Monson signs with Bearcat football powerhouse

 HARLAN (Feb. 5) -- Once Johnathan Monson decided that college football was part of his future, choosing Northwest Missouri State University was the easy part.
 The Harlan Community senior signed his national letter of intent with the NCAA Division II Bearcats on Wednesday, joining a program in Maryville, Missouri that has claimed six national titles since 1998.
 Johnathan is the son of Dave and Angie Monson, Harlan, and is a successful three-sport athlete for HCHS.
 “I think it’s a great opportunity for him,” said Todd Bladt, Harlan’s interim head football coach in 2019. “I hope that he takes it and runs with it and develops himself further.
 “First off, Northwest - what a powerhouse of a D-II school, and it’s really an honor for him to get to go there and showcase his talents. But Johnny has put in the time to be able to do that. He is a workhorse, he is a leader on the field, he’s kind of the glue that kept us together (last) year. It’s great to see him progressing within his football career and taking it to the next level.”
 Monson (6’0”, 185) played both receiver and quarterback during his prep career and was recruited by Northwest as a slot receiver. He joins a 50-member Bearcat recruiting class that also includes former HCHS lineman Derec Weyer, who has transferred from Southwest Minnesota State.
 “It’s pretty exciting. It’s a lot of stress relief, I guess,” Monson said. “I was stressing out which school to go to, but once we went down to Maryville that’s kind of what bought me in and then everything was just like, ‘Okay, I can focus on school now and graduate.’”
 Monson had always hoped to play college football, but started having doubts after suffering a concussion during his junior season. He visited the University of Iowa (for academics only) and “really liked it,” but had a talk with his parents and decided that he definitely wanted to play football.
 Monson, who is thinking about becoming a math teacher, visited the NWMSU campus in early January and committed to the Bearcats that same day.
 “We went down to Maryville and the professor pulled everything up for me, showed me my schedule... and that’s what really bought me in is the education part,” he said.
 Monson, who also played defensive back during his HCHS career, was primarily a receiver as a sophomore and junior, catching 50 passes for 707 yards and five touchdowns in 2018. By necessity, he switched to quarterback as a senior and showcased his speed as a dual-threat QB. He passed for 1,219 yards and eight TDs while throwing 11 interceptions last fall and also led the Cyclones with 805 yards rushing and 13 scores. He was named first team All-District on defense, intercepting three passes and making 17 tackles.

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