CEDAR CITY, Utah, Feb. 5 – Southern Utah’s football program has received commitments from 22 players into its 2014 signing class Thunderbird Coach Ed Lamb announced today.
Included in the group are 14 Utah preps, two high school players from California, and one each from Idaho and Hawai’i. Three junior college transfers and one four-year transfer complete the class. Ten of the high school players earned all-state recognition in 2013.
Three of the players are already on campus, including quarterback Ammon Olsen, who transferred to SUU from Brigham Young after originally signing with the Thunderbirds in 2009, playing that season and then transferring to BYU after an LDS church mission.
One local player, Pine View offensive lineman Guillermo Fierro, also inked a letter of intent with the Thunderbirds.
Including Olsen, the list includes seven offensive linemen, four linebackers, three defensive backs, two quarterbacks, two defensive linemen, two wide receivers and two athletes who do not have a set position.
Offensive linemen committing to join the team include Fierro; Wylie Brand, a transfer from Fresno City College; Will Daines (Viewmont HS), Tyeler Perri (Timpview HS), Noaese Taeatafa (Bingham HS), Alex Thompson (Boise Capital HS) and Fesi Vaivaka (Bingham HS).
The linebackers include Timpview’s Max Anae, who may play both linebacker or defensive end; Jeff Faletoi (Olympus HS), Tua Laupata (East HS) and Tevita Loamanu (Riverton HS).
The defensive backs are Lone Peak’s Matthew Criddle and a pair of transfers from California junior colleges, Christopher Flynn from Los Angeles Southwest College and Joshua Thornton from Alan Hancock College.
Also committing to the Thunderbirds were Hunter High School defensive lineman Sione Lapuaho; quarterback Kahoalii “Lii” Karratti from Honolulu, Hawai’i’s Kaiser High; wide receivers Landon Measom (Bingham HS) and Tanner Redding (Bountiful HS); as well as Tyler Collet from Moorpark (Calif.) HS and Malakai Solovi from East High.
“I’m very excited about the group of guys that decided to join us,” Lamb said. “I think in targeting the group this year it was obvious there was the increased awareness, especially in the state, of SUU’s academic ascension and I think it really helped in our recruiting effort. In the end I really felt we got a group of guys who wanted to be at SUU and be a part of what we’re doing.”
A roster of the signees and short bios on each follow.
SUU’s 2014 Signing Class
Name, Pos, Ht, Wt, Hometown/Previous School
Max Anae, OLB/DE, 6-1, 245, Orem, Utah/Timpview HS
Wylie Brand, OL, 6-3, 300, Clovis, Calif./Fresno City College
Tyler Collet, ATH, 6-2, 180, Moorpark, Calif./Moorpark HS
Matthew Criddle, DB, 6-1, 185, Highland, Utah/Lone Peak HS
Will Daine, OL, 6-5, 280, Bountiful, Utah/Viewmont HS
Jeff Faletoi, OLB, 6-4, 200, Salt Lake City, Utah/Olympus HS
Guillermo Fierro, OL, 6-4, 280, St. George, Utah/Pine View HS
Christopher Flynn, DB, 6-0, 180, Compton, Calif./Los Angeles Southwest College
Kahoalii Karratti, QB, 5-10, 180, Honolulu, Hawai’i/Kaiser HS
Sione Lapuaho, DL, 6-2, 250, West Valley City, Utah/Hunter HS
Tua Laupata, OLB, 6-0, 200, Salt Lake City, Utah/East HS
Tevita Loamanu, OLB, 6-4, 215, Riverton, Utah/Riverton HS
Landon Measom, WR, 5-10, 170, South Jordan, Utah/Bingham HS
Cameron McGregor, OLB, 6-2, 205, Fairfield, Calif./Armijo HS
Ammon Olsen, QB, 6-3, 205, Draper, Utah/Alta HS/BYU
Tyeler Perri, OL, 6-4, 270, Orem, Utah/Timpview HS
Tanner Redding, WR, 6-4, 200, Bountiful, Utah/Bountiful HS
Malakai Solovi, ATH, 5-10, 185, Salt Lake City, Utah/East HS
Noaese Taeatafa, OL, 6-2, 275, South Jordan, Utah/Bingham HS
Alex Thompson, OL, 6-6, 260, Boise, Idaho/Capital HS
Josh Thornton, CB, 6-1, 190, Belle Glade, Fla./Alan Hancock College (CA)
Fesi Vaivaka, OL, 6-3, 350, South Jordan, Utah/Bingham HS
Short bios on SUU's 2014 Signing Class
OLB/DE, 6-1, 245
Earned all-region and honorable mention all-state honors from the Deseret News after helping Coach Cary Wittingham’s Thunderbirds to 2013 region and state championships. Tallied 52 tackles and four sacks his senior year when Timpview went 13-1 and finished the season with a 13-game winning streak.
OL, 6-3, 300
Fresno City College
A two-year starter for Coach Tony Caviglia’s Rams.
ATH, 6-2, 180
Caught 37 passes for 632 yards last season when he helped Coach Tim Lins’ Musketeers to a 7-3 overall mark and a second-place finish in the Marmonte-West League standings. Had 31 catches for 430 yards and three TDs as a junior. Also plays basketball for the Musketeers. Brother Tommy was a three-year starter and 2013 all-Big Sky selection for SUU and his father, Tom, also played for the Thunderbirds.
DB, 6-1, 185
Lone Peak HS
Earned all-region and honorable mention all-state honors from the Deseret News last year after he helped Coach Mike Mower’s Knights to an 8-5 season, a tie for first place in Utah’s Region 4 and an appearance in the state semi-finals. Tallied 68 tackles as a senior and 67 as a junior also had a sack and eight career interceptions, five his senior season.
OL, 6-5, 280
Starter for Coach Brad Lloyd’s Vikings.
OLB, 6-4, 200
Salt Lake City, Utah
Racked up 59 tackles (26 solo), picked off three passes, forced two fumbles, recovered a fumble and scored three touchdowns in 2013 when he earned consensus second-team all-state honors playing for Coach Aaron Whitehead. Helped the Titans to a 10-2 overall record, a tie for first place in Utah’s Region 7 and an appearance in the Utah 4A semi-finals.
OL, 6-4, 280
St. George, Utah
Pine View HS
Was a consensus first-team all-state selection for Coach Ray Hosner’s Panthers. Helped the team to a 9-3 overall record, a second-place region finish and an appearance in the state championship game.
DB, 6-0, 180
Los Angeles Southwest College/Gardena HS
Tallied 10 tackles in seven games last season for LA Southwest. Played running back at Gardena High School where he also was a sprinter on the track team.
QB, 5-10, 180
Led Kaiser High School to a 13-1 record and a state championship at the Hawai’i’s Division II level last year when he completed 60 of 86 passes for 990 yards and 10 touchdowns and carried 35 times for 74 yards. Also prepped at Konawaena HS where he completed 57 of 106 passes for 1,169 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior in leading the Wildcats to a state playoff appearance.
DL, 6-2, 250
West Valley City, Utah
Earned honorable mention all-state honors from the Deseret News and all-region recognition for Coach Scott Henderson’s Wolverines last season. Helped the Wolverines to a 4-1 league mark and a tie for the region championship as well as a state playoff appearance.
OLB, 6-0, 200
Salt Lake City, Utah
Earned second team all-state honors from both the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News in 2013 when he helped Coach Brandon Matich’s Leopards to a 13-1 record, a region championship and an appearance in the Utah 4A state championship game, where the team suffered its only loss.
OLB, 6-4, 215
Tallied 89 tackles, including five sacks for Coach Mike Miller’s Silverwolves last season when he earned second-team all-state honors from both the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune. Helped RHS to a tie for first place in the region and an appearance in the state championship quarterfinals. Had 54 tackles and eight sacks as a junior. Also plays basketball for the Silverwolves.
WR, 5-10, 170
South Jordan, Utah
A first-team all-state selection by the Salt Lake Tribune and an honorable mention honoree by the Deseret News. Caught 38 passes for 680 yards and nine TDs as a senior when he helped Coach Dave Peck’s Miners to a state championship and a 14-0 season. Also returned punts and kickoffs and played defensive back. Also plays baseball for the Miners. Brother of Brady Measom, who earned freshman all-America honors at SUU in 2011 before serving an LDS church mission.
OLB, 6-2, 205
Played on both sides of the ball for the Indians. Tallied 21 tackles, including 16 solo stops, and recovered one fumble his junior season.
QB, 6-3, 205, Jr
Transfer from Brigham Young University where he was the Cougars’ primary reserve QB in 2013. Originally signed with the Thunderbirds in 2009 where he played one season prior to serving an LDS church mission and subsequently transferring to BYU. Earned Utah’s 5A Most Valuable Player honors his senior season after captaining Alta High to a state championship. Completed 193-of-306 passes (63.1 percent) for 3,209 yards and 36 touchdowns, also ran for 860 yards and another 11 scores to earn Utah’s Gatorade Player of the Year honors. Led his team to four second-half comeback wins. Was also a member of the Hawks’ basketball team.
OL, 6-4, 270
Helped anchor the offensive line for Coach Cary Wittingham’s region and state champion Thunderbirds, aiding them to a 14-1 season and a season-ending 13-game winning streak.
WR, 6-4, 200
Earned first-team all-region and all-state honors from the Salt Lake Tribune and honorable mention all-state honors from the Deseret News after catching 40 passes for 593 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior for Coach Larry Wall’s Braves. A three-year letter-winner, he had 101 receptions for 1,581 yards in his career at Bountiful. Had 94 career tackles on the defensive side of the ball as well. Also plays baseball for the Braves.
ATH, 5-10, 185
Salt Lake City, Utah
Earned all-region and honorable mention all-state honors as a running back last season when he played on both sides of the ball in helping Coach Brandon Matich’s Leopards to a 13-1 record and an appearance in the state championship game at Utah’s 4A level. In 2013 he carried 94 times for 811 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 15 passes for 330 yards and four more scores on the offensive side of the ball and had 37 tackles and seven interceptions playing defense. Carried 39 times for 414 yards and five TDs as a junior.
OL, 6-2, 275
South Jordan, Utah
Earned Utah all-Tribune honors from the Salt Lake Tribune last year after helping anchor Coach Dave Peck’s Miners’ offensive line in a perfect 14-0 season in which they won region and state championships.
OL, 6-6, 260
Helped Coach Todd Simis’ Eagles to a 10-2 record, a conference co-championship and an appearance in the state playoff semi-finals in 2013.
CB, 6-1, 190
Belle Glade, Fla.
Alan Hancock College
Tallied 15 tackles with an interception, a tackle for loss and a team-high five passes broken up last season for Coach Kris Dutra’s Bulldogs. Also had 15 tackles his freshman season. Prepped at Glades Day High School in West Palm Beach, Fla., where he was a three-year starter on the football team as well as a letterman on the track team, winning the 400-meters state championship.
OL, 6-3, 350
South Jordan, Utah
Was a starter at for Coach Dave Peck at Bingham High School. Graduated in 2004.