CEDAR CITY, Utah, Feb. 2 – Southern Utah University has received 26 commitments for its 2011 football signing class, Thunderbird Head Coach Ed Lamb announced today. Among the 26 players are three junior college players who signed in the early signing period, one four-year transfer and a fourth junior college transfer.
Twenty of the players call Utah home, while two are from Nevada, and one each hail from Arizona, California, Texas and Washington.
Among the Thunderbird signees are three with local ties: defensive lineman Jake Brown from St. George’s Snow Canyon High School, and Hurricane High School standouts Josh Bulloch and Jarom Healey. Brown was a three-year letter-winner for former SUU assistant coach Jay Graft at Snow Canyon, while Bulloch and Healey were vital parts of a Tiger squad that advanced to it’s thrid consecutive appearance in the Utah 3A state title game this past season. Bulloch helped anchor the Tiger defensive line while Healey was the team’s leading rusher this past season.
SUU added a pair of quarterbacks, Chance Abrath from Salt Lake City’s West High School, and Roman Neville, a junior college transfer from San Bernardino Valley College. Abrath helped lead West to its first playoff berth in a decade while Neville, who prepped at Box Elder High, was an all-conference and all-state performer at SBVC, where current SUU QB Brad Sorensen spent a season.
The Thunderbirds other three junior college signees are Michael Clore, a wide receiver from Mesa Community College, Brennan Fjord, a defensive back from Snow College and Matt Putnam, a wide receiver from Snow. Clore is a native of Mesa, Ariz. (Mesa HS), while Fjord hails from Sugarland, Texas (Clements HS) and Putnam prepped at Utah’s Layton HS.
SUU’s Utah signees also include Eric Chandler, an offensive lineman from Alta High; Colton Cook, a kicker from Viewmont High who was Utah’s Mr. Soccer in 2009; Kyle Henneman, a defensive back from Lone Peak High; Shane Hardy, an offensive lineman from Box Elder High; and Fernando Huerta, another offensive lineman from Mountain Crest High.
Additional Utah signees include Sean Larson, a tight end from Bingham High; Tate Lewis, a wide receiver/punter from Fremont High; Fatu Moala, a wide receiver from Kearns High who played last year at Utah; Keyan Norman, a defensive lineman from Lone Peak; and Logan Parker, a multi-position player from Bingham.
Also signing from the state of Utah were Brody Swanson, a defensive end from Springville High; Toi Taufa, a running back from Highland High; Robert Torgerson, an offensive lineman from Richfield High, and Zach Van Leeuwen, a wide receiver from Timpview High.
The Thunderbirds’ out of state signees include Zak Browning, a linebacker/fullback from Union High in Camas, Wash.; Myles Carelock, a wide receiver from Fairfield, Calif.’s Rodriguez High; Miles Killebrew, a running back/defensive back from Henderson, Nev. (Foothill HS); and LeShaun Sims, a wide receiver/defensive back from Las Vegas, Nev. (Agassi Prep).
Among the group are 17 all-state players.
Southern Utah’s 2011 Football Signees
NAME POS HT WT YR HOMETOWN PREVIOUS SCHOOL(S)
Chance Abrath QB 6-3 180 Fr Salt Lake City, Utah West HS
Jake Brown DL 6-6 225 Fr St. George, Utah Snow Canyon HS
Zak Browning LB 5-11 205 Fr Camas, Washington Union HS
Josh Bulloch LB 6-2 185 Fr Hurricane, Utah Hurricane HS
Myles Carelock WR 5-11 160 Fr Fairfield, California Rodriguez HS
Eric Chandler OL 6-5 265 Fr Sandy, Utah Alta HS
Michael Clore WR 5-11 185 Jr Mesa, Arizona Mesa HS/Mesa Community College
Colton Cook K 5-10 170 Fr Bountiful, Utah Viewmont HS
Brennan Fjord DB 6-0 180 Jr Sugarland, Texas Clements HS/Snow College
Kyle Hannemann DB 5-11 180 Fr Alpine, Utah Lone Peak HS
Shane Hardy OL 6-5 290 Fr Brigham City, Utah Box Elder HS
Jarom Healey RB 5-11 190 Fr Hurricane, Utah Hurricane HS
Fernando Huerta OL 6-6 325 Fr Hyrum, Utah Mountain Crest HS
Miles Killebrew DB 6-3 190 Fr Henderson, Nevada Foothill HS
Sean Larson TE 6-6 222 Fr South Jordan, Utah Bingham HS
Tate Lewis P/WR 6-7 205 Fr Plain City, Utah Fremont HS
Fatu Moala WR 6-1 180 So Kearns, Utah Utah/Kearns HS
Roman Neville QB 6-3 190 Jr Brigham City, Utah Box Elder HS/San Bernardino Valley College
Keyan Norman DL 6-3 290 Fr Highland, Utah Lone Peak HS
Logan Parker ATH 6-4 205 Fr South Jordan, Utah Bingham HS
Matt Putnam WR 6-2 190 Jr Layton, Utah Layton HS/Snow College
LeShaun Sims WR/DB 6-0 170 Fr Las Vegas, Nevada Agassi Prep
, Brody Swanson DE 6-3 255 Fr Springville, Utah Springville HS
Toi Taufa RB 6-1 245 Fr Salt Lake City, Utah Highland HS
Robert Torgerson OL 6-4 265 Fr Richfield, Utah Richfield HS
Zach Van Leeuwen WR 6-1 175 Fr Provo, Utah Timpview HS
Player Bios Follow
QB, 6-3, 180, Fr
Salt Lake City, Utah/West HS
Helped lead West to its first playoff berth in a decade, earning all-region honors along the way. Served as a team captain. Also a baseball letterman, pitches and plays shortstop for the Panthers, is considered one of Utah’s top prep pitching prospects.
DL, 6-6, 225, Fr
St. George, Utah/Snow Canyon HS
Earned honorable mention all-state honors his senior season and was a two-time all-region performer at defensive end for Coach Jay Graft’s Warriors. Tallied 65 tackles with five sacks his senior season. An honor roll and National Honor Society student.
LB, 5-11, 205, Fr
Camas, Wash./Union HS
Was named first-team all state on both sides of the ball as well as the Greater St. Helens League Player of the Year as a running back and linebacker last season after rushing for 1,175 yards and 19 touchdowns and serving as the linchpin for the Titan defense that gave up just 10.6 points per game. Averaged 8.7 yards per carry last season, rushed for a school-record 285 yards and four touchdowns in one game as well.
LB, 6-2, 185, Fr
Hurricane, Utah/Hurricane HS
Earned honorable mention all-state honors and first-team all-region recognition last year after helping Hurricane’s Tigers to an appearance in the state championship game. Tallied 16 sacks during his high school career, tallied 36 tackles last season with 10.5 tackles for losses.
WR, 5-11, 160, Fr
Fairfield, Calif./Rodriguez HS
Earned all-league honors as a receiver and return specialist following his junior and senior years for Coach John Bent’s Mustangs. Was named the league’s rookie of the year as a sophomore when he caught 28 passes for 368 yards and five TDs. Tallied over 600 yards as a senior and racked up 23 tackles from his cornerback position. Is also a highly-touted baseball prospect, earned all-CIF honors as an outfielder after batting .390 his junior season when he tied the school’s single-season steals record.
OL, 6-5, 265, Fr
Sandy, Utah/Alta HS
Earned all-region honors and was named the Hawks’ offensive lineman of the year in 2010 when he led the squad in pancake blocks. Served as a team captain and is an honor roll student.
WR, 5-11, 185, Jr
Mesa, Ariz./Mesa CC/Mesa HS
Earned first-team all-Western States Football League honors and was selected to participate in the Junior College All-American game last year after catching 51 passes for 600 yards and two touchdowns for Coach Denver Latimore’s Thunderbirds. A two-year team captain he was also a NJCAA academic all-American.
K, 5-10, 170, Fr
Bountiful, Utah/Viewmont HS
Was named Utah’s Mr. Soccer following his senior season at Viewmont High.
DB, 6-0 180, Jr
Sugarland, Texas/Clements HS/Snow College
Tallied 84 tackles last season, including 45 solo stops, with three sacks and five tackles for loss, helping the Badgers to a final No. 7 national ranking and a Top of the Mountain Bowl championship. Was named the WSFL’s defensive player of the week twice. A Dean’s List student.
DB, 5-11, 180, Fr
Alpine, Utah/Lone Peak HS
Earned first-team all-state honors from The Salt Lake Tribune and second-team recognition from The Deseret News last year, was also named Region Four’s most valuable defensive back.
OL, 6-5, 290, Fr
Brigham City, Utah/Box Elder HS
Earned second-team all-state, first-team all-region and Region Five’s most valuable offensive lineman honors last season after tallying 42 pancake blocks and anchoring the Bees’ offensive line. Also excelled in wrestling, earning all-American honors as a junior when he finished third in the state in the heavyweight classification. A two-time region champ, he finished in second place at the state meet as a sophomore and is currently ranked first in the state and 12th in the nation at the heavyweight level.
RB, 5-11, 190, Fr
Hurricane, Utah/Hurricane HS
Earned first-team all-state and all-region honors last season when he helped lead Hurricane High to an appearance in the Utah 3A state championship game. Tallied 25 total touchdowns, including 22 rushing, 1 receiving, one on a kickoff return and one on an interception return. Finished the season with 2,097 all-purpose yards, including 1,260 rushing, 333 receiving, 416 on kickoff returns, 20 on punt returns and 68 on interception returns.
OL, 6-6, 325, Fr
Hyrum, Utah/Mountain Crest HS
A consensus first-team all-state selection and first-team all-region honoree as well as an honor roll student at Mountain Crest.
DB, 6-3, 190, Fr
Henderson, Nev./Foothill HS
Earned all-state and all-city honors and was named defensive MVP last season as a defensive back when he tallied 77 tackles with three sacks and six interceptions. Also played running back and wide receiver for the Falcons, carrying 86 times for 392 yards and five touchdowns and scoring three TDs on the receiving end of the ball. A two-time first-team all-league and academic all-state honoree he is also an African-American student union Top-One Percenter in the state of Nevada.
TE, 6-6, 222, Fr
South Jordan, Utah/Bingham HS
Earned all-region recognition last year after catching 12 passes for 240 yards and four touchdowns for Coach Dave Peck’s Miners. Helped Bingham to an undefeated season and a No. 4 final ranking in the USA Today Super Top-25 prep poll. An honor roll student, he is also a starter carrying a double-figure scoring average on the Miners’ basketball team.
P/WR, 6-7, 205, Fr
Plain City, Utah/Fremont HS
Earned second-team all-state, and first-team all-region and all-area honors last season at Fremont High when he caught 43 passes for 692 yards and six touchdowns as well as handling the team’s punting duties. Averaged 39.5 yards per punt on 39 kicks, placing 13 of them inside the 20 yard line. Also a starter on the Silverwolves’ basketball team, earned second-team all-state honors as a junior. An honor roll student, academic all-region honoree and is currently serving as student body vice president.
WR, 6-1, 180, So
Kearns, Utah/Kearns HS/Utah
Transfer from the University of Utah where he played in all 13 games last year, catching five passes for 44 yards. Was a four-year starter at Kearns High, where he earned all-region and his team’s MVP honors and served as a team captain. Also lettered in soccer (where he earned honorable mention all-state honors), basketball and track & field in high school.
QB, 6-3, 190, Jr
Brigham City, Utah/Box Elder HS/San Bernardino Valley
Earned first-team all-conference and Region 4 California all-state honors last year after leading SBVC to a conference championship and a bowl bid. Completed 161-of-267 passes for 2,070 yards and 23 touchdowns last year. Prepped at Box Elder High where he was an all-state selection in track & field.
DL, 6-3, 290, Fr
Highland, Utah/Lone Peak HS
Earned second-team all-state honors as well as Region Four’s most valuable defensive lineman award and was named his team’s MVP last year when he anchored the Knights’ defensive front and also played on the offensive line. Tallied 27 tackles with three sacks last year.
ATH, 6-4, 205, Fr
South Jordan, Utah/Bingham HS
A first-team all-state and all-region selection at defensive back for Dave Peck’s undefeated state champ Miners last year. Team finished the season ranked No. 4 in USA Today’s final Super-25 prep poll. Tallied 57 tackles with three tackles for loss as well as intercepting five passes. Also a captain on the BHS basketball team, is currently averaging 17 points per game.
WR, 6-2, 190, Jr
Layton, Uta/Layton HS/Snow College
Caught 39 passes for 615 yards and two touchdowns last year to help Snow College to a No. 7 national ranking and a Top of the Mountain Bowl berth. Also excelled on special teams, blocking seven kicks in two seasons, including three field goals and one punt last year. Was named the offensive player of the game vs. Columbia River Basin. Prepped at Layton High School.
WR/DB, 6-0, 170, Fr
Las Vegas, Nev./Agassi Prep
Earned second-team all-state honors last year as both a wide receiver and a defensive back. Tallied 52 tackles and a team-leading six interceptions, also racked up over 400 receiving yards and had five touchdowns while rushing for 170 yards and another score as a senior.
DE, 6-3, 185, Fr
Springville, Utah/Springville HS
A consensus first-team all-state honoree last season as well as an Elite 11 selection and Region Eight’s Most Valuable Player. Was also named Utah County and Springville High’s MVP. Was named US Air Force player of the week after his performance against Timpview, when he had 20 tackles, including 11 solo stops and two sacks on the defensive side of the ball and 110 rushing yards, including a 72 yard TD run, on only four carries on the offensive side.
RB, 6-1, 245, Fr
Salt Lake City, Utah/Highland HS
A 2009 first-team all-state selection when he carried 177 times for 1,291 yards and 10 touchdowns, a 7.3 yards-per-carry average playing for Coach Brody Benson’s Rams. Was again productive in 2010 when he rushed for over 600 yards and six TDs and caught five passes for another 112 yards. Was named Region Six’s MVP and was an honor roll student.
OL, 6-4, 265, Fr
Richfield, Utah/Richfield HS
A consensus 2010 first-team all-state selection as an offensive lineman following his junior season when he as a second-team all-stater in football, basketball and baseball. Also handled the punting duties and competes in track & field for the Wildcats.
Zach Van Leeuwen
WR, 6-1, 175, Fr
Provo, Utah/Timpview HS
A two-time first-team all-state and all-region performer, he tallied over 1600 receiving yards for the T-Birds, including 561 last year on 31 receptions. Scored four TDs as a senior and seven as a junior through the air. An honor roll student.