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Millard South vs. Lincoln Southeast, 9/22/17

Lincoln Southeast's Isaac Appleget (10) scores on a third-quarter reception against Millard South's Ben Vickers in 2017 at Seacrest Field.

Isaac Appleget's patience and hard work were rewarded in a big way on June 1 in a car ride with his dad.

The Lincoln Southeast senior-to-be was on his way home from a football camp when he received a phone call from South Dakota State assistant head football coach Dan Jackson.

Jackson extended a football scholarship, Appleget's first FCS offer.

Appleget got off the phone, turned to his dad to tell him the news, and then Appleget made an important call. To mom.

"She started to cry, so it was really emotional," said Appleget, who announced his commitment to South Dakota State on Thursday. "It was just great to see all that hard work pay off."

Just days after Appleget received an offer from SDSU, he got another offer from Southeast Missouri State.

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But SDSU's work with the 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver/defensive back paid off. The Jackrabbits stayed in contact with Appleget for several months.

He had a strong junior season, finishing with 590 receiving yards while recording 58 tackles and an interception on the defensive side.

"It just felt right and the place for me, so I decided to make the decision now," said Appleget, who will play safety in college. "There were some other schools that showed interest, but none as much as South Dakota State. They really gave me an opportunity, so I'm going to take that."

With a decision out of the way, Appleget said he can turn his focus to getting ready for his senior season. He'll attend a couple more camps, including Friday's Friday Night Lights camp at Nebraska.

Appleget and his Southeast teammates are hitting the weight room this summer with big hopes. The Knights return a strong core from last year's state quarterfinal team, and they added a big piece in Teivis Tuioti, the son of NU defensive line coach Tony Tuioti. Teivis has an offer from Nevada, while Isaac Gifford has offers from Oregon State and Wyoming.

"We're all pretty excited this year because it should be a big year for us," Appleget said. "We're all talking about anything less than a state championship is a disappointment, so we're really going for that ring this year."

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.

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