Brian Mistro is batting 1.000 following his first home visit as a college football head coach.
Just six days after the former University of Jamestown Jimmie was formally introduced as the 20th man to lead his alma mater, Mistro visited the home of local high school standout Aaron Mack and left after securing a commitment from the Jamestown High School senior.
Mack is one of 25 recruits announced to have signed with the Jimmies during college football's National Signing Day on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
"He's one of the most mature kids for an 18 year old that we have ever really met," said Mistro, who sat down with Mack and his family Tuesday evening. "We're getting a young man that has a great head on his shoulders and wants to compete in everything he does, and you can't teach that."
Mack's competitive nature overflows into the classroom. The 4.0 student said his next-level plan was to always put a mechanical engineering degree before his passion for the gridiron, but Mistro and the Jimmies are able to provide both.
A linebacker and fullback for the Blue Jays, Mack led Jamestown High School with 148 total tackles in two seasons at the Class AA level. He also led the Jays with 674 rushing yards on 102 carries in 2018, part of a senior season that culminated with first team all-state honors and a berth into the state's playoff semifinals. Jamestown ended 2018 at 7-4.
"I really wanted to continue to play football while at the same time getting my degree, and UJ was able to make that happen," Mack said. "(Coach Mistro) brings a lot of energy, and obviously that's a positive."
Mack is currently winding down a solid final season on the wrestling mat. He's ranked No. 4 at 182 pounds and his 30-14 individual record includes 20 wins by fall.
Mack is following in the footsteps of former Blue Jay standout Caleb Ellingson at UJ. Ellingson, who played his final season for the 3-8 Jimmies in 2018, led UJ in tackles for three straight seasons. An all-GPAC linebacker and biochemistry major, Ellingson tallied 324 career tackles for his hometown orange and black.
"I wrestled (Ellingson) a few times in the weight room," Mack said. "I'm excited. It's definitely a weight off the shoulders."
In-state recruits for Mistro and the Jimmies also include Central Cass first team all-state quarterback Jonah Lietz, Mandan receiver Cole Schmidt and West Fargo Sheyenne lineman Harrison Hintze. Jamestown signed seven players from California and six from Minnesota on National Signing Day.
"I'm so indebted to the current staff here, because there wasn't a drop off after coach Kittell resigned. They kept their nose to the grindstone," Mistro said. Former UJ football coach Josh Kittell resigned after three seasons on Jan. 16 to become football recruiting coordinator at North Dakota State University. "The kids we have signing with us want to be here. We are making sure these guys are a good fit for Jamestown and not walking into something they won't expect."
Mistro, who spent the past seven seasons as an assistant football coach at Concordia College (Minn.), is still commuting from Fargo, but the 2009 UJ graduate said he hopes to have his wife, Meaghan, and 1-year-old son, AJ, moved to Jamestown by the end of the month.
"It's awesome being back," Mistro said. "Getting in a late Taco Bell run at 11 p.m. last night reminded me of college."
University of Jamestown 2019 Football Commitments
Ross Applegarth, FB, Sutter, Calif.
Dominic Bynum, RB, Tucson, Ariz.
Dijon Canton, WR, Arcata, Calif.
Thomas Chapin, LB, Fernley, Nev.
Aidan Creeley, LB, Lake City, Minn.
Miles Davie, WR, Elk Grove, Calif.
Harrison hintze, DL, West Fargo, N.D.
Cameron Hoyt, WR, Park Rapids, Minn.
Steven Justice, WR, Henderson, Nev.
Tyson Kohoutek, WR, Henderson, Nev.
Jonah Lietz, QB, Casselton, N.D.
Kyle Lindenfelser, DL/LS, East Bethel, Minn.
Aaron Mack, LB, Jamestown, N.D.
Micah Madyun, WR, Ramsey, Minn.
Ryan O'Brien, WR, Murrieta, Calif.
Zachary Phillips, SS, Buffalo, Minn.
Brandon Powell, LB, Sacramento, Calif.
Justin Sandberg, LB, Ham Lake, Minn.
Isaiah Sampson, DT, Birmingham, Ala.
Cole Schmidt, WR, Mandan, N.D.
Levi Scribner, LB, Crescent City, Calif.
Marco Taddia, DL, Ferrara, Italy.
Isaac Thompson, DB, Mesa, Ariz.
Jose Valle, OL, Sutter, Calif.
Nate Zimmerman, LB, Chandler, Ariz.