Defensive Line Matthew Rink

Meet the 28 New Tommie Football Recruits Incoming From 11 States

St. Thomas Football introduced its latest Division I signing class on Dec. 15, National Signing Day. The high school graduating Class of 2022 has 28 players from 11 states making their formal commitment to the Twin Cities-based university and to coach Glenn Caruso's program.

Saint John's head coach Gary Fasching (left) shakes hands with St. Thomas head coach Glenn Caruso at Target Field.
St. Thomas head football coach Glenn Caruso

"We're tremendously proud to welcome new Tommies into our football family," Caruso said. "Although the majority come from the Upper Midwest, our coaching staff's efforts allowed us to once again expand our reach. We were able to sign student-athletes from 11 different states. It's an intentional decision to continually increase the footprint of St. Thomas and share the message of our university and our football program throughout the nation."

Eleven Minnesotans from nine metro-area high schools signed with the Tommies. Other states with multiple signees are Iowa (five), Wisconsin (two), Ohio (two) and New Jersey (two). The class also includes players from California, Illinois, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

This 28-player class, soon to be led by the 85 returning players, has compiled a combined grade-point average of 3.70 and includes multiple academic all-state and academic all-conference recipients. Their academic interests include multiple individuals planning to major in engineering, business, finance, entrepreneurship, exercise science, real estate and computer science.

Luis Miranda, an incoming defensive linebacker from San Antonio, Texas, who plans to major in computer science, said, "I chose St. Thomas for the great coaching staff, academics and athletic excellence."

The class includes a 50-50 split in offensive and defensive prospects. There are 13 players who stand 6-foot-4 or taller, with eight players weighing in at 240 pounds or better. This group also includes several multi-sport prep athletes. Two of the signees ran on state champion relay teams last spring as high school juniors.

Julian Alfaro Diedrich, who was a three-year varsity track runner and three-year varsity football starter at Wayzata High School in the west Minneapolis suburbs, said he chose to attend St. Thomas in part because, "I have run track there since I was a little kid, and it has always been a special place to me." But his reasons go beyond that. He added, "The coaching is special. They care about their athletes, and not just football. There has been a 99% job placement rate after college among football players, which is amazing."

"People generally see recruiting as identification of talent," said Caruso. "But for us, getting to know who the person is and who he's hoping to be draws far more time and effort than any recruiting video our staff watches. I believe that differentiating factor has helped us build and maintain our winning culture."

Logan Cassady, who hails from Truro, Iowa, where he was vice president of student council at Interstate 35 High School, said, "Outside of its amazing football program, I chose St. Thomas because of location and reputation for excellence in education. A degree from St. Thomas is prestigious, and will help me take advantage of the opportunities the Twin Cities has to offer."

When Caruso announced the new recruits, he said, "The entrepreneurial spirit that our locker room has always radiated has helped lay a groundwork so we can celebrate days like today and bring in the next group of leaders and student-athletes."

The Tommies placed third out of 11 teams during its inaugural Division I season of the fall 2021 Pioneer Football League (PFL). They closed with a 7-3 overall record to continue a streak in the 14-year Caruso era with seven or more victories in all 13 seasons with games played. St. Thomas had both the PFL's Offensive and Defensive Newcomer of the Year award recipients, and also had numerous players recognized as all-conference and academic all-conference.

  • Select an image in the various photo galleries below to learn more about the incoming players, including where they are from, why they chose to become a Tommie and some "fun facts."

Quarterback (1), Running Backs (2), Wide Receivers (2) and Tight Ends (2):

Offensive Line (6) and Kicker: (1)

Defensive Line (3), Linebacker (3) and Athlete (1):

Defensive Backs (7):