Eshbach signs

DeKalb senior Evan Eshbach, seated center, has committed to play football at the University of Saint Francis. Seated with Evan are his parents, Mike and Melissa Eshbach. Standing, from left, are former DeKalb coach Pete Kempf, sister Emily Eshbach, and DeKalb assistant football coach Seth Wilcox.

WATERLOO — A team that likes to throw the ball and rack up yards and points.

Sounds appealing to a quarterback, and Evan Eshbach is no exception. The DeKalb senior has committed to play football at the University of Saint Francis.

“In the past they’ve had really good quarterbacks who can push the ball down the field in the passing game,” Eshbach said. “I think my skills compare fairly well to them. It will be a fun offense to play in.”

Eshbach plans to major in exercise science. He said Tiffin and Concordia-Ann Arbor were among his other series considerations, but he didn’t have a tough choice settling on the Cougars.

“Staying close to home and knowing some of the players who are there now (helped in the decision),” Eshbach said. “I’ve been going to games since I was really young.

“It’s a dream come true. Since I was 5 years old I wanted to play college football. Just getting the weight off my shoulders feels really good.”

Eshbach threw for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns as the Barons went 8-3 for their most wins since 2003 last fall. He also ran for 337 yards and scored four touchdowns.

He was a KPC Media Group All-Area selection and an All-Northeast 8 Conference second-team choice.

The Cougars return a two-year starter and redshirt senior in Matt Crable, so Eshbach likely will be asked to redshirt in his freshman year.

“Take the chance to learn from him, and then sophomore year go at it. My footwork really has to improve, and just learning the college game as far as the speed, that will really help me take my game to the next level,” Eshbach said.

Eshbach will play for legendary coach Kevin Donley, who steered the Cougars to back-to-back national titles in 2006-17. They reached the NAIA semifinals four straight years, losing in overtime in 2018.

The Cougars went 7-3 last season when they averaged nearly 400 yards a game in total offense.

Donley has a 219-50 record in 22 years with the Cougars. His teams have won 13 Mid-States Football Association Mideast League titles.

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