position: WR

Height: 5-9

Weight: 175

Hometown: Des Moines

Transfer: Iowa Western CC

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Feb. 6, 2019

 

Maverick Gatrost

Position: TE

Height: 6-5

Weight: 235

Hometown: Center Point

High school: Center Point-Urbana

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Dec. 19, 2018

 

Dawson Fenton

Position: TE/DE

Height: 6-2

Weight: 215

Hometown: Sioux City

High school: Sioux City Heelan

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Jan. 30, 2019

 

Kobe Rios

Position: OL

Height: 6-5

Weight: 305

Hometown: Rock Island, Ill.

High school: Rock Island

Scholarship: Yes (3 stars)

Commitment date: July 28, 2018

 

Tristan Roper

Position: OL

Height: 6-5

Weight: 270

Hometown: Blue Springs, Mo.

High school: Blue Springs

Scholarship: Yes (2 stars)

Commitment date: Dec. 11, 2018

 

Jared Penning

Position: OL

Height: 6-7

Weight: 308

Hometown: Clear Lake

High school: Clear Lake

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Dec. 11, 2018

 

Jesse Hilby

Position: OL

Height: 6-3

Weight: 260

Hometown: Dubuque

High school: Dubuque Hempstead

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Feb. 3, 2019

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Jackson Leistikow

Position: OL

Height: 6-3

Weight: 285

Hometown: Cedar Falls

High school: Cedar Falls

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Feb. 6, 2019

 

Clayton Kempf

Position: OL

Height: 6-6

Weight: 250

Hometown: Williamsburg

High school: Williamsburg

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Feb. 6, 2019

 

Spencer Cuvelier

Position: LB

Height: 6-4

Weight: 240

Hometown: Cresco

Transfer: Iowa Central CC

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Dec. 19, 2018

 

Jackson Martens

Position: LB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 208

Hometown: Burnsville, Minn.

High school: Burnsville

Scholarship: Yes (2 stars)

Commitment date: Dec. 19, 2018

 

Caleb Lomica

Position: LB

Height: 6-3

Weight: 205

Hometown: Alleman

High school: North Polk

Scholarship: Yes (2 stars)

Commitment date: Nov. 1, 2018

 

Cameron Baker

Position: LB

Height: 6-2

Weight: 210

Hometown: Council Bluffs

High school: Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson

Scholarship: Yes (3 stars)

Commitment date: Nov. 1, 2018

 

Jake McLaughlin

Position: LB/DE

Height: 6-3

Weight: 215

Hometown: Harlan

High school: Harlan

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: July 25, 2018

 

Reed Snitker

Position: LB

Height: 6-3

Weight: 200

Hometown: Dubuque

High school: Dubuque Hempstead

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Jan. 20, 2019

 

Tanner Sauerbrei

Position: DE

Height: 6-4

Weight: 180

Hometown: Fairbank

High school: Wapsie Valley

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Feb. 6, 2019

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Edwin Dearman

Position: DB

Height: 6-0

Weight: 180

Hometown: Houston, Texas

High school: Nimitz

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Dec. 19, 2018

 

Micah Mayberry

Position: DB

Height: 6-2

Weight: 200

Hometown: El Dorado, Kan.

Transfer: Butler CC

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Dec. 10, 2018

 

Omar Brown

Position: DB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 185

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minn.

High school: Minneapolis North

Scholarship: Yes

Commitment date: Feb. 6, 2019

 

Trey Lasek

Position: DB

Height: 6-2

Weight: 180

Hometown: Riverside

High school: Highland

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Feb. 3, 2019

 

Drake Shelton

Position: DB/RB

Height: 5-8

Weight: 185

Hometown: Decorah

High school: Decorah

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Jan. 31, 2019

 

Luke Velky

Position: DB

Height: 6-1

Weight: 185

Hometown: Waverly

High school: Waverly-Shell Rock

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Feb. 1, 2019

 

Matthew Cook

Position: K/P

Height: 5-11

Weight: 175

Hometown: Cedar Falls

High school: Cedar Falls

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Feb. 6, 2019

 

Isaac Jorgenson

Position: K/P

Height: 5-11

Weight: 170

Hometown: Dike

High school: Dike-New Hartford

Scholarship: No

Commitment date: Jan. 28, 2019

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