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Bearcats Add 26 Players on Signing Day

The Northwest Missouri State football coaches announced its 2012 class on Wednesday. The list features 24 high school athletes who signed National Letters of Intent.
(MARYVILLE, Mo.) The Northwest Missouri State football coaches announced its 2012 class on Wednesday

 The list features 24 high school athletes who signed National Letters of Intent.

Northwest finished its 2011 campaign at 11-3 and returned to the NCAA Division II playoffs for the eighth consecutive season, the most of any NCAA DII team.

The Bearcats also averaged an NCAA -best 50 points per game during the regular season.

The Northwest staff will add nine players from the state of Missouri, the most in this year's class, followed by five players from Iowa and Kansas.

In addition to successful recruiting in Missouri, Northwest will add three players from Nebraska and two players from Illinois and one Texas.

"Recruiting quality student-athletes takes a great deal of time and effort," said Dorrel, who is entering his second season at the helm of the Bearcats. "I would like to recognize the effort of our coaching staff. We made it an emphasis to recruit young men with high character, solid academic records, and great athletic ability. Our staff did a great job going to recruits' houses and schools establishing relationships with potential student-athletes, their parents and their high school coaches. I am very appreciative of the coaches' hard work and to them I say 'A big thanks'."

"Also Assistant A.D. for Compliance, Lori Hopkins, is an integral part of every student-athlete's career at Northwest. Her efforts usually go unnoticed and she has made my life easy throughout the recruiting process and we thank her for all of her hard work."

The academic success of the recruits also is a point of pride for the football staff. Dorrel added that 23 of the 26 recruits qualified for academic scholarships and averaged a 3.38 GPA with an average ACT score of 22.4.

Dorrel praised the staff at Northwest for their help with the recruiting process.

"Also, when a young man chooses a school, it goes beyond just football. The quality of academic opportunities, the campus, the facilities, and the current student-athletes all play a role in their decision-making process. With that being said, we had great academic appointments with numerous departments on this campus. Multiple parents made positive comments about our professors here at Northwest. We greatly appreciate your hard work and willingness to take time out of your personal life to help us. The revamped Talent Development Center in the Library was a big hit as well. Thanks to Leslie Galbreath, Linda Standerford, and the rest of the TDC staff."

Added Dorrel, "Walking across our campus, you can't help but feel inspired by how well kept it
is. We have a beautiful campus and to those who take care of it, thank you. I would also like to thank custodial services. They spent a lot of time making sure everything was opened up for us and well maintained."

Listed below is an alphabetical listing of the 2012 Northwest football class with player notes and Dorrel's comments on the student-athletes:

Colby Bowers (Richmond, Mo.) - Long Snapper, 6-0, 230
High School: Richmond HS Head Coach: Rob Bowers
Parents: Rob and Kerra Bowers

Notes: Bowers was a two-time All-State offensive lineman and earned first-team honors on the defensive line as a senior as well ... Helped lead the Spartans to a Missouri State Title as a junior and a state semifinal finish in 2011 before falling to the eventual state champions ... Richmond finished 29-2 in his final two seasons paying for his dad Rob Bowers ... Was named all-conference as a junior and senior on both the offensive and defensive lines ... Tabbed KMZU Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and was the District Defensive Player of the Year ... Was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award in 2011 and earned second-team All-Metro OL from the Kansas City Star
Coach Dorrel: "Colby is a great long snapper who will grow into a good center. He is a coach's son and he is a tough, blue collar kid. His long snapping times are a consistent 0.68-0.72 seconds. These are great times for a high school student-athlete."

Brock Behrndt (St. Louis, Mo.) - Tight End, 6-5, 240
High School: Lafayette HS Head Coach: Boyd Manne
Parents: James and Sheree Behrndt

Notes: An All-State selection as a senior and two-time all-conference pick ... Recorded 18 catches for 306 as a senior averaging 17 yards per catch ... Scored two touchdowns each varsity season as a junior and senior ... Tallied 14 catches for 198 yards as a junior ... Helped lead the Lancers to an 8-3 record and the state playoffs as a senior ... Excels in the classroom as well being named a six-time scholar athlete at Lafayette
Coach Dorrel: "Brock is a big target and has the potential to be a good player in our offense. He understands football and how defensive coverage's work. He will be a big asset in the red zone."

Steven Butler Jr. (Mesquite, Texas) - Defensive back, 5-7, 160
High School: West Mesquite HS Head Coach: Mike Overton
Parents: Steven Butler Sr.

Notes: Earned second-team All-State acclaim for the Wranglers ... Also named to first-team all-district and all-area teams ... From same high school as former Bearcat Aldwin Foster-Rettig and current safety Fred Ngwu
Coach Dorrel: "Steven is a lock-down corner. He is very competitive and has nose for the ball. He is an aggressive tackler that plays bigger than his size."

Zach Callahan (Shawnee, Kan.) - Offensive Line, 6-3, 270
High School: Mill Valley HS Head Coach: Joel Applebee
Parents: Bill and Vickie Callahan

Notes: Callahan was a two-time All-State honoree and two-time all-conference pick ... Participated in the 2012 Kansas Shrine Bowl ... Earned All-America status in wrestling at Mill Valley and placed third at the Kansas State Championships in 2011 ... Helped lead the Jaguars to back-to-back playoff appearances
Coach Dorrel: "Zach is big and physical. He is a great wrestler and we love his toughness and his athleticism. He is going to make a good offensive guard for the Bearcats."

Joshua Falk (Joliet, Ill.) - Defensive End, 6-5, 205
High School: Joliet Catholic Academy Head Coach: Dan Sharp
Parents: Colleen Falk and Bill Nelson

Notes: Helped lead the Hilltoppers to two Illinois State runner-up finishes as a sophomore and senior... Was named captain of the JCA track and field teams ... An Illinois All-State scholar athlete
Coach Dorrel: "Josh has the potential to be very big! We love his motor and frame. He is an exciting pass rusher and we're excited about his potential to grow as a student-athlete at Northwest."

Chris Foster (Overland Park, Kan.) - Defensive End, 6-5, 220
High School: Blue Valley HS Head Coach: Eric Driskell
Parents: Alan and Debbie Foster

Notes: Helped the Tigers to back-to-back Kansas State Championship games earning a state title as a junior and a runner-up finish as a senior ... A three-year varsity lettermen, he earned Honorable Mention All-State honors and was an All-Metro selection by the Kansas City Star ... Earned first-team all-conference accolades and was a four-year honor roll student ... High school teammate of future Bearcats, Kyle Zimmerman and Justin Fulks
Coach Dorrel: "Chris had a tremendous senior year after an injury during his junior season. Chris has a great frame and has a lot of potential. He is really great at playing off blocks. He can play strong side or weak side defensive end."

Justin Fulks (Overland Park, Kan.) - Running Back, 5-11, 175
High School: Blue Valley HS Head Coach: Eric Driskell
Parents: Willis and Cynthia Fulks

Notes: A three-year starter for the Tigers at running back earning first-team All-State accolades as a junior and senior ... Holds the school record for most yards in a career with 5,111 and touchdowns with 51 ... Ran for over 1,800 yards as a senior scoring 21 touchdowns while adding 315 yards receiving on 22 catches and four TDs helping the Tigers to a Kansas State runner-up finish ... Was named to the Kansas City Star
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