IRON MOUNTAIN - Michigan Tech's bumper crop of football recruits includes Kingsford standouts Aidan Wienke and Hilding Beaudoin.
MTU head coach Tom Kearly announced Wednesday the signing of 31 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play football and attend Michigan Tech starting in the fall 2013.
Tech's incoming class includes 16 offensive players and 15 defensive. Of the 31 student-athletes, 27 are from Michigan (nine from the U.P.) and four are from Wisconsin.
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photo
Kingsford’s Hilding Beaudoin, left, and Aidan Wienke signed letters of intent Wednesday morning to play football at Michigan Tech. Flivver head coach Chris Hofer observes the signing.
"Our staff did a really good job of finding young men that fit Michigan Tech athletically and academically," said Kearly, who begins his eighth season as the Huskies head coach. "This was the best year we've had in the relationship of scholarship offers made to offers accepted.
"I feel like we helped our whole football team. We didn't sign any specialists with our kicker and punter both returning, but we addressed every other position. Wide receiver and running back were the hardest hit areas with graduation last year, and we did well replenishing those positions for the future."
Beaudoin (6-foot-2, 230) played both offensive and defensive line for the Flivvers. The Great Northern Conference Defensive Player of the Year also earned U.P. Dream Team honors. He plans to major in mechanical engineering.
Wienke (6-4, 200), brother of current MTU players Nelson and Ian Wienke, played defensive back and split end for the Flivvers. He received All-U.P. Class ABC and All-Great Northern Conference honors. He plans to major in pre-medicine biological sciences.
Tech's other U.P. recruits are David Falish, wide receiver from Escanaba; Adam Francis, linebacker from Negaunee; Cody Goldsworthy, linebacker from L'Anse; Josef Iwanicki, offensive lineman from Marquette; Eric Kostreva, defensive back from Marquette, and Ross Michaels, running back from Chassell who played at Hancock.
Michigan Tech posted a 7-3 record in 2012, earning a share of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division title. It was the second GLIAC championship in school history.
MTU spring practice will begin March 27, with the annual spring game to be played at Sherman Field on April 20.
Northern Michigan University landed two U.P. recruits - Kyle Root Sault, running back) and Jared Vuksan (Gladstone, defensive end) - on the first day of the signing period.
"Signing day is the end of a long process for players, parents and coaches," NMU Coach Chris Ostrowsky said. "We have recruited some of the most celebrated players in Michigan, Florida and Illinois. We recruited high school team captains who are top academic students and have played for some of the premier programs in the nation like St. Thomas Aquinas and Cass Tech."
The class consists of players from Michigan (16), Florida (five) and Illinois (five).
"As a staff, we have worked extremely hard day and night to accomplish our objective, which is to have one of the top recruiting classes in America on the Division II level," added Ostrowsky. "We felt it was critical to follow last year's class with another stellar group and believe we have done so when this group of players arrives on campus. Today is a great day to be a Wildcat."
NMU finished 4-7 overall and 3-7 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2012. The Wildcats finished tied for 11th in the GLIAC and had 12 seniors end their football careers.