Jimmies add two Jays: Bollinger, Hennings stay home
A couple of Jamestown High products and key contributors to other strong programs around the state highlight the first round of signees for University of Jamestown head football coach Shawn Frank.
The Jimmies announced the signings as part of the 2014 class, with Frank saying he intends to continue to add to the list in the coming weeks.
The list starts with a few former Blue Jays in Tyler Hennings and Rob Bollinger.
Bollinger, at 6-foot-2, 215-pound, was an all-state guard on the offensive line for Jamestown High School this past season, helping pave the way for a strong Blue Jay rushing attack. He was a two-year starter and had 40 tackles from his defensive end position. He is the son of Mark and Teresa Bollinger and will likely play linebacker or defensive end for the Jimmies.
“Rob is a young man who we had our sights set on for over a year,” Frank said in a press release. “He plays with great leverage, has great hands and shows nice flexibility. He has made tremendous strides with his strength and continues to challenge himself every day to get better.”
Hennings was one of the Blue Jays’ best linemen two years ago, spending a year away from football. The son of Daryl and Rhonda, Hennings has intriguing size at 6-5, 285.
“Tyler is a young man who recruited as a senior at Jamestown High School,” Frank said. “He possesses great size and arrived on campus in great shape after spending the fall working out every day. We love his work ethic, and he will fit in very well up front.”
The Jimmies nailed down four recruits from tradition-rich football programs.
Kaleb Sell from nearby Oakes is a 5-9, 160-pound wide receiver. Velva’s Mike Thingstad (6-2, 190) was an all-state tailback with 1,200 yards and Rugby’s Chris Hamilton (6-1, 190) was a two-time all-state wide receiver that scored nine TDs last season. Capping the four is offensive lineman Christian Walter (6-1, 230) from Bismarck Century. All four high school teams made the playoffs.
“Kaleb loves to compete and is very goal-oriented,” Frank said. “… We feel Mike’s best football is ahead of him, even after an outstanding senior year at one of the best football programs in the state. … Chris (Hamilton) is a multi-sport athlete who embraces competition. He had great size and great length, two qualities we look for in a wide receiver. … Christian is a very athletic offensive lineman who displays great feet, an ability to pull fluidly and can get to the second level very well.”
UJ signed three regional athletes as well in quarterback Alex Johnson, kicker Grant Linde and wideout Kris Wharton. Johnson (6-3, 190) comes from Northland Community and Technical College, which suspended its football program indefinitely. Linde was 13-of-13 on extra points at Billings West as a senior. Kris Wharton (5-10, 165) figures to play the slot position, Frank said.
“As we continue to piece together our 2014 recruiting class, we are certainly excited today to have the young men who we have signed to this point as part of our program,” Frank said. “Offensively, we have added some nice pieces for what we want to continue to do moving forward. Defensively, we still have some work to do, but we are confident we will continue to piece that puzzle together.”
— LB-DL Robert Bollinger, Jamestown High (6-2, 215).
— OL Tyler Hennings, Jamestown High (6-5, 286).
— WR Chris Hamilton, Rugby (6-1, 190).
— WR Kaleb Sell, Oakes (5-9, 160).
— RB Mike Thingstad, Velva (6-2, 190).
— OL Christian Walter, Bismarck Century (6-1, 230).
— QB Alex Johnson, Northland Community & Technical College (6-3, 160 from Glyndon, Minn.).
— K Grant Linde, Billings West High (6-1, 215 from Billings, Mont.).
— WR Kris Wharton, Miller, S.D. (5-10, 165).