Jun. 30—HOWARD — One of South Dakota's top defensive linemen in the 2022 recruiting class is following through on a dream to remain in-state and play Division I football.
Howard defensive lineman Jace Sifore announced this week that he has accepted a scholarship offer to play at South Dakota State University. Sifore said the chance to play at SDSU is following through on a career goal of his.
"It's always been a dream of mine to play at SDSU," Sifore said. "It always had a spot in my heart and I was always leaning toward it."
Sifore, who will be a senior this fall, made his announcement on June 27. He selected the Jackrabbits — the 2021 spring FCS national runners-up — over Missouri Valley Football Conference rivals North Dakota and North Dakota State and Division II Augustana University and University of Sioux Falls, among others.
Sifore, listed at 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, had an on-campus visit June 23 and participated in an SDSU camp the following day consisting of prospects stretching, weight lifting, and drill work. SDSU coaches, Sifore said, contacted him in February about his interest in the school.
"I just wanted to see how the coaches coach the players," he said of the prospect camp. "I like the way they coach, I like their coaching staff, I like Brookings. Just everything about it, especially the way they treat their players like a family."
Upon making his decision, Sifore called all the coaches from the schools that were interested in him and told them he is committing to SDSU. He said it was important for him to finalize his collegiate decision before his final year of high school.
"I just wanted to get it out the way and focus on my season and not worry about trying to impress all college coaches and decide while I'm in my senior season," Sifore said.
The Tigers, who play in Class 9A and were a state semifinal team in 2020 with a 9-1 record, have big goals for the 2021 high school season. Sifore said he talked to current SDSU defensive lineman Xavier Ward — who also played nine-man football at rival Canistota in high school — about making the successful transition to Division I FCS football.
Sifore said Ward told him to keep working out to increase his body weight. He also suggested focusing on his footwork and mobility.
Sifore was also featured in the Mitchell Republic in 2020 with his twin brother, Jevyn, who were born premature and share a Leap Day birthday, when he said he had the goal of playing college football.
Sifore can sign his national letter of intent in December, making his college plans official.