New Head Coach John L. Smith has signed his first class of recruits for Weber State University’s football team. Smith signed 18 players for WSU. Seven players are from Utah.

Smith said he felt that signing day went well for WSU, and was pleased with the new recruits.

“This was a good recruiting class for us, and I thought it went a little better than I expected coming in, due to the short time period we had,” Smith said. “Our coaches came on board and did a great job of finding some guys that we think will make us better.”

WSU signed 15 new recruits, had one junior college transfer, and had two players who were recruited in 2009 and recently returned from LDS missions.

Chris Wheeler joined the Wildcats from Allan Hancock Junior College. Wheeler is a safety, and was a two-time Second Team All-Conference selection as a safety and was twice named the Team Defensive Back of the Year. Wheeler will have two years of eligibility at WSU.

Another defensive signing was Hasan Ali, from San Antonio, Texas. Ali comes to WSU from Holy Cross High School, where he was team captain and received multiple honors.

Ali earned First Team All-District, All-Area, All-City and All-State honors in high school. He recorded 96 tackles with three sacks and one interception, and also had three fumble recoveries and returned one for a touchdown. Ali also contributed on the offensive side of the ball while in high school. He had nine rushing touchdowns on offense and one kickoff return for a touchdown.

The Wildcats also signed two offensive players from the same high school. Quarterback Braeden Corpus and tight end Cody McKague will both join WSU from Borah High School in Boise, Idaho.

Corpus, a 6-foot-1-inch, 205-pound quarterback had a strong season last year, throwing for 19,000 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. He also didn’t throw any interceptions for BHS.

Corpus showed he can be a dangerous running threat as well. He rushed for 900 yards and scored 12 touchdowns on the ground.

McKague earned First Team All-State and First Team All-Conference honors at the tight end position. He had 36 receptions for 626 yards and four touchdowns last season.

Smith said he feels the team still has work to do, but was pleased with the number of signings.

“We still have some more to sign, but we need to sign guys that will make us better, and I believe the players that we have signed will do that,” Smith said. “Recruiting is a never-ending battle, and we’ll continue to look forward to building our program.”

The most heavily recruited position was the offensive line. Six linemen will join the Wildcats, and Smith said that some of them might make an immediate impact on the team.

WSU’s season will kick off on Sept. 1, when the Wildcats travel to California to take on Fresno State University.

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