Wildcat Football Signs 10 To NLIs On Signing Day

Courtesy: Northern Michigan University Athletics

MARQUETTE, Mich. — On National Signing Day 2021, the Northern Michigan University football team inked 10 individuals to National Letters of Intent, including three defensive players and seven offensive. The incoming class heads to Marquette, Michigan for the Fall of 2020 representing four states and three who are staying close to home as Upper Peninsula natives.

Rashad Harris joins the Wildcats at defense. Hailing from New Orleans, La., the 6-1, 250 lb defensive lineman won three district championships with his high school squad and was named First Team All-District in 2020-21.

Kade Manzo is a defensive back from Lake Orion, Mich. At 5-11 and 175 lb., Manzo helped his team to an OAA RED Championship while twice being named All-State and All-League. During his high school career, Manzo also competed in football, baseball, hockey, soccer and basketball. He joins his brother Kobe who currently plays for the Wildcats.

Another signee at defensive back, Tim Shannon joins the NMU squad for the Fall of 2021. Standing at 6-3 and 195 lbs., the Chicago, Ill. native played his high school career at St. Joseph High School where he earned CCL All-Conference and All-2A Defensive First Team honors.

On the other side of the ball, Trevor Leigh joins the class of 2025 as an offensive lineman. At 6-5 and 290 lbs., the Milford, Mich. native was a three-time All-LVC Conference honoree and twice named honorable mention in the Detroit News All-North awards. Earning scholar-athlete recognition in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the incoming freshman also starred on his high school basketball team, being named MVP in 2018.

Christopher Bornhoeft, a 6-3, 285 lb. lineman joins Leigh at the offensive front. A native of Plainfield, Ill., Bornhoeft attended Plainfield South High School where he earned numerous All-Conference and All-Area honors while helping his team to playoff appearances.

Also an offensive lineman, Jack Borree heads to NMU following a successful high school career with Houghton High School. Standing at 6-3 and 290 lbs., he was a team captain and earned First Team All-Conference honors, All-UP First Team recognition and All-Region awards while also being an honor roll student. He was named Houghton High School Student of the Month in December 2020. Borree hails from a Wildcat family as both parents attended the University while his dad also suited up for the football team.

Jack Chappelle rounds out the incoming offensive line as a 6-6, 310 lb. lineman from Goodyear, Ariz. After a stellar career at Shadow Ridge High School, which included All-State, All-Region, All-District and All-West Valley honors the former Stallions captain joins the Wildcat team. Off the turf he was an honor roll student all four years.

Caleb James joins the NMU signing day class at the wide receiver position. A 6-2, 190 lb., receiver from Saginaw, Mich., the incoming Wildcat saw success at Carrollton High School as a member of their football program where he was both a First Team All-Valley WR/DB, as well as First Team All-Region honoree. He was also a member of the Saginaw Dream Team at the wide receiver and defensive back positions. James was also an honor roll student over the course of his high school career.

Also a receiver, Kam Karp is 6-0 and 175 lbs. Staying close to home, the Marquette native joins the NMU team following an illustrious career with Marquette High School. In 2020, Karp helped lead his team to their second consecutive GNC Championship as well as the school’s first District Championship appearance in program history. His individual athletics accolades include being named the 2020 Upper Peninsula Player of the Year, Second-Team All-State, to the UP Dream Team, to the 2020 All-Conference team and the 2019 Return Specialist of the Year. He also earned numerous awards for his basketball and track careers. Off the field or court, he was also a four time recipient of the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award and named Academic All-State in both football and basketball. His mother, Tammy, also attended NMU.

Another local individual, Eli Luokkala of Negaunee, Mich. has committed to continue his playing career at NMU. A 6-5, 235 lb. TE out of Negaunee High School, he led his team to the District Championship during his senior year as he was named First-Team All-Conference and to the All-UP Dream Team. He was also recognized by the MHSFCA and Detroit Free Press as First-Team All-State for his contributions on the field. A four-sport student-athlete in high school, Luokkala also played basketball, baseball and competed for the track and field team. Both his parents are former Wildcats, having attended NMU as students.