skip navigation

Football Alumni Round-up: Division 1 Awards & All-Conference Special

11/29/2023, 3:15pm CST
By Colton Wilson

Nearly 150 former Wisconsin high school football standouts suited up at the Division 1 collegiate level between the FBS and FCS ranks. Twenty-two of those were awarded all-conference honors for the 2023-24 season. Below we will highlight all 22 with a full comprehensive list at the bottom of the page.

Marcus Mbow of Wauwatosa East


Listed alphabetically by last name

Braelon Allen, Fond du Lac High School; Wisconsin

Allen just recently declared for the 2024 draft, foregoing his senior year with the home state Badgers. This season, Allen was named to the Second Team All-Big Ten by the media and Third Team by the coaches. It's his third, second-team selection in his three seasons. This year, the junior tailback finished with 984 rushing yards on 181 attempts, finding the end zone twelve times. He added a career high 28 catches for 131 yards. Over his three year collegiate career, Allen rushed for 3,494 yards with a 5.9 yards per carry average and 35 touchdowns in 35 games played. He threw for one touchdown and added 49 catches for 274 yards through the air.

Tanor Bortolini, Kewaunee High School; Wisconsin

Bortolini is in his second season starting on the offensive line for the Wisconsin Badgers. He also earned his second straight Honorable Mention All-Big Ten nod rom the coaches, though was voted third team by media. Bortolini will have one more year with Wisconsin, serving as a steadfast part of an inconsistent Badgers offensive line.

JaVaughn Byrd, Milwaukee King High School; Northern Illinois

Byrd entered this junior campaign having two years of play under his belt for the Huskies. He earned Second Team All-MAC honors this year after posting 28 tackles, seven pass break ups, two interceptions and a forced fumble from his cornerback position. Those two interceptions were his first in his collegiate career and he's tallied 106 tackles and 13 pass deflections in 34 career games.

Dragan Kesich, Oak Creek High School; Minnesota

Kesich was incredible this season from his kicker position. He was named the Bakken-Anderson Kicker of the Year in the Big Ten, along with being named to the All-Big Ten Firs Team. Kesich is the second Gopher kicker from the Badger state to win this award, joining Emmitt Carpenter of Ashwaubenon in 2016. The senior kicker finished the year 22 of 26 on field goals and a perfect 24 of 24 on PATs. His 90 points scored led the team and he also handled kickoff duties.

Marcus Mbow, Wauwatosa East High School; Purdue

Mbow was a College Football News Freshman All-American last year and earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors as well. The now sophomore offensive lineman earned honorable mention laurels once again this year. He started all 12 games for the Boilermakers after making 14 starts last year.

Tejhaun Palmer, Brown Deer High School; UAB

Palmer had a great year in 2022-23, tallying over 470 yards on 30 catches and earning Honorable Mention All-Conference in the Conference USA. The senior wideout upped that production this year resulting in a Third Team All-American Conference nod. Palmer finished the season with 858 yards on 47 catches, averaging over 18 yards per catch. He found the end zone seven times this year. For his career at UAB, Palmer finished with 80 catches for 1,379 yards and nine touchdowns.

Willie Tyler, Racine Lutheran High School; Louisville

Tyler suited up for this fifth team this past year, after having played for Iowa Western CC, Texas, UL-Monroe and Rutgers over the course of his collegiate career. The graduate senior landed on the ACC Honorable Mention team, playing offensive line for the fourteenth ranked Cardinals.

Hunter Wohler, Muskego High School; Wisconsin

Wohler was a constant presence for the Wisconsin Badger defense this year in a season that needed leadership and consistency. For those reasons, he was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team by the media and Third Team by the coaches. From his safety position, Wohler was second in the Big Ten with 113 total tackles, including 73 solo. He also tallied 4.5 tackles for loss, four pass break ups, four quarterback hits, two interceptions and a sack. These numbers alone make a third team selection seem questionable as Wohler may have deserved more.

Julius Davis of Menomonee Falls


Listed alphabetically by last name

Ahmad Assad, Salam High School; Bryant

Assad is in his second year at Bryant after transferring from Iowa Central in 2021. The senior lineman has started the last 22 games for the Bulldogs and was named to the Big South/OVC First Team All-Conference in his final season.

Evan Beernsten, Appleton North High School; South Dakota State

Beernsten is a senior at South Dakota State and started just eight games coming into this season for the Jackrabbits. He has started every game this year for the undefeated, top-ranked South Dakota State team and was earned Missouri Valley Honorable Mention honors for his play in the trenches.

Julius Davis, Menomonee Falls High School; Montana State

Davis never found his footing at Wisconsin and transferred to Montana State before this season. A junior, Davis found a home and success with the Bobcats. So much so, that he was named to the All-Big Sky Second-Team. For the season, Davis rushed for 718 yards on 104 attempts, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. He had five rushing touchdowns and added two blocked kicks on special teams.

Josh Dinga, Sun Prairie High School; Illinois State

Dinga was a terror in his final season for Illinois State. From his defensive lineman position he earned Second Team All-Missouri Valley honors. Dinga had 34 tackles on the year, including 11 for loss, which was fourth in the MVC. He added seven sacks (fourth in the MVC), three pass break ups, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble. Over his career at Illinois State, Dinga finished with 75 tackles, 21.5 for loss, 12 sacks, six pass deflections and forced fumbles and recoveries.

Shane Dunning, Muskego High School; Drake

Dunning was exceptional in his senior year at Drake. He earned two all-conference nods in the Pioneer League; First Team All-Pioneer League Kicker and Second Team All-Pioneer League Punter. Dunning finished 16 of 19 on field goals and 22 of 23 on PATs. He punted the ball 60 times for 2,291 yards, a 40.6 yards per punt average. Of those 60 punts, 16 were fair caught, 25 were placed inside the 20-yard line and just one went for a touchback.

Joey Giorgi, Grafton High School; Columbia

Giorgi finished his career at Columbia as a two-year starter and Second Team All-Ivy League running back. He finished with 628 yards on 146 carries, including three touchdowns. His 628 yards was third best in all of the Ivy League. On his career, Giorgi finished with 1,252 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 4.8 yards per carry over 19 games.

Sam Hafner, De Pere High School; Valparaiso

Hafner put up monster numbers last year from his defensive line position and did so once again, earning his second straight Pioneer League honors, making the First Team this season. Hafner finished fifth in the Pioneer League with five sacks. He also had 63 tackles, 10 for loss, four quarterback hits and two fumble recoveries. The junior has recorded 128 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, ten sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries the past two seasons at Valpo.

Dylan Hendricks, Pulaski High School; North Dakota State

Hendricks had a big senior year for the Bison, earning All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team honors on the defensive line. One of the top rushers in Wisconsin high school football state history, Hendricks has been a monster the past two season on the opposite side of the ball. Hendricks finished with 34 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, three pass break ups and a forced fumble on the year. His tackles for loss and sack totals landed him in the top 15 of the conference in both categories.

Nick Howard, Green Bay Southwest High School; Dartmouth

Howard has been a Swiss Army knife for Dartmouth over the past three seasons. A First Team All-Ivy League selection in 2021, Howard earned Honorable Mention laurels this year. He finished with 613 yards on the ground and ten touchdowns, which ranked second in the Ivy League. Howard added 302 yards through the air with a touchdown and also caught two passes during the year. During his tenure at Dartmouth, Howard amassed 1,925 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns. He passed for 1,158 yards and four touchdowns and caught four balls as well.

Easton Kilty, Stratford High School; North Dakota

Kilty started all twelve games this year for the Fighting Hawks and 37 in his career at North Dakota. Earlier this week, he announced his entrance into the transfer portal with one year of eligibility remaining. The junior offensive lineman was named an Honorable Mention All-Missouri Valley honoree this season.

Langston Robinson, Marquette University High School; St. Thomas MN

Robinson is a two-year starter on the Tommies offensive line and earned hardware this year for the first time. He garnered Honorable Mention All-Pioneer League recognition as he started every game for St. Thomas squad that is in its second year of Division 1 competition.

CJ Siegel, La Crosse Logan High School; North Dakota

Siegel was named to the Missouri Valley Second Team All-Conference Team for the second straight season this year. The senior defensive back compiled 32 tackles, two for loss, eight pass break ups and one interception and fumble recovery. His eight pass break ups were third best in the entire Missouri Valley conference. He also added 126 return yards. For his career at North Dakota, Siegel tallied 158 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, six interceptions, and had 592 return yards.

Joe Stoffel, River Falls High School; North Dakota State

Stoffel is in his fourth season at North Dakota State and was named to his first All-Missouri Valley team, making the Honorable Mention squad. For the year, Stoffel finished with 23 catches for 277 yards and five touchdowns. His five touchdowns placed him ninth in the conference. He finished with 49 catches for 561 yards and seven scores in 50 games played for the Bison.

Cole Wisniewski, Sparta High School; North Dakota State

Wisniewski had a great senior season for the Bison earning First Team All-Missouri Valley honors. The safety finished the season with 70 tackles, five pass break ups and five interceptions. He returned one interception for a score and his five total led the entire Missouri Valley conference. For his career, Wisniewski recorded 172 tackles, 4.5 for loss, five interceptions and and three forced fumbles. He scored twice on the defensive side of the ball during his tenure.

Many high school football standouts in Wisconsin go on to big things at the college level and in the pros, and this is our spot to recognize those athletes each week and help you keep up with what is going down on some of your favorite players from the past. If you have alumni news, please send it to Colton Wilson by 10 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Tag(s): News Archive  News  Alumni  Colton Wilson