Conners signs with SEMO


Beth Ludwig, Tiger Paw Yearbook

Arsante Conners (12) signs for SEMO with his father and coach, Arlee Conners.

After a long recruitment process, OHS football player Arsante’ Conners (12) has made his decision.

On Feb. 4, National Letter of Intent Day, Conners signed with Southeast Missouri State (SEMO) on a full ride scholarship to play football there.

“They pay for tuition, room and board, food, everything I would need,” Conners said with a smile. He was offered a full ride from Indiana St. and partial scholarships from Lindenwood University and Missouri Western as well but chose SEMO because he felt like the coaching staff was a good fit for him.

“Their coaching staff seemed like they really liked me a lot,” Conners said. “They showed the most interest. They’re really genuine, and they’ve…coached a lot of good players.”

Conners, a 6’2, 219 lb. two-time all-conference linebacker, began talking to SEMO last summer; the coaches sent him handwritten letters and asked him to attend their summer football camp. Although he did not attend, Conners received a letter in the beginning of August offering him a full scholarship to play football. He hopes to go to pharmacy school after studying biology at SEMO.

“To see it all turn out is very satisfying,” Arsante’s father, OHS head football coach Arlee Conners, said.  “I know he wanted to go to Purdue or Mizzou, but…sometimes you just have to make your name somewhere else. And that might be on a smaller stage; that doesn’t mean you can’t be the star you want to be.”

Coach Conners played football on scholarship at Purdue. Arsante’ looked at Purdue’s football program, which asked him to be a preferred walk-on. Playing football on scholarship with a definite spot on the team seemed more stable than being a walk-on, he said.

Conners said that the recruiting process is “long [and] calls for a lot of patience.” Coach Conners has talked to other football players who have experience with SEMO’s head coach, Tom Matukewicz, and said that they vouched for him.

“We felt like it was a good place to call home,” Coach Conners said. “The best is yet to come.”