FOOTBALL SIGNS 22 PLAYERS TO NATIONAL LETTERS OF INTENT
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State football officially announced the signing of 22 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The class consists of six players who joined the team at the semester break and 16 others who will enroll in the fall.
The Hornets signed 13 players who play on offense, eight defensive players and one punter. The class also breaks down to include two four-year transfers, five junior college transfers and 15 high school seniors.
"Overall, I felt that we addressed our biggest needs which were running back and defensive line," Sacramento State head coach Marshall Sperbeck said. "I feel that we were able to solidify those positions with a good mix of talent."
The six midyear transfers include quarterback Mason Magleby and running back A.J. Ellis who transferred from Nevada and Fresno State, respectively. Magleby, who graduated from Del Oro HS, will be a junior while Ellis is entering his senior season. Also coming in midyear are offensive linemen Jessie Brown of American River JC and Matt Sawickis as well as linebacker Jaycee Totty and punter Justin Weldon.
The other running backs coming in the fall are JC transfer Ezekial Graham, and freshmen Deon Ransom and Demetrius Warren. Graham led all California JC players in all-purpose yards in 2011 (2,227) and was fourth in the state in rushing (126.8 yards per game). Ransom led Elk Grove HS to a 12-1 overall record after rushing for 1,825 yards and 27 touchdowns. Warren was named first team all-state after amassing 2,546 rushing yards and scoring 192 points at Bullard HS.
"I feel that this group along with our returners give us a very deep group of running backs who are very versatile," Sperbeck said.
On the defensive front, the Hornets added freshmen Edmund Faimalo, Noah Johnson, Nick Kristofors and Nehemiah Mitchell. Kristofors was an all-state selection and was the Marin Independent Journal Defensive Player of the Year. Faimalo and Johnson each were all-area selections and Mitchell was a two-star recruit by Scout.com.
Sacramento State also added four offensive linemen comprised of the two midyear transfers along with Casey Dakin and Sapule Ta'amilo. Dakin was named to the all-state medium schools first team and was the Los Padres League Lineman of the Year. Ta'amilo earned all-Southern Section Inland Division honors.
The other offensive players signed were 6-foot-4 quarterback Nolan Sorensen and receivers Austin Dotson, Kyle Roberts and Kyi Thomas.
Defensively the team also received commitments from defensive backs Jacob Bowman and Brendan Royal and linebacker Josh Lauese.
Coach Sperbeck will go into detail on each player at the signing day reception at 5:30 p.m. at the Alumni Center. The event is free and open to the public.
||Elk Grove, Calif./American River JC
||San Jose, Calif./Fresno State
||Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport Township HS
||Exeter, Calif./College of the Sequoias
||Madera, Calif./Fresno City JC
|| Hometown/Previous School
||Palmdale, Calif./Chaminade HS
||Templeton, Calif./Templeton HS
||Carson, Calif./Golden West JC
||Redlands, Calif./Redlands East Valley HS
||Los Angeles, Calif./LA Southwest JC
||Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS
||Novato, Calif./San Marin HS
||East Palo Alto, Calif./Sequoia HS
||Hayward, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd HS
||Elk Grove, Calif./Elk Grove HS
||Seal Beach, Calif./Los Alamitos HS
||Oakland, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd HS
||Clovis, Calif./Buchanan HS
||Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta HS
||Sacramento, Calif./Sheldon HS
||Fresno, Calif./Bullard HS
JESSIE BROWN • VIDEO
Offensive Line | 6-4 | 245 | So. | Elk Grove, Calif. | American River JC
• Will have three seasons of eligibility after transferring from American River JC following his freshman season.
• Helped the Beavers to one of their most successful seasons in school history, starting at tackle.
• ARC finished the season 11-0 en route to winning the Mid-Empire Conference Central Division as well as the Capital City Bowl.
• Graduated from Monterey Trail HS in 2011 where he played on the offensive and defensive lines.
• Was credited with 32 tackles as a senior.
• Earned all-Delta Valley League honors as a senior.
A.J. ELLIS • VIDEO
Running Back | 5-11 | 195 | Sr. | San Jose, Calif. | Fresno State
• Will have one season remaining after playing three seasons at Fresno State at running back.
• As a sophomore (2010) he ranked second on the team with 281 rushing yards.
•Biggest game came against Utah State where he rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns.
• Graduated from Andrew Hill HS where he rushed for 1,527 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior.
• That season, he averaged 9.73 yards per carry and over 12 yards per reception.
MASON MAGLEBY • VIDEO
Quarterback | 6-2 | 205 | Jr. | Loomis, Calif. | Nevada
• Comes to Sacramento State after playing his first two collegiate seasons at Nevada.
• In 2011, he completed 10-of-11 passes for 109 yards and four touchdowns without an interception.
• Was 4-for-4 for 73 yards and a TD against Boise State.
• Graduated from Del Oro HS where he was a three-sport standout.
• As a senior, he earned first team all-league honors after throwing for 1,900 yards and rushing for 700.
• Was a two-time all-league and all-metro pitcher in baseball where he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles.
MATT SAWICKIS • VIDEO
Offensive Line | 6-5 | 300 | Fr. | Homer Glen, Ill. | Lockport Township HS
• Originally committed to Nebraska Omaha in the spring of 2011 but the program was terminated shortly after.
• Will re-join offensive line coach Conor Riley who coached at UNO.
• Attended Sacramento State in the fall but did not compete.
• Graduated from Lockport Township HS in 2011.
• Was named all-league as a senior and helped the team to a pair of postseason berths.
JAYCEE TOTTY • VIDEO
Linebacker | 6-3 | 240 | Jr. | Exeter, Calif. | College of the Sequoias
• Played two seasons at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif.
• Earned all-North Division Valley Conference honors as a sophomore.
•Totaled 35 tackles, including seven for loss as a sophomore.
• Also had two interceptions along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
• Graduated from Exeter HS in 2010.
• Named second team all-state as a senior and was a two-time all-Central Sequoia League selection.
• As a senior, he rushed for over 900 yards, had 700 receiving yards and made 167 tackles.
JUSTIN WELDON • VIDEO
Punter | 6-4 | 210 | Jr. | Madera, Calif. | Fresno City JC
• Weldon earned all-Northern California and all-Region I honors as a sophomore at Fresno City.
•Averaged 40.3 yards per punt on 41 attempts.
• Placed 25 punts inside the 20-yard line with only one touchback.
• Had seven punts of at least 50 yards.
• Graduated from Liberty HS in Madera, Calif., in 2010.
JACOB BOWMAN • VIDEO
Def. Back | 6-0 | 190 | Fr. | Palmdale, Calif. | Chaminade HS
• A three time all-Mssion League selection, including first team as a sophomore and senior.
• Recorded 86 tackles as a senior.
• Team posted an 11-3 overall record and advanced to the Southern Section Western Division semifinals.
• Had at least nine tackles in five games, including a season-high 12 against San Luis Obispo HS.
CASEY DAKIN • VIDEO
Off. Line | 6-4 | 255 | Fr. | Templeton, Calif. | Templeton HS
• Was named to the all-state medium schools first team as a senior.
• Also earned Los Padres League Lineman of the Year honors.
• Played on both the offensive and defensive lines.
AUSTIN DOTSON • VIDEO
Wide Receiver | 5-9 | 175 | Jr. | Carson, Calif. | Golden West JC
• Played the previous two seasons at Golden West JC in Huntington Beach, Calif.
• Caught 40 passes for 454 yards and four touchdowns in nine games in 2011.
• Helped the team win the Central Championship Bowl.
• Was a high school teammate of fellow signee Ezekiel Graham at Carson HS.
EDMUND FAIMALO • VIDEO
Def. Line | 6-1 | 275 | Fr. | Redlands, Calif. | Redlands East Valley HS
• Earned all-Southern Section Inland Division honors as a senior at Redlands East Valley.
• Also named first team all-Citrus Belt League.
• Recorded 49 total tackles as a defensive lineman.
• Had at least two stops in all 12 games, including eight against San Gorgonio HS.
EZEKIEL GRAHAM • VIDEO
Running Back | 5-9 | 175 | Jr. | Los Angeles, Calif. | LA Southwest JC
• A dynamic playmaker, Graham was named Junior College All-America in 2011.
• Led the state of California with 2,227 all-purpose yards, was third in scoring (11.0 points per game) and ranked fourth in rushing (126.8 yards per game).
• Finished the season with 1,268 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.
• Also caught 51 passes for 422 yards and two touchdowns.
• Averaged 23.65 yards per kick return and had one TD.
• Biggest rushing game came against Glendale JC where he amassed 222 yards.
• Had 80-yard runs in two games.
• Was a high school teammate of fellow recruit Austin Dotson at Carson HS.
• As a senior, he recorded 701 rushing yards and 147 receiving yards. Also scored nine touchdowns.
NOAH JOHNSON • VIDEO
Def. Line | 6-2 | 255 | Fr. | Murrieta, Calif. | Murrieta Valley HS
• Named first team all-Valley by the Redlands Daily Facts and first team all-Southwestern League.
• Finished his senior season with 44 total tackles, including 8.0 sacks.
• Had nine stops, and four sacks, against Temecula Valley for his season highs.
• Helped the team to a 7-4 overall record.
NICK KRISTOFORS • VIDEO
Def. Line | 6-2 | 245 | Fr. | Novato, Calif. | San Marin HS
• Named first team all-state Div. III and all-state medium schools second team as a senior.
• Was also the Marin Independent Journal Defensive Player of the Year and the Marin County Athletic League Lineman of the Year.
• Anchored a defense which allowed just 217.5 yards per game.
• Recorded 19 sacks as a junior.
JOSH LAUESE • VIDEO
Linebacker | 5-11 | 210 | Fr. | East Palo Alto, Calif. | Sequoia HS
• Lauese was a three-time all-Peninsula Athletic League selection at three different positions during his career.
• As a senior, he was named the San Mateo County Senior of the Year and was voted a first team linebacker.
• Finished the season with 67 total tackles, including three sacks.
• Also rushed for 1,069 yards with 14 touchdowns and caugh six passes for 62 yards.
• Had five 100-yard games in 2011, including 187 and three touchdowns against Woodside HS.
• Amassed 1,167 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior.
• Played safety his first two varsity seasons before moving to linebacker as a senior.
NEHEMIAH MITCHELL • VIDEO
Def. Line | 6-5 | 235 | Fr. | Hayward, Calif. | Bishop O’Dowd HS
• A two-star recruit by Scout.com, Mitchell also earned first team all-Hayward Area Athletic League honors as a seniors.
• Was an honorable mention all-HAAL choice following his junior year.
• Tallied 49 total tackles as a senior, including 6.5 sacks.
• Was coached by former NFL player Hardy Nickerson.
• Had seven tackles against Castro Valley HS for his season high.
• Played in the Holiday Classic All-Star Game which pits players from Sacramento against the Bay Area.
DEON RANSON • VIDEO
Running Back | 5-8 | 175 | Fr. | Elk Grove, Calif. | Elk Grove HS
• Was named first team all-Northern California and all-metro by the Sacramento Bee as a senior.
• Was a two-time first team all-Delta Valley League selection and earned honorable mention as a sophomore.
• Helped Elk Grove to a 12-1 overall record with its only loss coming against Folsom HS in the Sac-Joaquin Section Div. II semifinals.
• Rushed for 1,825 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2011.
• Recorded 64 tackles on defense with a pair of interceptions and two forced fumbles.
• Had eight 100-yard rushing games including a 30-carry, 323-yard, five touchdown performance against Laguna Creek.
• Rushed for 1,300 yards as a junior.
KYLE ROBERTS • VIDEO
Wide Receiver | 6-2 | 185 | Fr. | Seal Beach, Calif. | Los Alamitos HS
• Named first team all-Sunset League as a senior at Los Alamitos HS.
• Caught 33 passes for 511 yards and 11 touchdowns during the year.
• Hauled in at least one touchdown in seven of the team’s 10 games.
• Caught a pass in every contest and had at least 60 receiving yards in five games.
• Also played on defense where he made 41 tackles.
BRENDAN ROYAL • VIDEO
Def. Back | 6-0 | 180 | Fr. | Oakland, Calif. | Bishop O’Dowd HS
• Played just one year of high school football after transitioning from basketball where he played point guard.
• Recorded 79 total tackles while starting at safety for the Dragons.
• Had at least three tackles in his 11 games, and five or more in nine games.
• Career high was 12 against St. Ignatius HS.
• Intercepted a pass against Enochs HS.
NOLAN SORENSEN • VIDEO
Quarterback | 6-4 | 200 | Fr. | Clovis, Calif. | Buchanan HS
• A big-framed quarterback, Sorensen threw for 2,087 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior for Buchanan HS.
• Best game came against Clovis West HS where he threw for 438 yards and four touchdowns.
• Also had four passing TDs against Stockdale HS.
• Earned all-Tri-River Athletic League honors in 2011.
• Played in the Rising Stars All-Star game at the end of the year.
SAPULE TA’AMILO • VIDEO
Off. Line | 6-1 | 250 | Fr. | Murrieta, Calif. | Vista Murrieta HS
• Named all-Southern Section Inland Division and first team all-Southwestern League as a senior.
• Helped the team to a 12-2 overall record and a 5-0 league mark.
• Behind his offensive line, the team rushed for over 200 yards per game.
KYI THOMAS • VIDEO
Wide Receiver | 6-4 | 180 | Fr. | Sacramento, Calif. | Sheldon HS
• Played just one year of high school football but has all the physical tools, including a 44-inch vertical leap.
• Caught 38 passes for 628 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 16.53 yards per catch.
• Earned second team all-Delta River League honors.
• Also played basketball for the Huskies.
DEMETRIUS WARREN • VIDEO
Running Back | 5-7 | 175 | Fr. | Fresno, Calif. | Bullard HS
• Named first team all-state and to the Fresno Bee all-area team.
• Rushed for 2,546 yards and scored 192 points as senior.
• Was named the County/Metro Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a senior.
• Holds the school record with 4,468 career yards and 45 touchdowns.
• Helped the team to a Central Section title in 2009 and a runner-up finish in 2011.