Area gridders fire up for college campaigns

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As college football training camps get underway across the Midwest, several local players are set to get back into action.

For some, the first-time jitters will no doubt be apparent.

The Illinois State Redbirds will have a pair of local products this fall.

Versatile two-way standout Matthew Wedig of Beloit Memorial and quarterback Britton Morris of North Boone are currently engaged in camp with the Redbirds, hoping to make a contribution early in their respective careers.

Ryan Van Schelven, the NIC-10's MVP while playing quarterback for Hononegah, is at the University of Dayton, a non-scholarship Division 1 program.

Turner offensive tackle Brandon Malkow will be a redshirt freshman at Western Illinois and hopes to contribute to the Leathernecks this season.

Beloit Memorial's Eric Bridges and Christian Winfield will head to St. Cloud State for his freshman season, while quarterback Gannon Rand will play for Carroll University.

Also at Carroll will be Turner's Nathan McMillan.

Rockford University features three local products: Brodhead-Juda junior Joe Stout and a pair of Hononegah graduates, Zachary Bothem and Omar Saulters.

Another former Beloit Memorial quarterback, Steven Makinen, will enter his sophomore season at UW-Oshkosh, Former Clinton star Zach Krause is back at UW-Platteville for his second season, as are Beloit Turner's Juan Reyes and Chase Larson at Beloit College.

Casper Clark, another Purple Knight, is a sophomore at UW-Eau Claire while Turner grad Justin Hansen will return for his senior year at WIAC favorite UW-Whitewater after earning All-WIAC honorable mention last season.

Defensive lineman Amaurii Grosskopf returns for his sophomore season at the University of Sioux Falls.

Brodhead-Juda speedster Jeffrey Williams will play for UW-Stevens Point after participating in the WFCA All-Star game along with Wedig.

Joining Beloit College will be Big Foot quarterback Logan Eisch eid and Turner running back/linebacker Emiliano Reyes. Another former Big Foot signal-caller, Jackson Enz, returns to play for defending FCS champion North Dakota State as a redshirt freshman.

A pair of Hononegah standouts, Paul Fay (Wheaton) and Zach Hale (Carthage) will also continue their respective gridiron careers. Another ex-Indian, defensive back Shaylar Burnell, is a junior at Southwest Minnesota State.

• EDITORS NOTE: If the Daily News missed any local players to keep tabs on this season, please contact us at

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