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The Antelope

Football coaching staff believes they fared well as signing, recruiting end

Creighton Reed

As Loper football recruiting ends, “Lope Show” signs record 42 athletes on Feb. 7
By Evan Jones

With college football’s national signing day concluding on Feb. 7, UNK had a successful recruiting period.

The Lopers, who finished last season with a record of 3-8, signed 42 athletes Feb. 7, a pretty solid count for a class. They are also in the process of having some walk-ons finalize their decisions, and currently finalizing some junior college transfers already on campus for the spring semester.

In total, the Lopers will finish with 50-52 new players for the upcoming season.

Graduate Assistant Creighton Reed, from Juniata, handles the outside receivers position group and the long snappers as well. He received his undergraduate degree in sports management and coaching in the summer of 2017, and is now pursuing a master’s in physical education.

“Recruiting season is always hectic and fun. It’s about a two-month period where you go and visit these kids,” Reed said. “There is a lot of traveling all over the state.” 

Reed said during this hectic time, one of his favorite parts isn’t necessarily breaking down the type of player the athlete is. “I think the most important thing, and the thing I enjoy the most, is building those relationships with these kids. The last two months you’re constantly talking to them and building a relationship.”

On signing day specifically, Reed says it’s a day of celebration for both the athletes and the coaches. “Signing day is a big day where you get to celebrate as coaches and for the kids because they accomplished something that not many high school kids get to do, which is play football at the next level.”

The MIAA is a prestigious Division II conference, and the Lopers had to battle in recruiting amongst those great teams.

Reed says it is tough to recruit in the conference. “Hands down, the MIAA is the toughest conference in Division II college football. We really tried to focus on the state of Nebraska. And we really tried to hit Kansas and Colorado hard with the in-state tuition costs for those athletes.”

The Lopers look for talent on both the offensive and defensive side, but fitting the systems they run is something they look for in recruits. “As a staff, we want to bring kids who have great talent to head coach Josh Lynn, but if it’s an athlete that doesn’t fit the system we are trying to run, it won’t be a good fit. We have to reevaluate the recruits,” Reed said.

Reed also said that the position a player may have played in high school doesn’t always mean that will stick when they get to UNK. “It sometimes depends what position they will play in our system. If they were a quarterback in high school, they may be a wide receiver for us. It just kind of depends where we can see them progress, because everyone changes in a college setting.”

When asked if there were any shocking commits or athletes that stand out, Reed said the class as a whole is very good. “We got a lot of very talented kids. There’s not a single individual that I would say is the best in class. We have an entire class of very talented young men that we think as a staff can come in and make an impact for us down the road. We think we have a group of guys that are going to be great football players for the Lopers in two, three, maybe four years.”

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