MIAMI — Nine Oklahoma all-staters, the state’s all-time leading rusher and Commerce linebacker Chris Ibarra are among 46 players who signed national letters of intent to play football at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
Among the all-staters signing with the Norsemen were Wagoner wide receiver Ashton Bartholomew, Hulbert running back Jacob Bruce, Ardmore offensive lineman Brayden Bruce, Broken Arrow running back Noah Cortes, Del City wide receiver Jack Foreman, Beggs defensive back Jaidan Grayson, Sulphur linebacker Trey Kiser, Hulbert quarterback Alec Meinert and Guthrie wide receiver Marcellus Owens.
“We’re excited about this bunch,” Norse head coach Zach Allen said. “It’s a very balanced class at just about every position. We feel we got better everywhere.
“We’ve got a great team here on campus.”
By position, signees included offensive line, eight; defensive back, seven; linebacker, wide receiver and defensive line, six each; kicker and running back, three each; athlete and tight end, two each; quarterback and defensive safety, one each.
Bruce finished his career at Hulbert with 8,574 yards and 116 touchdowns. He also had 3,253 yards during the 2018 season.
Commerce limited Bruce to 78 yards during a 41-13 win over the Riders in the second round of the Class A playoffs.
Larry Dupree of Luther had been the record holder while former Norseman Reggie Skinner is third.
The 6-foot-6 Bartholomew, who sat out his junior year to focus on basketball and high jumping, was a key performer for the Bulldogs, who were 10-2 and had a run of three straight Class 4A state titles snapped by Bethany.
He had three receptions, two of which went for touchdowns, in Wagoner’s 47-6 win against Miami on Oct. 5.
“He’s as good a wide receiver as we’ve signed here in a while with that type of size,” Allen said. “It’s going to be fun to see how he progresses.”
Ibarra was the Tigers’ third-leading tackler this past season, logging 44 solo and 52 assisted tackles.
He had four sacks, four interceptions, a fumble recovery and five pass deflections.
“He’s a great kid. I don’t know where he’s going to wind up playing, but it will be fun to see him progress as well,” Allen said.
Among the other Norse signees were Jay kicker Adan Becerra and offensive lineman Preston Thomazin of eight-man power Shattuck.
Cortes and defensive lineman Colton Collier were members of Broken Arrow’s Class 6A-I state championship team.
Out-of-state signees include Suffolk, Virginia, defensive back Ehron Knight and Carl Junction, Missouri, running back Rayquion Weston.
Weston’s coach was Doug Buckmaster, who has served two stints as Golden Norse offensive coordinator.