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UNK Football: Lopers Add Impact Transfers

University of Nebraska Kearney Lopers logo.

The Nebraska Kearney football team announced today the names of 49 newcomers (16 transfers and 33 high school seniors) who’ll suit up for the Lopers this fall.

Another two in-state seniors will officially come aboard by the end of the week, bumping up this first wave of recruits to 51. The group features 24 Nebraskans, 10 hailing from Kansas with nine other states represented as well. By position, UNK is adding 27 offensive players, 22 on defense and two to special teamers. Offensive line (12) and d-line (eight) rank 1-2 among positions with seven receivers and three quarterbacks also coming aboard.

Next, the Lopers have added 11 seniors that’ll play in the 2024 Nebraska Shrine Bowl at Ron & Carol Cope Stadium with 10 players from the Class hailing from the Omaha Metro area and five being hometown products. Finally, the md-year transfer class provides experience from the Division I and II and junior college ranks.

"Our goal with this Class was to really hit the State of Nebraska hard and we've been able to acquire some in-state kids that can develop in our program and achieve the goals of being MIAA Champions," said UNK head coach Ryan Held. "We wanted to make every position on our roster competitive with guys that can either play right away, via the transfer portal, or get better over time. These guys fit what we want, in terms of talent, character, coachability, and coming from winning programs."

Among the vets are grad transfer and quarterback Reagan Jones who started 14 games for Missouri Western in 2021 and 2022. While the Lopers beat the Griffs in those years, he was hard for UNK to stop, finishing those games with nearly 500 yards of offense and five touchdowns. A record-setter player at Wichita Northwest H.S., Jones amassed nearly 5,400 yards of offense as a Griff.  Joining Jones, redshirt sophomore Tyler Perry and redshirt freshman Abrahm Scholting in the QB room are KHS record-setter Treyven Beckman and Georgia record-breaker Kenneth “KJ” Smith.

“We felt like we needed to get an older quarterback with experience and Reagan fits that to a tee. He’s started and won games in the MIAA, he’s a good leader and good player,” said Held. “He’s got that edge that we’re looking for and he’s come in and worked had from day one, as have all of our transfers.”

Among the backs they will hand the ball off to is former Millard South Patriot and ‘Husker Isaiah Harris. He led Class A in rushing in 2019 and finished his prep career with almost 4,00 yards and 52 TD’s. Harris went onto be a Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll Athlete.

“We felt like we needed to go and get some linemen, specifically on the offensive side,” said Held. “The transfers being able to go through the (winter) grind should help us make some good progress in spring ball and then catapult us into the summer and fall.”

Among the other transfers are three experienced defensive backs and seven offensive or defensive linemen. Finally, the freshmen group includes multiple players from Kearney, Lincoln North Star, Omaha Central, and York High Schools.

“The new D2 redshirt rule (able to play in three games without burning a year of eligibility) was good for us and we utilized that in the recruiting process with the guys that we signed,” said Held. “It’s a nice piece to have in your toolbox and it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Mid-Year Newcomers (14 of 14) … Currently Enrolled and going through winter workouts/spring ball
Name (Pos. at UNK, Ht., Wt., Cl., Hometown/Previous School & High School)
Treyven Beckman (QB, 6-1, 190 lbs., Fr., Kearney, Neb./Kearney H.S.)
Matthew Beyer (OL, 6-3, 295 lbs., R-Jr., Mulvane, Kan./Kent State U. & Mulvane H.S.)
Josh Davies (DL, 6-4, 295 lbs., Jr., Richmond, Texas/Butler C.C., Kan. & Travis H.S.)
Caleb Freeland (DL, 6-0, 285 lbs., R-Jr., Folsom, Calif./U. of Texas Permian Basin & Folsom H.S.)
Jaeden Hamilton (CB, 5-9, 185 lbs., Jr., Wichita, Kan./Coffeyville C.C., Kan. & Wichita Heights H.S.)
Isaiah Harris (RB, 5-8, 185 lbs., Jr., Omaha, Neb./U. of Nebraska-Lincoln & Millard South H.S.)
C.J. Horton (TE, 6-5, 240 lbs., R-Sr., Ft. Scott, Kan./Eastern Michigan U. & Ft. Scott H.S.)
Reagan Jones (QB, 6-1, 200 lbs., Gr., Wichita, Kan. /Missouri Western State & Wichita Northwest H.S.)
Jovan Marsh (S, 5-11, 175 lbs., Jr., Robbins, Ill./ Northeastern Oklahoma A&M & Marist H.S.)
James Morrow (OL, 6-5, 290 lbs., R-Sr., Salina, Kan./U. of Texas-Permian Basin & Salina Central H.S.)
James Murphy (DL, 6-1, 285 lbs., Placerville, Calif./Sierra College, Calif. & Union Mine H.S.)
Jason Stroberg (OL, 6-6, 280 lbs., R-Jr., Rockford, Ill./Ellsworth C.C., Ia. & Rockford East H.S.)
Stephon Tolon (CB, 5-11, 175 lbs., R-Jr., Bristow, Okla./Northeastern Oklahoma A&M & Bristow H.S.)
Dijmon Wheeler (WR, Fr., 6-2, 185 lbs., Norman Park, Ga./Colquitt County H.S.)

Transfers Reporting in August (2 of 2)
Name (Pos. at UNK, Ht., Wt., Cl., Hometown/Previous School & High School)
Jordan Allen (OL, Gr., 6-3, 285 lbs., Grand Prairie, Texas/Oklahoma Baptist U. & Mansfield Lakeridge H.S.)
Shane Dailey Jr. (WR, Gr., 5-10, 175 lbs., Bellevue, Neb./Idaho State U. & Bellevue West H.S.)

Nebraska High School Seniors (19 of 21)
Name (Pos. at UNK, Ht., Wt., Cl., Hometown/Most Recent High School)
Treshaun Beed (CB, 6-1, 175 lbs., Aurora, Neb./Aurora H.S.)
Morgan Collingham (DE, 6-5, 220 lbs., Beaver Creek, Neb./York H.S.) … preferred walk-on
Dylan Eby (OL, 6-2, 260 lbs., Plattsmouth, Neb./Plattsmouth H.S.)
Jack Edwards (LS, 6-0, 190 lbs., Kearney, Neb./Kearney H.S.)
Seth Erickson (LB, 6-2, 205 lbs., York, Neb./York H.S.)
Maddox Georgius (OL, 6-4, 250 lbs., Omaha, Neb./Millard South H.S.)
Dallas Hamilton (OL, 6-2, 270 lbs., Papillion, Neb./Papillion-LaVista H.S.)
Eli Holt (LB, 6-2, 220 lbs., Firth, Neb./Norris H.S.)
Hank Hudson (LB, 6-1, 220 lbs., Albion, Neb./Boone Central H.S.)
Brock Marler (OL, 6-1, 255 lbs., Elkhorn, Neb./Elkhorn North H.S.)
Carson Murphy (S, 6-0, 185 lbs., Kearney, Neb./Kearney Catholic H.S.)
Ke'Von Newsome (LB, 6-1, 215 lbs., Omaha, Neb./Omaha Central H.S.)
Jonquel Osler (DE, 6-2, 210 lbs., Omaha, Neb./Omaha Westside H.S.)
D.J. Sterling (CB, 6-1, 175 lbs., Omaha, Neb./Omaha Central H.S.)
Nolan Venner (LB, 6-0, 200 lbs., Omaha, Neb./Omaha North H.S.) … preferred walk-on
Ryker Wohlers (S, 6-3, 165 lbs., Valley, Neb./Douglas County West H.S.)

Omaha running back TBA

Kearney linemen TBA

Out of State High School Seniors (14 of 14)
Name (Pos. at UNK, Ht., Wt., Cl., Hometown/Most Recent High School)
Dorian Brooks Jr. (DL, 6-2, 255 lbs., LaGrange, Ga./Troup County H.S.)
Chris "CJ" Felder (CB, 5-11, 165 lbs., Maize, Kan./Maize H.S.)
Roman Hauser (TE, 6-4, 230 lbs., Norton, Kan./Norton H.S.)
Colin Jones (OL, 6-3, 255 lbs., Rogers, Ark./Rogers H.S.)
Kaleb Kirgan (K, 5-11, 185 lbs., Kansas City, Kan./Piper H.S.)
Brady Lowry (LB, 6-1, 195 lbs., Manhattan, Kan./Manhattan H.S.) … preferred walk-on
Damian McKiever (CB, 5-10, 165 lbs., Greenwood Village, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.)
Alex Parks (WR, 5-8, 160 lbs., Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley Southwest H.S.)
Jaden Ping (DE, 6-4, 220 lbs., Gardena, Calif. /Junipero Serra H.S.)
Kenneth "KJ" Smith (QB, 5-11, 180 lbs., Roswell, Ga./Roswell H.S.)
Conner Thompson (WR, 5-11, 160 lbs., Jenks Okla./Jenks H.S.)
Alex Turner (WR, 6-3, 200 lbs., Raleigh, N.C./Hargrave Military Academy, Va.)
Jett Turner (RB, 6-1, 190 lbs., Bixby, Okla./Bixby H.S.)
Logan White (OL, 6-2, 275 lbs., Parker, Colo./Legend H.S.)


Breakdown By State

Nebraska (24), Kansas (10), California & Oklahoma (3 each), Colorado, Georgia, Illinois & Texas (2 each), Arkansas, Georgia & North Carolina (1 each)

Breakdown By Position

Offense (27) – Lineman (12), Wide Receivers (7) Running Backs, Quarterbacks (3), Tight Ends (2)

Defense (22) – Linemen/Ends (8), Cornerbacks & Linebackers (6 each), Safeties (3)

Special Teams (2) – Long Snapper (1), Kicker (1)