QUINCY — After listing all of the reasons he signed with the Truman State football program, Johnny Ohnemus summed up his decision quite succinctly.
“It met all the check marks,” he said.
That made it the easy choice.
Ohnemus, the honorable mention all-state wide receiver and defensive back from Quincy Notre Dame, was one of several area players to sign national letters of intent Wednesday with NCAA Division II programs. Quincy University and Truman State each landed a pair of prospects, while playoff programs like Central Missouri and Northwest Missouri State unearthed some talent.
“Their program is second to none I believe,” Ohnemus said of Truman State. “They have a great thing going there, and I can't wait to be a part of it.”
The Bulldogs went 10-2 last season and won the inaugural America's Crossroads Bowl.
As Ohnemus pointed out, there was more to like about Truman State than the football program.
The university's exercise science program is nationally ranked, and he plans to major in exercise science with a minor in business. The campus turned out to be a draw, too.
“I like the feel of it,” Ohnemus said. “Not too big, not too small.”
And the perfect fit for a potential game-changer. During the Raiders' run to the Class 3A state semifinals, Ohnemus averaged 8.2 yards per carry, piling up 612 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns. He also caught 25 passes for 331 yards and five scores, and he averaged 22.2 yards per kick return as well.
He expects to be used on offense.
“Wherever they need me to go, I'll go and work hard at it,” Ohnemus said.
He knows this is too good of an opportunity to pass up.
“Football is a passion of mine,” Ohnemus said. “To be able to go there, go to college and continue to play and get a degree and continue my future doing something I love is amazing.”
Ohnemus will be joined at Truman State by Monroe City defensive end Max Hays, who was a two-time all-stater and three-time All-Clarence Cannon Conference selection.
Quincy University added help on both sides of the ball, landing Quincy High School linebacker Nate Wilson and Central lineman Remington Buehler.
Wilson was a first-team All-Western Big Six Conference selection who led the Blue Devils with 60 tackles. Buehler played defensive line for the Panthers, racking up 45 tackles and five tackles for loss. He is expected to move to the offensive line in college.
“Nate is going to be a good football player,” QU coach Gary Bass said. “And Remington is going to be a road grader.”
Two members of Clark County's state semifinal team ended up signing with the two best teams in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
Caleb Lapsley, a running back/defensive back who was the 2019 Herald-Whig Player of the Year, signed with Central Missouri, while linebacker/fullback Spencer Gregory signed with Northwest Missouri State.
The Mules went 11-2, shared the MIAA title and reached the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs, while the Bearcats went 12-2, shared the MIAA title and reached the D-II quarterfinals. Both teams lost to Ferris State in the playoffs.
Another MIAA school — Missouri Western — landed Palmyra lineman Kole Dieterich, who was a second-team All-Clarence Cannon Conference pick.