South Dakota State University head football coach John Stiegelmeier announced Wednesday commitments from 20 high school standouts and one junior college transfer, kicking off college football's inaugural early signing period.

"We are excited as a coaching staff to add these 21 student-athletes to our football family," Stiegelmeier said. "I am truly blessed by a great staff — the amount of work our assistant coaches do to recruit a class of this quality through our season and playoff run is phenomenal. I expect each of these student-athletes to have a huge impact on our program at some point."

South Dakota State completed the 2017 season with the most wins in program history, posting an 11-3 overall record. The Jackrabbits made their sixth consecutive appearance in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and reached the semifinals for the first time.

South Dakota football announces early signing class

South Dakota head football coach Bob Nielson  announced the signing of 13 student-athletes to a National Letter of Intent. In addition, Nielson announced that three other high school standouts have accepted an offer of admissions to the University of South Dakota and plan to join the Coyote football program.

Continuing on a theme from last year, offensive and defensive linemen compile nearly half the class in this first early signing period. The group also includes two linebackers, two QBs, two WRs, and one running back, TE, and DB.

The Coyotes return 52 of 71 letter winners from last year’s squad, which won eight games and competed in the FCS playoffs for the first time. Included are seven returning starters on offense and nine on defense. The 2018 season opener is Sept. 1 at Kansas State.

South Dakota State

Ian Bass, 6-4, 275, OL, Rosemount, Minnesota.

Logan Busch, 6-4, 315, OL, Beresford. (transfer from Iowa Western CC).

Matt Connors, 6-4, 195, QB, Collierville, Tennessee.

Ti'jaih Davis, 6-1, 180, CB, Boys Town, Nebraska.

Nicholas Garlisch, 6-0, 195, S, St. Charles, Illinois.

J'Bore Gibbs, 6-3, 220, QB, Chicago, Illinois.

Garret Greenfield, 6-6, 265, OL, Rock Valley, Iowa.

Zach Heins, 6-7, 230, TE, Sioux Falls.

Clayton Hooper, 5-10, 175, DB, Chandler, Arizona.

Max Howard, 6-7, 320, OL, Sioux Falls.

Ryan Kluver, 6-5, 240, DE, Buffalo, Minnesota.

Blake Kunz, 6-5, 240, TE, Germantown, Wisconsin.

Michael Littleton, 6-3, 210, athlete, Wichita, Kansas.

Mason McCormick, 6-4, 300, OL, Sioux Falls.

Caleb Sanders, 6-1, 260, DL, Glenwood, Iowa.

Cade Terveer, 6-3, 240, DE, Brandon.

Jayd Vanderwerff, 6-1, 190, WR/S, Gregory.

Ryan Van Marel, 6-4, 245, DT, Sheldon, Iowa.

Trajan Walhof, 6-5, 250, DT, Sioux Center, Iowa.

Saiveon Williamson, 6-1, 195, DB, Waseca, Minnesota.

Samuel Willmott, 6-3, 250, DL, Rosemount, Minnesota.

South Dakota

Ethan Burson DL, 6-4, 275, Springfield, Mo. 

Canaan Cox, RB, 5-8, 165, Remsen, Iowa.

Isaac Erbes, OL, 6-5, 320, Urbandale, Iowa.

Tyler Foote, QB, 6-2, 220, Florissant, Mo

Hunter Headlee, LB, 6-1, 200, Sioux Falls, (Harrisburg).

Ja’Von Hune, DL, 6-2, 230, Wentzville, Mo.

Bryce Kennedy, OL, 6-7, 300, Virginia, Minn.

Carter Kuchel, WR, 6-2, 180, Remsen, Iowa.

Marquis Majors, WR, 6-0, 175, O’Fallon, Mo.

Andy McCance, QB, 5-10, 190, Gregory.

Brock Mogensen, LB, 6-2, 215, Farmington, Minn.

Kian Rexroat-Potts, OL, 6-6, 310, Oconomowoc, Wis. 

Trevor Shohoney, OL, 6-3, 300, Franklin, Wis.

Nathan Stoffel, TE, 6-5, 225, Marathon, Wis.

Cameron Tisdale, DB, 5-11, 170, Clearwater, Fla. 

Brendan Webb, DL, 6-4, 205, Buhler, Kan.