SFU introduces 2019 recruiting class

Thomas Ford welcomes 29 new student-athletes to Clan family, praises group for academic and on field potential.

BURNABY, BC — Simon Fraser University football head coach Thomas Ford made a splash on National Signing Day, announcing the commitment of 29 new players for the upcoming 2019 season.

The 2018 GNAC Coach of the Year believes that the recruiting class, which is made up of 16 offensive players, 12 defensive players and a kicking specialist, will be a crucial piece to taking the upstart program to another level.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the 2019 recruiting class. We really feel that we’ve been able to bring in guys that we have built genuine relationships with and believe in the vision of the program moving forward,” said Ford. “There are a ton of guys in this group that should come in right away and compete for playing time and will complement the guys we have on campus now busting their humps this offseason.”

NSD 2019!!! #RepTheLeaf #Ris1n9 pic.twitter.com/CuNQ4rOAc7 — SFU Football (@SFUFootball) February 5, 2019

Highlighting the 2019 class are several local talents, including Gideone Kremler, a two-time BC High School Provincial title champion quarterback with Mount Douglas Secondary in Victoria. He will be joined at SFU by his brother Zairech Kremler — a BC All-Conference defensive back — and their older sibling Justice Kremler, an inside linebacker who is set to rejoin the Clan after spending last season with the Vancouver Island Raiders.

Gideone Kremler is one of the top players in BC province who is a natural leader with a cannon for an arm and is dynamic with his feet,” said Ford. “Zairech Kremler is a do-everything type of player that has played a lot of football at multiple positions on both sides of the ball. Justice Kremler will bring size and experience to our linebacking core. He has experience in the GNAC and knows what it takes to compete at our level of play and will bring physicality to our defence and special teams units.”

The Kremlers are just three of 10 players from British Columbia, alongside five lower mainland athletes, led by defensive lineman Evan Nolli, a two-star recruit from New Westminster Secondary who was named the 2018 Provincial Defensive Player of the Year and earned first team All-Canadian honours.

Evan Nolli stood out immediately when he came to our camp in the spring and we knew he was poised to have a great year,” said Ford. “He will be the lynchpin of this year’s defensive line class and if he continues his trajectory, he’ll be a nightmare for offensive lines in the GNAC for the next four years.”

Two players were also picked up from Abbotsford, with inside linebacker Luke Szmutko signing from Abbotsford Senior Secondary, and Sam Davenport — a wide receiver and kicker — making history as the first product of Robert Bateman Secondary to join an NCAA football program.

The former head coach of Stadium High School in Tacoma, Ford also added 16 players from Washington state. Six of the players are set to line up on the defensive side of the ball, including two-star recruits Darrion Smith (OLB), Peyton Reed (CB) and Roman Casey (DB).

On offence, standouts include quarterback Brandon Niksich, tight end Tanner Nelson, offensive lineman Garret Wallace and wide receivers Colin Gale and Riley Morrison. SFU also added what Ford describes as a “program changing prospect” in offensive lineman Bailey Elder, who played three seasons under the coach at Stadium.

Bailey Elder is a three-star offensive tackle that had multiple NCAA Div. I offers including two from Power 5 schools,” said Ford of the 6’6, 310-pound Tacoma product. “He is a guy we expect to compete for playing time immediately and make a difference on our offence, playing the game with unmatched emotion and intensity.”

Simon Fraser also added a kicker in David Eisenkraft from Everett High School and restocked their defensive line with transfer Brandon Kennedy of Reedley College, another former pupil of Ford’s at Stadium.

Rounding out the 2019 recruiting class are athletes from Alberta, Oregon and California. Ryan Bertelsen from Lake Oswego, OR was a 2018 first team All-State selection and won a state championship with Lake Oswego High School.

“The group as a whole is very deep, and will instantly provide the numbers we needed to give our program the depth and competition level necessary to build a championship level football team,” Ford added. “This is a group of high character guys that are serious about their academics and love the game of football.”

2019 Simon Fraser University Football Recruiting Class

Ryan BertelsenOL6-3275Lake Oswego, ORLake Oswego HS
Christian ButenschoenDL6-2270Bellingham, WABellingham HS
Roman CaseyDB6-2195Bonney Lake, WABonney Lake HS
Ryan ClarinOL6-1295Covington, WATahoma HS
Ian CrockerOLB6-1205Seattle, WABallard HS
CFC100 Jerrell CummingsCB5-10175Vancouver, BCNotre Dame Regional Secondary
Sam DavenportWR/K6-0150Abbotsford, BCRobert Bateman Secondary
David EisenkraftK6-0160Everett, WAEverett HS
Bailey ElderOL6-6310Tacoma, WAStadium HS
Colin GaleWR6-4210Sammamish, WASeattle Preparatory Academy
Nate HebertRB5-11190Lynnwood, WAMeadowdale HS
Mahyar HosseiniILB6-1195North Vancouver, BCCarson Graham Secondary
Ethan JantoWR6-3220San Jose, CASanta Teresa HS
Brandon KennedyDL6-1295Tacoma, WAStadium HSReedley College
CFC100 Gideone KremlerQB6-0185Victoria, BCMount Douglas Secondary
Justice KremlerILB5-11230Victoria, BCMount Douglas SecondaryVancouver Island Raiders
CFC100 Zairech KremlerDB5-11170Victoria, BCMount Douglas Secondary
Ethan LockOL6-1245West Vancouver, BCWest Vancouver Secondary
Riley MorrisonWR5-7165Bothell, WABothell HS
Tanner NelsonTE6-4200East Wenatchee, WAEastmont HS
Brandon NiksichQB6-3160Federal Way, WATodd Beamer HS
CFC100 Evan NolliDL6-3250New Westminster, BCNew Westminster Secondary
Jean Olivier PitteRB5-11170Edmonton, ABHarry Ainlay Secondary
Peyton ReedCB6-2175Kenmore, WAInglemoor HS
Michael SimoneWR5-9150Burnaby, BCSt. Thomas More Collegiate
Darrion SmithOLB6-1215Enumclaw, WAEnumclaw HS
Luke SzmutkoILB6-2220Abbotsford, BCAbbotsford Senior Secondary
Brandon ThompsonRB5-10175Yelm, WAYelm HSTacoma CC
Garret WallaceOL6-7280Bellevue, WAEastside Catholic HS

Stay connected with SFU football on Twitter throughout the offseason for updates, behind-the-scenes content and more.

source: Brad McLeod – Digital Media & Sports Information Specialist ([email protected])

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