College Sports

Lindenwood football recruiting class heavy with Southern Illinois players

The Lindenwood University-Belleville football team took on 45 new players during this signing period, including a class of freshman heavy with Southern Illinois and metro-east talent.

“We knew that it was critical for us to establish our footprint within an 80-mile radius of Belleville, and I feel like we’ve taken the first step into doing so,” said LU-B head coach Kevin Turco. “I’m proud of the relationships that we’re building with the area high school coaches and we’re looking forward to the 2019 class joining us this fall.”

Incoming freshmen include players from Alton, Carterville, Granite City, Marion, Roxana, Triad and Wesclin high schools.

Turco’s 2017 roster, his first at Lindenwod-Belleville, including 12 players from within that 80-mile radius, nine of which were either freshmen or sophomores. Ryan Kaiser, LU-B athletic director, says recruiting close is now institutional policy.

“One of our goals was to get a piece of our own backyard, and our recruiting philosophy is to recruit inside out, which means we need to own your local footprint,” said LU-B athletic director Ryan Kaiser. “With this last recruitment cycle, we worked hard to bring in some of the best and brightest local students, and we’re looking very forward to that.”

Southern Illinois signees include:

▪  Kade Bock, Alton (5-6, 190), linebacker: Bock transferred to LU-B after a single season at Quincy University.

▪  Paiton Brown, Triad (5-10, 260), defensive line

▪  Wyatt Helland, Massac County (6-4, 305), defensive line

▪  Brant Hill, Marion (6-4, 180), quarterback transferred from Southern Illinois Carbondale

▪  Cody Kuenkler, Granite City (6-4, 320), offensive line

▪  Markas Lazdinis, Carterville (6-0, 190), running back

▪  Austin Miller, Wesclin High School (6-0, 217), defensive line

▪  Christian Rawlinson, Carterville (6-3, 190), quarterback

▪  Riley Ripper, Roxana High School (6-0, 200), tight end