Local athletes commit to college football on Signing Day

Today is National Letter of Intent Signing Day for college football. Some local athletes hard work and preparation has paid off as they will get to play football at the next level. SportScene13's Jenn Chapman and Justus Cleveland take a look at those athletes as they are our Gordy's Athlete of the Week.

Let's start in Rice Lake, where Austin Roberts becomes the first Warrior football athlete to go Division 1 since the early 80's. The stand-out linebacker is recovering from an ACL injury this fall and is preparing to start for the fighting Illini.

"Even when I lived in New Jersey, I always gravitated towards the Big Ten. And when we moved to Wisconsin and we're in Big Ten country, so it's a dream come true. I felt that God kinda of directed me, I had the best camp of my life in June at Illinois and then when I got on campus, I just felt it in my heart that this is where I'm meant to be," says Roberts.

Rice Lake's Shawn Magee and Trapper Ward will remain teammates as they both inked their future with the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

"Just the whole atmosphere, there's nothing better than playing on Saturday in front of your classmates and stuff, so really excited for that," says Magee.

"I chose Duluth because academically I thought that was the best fit for me, going into pre-dental and cell molecular biology, that's exactly what they had. And obviously they win, that's always important. And when I was up there I felt like it was family," says Ward.

It was a big day at Menomonie High School as 5 athletes will continue their playing careers at the next level. Start in Division 1, where Dylan Harmston and Luke Stanley are headed to play their football at the University of North Dakota..

"I'm very excited to continue to continue my football career. I love football. If someone had told me my freshman year that I'd be playing Division 1 football, I don't know that I would have believed them," says Harmston.

"Not every athlete gets the opportunity to do this and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to compete and earn a spot out there," says Stanley.

Another pair of Mustangs will head to Division 2, as A.J. Naatz and Marcus Smith will head north to play their college ball at Minnesota Duluth.

"You know it's what you dream of growing up, going somewhere you want to be. And Duluth is that place...very excited" Naatz.

Finally, Jared Baldwin will head across the border to play for the Warriors of Winona State..

"I mean it's great that my teammates and I are going to play college football. I'm happy for them and I'm sure they're happy for me," says Baldwin.

Our final stop of the day takes us to Eau Claire North High School...where a pair of Huskies will play college football as Anthony Miloszewicz will head to Winona State and Ben Lawrence to Concordia University-St Paul.

" What drew me to Winona State was they were family oriented. They preached family there and it made me feel like I was already apart of them just on my visit," says Miloszewicz.

"I know that not a lot of people get to do this. It's a pretty big opportunity for me. I've always wanted to play at the next level and it means the world to me to go play college football," says Lawrence.

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