CHADRON, Neb. — January 21, 2020 — Eleven transfers joined the Chadron State College football program at the start of the second semester, the coaches report. They came from nine different colleges and universities, are already participating in the weight lifting and conditioning program and will take part in spring practice.
Ten of them are expected to play defense for the Eagles and the other is a punter.
“We addressed our needs,” said Head Coach Jay Long. “I commend our coaches for making the contacts and convincing these men to join our program. Craig Jersild, in particular, made trips to meet some of them.”
Two of the newcomers are from California junior colleges after playing on state championship teams in high school.
They include Turner Tonkovich, who was an all-league player at San Clemente High when it won the state title and participated in 33 tackles this past season while playing linebacker on a 9-2 team at Saddleback College at Mission Viejo. He is 6-foot-1, 228 pounds and has two years of eligibility remaining.
The other is Keenan Fyles, who was on the state championship team at Lawndale High near Carson, Calif., in the fall of 2018, and was a starter at Reedley College this past season. He was the team’s fourth leading tackler with 49, including 36 that were unassisted. He’s 6-0, 200, is expected to play safety for the Eagles. He has three years of eligibility remaining.
Three of the transfers are coming from Minnesota four-year schools that dropped football at the end of the past season.
Two are from St. Cloud State. One is Jeremiah Makahununiu, a graduate of Tea High in the Sioux Falls area. Listed at 6-1, 205, he played in every game at St. Cloud the past two years, taking part in 46 tackles, including 19 solos, forcing a fumble and breaking up two passes.
The other St. Cloud transfer is Garrett Wilson, a 6-2, 200-pound defensive back from Mequon, Wis., in the Milwaukee area. He graduated from high school in 2019 and redshirted at St. Cloud this past season. He was first-team all-conference at Homestead High and was selected to play in the Wisconsin Coaches Association All-Star Game last summer.
Minnesota-Crookston also has discontinued football and as a result Reece Walno, a 6-2, 260-pound defensive lineman originally from Spearfish, S.D., is joining the Eagles after playing at Crookston the past two years.
Kaleb Taylor is another big lineman joining the Eagles. He’s 6-3, 265 and has played baseball at McCook Community College, but has decided he’d prefer playing football. He was the second leading tackler for the McCook Bison as a high school senior in the fall of 2017 with 81 stops.
Chadron State also has added two defensive backs who were members of Division I teams last fall.
Skyler Finley, 6-1, 190, participated in 59 tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered three while playing at Santa Ana College in his native California before being on the roster at Morehead State in Kentucky.
Austin Wood was both a receiver who caught 47 passes for 601 yards and six TDs and a defensive back who had four interceptions at Grassfield High School at Chesapeake, Va., his senior year. Before moving to CSC, Wood was on the team at Old Dominion at Norfolk, Va. He is 6-3, 200.
Two of the other newcomers redshirted as freshmen at Wayne State this past season. They are Blake Booth of Genoa and Colton Munger of Springview. Munger was an all-around athlete at North Central. He placed in the high hurdles at the State Track Meet last spring and played in the state’s Eight-Man All-Star Game last summer.
Another transfer is Parker Dillan, a graduate of Chase County High at Imperial who punted part-time at South Dakota Mines as a freshman last fall.
The signing date for high school seniors is just two weeks away, on Wednesday, February 5.