Feb. 5, 2014
Signing day welcomes newest BearcatsBy David Boyce | Signing Day Press Release | Listen to the Signing Day radio show
MARYVILLE, Mo. - A fresh blanket of 6 to 10 inches of snow on national signing day is a scenario Northwest Missouri State head football coach Adam Dorrel has experienced before.
Back in 2011, which was a particularly harsh winter, a big snowstorm struck just before signing day. Dorrel was the offensive coordinator at the time. It was Scott Bostwick’s first signing class.
A week before signing that year, Dorrel said he and Joel Osborn drove up to Lincoln, Neb., in a snowstorm to talk to quarterback Brady Bolles to make sure he was going to be a Bearcat.
“Three days later we had another big storm,” Dorrel said. “We had 10 kids that year who didn’t sign their letter of intent at school. They did it from home. We had kids faxing them from 7-Elevens and QuikTrips. It was pretty funny.”
The only difference this year from 2011 recruiting class is there is no star quarterback the Bearcats are trying to sign. Bolles still has two more years of eligibility left and freshman Kyle Zimmerman has three years left.
“And with the three freshmen we signed last year, we decided to take one year off that,” Dorrel said. “Ever since I have been head coach, I have signed a quarterback every year.
“This year we are going to sign somebody at every position other than quarterback, kicker, punter and long snapper because we feel really good with what we have on our team, especially the kicking position.”
In all, Dorrel hopes to sign 24 to 26 players for this year’s class. One area of emphasis is defensive backs that are versatile enough to play corner or safety.
“It was an area we were really trying to improve our speed and depth. Our last couple of classes has been good there,” Dorrel said. “Rich Wright (defensive coordinator) and Ken Gordon (secondary coach) made a philosophical change at that position. They want players who are athletic enough and have good enough ball skills that they can do both. They have made it easier for kids to play both positions.
“I was really excited about that position because we are getting three maybe four at defensive backs.”
One of the defensive backs is local. Trent Nally, 6-3, 190 pounds, was a star strong safety for undefeated state champions Maryville.
“This is not a token Maryville sign,” Dorrel said. “We think he is going to be a really good football player.”
One advantage Northwest has over all other Division II schools this year is a national championship and the exposure the Bearcats gained from their impressive run through the playoffs.
Northwest beat every playoff opponent by double-digits.
“It does help,” Dorrel said. “A lot of kids who we were talking to, we tried to get ahead of it by sending out emails and social media stuff to remind kids to watch us on ESPN. We got a lot of positive feedback off that because some of these kids who we are signing aren’t in a driving distance. They can’t get here with their busy schedule in other sports.
“I think the fact that we were able to play for a national championship and more importantly, we got that TV exposure, we felt like that really helped us.”
The Bearcats got in that position because the student-athletes they sign are not usually heard from again until two or three years down the road.
In all likelihood, the 24 to 26 players Northwest signs today will be redshirted and on the scout team in the fall.
But four and five years later, they will want to leave the same legacy as the outgoing senior class left last December and the upcoming senior class hopes to duplicate this December.
The players who sign today are now part of the Northwest tradition of family and winning. Bearcat nation will have your back.
For more information, please contact:
Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468