Nevada signs 16 in its recruiting class
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Nevada signed 16 high school football players – but no quarterbacks – to national letters of intent on Wednesday.
That brings the total to 19 new players since the Pack signed three JC transfers back in December. Of the 19 players Nevada has/will bring in, all but one comes from a winning high school program, which is something head coach Chris Ault has stressed since rejoining the program three years ago. Ault said he still has scholarships left, but wouldn’t say how many.
“We are very pleased with this year’s class,” Ault said. “We feel we addressed the areas that we emphasized and we believe our overall team speed will improve with this year’s class.
“The kids (qaurterbacks) we were interested in din’t want to compete against a redshirt freshman (Nick Graziano) and a freshman (Colin Kaepernick). I’m looking for a guy that wants to do that.”
Jim Mastro, the Pack’s recruiting coordinator, said that offensive line and linebacker were the two most important areas of concern. It was a big difference from last year when Nevada went after skill players.
Nevada signed four linebackers – St. John Bosco High’s Joe Easter (6-1, 235), Mission bay High’s Deantae Green (6-2, 235), Cimarron-Memorial’s Brandon Marshall (6-1, 220) and Rodriguez High’s James-Michael Johnson (6-2, 220) – and all four had outstanding prep careers.
Easter, who had 62 tackles last season, is probably considered the diamond of the class. He was a two-way starter in high school, and Ault said he could play on either side of the ball for the Wolf Pack.
Ault said one of the Pac-10 schools recruiting Easter had him running a 4.45 40. “That’s really fast,” Ault said.
Marshall recorded nine sacks and Johnson recorded 5 1/2 sacks, blocked two field goals, recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass. Green also was a two-way high school player. Ault said Green could play inside or outside.
The Pack brought in three offensive linemen – John Romero (6-5, 300) from Salpointe High in Tucson, Ariz., Chance Sigala (6-7, 275) from Clovis High and Jeff Meads (6-3, 290) from San Ramon, Calif. – and a fourth, Steve Haley (6-5, 305), who could end up on the offensive line.
Romero was a “grayshirt” last season. He didn’t enroll at Nevada until the semester break. Ault said Romero is a player, who could play on either side of the ball. The Pack out-bid the Arizona schools for his services. Ault said that Romero has been participating in winter conditioning.
Meads was high on the recruiting list of seven Pac-10 schools, including USC, when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament at a USC football camp. One of the few schools that stayed interested in Meads, who missed his entire senior season, was Nevada.
“He (Meads) made the Dream Team and Cream of the Crop even though he didn’t play,” Ault said. “That’s how much people thought of him.
“Chase was the best lineman in the (San Joaquin) Valley. He comes from a tough program. Haley is our project. He runs a 5.2 and bench presses 410 pounds. He’s a lot like big Jon Bender (6-8, 330), who came in last year and who we expect to challenge for a starting job at tackle.”
The Pack inked defensive backs Mose Denton (Mayfair High in Bellflower, Calif.) and Jon Ott (Mountain Ridge in Arizona).
Ott broke his collarbone his senior year, but came back in four weeks to play in the playoffs, a testament to his toughness. Denton, who averaged 12 yards a catch, had 47 tackles and two interceptions on defense.
Mark Lampford is the only running back that Nevada recruited this year since Robert Hubbard and Kyle Eklund are the only running backs not returning. Lampford has 10.7 100-meter speed, and Ault expects him to bulk up to 215 once he gets into college and trains just for football. Lampford rushed for 966 yards and nine scores for Buchanan High in Clovis, Calif.
The Pack signed two receivers – Shane Anderson (Saguaro High in Glendale, Ariz.) and Travionte Session (Long Beach Poly, Long Beach, Calif.). Session caught 24 passes for 510 yards, and Anderson scored 16 touchdowns. Anderson set the Stanford combine record when he bench pressed 185 pounds 47 times.
Nevada brought in 6-3 240-pound defensive end Daryll Hill (Kennedy High from Lake View Terrace, Calif.), 6-4 255-pound Scott Frisbie (El Dorado High of Placentia, Calif.) and 6-2, 285-pound Zack Madonick (San Ramon High, San Ramon, Calif.) to bolster the defensive line that lost J.J. Milan.
“Without question, Zack will be in the depth this year,” Ault said. “He’s an outstanding football player.”
The three JC signees, who were announced back in December, all figure to challenge for starting jobs. Shawn Miller and Clayton Johnson are both offensive lineman. Brent Keaster is a tight end from College of Sequoias, who bypassed a couple of Pac-10 schools to sign with the Pack.
SOCCER SIGNS FIVE
Coach Terri Patraw, who guided Nevada to its first-ever NCAA Tournament last season, announced the signing of five new players for the upcoming season.
It’s Patraw’s third recruiting class, and this is the first time a recruiting class has been solely comprised of freshmen.
Midfielder Vanessa Mann (New South Wales in Australia), forward-midfielder Jillian Erickson (Woodinville, Wash.) goalkeeper Marie Cove from (Garden Grove, Calif.,) forward-midfielder Cristen Drummond (Los Angeles) and defender Erin Smith (Littleton, Colo.) will replace departed seniors Terran Hadlock, Naomi Hernandez, Lauren Kinneman, Aivi Luik and Kristin Anderson.
“This is a very athletic and soccer-savvy class,” Patraw said. “We have very versatile players coming from elite club teams, and we expect all five to compete for starting jobs. Once again, we’ve added a lot of speed, and this class is possibly the best class in program history.”
Patraw likes to get players from winning club programs, and all five recruits come from championship club/high school teams. She likes the attitude that comes with players who win a lot.
Mann, a 5-5 defender-midfielder, led her team to three national championships. She played on the U-19 Schoolgirls soccer team and was named Female Athlete of the Year by the new South Wales Combined High Schools Sports Association in 2006. She already has graduated from high school, and will start working out with Nevada in the spring.
Erickson helped NWN Fusion to three state championships. She was first team All-King County her sophomore and junior seasons at Woodinville High, and was first team all-area honors her junior season. She missed her senior year with an injury.
Cove was conference MVP in 2004, all-CIF second team from 2004-06. She helped lead her Pacifica team to three straight league titles. She will give Caitlin Holmes a severe challenge in goal.
Patraw compared Drummond with speedy Samantha Miller. Drummond was a four-year all-league player and played club soccer for FC Barcelona.
The 5-10 Smith should be a force in the back row. She is the first Colorado player to sign with Nevada. She led her high school team to a 5A state title in 2004, and her Colorado Rush club team won five state titles.