The Weber State University football team and its coaching staff announced the addition of 17 players to the program as a result of the 2019 National Signing Day.
The class, which dates back to the early signing day in December, includes eight players for the state of Utah, four from California, two from Idaho and one from Louisiana. Three of the athletes are transfer students, and the 14 others are high school signees.
“Super excited about another good signing class,” head coach Jay Hill said before the Signing Day party. “We have 25 kids that we will add this year; eight of these were already signed a couple of years ago before they went on their missions.”
Among the new signees is Boise State transfer Desmond Williams, who signed with the ’Cats in the early signing period in December.
Williams is one of the 10 recruits who will play on the defensive side of the ball as Weber State looks to add depth to the defensive side of the ball after so many graduated after last season.
Joining Williams is former Snow College linebacker Sherwin Laveka and three-star recruit Dontae McMillan.
McMillian, a Seattle native, originally committed to the University of Oregon in December but never signed on the early signing day, allowing him to sign with Weber State.
McMillan was also recruited by Utah State and Arizona and brings a lot of speed and versatility to Weber State, which is what impressed Hill most.
“He’s a guy that could play safety, but I love him as a running back,” Hill said. “I think he’s explosive, and he’s dynamic.”
Weber State is also welcoming three athletes from the Bay Area, including cornerbacks Maxwell Anderson, Jacob Sharp and Jakobe Harris.
“Coach (Quinton) Ganther did an outstanding job of getting in the Bay Area,” Hill said. “We believe these guys will drastically help our secondary to continue the high play we’ve had there the last few years.”
Harris, who is originally from New Orleans, played his high school football in Hayward, California, and was predominantly recruited by Mountain West schools. He decided Weber State over Arizona State, Hawaii, San Jose State and UNLV.
Joining the out of state recruits WSU added Raimoana Tinirauarii, a 6-foot-2 linebacker who played his first season of football last year at Juan Diego in Draper. WSU also added a kicker, Kyle Thompson, from American Fork.
WSU also brought in two former Kearns natives Dane Leituala, a 5-foot-10 fullback, and Kaufusi Pakofe, a 6-foot-3 defensive lineman.
“We’ve kept our trend so far with recruiting about two thirds of the players from in-state,” Hill said. “I don’t see us ever changing that either.”
The Wildcats also added three local athletes to the 2019 roster. Josh Carter is a long snapper out of Weber High School and is joined by his former teammate linebacker Brandt Opheikens. Joining the two is former Davis alum Alema Tupuola, a 6-foot-1 linebacker.
“We are super excited about this class,” Hill said. “But ask me in a couple years and I’ll tell you how good it really is.”