The all-time leading rusher in South Dakota high school history will play college football in the state of South Dakota. Brenden Begeman wanted to go there all along.
Begeman, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound, 9-man standout for Herried/Selby Area, capped a truly remarkable career last Thursday at the DakotaDome, where he featured in the Wolverines’ loss of the 9B State Championship to Hitchcock-Tulare rushed 189 yards .
With that, Begeman finished the season with 2,997 yards — a state record for a single season — and finished his career with 6,807 yards, one more than Luke Loudenburg, former Howard and Dakota Wesleyan standout. Midway through that season, Begeman received an offer from the Jackrabbits, and while he didn’t take it immediately, there was little doubt that sooner or later he would.
More:Herreid/Selby area running back Brenden Begeman breaks 9-man career records and single-season rushing records
“I would say it was a no-brainer,” Begeman said. “I always felt like, man, I hope I get an offer from them. My whole family went to SDSU – my parents and all my three brothers – it was just family. Visiting the trainers was very nice and it just felt like home. The facilities are great, there are good academics. I just fell in love with the place. It will be an honor for me to play there.”
Begeman first cracked varsity for the Wolverines as a 150-pound defenseman, but under the tutelage of his brother Trevor, who was a track and field athlete for the Jacks, Begeman made progress in the weight room to return himself to a robust and strong trait.
SDSU running backs coach Andre Crenshaw and offensive coordinator Zach Lujan recruited Begeman, but head coach John Stiegelmeier was also involved. After all, Stiegelmeier was born in Selby himself.
“My family knows him a little bit because he’s from Selby and we’ve talked a few times on my visits,” Begeman said. “It was nice to meet him and let him know a bit about my background and origins.”
More:How Brenden Begeman went from small DB to 5,000 yard rusher (and climbing) in Herreid/Selby Area
SDSU has turned 9-man standouts into key contributors for them many times over the years, and Begeman is hoping to be the state’s newest talent to make his mark at the next level. The Jackrabbits have been an FCS playoff team every season since he was in elementary school, and Begeman acknowledges their current season, which has seen them go 10-1, win the Missouri Valley Football Championship and rank No. 1 in the nation, made him all the more excited to commit to SDSU.
“They have a culture of success and I can’t wait to be a part of that,” Begeman said. “I’d love to get in there and use my first year to get used to 11-man football and try to hopefully work my way up the depth chart and in my later years be able to play a big, strong one To be back for those who can work on Saturdays.”