Utah State Football Signing Day Central
Feb. 4, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - Welcome to Utah State Football Singing Day Central.
Check back throughout the day for updates on USU's 2009 Signing Class, new head coach Gary Andersen's first class at the helm of the Aggies.
Utah State Football Signings
As of 2:55 p.m.
Sorted By Class
# = Signed in December
Ricky Aliifua = Ah-lee-ee-foo-uh
Last name is pronounced Ah-lee-ee-foo-uh... A two-year letterwinner at San Leandro HS, posted 50 tackles his senior season, including a team-best five sacks in addition to one fumble recovery... Also had had one reception at tight end... Earned all-Hayward Area league honors as well as all-Metro and all-East Bay accolades... Led the Pirates to the playoffs after a 7-4 record, going undefeated in league action... Also a two-year letterwinner in baseball and one year in basketball, playing pitcher, third base and outfield in baseball and forward in basketball... On the San Leandro HS honor roll... Born Dec. 2, 1991 in Harbor City, La... Son of Mila and Ituala Aliifua... Has three brothers and two sisters... His brother, Eric, is a sophomore offensive tackle at Southeast Missouri... Chose USU because of its academics... Undecided on a major but leaning toward engineering.
Was a three-year letterwinner at Sky View HS where his head coach was Craig Anhder... As a senior, he had 20 sacks as part of 94 tackles with four pass break-ups... Earned Region 5 MVP honors as well first-team all-state accolades... Helped the Bobcats to the state quarterfinals as a sophomore and senior, and the semifinals his junior season... Was also a three-year starter on the basketball team as well as track & field, finishing fourth at state in the 300 hurdles and running a leg on the fourth-place 4x400 relay team... Born Jan. 27, 1991 in Logan, Utah... Son of Bob and Nan Berntson... Has two brothers and two sisters... Will serve LDS Church Mission before enrolling at USU.
Will have three years of eligibility at USU... Was a one-year starter at offensive tackle at Compton CC, where he was selected to play in the National All-Star Junior College All-American game... Redshirted one season at Texas Southern University... A three-year letterwinner at Verbum Dei HS, earned first-team all-Mid-Valley Division honors, helping the Eagles to a CIF Mid-Valley championship... Selected to play in the East-West MSL Sports all-star game... A National Honor Society member as well as a recipient of the Franklin D. Watkins African-American Scholar-Athlete Award... Earned Academic All-American Athlete accolades from National Scholastic Journal of America... Served as "California State Youth Ambassador" for the Young Center for Academic and Cultural Enrichment... Born Jan. 29, 1989... Son of Monique Browne... Plans on majoring in communication studies... Chose USU because of the community, the coaching staff and the facilities.
First name is pronounced Rog-rick... Will have two years of eligibility for USU, joining the Aggies from Glendale Community College, where he played for head coach Mickey Bell... Recorded 26 tackles with one interception last season, helping Gauchos to 8-2 record... Had 53 tackles with two interceptions for his career... At Agua Fria HS, he played free safety, running back and wide receiver under head coach Kelly Epley... Posted 61 tackles with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries at free safety as a senior, earning first-team all-state as well as first-team all-region accolades... At running back he had 30 carries for 182 yards with three TD's, as well as 13 catches for 267 yard with five TD's... Also a three-year letterwinner in track & field and a one-year letterwinner in basketball... Earned all-region in 100 and 200 meter dashes, helping Owls to back-to-back state championships... Born July 13, 1989 in Phoenix, Ariz... Son of Michael and Dimitria Coleman... Has one brother and one sister... Will major in criminal justice with education minor... Chose USU because of the institution's education status, the tradition and the coaching staff.
Sean Enesi #
Last name is pronounced En-ess-see... Will have two years of eligibility for the Aggies, coming to USU from El Camino Junior College where he played offensive lineman and was a back-up on defensive line for head coach John Featherstone... At El Camino, he was teammates with fellow USU signees Kamaloni Vainikolo and Reuben Willis... Will move to defensive tackle at USU... Helped El Camino post a 10-2 record, losing in the second round of the playoffs after winning the Mission Conference title for the second-consectutive season... Earned first-team all-Central Conference honors for the Southern California Football Association both seasons... Anchored a Warrior offensive line that paved the way for El Camino to amass 4,112 yards of total offense during the regular season, including 2,860 passing yards and 1,252 rushing yards, with 38 offensive TD's... At Carson High School, he was a three-year letterwinner, playing both center and guard... Earned all-state and all-area accolades, helping Colts to three-straight league championships... Born June 12, 1989... Son of Earle and Sarah Enesi... Has two sisters and one brother... His cousin, Kenape Eliapo, is a junior defensive tackle at Utah... Other cousin, Ailao Eliapo is an offensive lineman at San Jose State... Will major is sociology... Chose USU because of the program's up and coming status as well as the coaching staff.
Last name is pronounced Freeze-n... A two-year letterman at offensive tackle... Started all 12 games, helping Jaguars to a 4-7 mark his senior season, earning all-district honors... Was named team MVP as well as the offensive line MVP... Mansfield Summit HS had a 10-2 overall record including an 8-0 district mark his junior year... Also lettered in track and field, competing in shot put, discus and the 400 meter dash... Born September 4, 1991 in Princeton, N.J... Son of Kevin and Theresa Friesen... Has two sisters... Plans on majoring in education or pre-med.
John Hendershott #
Will have two years of eligibility at USU, joining the Aggies from Diablo Valley Community College... Earned first-team JC All-American honors after tallying 1,150 yards on 65 receptions with 18 TD's... Diablo Valley's passing attack ranked No. 2 in the state of California... He also had two kickoff returns for scores... Collected first-team Northern California Conference honors both seasons... Earned Diable's Offensive MVP award... In 2007, he garnered all-conference accolades after snaring 38 receptions for 480 yards and six TD's... At De La Salle High School, he had 47 catches for 849 yards with four TD's receiving his senior season, as well as six rushes for 74 yards, helping the Spartans to a 13-1 overall record, finishing third in the state and a No. 19 national ranking... Also had 50 tackles with six interceptions at safety... Earned second-team all-conference honors and all-metro accolades... Born August 31, 1989 in San Francisco, Calif... Son of Gary and Karen Hendershott... Has one sister... Undecided on a major... Chose USU because of the coaching staff and because the program is on the rise.
A four-year letterwinner at Jordan HS, where he played for head coach Alex Jacobsen, playing both offensive and defensive line... Earned first-team all-state and second-team all-region honors... On defense, he tallied 27 tackles, including six sacks as well as six fumble recoveries with four going for TD's as a senior... Helped the Beetdiggers to the state playoffs all four seasons, finishing his career with 96 tackles, with 16 sacks, 12 fumble recoveries, including four TD's... Also lettered in basketball as a junior, helping JHS to playoffs... Born July 8, 1991 in Salt Lake City, Utah... Son of LeRoy and Barbara Larsen... Has three brothers and two sisters... His brother, Cody, is a freshman football player at Southern Utah... Plans to major in education with business or marketing minor... Chose USU because of campus and community environment along with coaching staff.
A two-year starter at Logan HS, where he played for head coach Mike Favero... As a senior, he amassed 4,001 yards of total offense with 53 total TD's, finishing with 3,180 yards passing, the ninth-most in state history, throwing for 42 TD's, the third-most in state history... Also had 821 rushing yards for 12 TD's... Led the Grizzlies to the 3A state title as a junior in 2007... Was named Region 11 Offensive MVP... Also garnered Salt Lake Tribune 3A MVP, first-team 3A all-State by Deseret News, first-team all-valley awards and named the Joe Montana Utah High School Quarterback of the Year... Ended his high school career with 5,460 yards and 71 touchdowns, to go along with 1,311 yards rushing and 22 more scores... His 6,771 yards of total offense ranks third all-time in state history... Born Jan. 25, 1991... Son of Paul and Virginia Manning... Will serve LDS Church Mission before enrolling at USU.
Name is pronounced Trinn Mess-arch... A two-year letterwinner at Palm Desert HS, playing for head coach Pat Blackburn... Earned second-team all-Desert Valley League honors as well as all-Desert Sun Football Team accolades... Totaled 63 tackles, eight for loss and six sacks his senior season... Helped Aztecs to Eastern Division finals of the Southern Section with a 9-3 overall record... Also lettered in track & field... Born September 22, 1991 in Palm Desert, Calif... Son of Jim and Susan Mesarch... Has four sisters and three brothers... Plans on majoring in chemistry or business with a music minor... Chose USU because he wants to play a part in turning program around.
Played defensive end, offensive line and tight end at Hawaii Preparatory Academy for head coach Lawrence Stevens... Earned honorable mention all-state honors as a senior... Ranked 12th in the state in tackles with 28 tackles including one sack... Also had one reception as tight end... Received most improved player award as a junior... Also a four-year letterwinner in baseball and basketball... Helped Hawaii Prep Academy to state playoffs as a junior, the school's first appearance in 30 years... Batted .385 and garnered the team's most valuable infielder award after posting a perfect fielding percentage... Earned academic all-conference accolades... Born February 10, 1991 in Fullerton, Calif... Son of Karl and Carole Nickel... Has three sisters... Plans to major in business... Chose USU because of academics, coaching staff and facilities.
Will have two years of eligibility for USU, joining the Aggies from Eastern Arizona Junior College, where he played will fellow USU signee Michael Smith... Earned second-team all-regiona and second-team all-Western States Football League accolades after snaring three interceptions... Helped the Gila Monsters to an 8-3 record... Part of defense that ranked third in WSFL in total defense and scoring defense... Earned junior college Academic All-American honors... Played one season at Montana, registering 32 tackles, including one for loss, as well as six pass break-ups with two forced fumbles, helping Grizzlies to I-AA playoffs... At Jesuit HS, earned first-team all-state and first-team all-district accolades, helping Crusaders to state championship his junior and senior seasons... Also a three-year letterwinner in track & field, earning first-team all-state honors in the 4x100 meter relay team, as well as all-state in the 200m dash, helping Jesuit HS to state title... A member of the JHS honor roll.. Born February 1, 1989... Son of Rayelle Olson... Plans on majoring in biology at USU.
Played linebacker and wide receiver at Bountiful HS for head coach Larry Wall... Earned first-team all-state honors as well as the region defensive MVP award... Registered 68 tackles with six sacks, as well as five interceptions and two fumble recoveries his senior season... Helpled the Braves to an 8-3 record, falling in the first round of the 4A state playoffs... Also a three-year letterwinner in basketball, earning honorable mention all-state and all-region honors, helping BHS to the state title game last season... Born July 22, 1990... Son of Norm and Kaye Parrish... Has two brothers... His father, Norm Parrish, is head men's basketball coach at Salt Lake Community College... Undecided on a major at Utah State... Chose USU because both of his grandfathers played here and he has been an Aggie fan his whole life... Will serve LDS Church Mission before enrolling at USU.
A three-year letterwinner at Millwood HS for head coach Tony Henry... Was named the all-city offensive player of the year as a senior, as well as the team MVP for both offense and defense, playing both wide receiver and cornerback, as well as some quarterback... Had 1,076 yards receiving with 16 TD's in addition to 202 yards rushing with four TD's... Defensively, he tallied 41 tackles with 13 pass break-ups and three interceptions... Helped Falcons to the state 3A championship his junior season... Also a three-year letterwinner in basketball, helping MHS to district title as a junior after the Falcons won the state championship his freshman and sophomore seasons... Also a four-year letterwinner in track & field, earned second-place in the 400m and running legs on state champion 4x100 and 4x400 meter relay teams... Helped Millwood to back-to-back state championships as a sophomore and junior... Born September 17, 1990 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma... Son of Chuck and Camille Sanders... Has three brothers... Plans on majoring in business at Utah State in hopes of running his own business some day... Chose USU because of the campus and community environment, the coaching staff, facilities, academic attention as well as the program moving in a postive direction.
Michael Smith #
Will have two seasons of eligibility for the Aggies, coming to USU from Eastern Arizona Junior College, where he played with fellow USU signee Jamiane Olson... Last season, he earned all-Western States Football League honors after posting 131 rushes for 1,002 yards (91.1 ypg) with 11 TD's, helping the Gila Monsters to an 8-3 record... Selected to play in the Mexico Bowl all-star game... Was second in the WSFL for rushing yards and TD's, while ranking third in ypg, carries and scoring... Also earned second-team all-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference accolades... In 2007, he had 820 yards on 99 rushes with eight TD's, ranking fifth in the WSFL in rushing yards and ninth in ypg with 74.5, helping EAJC to a 9-2 record... At Sunnyside High School, he notched 1,998 yards rushing on 274 carries with 25 TD's, helping the Blue Devils to a 7-5 record his senior season... Also had seven receptions for 59 yards... Also a four-year letterwinner in track & field... Born August 9, 1988 in Tucson, Ariz... Son of Xavier and Sheril Smith... Has seven siblings... His brother Xavier Smith, Jr., is a junior running back at University of Arizona... Plans on majoring in business or accounting at Utah State... Chose USU because of its academics and the football program.
Last name is pronounced Tee-al-uh-vah-uh... Was a three-year letterwinner as defensive line, offensive line and tight end at West Jordan HS for head coach Mike Morgan... Garnered all-state 5A honors as a senior, as well as region 3 defensive line MVP as a junior... Also a three-time all-region selection... Was team captain as a junior and senior... Defensively, he tallied 48 tackles, including 18 for loss with six sacks, as well as one interception return for a TD and two forced fumbles... Offensively he had 35 catches for 458 yards with five TD's... Finished his career with 153 tackles, including 50 for loss with 20 sacks, five forced fumbles, two interceptions, one for a TD... Also ended with 65 receptions with 10 TD's... A three-year letterwinner in both basketball and baseball... Born July 27, 1991 in Salt Lake City, Utah... Son of Don and Tami Tialavea... Has two sisters... Has two cousins, Russel Tialavea and Jesse Taufi, who play football at BYU... Plans on majoring in business at Utah State.
Will have two years of eligibility for the Aggies, coming to USU from El Camino Junior College for head coach John Featherstone and where he was teammates with fellow USU signees Sean Enesi and Reuben Willis... He played in seven games for El Camino, who posted a 9-1 record... He had 10 solo tackles, 14 assisted tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, one pass breakup and two quarterback hurries... Earned first-team all-conference... At Maui HS he was a three-year starter and letterwinner for head coach Curtis Lee... Led the team in sacks and tackles for loss all three seasons... Earned first-team all-conference honors as a senior, in addition to being the team MVP... Born June 12, 1988 in Wailukiu, Hawaii... Son of Atunais and Tevil Vainikolo... Has eight brothers and one sister... Chose USU because of community and campus environment, playing in the WAC and the coaching staff.
Travis Van Leeuwen
Last name is pronounced Van Loo-win... Was a three-year starter at Timpview HS where he played for head coach Louis Wong, helping lead the Thunderbirds to three-straight 4A state titles... As a senior, he had 65 receptions for 1,111 yards and 14 touchdowns... He also had two rushing TDs... Earned first-team all-state honors by both the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune... Also named to the Daily Herald "Elite Eleven" team for Utah County... Named the MVP of the Nike Camp... In his three years as a starter, Timpview went 38-1, including a 36-game winning streak... Born Nov. 4, 1990... Son of Kent and Judy Van Leeuwen.
Reuben Willis #
Will have three years of eligibility for USU, joining the Aggies from El Camino Junior College for head coach John Featherstone and where he was teammates with fellow USU signees Sean Enesi and Kamaloni Vainikolo... He was third on the team with 72 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss with seven sacks, ranking second on the squad in both, as well as two pass break-ups... He collected second-team all-Central Conference honors... At Mayfair High School, he was a four-year letterwinner... Led the Monsoons with 92 tackles his senior season, along with two fumble recoveries... Helped Mayfair to a 7-4 record... As a junior in 2006, Willis notched 66 tackles, earning second-team all-state underclass honors... A three-time all-state selection... Collected Suburban League defensive back of the year honors as well as defensive MVP accolades... Born February 3, 1990 in Long Beach, Calif... Son of Frank and Anela Willis... Has two sisters... Undecided on a major at Utah State... Chose USU because he want to help turn the football program around.
A three-year letterwinner at quarterback... Threw for 1,698 yards with 17 TD's and five INT's his senior season... Had 750 rushing yards with 10 TD's... Finished career with 3,900 yards passing with 38 TD's, as well as rushing for 1,200 yards with 19 TD's... Set three school records for career passing, career TD's and career rushing yards for a QB... Earned Century League MVP honors both junior and senior seasons... Also the CIF Offensive Player of the Year as a junior... Guided El Dorado HS to a 6-6 record his senior season aftera a 13-1 mark as a junior, leading the Golden Hawks to one of their three Century League championships and two CIF titles during his time there... Born June 2, 1991 in Sacramento, Calif... Son of Dave and Lori Wilson... His father, Dave Wilson, played quarterback for the New Orleans Saints (1981-88)... Has one brother, Trace, who is a redshirt freshman defensive lineman at Louisiana-Lafayette... Undecided on a major at Utah State.
# - Signed in December