Superior tandem sticking together to play college footballWhen Anthony Valentine and Spencer Urban took their recruiting visit to Bemidji State last month, the longtime Superior buddies talked about what it would be like to play college football together.
By: Jon Nowacki, Duluth News Tribune
When Anthony Valentine and Spencer Urban took their recruiting visit to Bemidji State last month, the longtime Superior buddies talked about what it would be like to play college football together.
It sounded way too good to pass up.
Valentine and Urban will make their commitment to the Beavers official today as part of national signing day. They plan on being roommates in Bemidji, Minn.
“We’ve been playing sports together since fifth or sixth grade,” Urban said. “We talked about how it’d be perfect to go to Bemidji and how much fun it’d be to play football together for another five years. He liked it just as much as I did, so it worked out great.”
Valentine is a three-year starter at linebacker, defensive end and halfback at Superior. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder had 50 solo tackles and 38 assists last fall.
Urban is a three-year starter at quarterback and defensive back for the Spartans, passing for 957 yards last fall.
Bemidji envisions Valentine at outside linebacker while the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Urban is expected to be the only quarterback in Bemidji’s recruiting class.
The two attended a football camp at North Dakota State last summer where they caught the attention of Bemidji offensive coordinator Eric Medberry. Urban turned down an offer from Concordia-St. Paul to go to Bemidji.
“I didn’t like the inner city feel of Concordia, where Bemidji felt more like a Superior kind of town,” said Urban, adding that the two planned on doing plenty of fishing during their downtime. “The football field is like right on the lake, and I liked the entire campus and coaching staff. It felt like the perfect fit.”
Superior coach Bob DeMeyer said senior linebacker Ben Erickson received strong recruiting interest from Minnesota Duluth but could wind up attending Wisconsin and focusing on academics. Erickson has also applied at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Erickson, a ball-hawking 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker who was converted from safety, was a Wisconsin Football Coaches Association all-state selection who led Division I with 95 solo tackles and 38 assists.
“I know it was a very difficult decision for Ben not to go to UMD, but he felt he wanted to go another route,” DeMeyer said. “We’ll miss all three of those guys. They’re going to be hard to replace, but I know they have bright futures ahead of themselves and we’re very happy for them.”
BEST OF THE REST
Duluth East senior Nate Atkinson, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound offensive lineman, will be one of the local products to headline the list of UMD recruits announced today. He received interest from other Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schools such as St. Cloud State and Southwest Minnesota State.
Cook County senior quarterback and defensive back Kale Boomer will be a preferred walk on with the Bulldogs. He was recruited by the likes of Wisconsin Stout, Eau Claire and River Falls, as well as St. Thomas and Macalester, where new UMD offensive coordinator Dan Larson recruited him.
“UMD started recruiting Kale as a safety, but with Coach Larson coming on board, that could open up some offensive possibilities,” said Kale’s father, Mike Boomer. “Coach Larson loves quarterbacks at wide receiver. They read defenses the same, so there’s going to be a decision to make.”
Two-time News Tribune player of the year Jake Disterhaupt of Moose Lake-Willow River will sign with the University of North Dakota and is projected as a safety. According to his coach, Dave Louzek, North Dakota coaches expect him to compete for a starting position next season. Rebels guard/defensive tackle Jake Christopherson will sign with Minnesota-Crookston. The teammates were part of MLWR teams that went 50-4 over the last four years and finished second in Class AA three times.
Grand Rapids linebacker Jamison Evans is expected to sign with Bemidji to play football. He is also an outstanding wrestler who received strong football interest from Winona State as well.
Virginia running back Mitch Sella could wind up walking on at Crookston or Bemidji.