The 2013 St. Thomas football recruiting class will bring in 60 new players hoping to leave their mark on the program.
Coach Glenn Caruso said he is optimistic about the incoming talent.
“Usually the power is within the numbers,” Caruso said. “We certainly have a lot of guys that are All-State caliber, all-star type players.”
The new recruiting class consists of 57 high school seniors. Along with these players comes three transfers from other collegiate programs.
Defensive back Zach Burrington is transferring from Minnesota State University-Mankato, tight end Nathan Howard from the University of Minnesota and guard Zach Martens from Missouri S&T. Burrington graduated high school in 2010, while Martens and Howard graduated in 2012. All three players are Minnesota natives.
Caruso said he’s glad to have these transfer students as part of the St. Thomas family.
“The guys who have been on campus (for spring practice) have done a fantastic job thus far,” Caruso said. “(They) not only fit into the team, but have also provided us with some high-end athleticism quickly.”
Some notable players to keep an eye on this fall include: Eden Prairie, Minn., recruit Derek Soderberg; a two-time state champion, Soderberg has played on all three sides of the ball at defensive back, running back and is also a punt returner. According to MaxPreps.com, Soderberg is ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 191 in the nation as a defensive back.
Senior safety Tyler Erstad said he is interested to see how his potential successor performs.
“It sounds like he can make an impact right away,” Erstad said. “As long as he puts the work in and commits himself to the F.A.M.I.L.Y., the football program should benefit from his talent.”
Along with Soderberg comes St. Thomas Academy running back/wide receiver Nick Waldvogel. The 2012 All-Pioneer Press honorable mention will look to make his own name at St. Thomas, following after his brother All-American receiver and Tommie great Fritz Waldvogel.
Caruso said he is happy to see another member of the Waldvogel family dressing in purple.
“It’s pretty awesome because what it does it give you a gage of how good that family feels about this program,” Caruso said. “Obviously Fritz was a fantastic football player for us, but he was also a phenomenal leader and that’s directly correlated to how well raised he is. His parents have done such good job with him, just as well as their other children and Nick is in the same boat.”
Overall, Caruso said strong recruiting classes are a sign of the program’s continuing growth toward the ultimate goal.
“Obviously the better the classes get, the better the team is going to be. As we continue to see our classes grow, our team gets better,” Caruso said. “We had an opportunity to be at the Mecca this year … and when we were out recruiting, we thought about that intently, trying to get the right types of guys with the right types of attitudes that are going to get us over that last game.”
2013 recruiting class
Jesse Addo, Wayzata
Michael Alada, Hill-Murray
Ryan Anderson, Champlin Park
Michael Backus, Eastview
Michael Blume, Big Lake
Sebastian Borges, Stillwater
Josh Botten, Shakopee
Steven Braschayko, Coon Rapids
Alex Burback, Stillwater
Bennett Celichowski, Minnetonka
Alex Chadwick, Farmington
Mike Coldagelli, New Prague
Alexander Daniel, Andover
Nick Eliason, Belle Plaine
Tyler Fish, Warroad
Micah Hausman, Eagan
Luke Hermann, Cretin-Derham Hall
Sam Hodnefield, Stillwater
Moise Igeno, Centennial
Brady Kurtz, Becker
Noah Larson, Bloomington Jefferson
Will Long, Wayzata
Makael Lunning, Albert Lea
Zach Merie, Hopkins
Jack Newell, Minnetonka
Derek Ogren, Holy Family Catholic
Chris Pierson, Wayzata
Joey Puk, Eden Prairie
Mike Redmond, Minnetonka
Joe Reed, Cretin-Derham Hall
Chris Rozek, Hopkins
Sean Scharlau, St. Michael-Albertville
Kyle Schmidt, Woodbury
Adam Schnobrich, New Ulm Cathedral
Derek Soderberg, Eden Prairie
Alexander Stevson, St. Thomas Academy
Nick Waldvogel, St. Thomas Academy
Steven Wilson, Apple Valley
Ryan Winter, Woodbury
Michael Witschen, Monticello
Zach Burrington, Maple Grove
Nathan Howard, Bloomington Jefferson
Zach Martens, Apple Valley
Stuart Burns, Hudson
Will Hilbert, Marquette University High
Chandler Lamke, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau
Jordan Millis, Black River Falls
Turner Sagat, New Berlin Eisenhower
Joe Southern, Ashwaubenon
Jarrod Thrill, Green Bay Southwest
Evan Zellner, DePere
Dylan Andrew, Neuqua Valley
Darby Goodwin, Loyola Academy
Joel Hylton, North Shore School
Matt Lally, Marmion Academy
Brendan Murphy, Loyola Academy
Ayo Okesanya, North Shore School
Hayden Reich, Huntley
Josh Vedane, Dowling Catholic
Jonah Koski, Bend
Alex Goering can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.