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Football Closes Signing Day with 26-Man Recruiting Class

Football Closes Signing Day with 26-Man Recruiting Class

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State football bolstered its already strong 2013 recruiting class with the addition of 17 players on National Signing Day. The group joins nine players who enrolled at the University for the spring semester.

Overall, the 26 player class features four four-year transfers, four junior college transfers and 18 high school seniors. Included on that list are eight offensive lineman and 15 offensive players. There is also a strong connection to the Sacramento area as nine student-athletes played their high school in the Sac-Joaquin Section.

"I feel that we did a good job of recognizing our needs and getting players that can help us," Sacramento State head coach Marshall Sperbeck said. "I'm very excited for this class and want to thank our staff for the tireless work they but in to make this happen."

Note: Since the initial release, Sacramento State also signed offensive lineman Derek Nielsen and saw wide receiver Daniel Kniffin except enrollment. Those two boost the Hornet class to 28.

Midyear Signees Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown/Previous School
Justin Aysse OL 6-5 275 Jr. Downey, Calif./Long Beach City JC
Joey DePalma WR 6-1 195 Jr. Shingle Springs, Calif./American River JC
Tyrone Duckett DB 5-11 205 Jr. Alameda, Calif./Washington State
Kyle Greenwood WR 6-0 180 Jr. San Diego, Calif./Memphis
Dalton Hunkle WR 6-2 210 Jr. Murrieta, Calif./Mt. San Jacinto JC
Robby Kendall DB 5-11 180 Jr. Reno, Nev./Butte JC
Mike Sellers DB 5-11 185   Jr. Ewa Beach, Hawaii/Hawaii
Russell Smith LB 6-2 210 Fr. Loomis, Calif./Del Oro HS
John Wallace OL 6-4 285  So. Somerville, Mass./UMass
Fall Enrollees  Pos.  Ht.  Wt.  Yr.  Hometown/Previous School
Andrew Admire OL 6-5 255 Fr. Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza HS
Lake Aiono OL 6-2 285 Fr. West Covina, Calif./South Hills HS
Jonathan Bade OL 6-5 230 Fr. American Canyon, Calif./American Canyon HS
Nick Crouch DB 6-1 220 Fr. Trabuco Canyon, Calif./Tesoro HS
Matt Ellen OL 6-7 245 Fr. Kingsburg, Calif./Kingsburg HS
Kyle Evanski OL 6-2 275 Fr. Citrus Heights, Calif./Del Campo HS
Ofa Fifita LB 5-11 235 Jr. San Bernardino, Calif./Riverside JC
Marcus Green DB 5-10 170 Fr. Elk Grove, Calif./Franklin HS
Cole Hannum LB 6-2 230 Fr. Lincoln, Calif./Nevada Union HS
Aaron Maher WR 6-3 205 Fr. Santa Rosa, Calif./Analy HS
Derek Nielsen OL 6-4 290 Jr. Eugene, Ore./Oregon State
Jordan Robinson RB 5-9 180 Fr. Chino Hills, Calif./Ayala HS
Stone Sander TE 6-4 225 Fr. Auburn, Calif./Placer HS
Ben Sorensen DL 6-4 215 Fr. Clovis, Calif./Buchanan HS
Pu'e Togia OL 6-5 255 Fr. Carson, Calif./Carson HS
Viliami Umufuke DL 6-3 230 Fr. Elk Grove, Calif./Monterey Trail HS
Jihad Vercher QB 5-10 215 Fr. Hawthorne, Calif./Salesian HS
Jordan Vinson LB 6-3 200  Fr. Sacramento, Calif./Rio Americano HS
 Accepted Enrollment  Pos.  Ht.  Wt.  Yr.  Hometown/Previous School
Daniel Kniffin WR 6-1 160 Fr. Rocklin, Calif./Rockin HS


Offensive Line | 6-5 | 275 | Jr. | Downey, Calif. | Warren HS | Long Beach City JC
  • Played at Long Beach City College in 2010 and 2011 before redshirting last season.
• Was a second team all-Central Division selection as a sophomore while helping the Vikings to a conference title and serving as a team captain.
• His path to college began after spending four years as a field radio operator in the United States Marine Corps. During his time with the USMC, he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines Artillery unit.

Video Highlights
JC Head Coach:
Mike Reisbig | High School Head Coach: Joe Biagioni

Wide Receiver | 6-1 | 195 | Jr. | Shingle Springs, Calif. | Ponderosa HS | American River JC
  • Played two seasons at American River JC for head coach Jerry Haflich.
• Caught nine passes for 175 yards as a sophomore.
• A 2010 graduate of Ponderosa HS, he played running back and linebacker for the Bruins.
• Carried the ball 81 times as a senior for 498 yards and five touchdowns. Also caught nine passes for 79 yards.
• Defensively, he had 66 tackles and blocked three kicks.

Video Highlights
JC Head Coach: Jerry Haflich | High School Head Coach: Jason Tenner

Defensive Back | 5-11 | 205 | Jr. | Alameda, Calif. | Encinal HS | Washington State
• Redshirted for Washington State in 2010 before playing in 11 games in 2011, mainly on special teams. He finished the season with four tackles, including a pair of solos. Following a coaching change, he was moved to running back in 2012 but did not appear in a game.
• At Encinal HS, he was named first team all-state (medium schools) by CalHiSports.com
and also garnered first team all-East Bay accolades by the Contra Costa Times and all-Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle.
• Earned first team all-Bay Shore Athletic League honors and was second team all-NorCal by GoldenStatePreps.com.
• Defensively, he recorded 67 tackles with five sacks, two interceptions and four forced fumbles. On offense, he rushed 97 times for 938 yards and 13 touchdowns.
• After his senior season, he played in the East Bay vs. Sacramento all-star game and was a three-star recruit by Rivals.com.

High School Head Coach: Joe Tenorio

Wide Receiver | 6-0 | 180 | Jr. | San Diego, Calif. | Scripps Ranch HS | Palomar JC | Memphis
  • Redshirted at Memphis in 2012 after playing two seasons at Palomar JC.
• Caught 18 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns for the Comets in 2011.
• Helped the team to a 7-3 overall regular season record as a sophomore and a berth in playoffs.
• Was an academic all-conference selection.
• Graduated from Scripps Ranch HS in 2010. Helped guide the Falcons to back-to-back semifinal appearances in the San Diego Section playoffs.

Video Highlights
JC Head Coach: Joe Early | High School Head Coach: Sergio Diaz

Wide Receiver | 6-2 | 210 | Jr. | Murrieta, Calif. | Murrietta Valley HS | Mt. San Jacinto JC
• Played two seasons at Mt. San Jacinto JC.
• In 2012, he finished fourth among all California junior college players with 1,144 receiving yards and was tied for fourth with 73 receptions. His nine touchdowns tied for 26th in the state while his 104.0 receiving yards per game ranked eighth.
• Had six 100-yard receiving games, including an 11-catch, 201-yard effort against El Camino JC. He also had 11 receptions at Southwestern JC for 130 yards.
• Earned first team all-state and first team all-Mountain Conference honors in 2012.
• A 2009 graduate of Murrieta Valley HS, Hunkle was named all-Southern Section, all-valley and first team all-Southwestern League as a senior after catching 63 passes for 694 yards and three touchdowns.

Video Highlights
JC Head Coach: Casey Mazzotta | High School Head Coach: Greg Ireland

Defensive Back | 5-11 | 180 | Jr. | Reno, Nev. | North Valleys HS | Butte JC
• Attended Butte College in Chico, Calif., the past two seasons.
• Was named all-NorCal Conference at free safety and helped the Roadrunners to a 10-1 overall record and a win in the State Center Bowl.
• As a sophomore, he had 86 tackles, including 10.5 for loss and three interceptions. He also recovered four fumbles, forced two fumbles and was credited with nine pass breakups.
• Graduated from North Valleys High School in 2010. As a senior, he was an all-High Desert League selection at cornerback and was named the defensive player of the year. That season, he had 80 tackles and six interceptions.

Video Highlights
JC Head Coach: Ty Gregg | High School Head Coach: Jeff Jordan

Defensive Back | 5-11 | 185 | Jr. | Ewa Beach, Hawaii | James Campbell HS | Hawaii
• Played two seasons at Hawaii where he tallied 42 tackles, including three for loss, while also forcing a fumble and defending three passes.
• As a freshman, he played in all 13 games for the Warriors and ended the year with 30 tackles. During the year, he had six tackles against San Jose State and five stops, along with a sack, against Louisiana Tech.
• In 2012, he had 12 total tackles with three tackles against Lamar, BYU and San Diego State.
• Prepped at James Campbell HS where he was a two-time all-league selection. He also competed in track and field where he finished fourth in the state finals in the high jump and won the league title after clearing 6-feet, 6-inches.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Amosa Amosa

Linebacker | 6-2 | 210 | Fr. | Loomis, Calif. | Del Oro HS
• A 2012 graduate of Del Oro High School in Loomis, Calif., who originally committed to Nevada but did not enroll in the fall.
• Will have all four years of eligibility remaining along with a redshirt season, if needed.
• With Del Oro, he was a two-time all-Sierra Foothill League honoree and was also named second team all-metro by the Sacramento Bee as a senior.
• During his senior season, he helped lead the Golden Eagles to a 13-2 overall record, a Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III title and a berth to the state title game against Helix HS.
• Finished the 2011 season with 73 tackles and two interceptions, rushed 24 times for 213 yards and four TDs and also caught 37 passes for 638 yards with eight touchdowns.

High School Head Coach: Casey Taylor

Offensive Line | 6-4 | 285 | So. | Somerville, Mass. | Somerville HS | UMass
• Started four games and played in 10 for UMass during his redshirt freshman season in 2012.
• Was a two-time Greater Boston League all-star on both the offensive and defensive lines.
• Named to the ESPN Boston all-state team on the offensive line.
• Also played high school hockey where he earned all-league honors as a defenseman.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Harry Marchetti


Offensive Line | 6-5 | 255 | Fr. | Yorba Linda, Calif. | Esperanza HS
  • Was a two-year starter on the offensive and defensive lines for Esperanza.
• Earned all-Century League honors at left tackle in 2012.
• Also competed in track & field where he earned all-league accolades in the shot put and discus.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Greg Kemp

Offensive Line | 6-2 | 285 | Fr. | West Covina, Calif. | South Hills HS
  • Named Southern Section all-Inland Division as a senior on the offensive line.
• Was voted to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune all-area team.
• Earned first team all-Sierra League honors in 2011.
• Team earned a bid to the Southern Section playoffs his senior season.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Albert Rodriguez

Offensive Line | 6-5 | 230 | Fr. | American Canyon, Calif. | American Canyon HS
  • Named first team all-Solano County League as an offensive and defensive lineman.
• Finished his senior season with 28 pancake blocks.
• On defense, he tallied 82 total tackles, including a team-high 11 sacks.
• Was credited with six blocked field goals and a blocked punt.
• Helped the Wolves reach the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III semifinals in 2012.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Ian MacMillan

Defensive Back | 6-1 | 220 | Fr. | Trabuco Canyon, Calif. | Tesoro HS
  • Named second team all-Orange County and first team all-South Coast League and Southern Section all-Pac-5 as a safety.
• Was part of a Titans team which advanced to the Southern Section playoffs.
• Recorded 311 career tackles which set the school record.
• Had 20 tackles against Servite HS as a junior for his career high.
• Had 10 career interceptions.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Brian Barnes

Offensive Line | 6-7 | 245 | Fr. | Kingsburg, Calif. | Kingsburg HS
  • Named second team all-Central Sequoia League on the offensive line.
• Also voted the team’s most valuable offensive lineman.
• Kingsburg reached second round of Central Section playoffs before falling to the eventual section champion.
• Helped pave the way for an offense which averaged nearly 200 rushing yards per game.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Dave Steele

Offensive Line | 6-2 | 275 | Fr. | Citrus Heights, Calif. | Del Campo HS
• A local product from Del Campo, Evanski played on the offensive and defensive lines for the Cougars.
• Is a two-star recruit by Rivals.com
• Was named the Capital Valley Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year and second team all-metro by the Sacramento Bee as a senior.
• Tallied 50 total tackles, including 1.5 sacks.
• Del Campo was undefeated in CVC play and advanced to the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II playoffs.
• Started on the offensive line for a unit which averaged over 500 yards per game and scored 57 touchdowns.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Mike Dimino

Linebacker | 5-11 | 235 | Jr. | San Bernardino, Calif. | Arroyo Valley HS | Riverside JC
• Comes to Sacramento State after playing one year at Riverside JC and spending two years at Fresno State.
• Recorded 63 tackles as a sophomore with four sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles.
• Had 12 tackles at Mt. San Antonio and 11 against College of the Desert for his season highs.
• Began his collegiate career at Fresno State and played in all 12 games as a redshirt freshman in 2011.
• Graduated from Arroyo Valley HS in 2010 and recorded 133 tackles as a senior.
• Was named all-San Bernardino County as a senior and was a two-time all-league selection.

Video Highlights
JC Head Coach: Tom Craft | High School Head Coach: Marcus Soward

Defensive Back | 5-10 | 170 | Fr. | Elk Grove, Calif. | Franklin HS
• Named first team all-metro by the Sacramento Bee, second team all-Sac-Joaquin Section and was the Delta Valley League Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.
• Recorded 56 tackles, including 26 solos, along with five interceptions and 10 pass breakups in 2011.
• Biggest game came against Cosumnes Oaks HS where he had three interceptions, five pass breakups and eight tackles.
• As a junior, he recorded 35 tackles with an interception.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Mike Johnson

Linebacker | 6-2 | 230 | Fr. | Lincoln, Calif. | Nevada Union HS
• A talented athlete who did not play his senior season after transferring from Marysville HS to Nevada Union HS.
• Is a two-star recruit by Rivals.com
• As a junior, he rushed for 1,827 yards on 231 carries (7.91 yards per attempt) and scored 18 touchdowns.
• He averaged 182.7 yards per game and had eight games with at least 100 yards.
• Rushed for 333 yards against Dixon HS and amassed 329 vs. Wheatland HS.
• Defensively, he tallied 105 total tackles with 2.5 sacks and recovered a pair of fumbles.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Dave Humphers

Wide Receiver | 6-3 | 205 | Fr. | Santa Rosa, Calif. | Analy HS
• Named first team all-state medium schools and second team all-state Div. III as a senior.
• Was the MVP of the Sonoma County League and part of the San Francisco Chronicle’s all-metro team and Maxpreps.com all-NorCal team.
• Caught 53 passes for 1,153 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior.
• Had at least one touchdown in each of the team’s 12 victories. The Tigers’ lone loss came against El Cerrito in the Central Section Div. III semifinal.
• Also played on defense where he tallied 37 tackles and two interceptions, served as the team’s punter and handled kickoffs, and returned 11 kickoffs.
• As a junior, he hauled in 49 passes for 974 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Daniel Bourdon

Offensive Line | 6-4 | 290 | Jr. | Eugene, Ore. | Oregon State
  • Saw action the last two seasons at guard for Oregon State and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
• Appeared in eight games in 2012 with starts against Cal and Oregon.
• Prepped at Sheldon HS in Eugene where he was a first team all-Southwest Conference as an offensive lineman and second team as a defensive lineman as a senior.
• The team posted a 34-6 record in his three varsity seasons.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Marty Johnson

Running Back | 5-9 | 180 | Fr. | Chino Hills, Calif. | Ayala HS
  • A member of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune all-area team and was named first team all-Sierra League as a senior.
• Is a two-star recruit by Rivals.com
• Rushed for 1,066 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior with an average of 118.4 yards per game.
• Recorded four 100-yard games, including a 331-yard, three-TD effort against Claremont HS.
• Also caught 24 passes for 373 yards and two touchdowns during the year.
• As a junior, he rushed for 817 yards and eight touchdowns.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Randy Reams

Tight End | 6-4 | 225 | Fr. | Auburn, Calif. | Placer HS
  • Named second team all-metro by the Sacramento Bee and was a first team all-Pioneer Valley League selection as a senior.
• Played tight end and defensive end for the Hillman and helped the team to an 11-1 overall record.
• Caught 10 passes for 256 yards and five touchdowns.
• Tallied 55 tackles on defense with six sacks and 11 tackles-for-loss.
• Also had an interception, seven pass deflections and forced two fumbles.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Joey Montoya

Defensive Line | 6-4 | 215 | Fr. | Clovis, Calif. | Buchanan HS
  • Sorensen was named to the Fresno Bee’s all-metro team and was a first team Tri-River League selection on the defensive line.
• Recorded 75 tackles, including seven sacks, as a senior.
• Had at least five tackles in 10 of his team’s 11 games in 2012. Biggest output came against Clovis West HS where he had 11 stops.
• Will join his brother, Nolan, on the Hornet roster.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Mike Vogt

Offensive Line | 6-5 | 255 | Fr. | Carson, Calif. | Carson HS
  • Named to the LA Breeze all-area team and was first team all-City Section Div. I as a senior.
• Helped Carson to a 4-1 league record and guided the team to a berth in the LA City Section Div. I semifinals.
• Will join former Carson HS players Ezekiel Graham and Austin Dotson on the Hornet roster.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Jimmy Nolan

Defensive Line | 6-3 | 230 | Fr. | Elk Grove, Calif. | Monterey Trail HS
  • An honorable mention all-metro and first team all-Delta Valley League selection as a senior offensive lineman.
• Played on both the offensive and defensive lines.
• Recorded 36 total tackles in 2012 with three sacks.
• Had seven tackles against Florin HS and Pioneer HS for his season high.
• Was credited with 31 tackles as a junior.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: T.J. Ewing

| 5-10 | 215 | Fr. | Hawthorne, Calif. | Salesian HS
• Garnered first team all-Southern Section Northeast Division and Santa Fe League MVP honors as a senior.
• Also named the North Region Player of the Year by the Wave Newspaper Group.
• Is a three-star recruit by Rivals.com and a two-star recruit by Scout.com.
• Threw for 2,128 yards and 21 touchdowns with only four interceptions in 2012. Also rushed for 901 yards and 15 touchdowns.
• Recorded two 300-yard passing games with a high of 331 against Los Altos HS. In that game, he also rushed for a season high 165 yards and four touchdowns.
• Completed 61.9 percent of his pass attempts in 2012.
• Guided Salesian to an 11-2 overall record and a berth in the Southern Section Northeast Division semifinals.
• As a junior, he threw for 3,281 yards with 38 touchdowns and eight interceptions and rushed for 302 yards with 11 touchdowns.
• Overall, he accounted for 85 touchdowns and 6,612 yards of total offense over his final two seasons.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Roddy Hiatt

Linebacker | 6-3 | 200 | Fr. | Sacramento, Calif. | Rio Americano HS
• Was a first team all-Capital Athletic League and honorable mention all-metro selection in 2012.
• A versatile player who played linebacker, guard and running back for the Raiders as a senior.
• Recorded 42 total tackles as a senior with four sacks and two fumble recoveries.
• Had at least three tackles in every game with a season high eight against Rocklin HS.
• On offense, he rushed for 347 yards and five touchdowns on just 41 carries (8.46 yards per rush).
• Scored three touchdowns and rushed for 201 yards against Cordova HS for his career high.
• Also caught eight passes for 78 yards and a TD during the year.
• Made 65 tackles as a junior.

Video Highlights
High School Head Coach: Max Miller


Wide Receiver | 6-1 | 160 | Fr. | Rocklin, Calif. | Rocklin HS
• Played quarterback and wide receiver for the Thunder where he earned first team all-Sierra Foothill League honors.
• As a senior, he made four starts at quarterback, throwing for 657 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed 21 times for 95 yards and a score and caught 18 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns.
• His junior season saw him pass for 1,255 yards and 12 touchdowns and rush for 42 yards.

High School Head Coach: Greg Benzel