Matt Koshiol was poised for a big season.
After being part of a running back platoon in 2016 as a sophomore, Koshiol became the featured back for Rocori last season. He rushed for around 1,300 yards and 12 touchdowns, helping the Spartans to their fourth-straight Class AAAA state tournament.
“Our goal was to win a state championship,” said Koshiol via email. “We unfortunately lost in the quarterfinals.”
Koshiol earned All-North Central District honors and was voted Rocori’s most valuable offensive player by his peers. Spartans coach Mike Rowe said those accolades are a product of Koshiol’s constant commitment to improve in all areas.
“Matt is a very driven student/athlete,” said Rowe via email. “When Matt is not in sports he is working hard on his academics. Matt wants to play football at the highest level that he can and is working hard to accomplish this goal.”
Koshiol ran an electronic 4.88 40-yard dash at NFN’s 2016 Winter Combine with a vertical jump of 27 inches. Rowe said with a year and a half of training, Koshiol has shaved two-tenths off his 40 time, and also posted a vertical jump of 36 inches.
The combination of on-field production and off-field work ethic has Koshiol on the recruiting radar of nearly every program in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, along with some Football Championship Subdivision schools.
Koshiol said he’s been in contact the most with North Dakota, Bemidji State, Augustana University and Minnesota-Duluth this offseason. He’s also taken numerous junior day visits, and he plans to attend camps at North Dakota, South Dakota State, North Dakota State and possibly others.
“Every college I have visited has had a different philosophy and style,” said Koshiol, who is also being recruited as a linebacker or safety by some programs. “SDSU, UND and UMD stood out the most to me.”
The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder also competes in baseball and weight lifting at Rocori. When he’s not involved in athletics, he enjoys fishing and hunting, and hopes to continue those passions at a college with easy access to outdoor activities.
Koshiol also said small class sizes and a strong academic reputation are priorities for his next step. He mentioned the medical or education fields as a possible academic focus.
“From a football standpoint, I want to go where I’m wanted the most and where I feel I fit in the best with my fellow teammates,” said Koshiol, who does not hold a scholarship offer to date. “On top of that, a winning tradition, strong fan following, and a good coaching staff is very important to me.”