MSU Men Add Four to 2016-17 Roster
Written By: MSUSpartans.com
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State men’s golf head coach Casey Lubahn has announced that Austin Jenner (West Branch, Michigan/Skeels Christian), Kaleb Johnson (Naples, Florida/Gulf Coast High School) and Andrew Walker (Battle Creek, Michigan/Battle Creek Lakeview) have signed National Letters of Intent to play for Michigan State beginning in the fall of 2016. Also joining the Spartans for Spring 2016 is Dylan Deogun (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan/Cranbrook Kingswood/Mercer) who will be transferring to MSU.
“We are extremely proud to welcome four young men of exceptionally character and playing ability to our program. Each of these dedicated individuals brings a record of accomplishment at the state and national level as well as dedication and performance in the classroom. Additionally, they are already proud Spartans and will enhance the entire MSU community on and off the course. It is a wonderful day for Spartan men’s golf.”
“Austin (Jenner) is an incredibly bright young man who has really impressed our coaches with his calm demeanor and tough competitive mindset,” Lubahn said. “He is someone who plays his game extraordinarily well and plays with great intelligence.”
Jenner, a senior at Skeels Christian School in Gladwin, Michigan, has succeeded on and off the course for the Eagles. He is a valedictorian and has received recognition for the Honor Roll all four years. He is also a member of the Christian Honor Society.
Jenner had an outstanding summer on the golf course. He was a semifinalist in the 2015 Michigan Amateur and won the AJGA Coca Cola Junior Championship in Boyne Highlands, Michigan, shooting 73-73-68 to capture the prestigious title.
“Austin’s semifinalist showing at the 2015 Michigan Amateur and his 2015 AJGA title this summer at Boyne proved he is ready to compete at the highest level right away and we are proud he is going to bring his game to MSU. We are confident he will do what it takes to help us win championships,” Lubahn said.
Jenner is the son of John and Rhonda and plans to study chemical engineering at Michigan State.
“Kaleb (Johnson) is a special talent and a wonderful young man,” Lubahn said. “He makes those around him better with his work ethic and infectious spirit. His prodigious length and touch around the greens gives him the ability to dominate golf courses and make a lot of birdies.”
Johnson, a senior at Gulf Coast high school, is coached by Kimberly Benedict. Johnson has been a stalwart to the Sharks. In 2012, he was ranked second on his team, and helped his team finish second in the region and eleventh in the state. In 2013 Johnson finished fourth in the region, in 2014 he finished third in the region and in 2015 he finished second in the region and sixth in the state. He was elected team captain during his junior and senior years and was All-conference in 2012 and 2015.
Johnson’s older brothers are both golfers as well. Colby Beckstrom played for TCU and JJ Beckstrom played at Michigan State.
“He has a strong pedigree in golf with both of his siblings having played at the highest level and he can use that knowledge and firsthand experience to refine his skillset,” Lubahn said. “He is going to be a huge asset for us and one of the great young leaders in our locker room. His passion for MSU and continuing his family’s proud tradition in the state will lead him to success.”
Johnson also finished fourth overall in the Junior High School Honda Classic and won the Collier County Men’s Amateur with scores of 70-63. He finished third at the 2015 US Junior Amateur qualifier shooting 72-71.
Johnson is the son of Mark and Diana and plans to major in business finance or forensic chemistry at Michigan State.
“Andrew (Walker) has been a groundbreaker for many years,” Lubahn said. “His records as a junior and amateur player are as good as any player we have ever signed at MSU. From competing at the US Amateur as a 14-year-old to winning back-to-back Mr. Golf awards in high school as a sophomore and junior, he has risen to the top of every level he has played.”
Walker, a senior at Battle Creek Lakeview, is coached by Tony Evans. Walker has helped his team to the state finals the past three years. In 2012, Lakeview won the state championship, in 2013 they tied for eighth in and in 2014 they were state runners-up. Individually, Walker placed twentieth in the 2012 state championship, in 2013 he placed ninth in the state and in 2014 he was the state and regional champion.
“Additionally, there are very few young man who can match his work ethic and drive to succeed,” Lubahn said. “He has played in an elite high school program under Tony Evans and thrives with the pressure of team golf. Andrew had many options for collegiate golf and we are so proud he was committed to be a Spartan throughout the recruiting process.”
Walker has also earned team MVP in 2013-2015, was the MHSAA/MIGCA Mr. Golf in 2014 (sophomore) and 2015 (junior), was the GAM Junior Player of the Year in 2013 and 2014 and was an AJGA Rolex Junior All-American in 2015.
He is the son of Filmore and Nancy and plans to major in engineering at Michigan State.
Deogun is a transfer student from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. In his first season with the Bears, he competed in two events, averaging 72.17 and finishing T10th in the Golfweek Program Challenge (68-71-70) and T21st in the Inverness Intercollegiate (73-74-77).While attending Cranbrook Kingswood Prep before Mercer, Deogun helped his team to the state finals all four years under coach John Minnich, capturing the team championship In 2012 and 2014. He was named the MVP of his team in 2013 and individually placed fourth overall in 2012, third overall in 2014 and second overall in 2015. Deogun was awarded all-state honors during his freshman, sophomore and junior years and was named a member of the 2015 All-State Super Team. He also served as team captain in 2015. In the classroom, Deogun was on the Dean’s List and earned Honor Roll recognition.
“Dylan has also shown great success already in college golf in his first year,” Lubahn said. “He will be ready to compete in the Big Ten right away and will add to our depth and experience. He is a passionate Spartan and will draw on his big time tournament experiences to navigate the transition to a new program.”
On the course, Deogun has placed third in the 2015 Western Junior Amateur Tournament, made it to the semifinal match the 2014 and 2015 Michigan Junior Amateur tournament and tied for 27th at the Michigan Open.
He is the son of Kuldip and Dana Deogun and plans to major in finance at Michigan State.