LOGAN, Utah – Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen announced the 15-member 2012 Aggie football signing class on Wednesday, the first day of the signing period for football players.This was Andersen’s fourth Aggie signing class as head coach of the USU program. Andersen announced the 2012 signing class at a press conference Wednesday afternoon as well as unveiling the class to the public at a sold-out Big Blue Scholarship Fund Signing Day Reception Wednesday night at the Spetman Auditorium at the Jim and Carol Laub Athletics-Academics Complex.”We would like to welcome the 15 young men that signed with us today to our family, it is great to have them with us,” Andersen said. “It was a great day overall, I think that the cycle went well for us overall in bringing quality young men into the program. We still have four more to go, so this recruiting class is not done, we have two more on offense and two more on defense.”Of the 15 players in the signing class announced by Andersen, five are juniors, one is a sophomore and nine are freshmen. There are eight states represented by the signees’ hometowns, led by Utah with four while two each from California, Florida and Georgia, as well as one each from Arizona, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.”We have developed ourselves as a program to where we ask our young men to when they on trips, to understand who we are and enjoy their experience and their time in Logan, but also it is a job interview for those kids. The thing that is most impressive for these 15 that we actually got and signed today is how prepared and how excited that they were to wrap their arms around Cache Valley, Utah State University and what Logan as a city is truly about,” Andersen said. “I think our coaches did a tremendous job of prepping them and again understanding that this is who we are, this is what we are about and you need to be prepared to be very happy that you are in this environment. You are very lucky to be in this environment and those 15 kids were unbelievably excited about the opportunities that they had to move forward in life socially, academically and athletically and they knew that this atmosphere was best for them.”Of the 15 signees, 11 are on the offensive side of the football, including five offensive linemen and four wide receivers, along with one running back and one quarterback. Four of the 15 are defensive players with two cornerbacks, one linebacker and one safety/linebacker.In addition to the 15 players who either signed at mid-year or on Wednesday, Andersen also announced that three players will be returning from LDS Church Missions in defensive lineman Eric Berntson, quarterback Jeff Manning and linebacker Travis Parrish will be returning to the Aggies’ squad and will be in action during spring drills.”It is great to have the three missionaries back, Eric (Berntson) has come back and done a nice job. He is in the weight room working hard for us. Jeff (Manning) is back in the weight room doing a nice job, working hard for us and Travis Parrish is the third young man that has come back and done a tremendous job. It is great to have those three Utah return missionaries back in our program. We are excited about those young men,” Andersen said. The Aggies’ head coach also announced that five former walk-ons have been awarded scholarships in safety McKade Brady, linebacker Jefferson Court, defensive lineman B.J. Larsen, tight end Brad Theurer and linebacker Zach Vigil.”Five of the former walk-on young men have earned scholarships for us, they are important to this program and Utah kids are very important. We are 50 plus kids in the program from the state of Utah and the five men, McKade Brady, Jefferson Court, B.J. Larsen, Brad Theurer and Zach Vigil are all young men that came in here as walk-ons and are now our scholarship players. Congratulations to them and their families, they have worked very hard and they deserve it and they deserve to be recognized for that,” Andersen said.Utah State posted a historic season with a 7-6 record, its first seven-win season since 1993, capping its season with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, losing to Ohio in a 24-23 thriller. Five of USU’s losses were by one score or less, and 10 of the Aggies’ games were decided by one score this season which are the most in the nation.Fans are invited to join Utah State football at its end of the season banquet on Friday, Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. at the Riverwoods Conference Center at Spring Hill Suites in Logan. Cost of the event is $27.50 per person.The night starts at 5 p.m. with a reception, followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m. Head coach Gary Andersen will address the audience, show some season highlights and present team awards.Anyone interested in attending the banquet should contact Mark Andersen in the USU Football office at (435) 797-1870 or register online at www.UtahStateAggies.com.* Note, pre-registration is required, walk-ups will not be accepted on the night of the banquet.Utah State football season ticket renewals and new sales for the 2012 season are available at 2011’s prices until May 1. Renewals are available online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the “buy/renew tickets” under the “tickets” drop down menu. Fans interested in new sales should contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics. Utah State Football 2012 SigneesNAME POS HT WT CL EXP HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL/LAST SCHOOL)Andrew Chen OT 6-3 245 FR HS West Hills, Calif. (Chaminade College Prep)Tavarreon Dickerson RB 5-9 170 FR HS Arlington, Texas (Arlington HS)Marquan Ellison CB 5-11 170 FR HS Milwaukee, Wisc. (Bradley Tech HS)Devonta Glover-Wright CB 6-0 170 JR TR Mableton, Ga. (Campbell HS/Eastern Arizona CC)Delroy Hamilton LB 6-1 210 FR HS Hallandale Beach, Fla. (Hallandale HS)Jordan Jenkins WR 5-11 200 JR TR St. Louis, Mo. (Vashon HS/Coffeyville CC)Dwayne Lorick WR 6-5 230 JR TR Washington, D.C. (Anacostia HS/West Hills College Coalinga JC)Logan Malohifo’ou OL 6-6 245 FR HS West Jordan, Utah (Copper Hills HS)Bruce “Jojo” Natson WR 5-7 145 FR HS Oakland Park, Fla. (Boyd Anderson HS)DJ Nelson QB 5-9 180 FR HS Logan, Utah (Logan HS)Jake Simonich OL 6-5 255 FR HS Danville, Calif. (San Roman Valley HS)Bill Vavau OL 6-4 330 JR TR Salt Lake City, Utah (Jordan HS/Snow College)Nick Vigil S/LB 6-2 200 FR HS Plain City, Utah (Fremont HS)Patrick Ward OT 6-4 270 JR TR Phoenix, Ariz. (South Mountain HS/Glendale CC)Alex Wheat, Jr. WR 6-5 210 SO TR Alpharetta, Ga. (Alpharetta HS/Palomar JC)Pronunciations = pruh-nuhn-see-ey-shuhnsTavarreon Dickerson = Tuh-var-ee-unDevonta Glover-Wright = Don-tayLogan Malohifo’ou = Malo-hee-fo-ohJake Simonich = Simon-itchBill Vavau = Vuh-vow Andersen also announced that in addition to today’s signees, three players will be returning from LDS Church Missions in defensive lineman Eric Berntson, quarterback Jeff Manning and linebacker Travis Parrish will be returning to the Aggies’ squad and will be in action during spring drills.The Aggies’ head coach also announced that five former walk-ons have been awarded scholarships in safety McKade Brady, linebacker Jefferson Court, defensive lineman B.J. Larsen, tight end Brad Theurer and linebacker Zach Vigil.Returning LDS MissionariesEric Berntson DL 6-6 230 FR HS Smithfield, Utah (Sky View HS)Jeff Manning QB 6-5 180 FR HS Logan, Utah (Logan HS)Travis Parrish LB 6-3 195 FR HS Bountiful, Utah (Bountiful HS)Former Walk-Ons Now On ScholarshipMcKade Brady S 5-11 183 SR 2L Cove, Utah (Sky View HS/BYU)Jefferson Court LB 6-2 220 SO SQ Alta, Utah (Alta HS/BYU)B.J. Larsen DL 6-5 265 SO 1L Logan, Utah (Logan HS)Brad Theurer TE 6-3 233 JR 2L Logan, Utah (Logan HS)Zach Vigil LB 6-2 222 JR 1L Clearfield, Utah (Clearfield HS)Utah State Football 2012 Signees(Sorted Alphabetically)
• OT • 6-3 • 245 • FR • HS • West Hills, Calif. (Chaminade College Prep)High School: Played left tackle at Chaminade High School in West Hills, Calif… Named lineman of the week nine times his senior year… A two-time first-team all-league selection… Also a two-time Los Angeles Daily News all-area team honoree… Earned CHS’s Lineman of the Week honors a total of 16 times in career, nine times in senior season after seven as a junior… Also a two-year letterwinner in shot put in high school.Personal: Born Feb. 19, 1994… Son of Chase Chen and Elise Backus… Plans to major in communications at Utah State… Chose USU because of the comfortable atmosphere, great academics and the up-and-coming status of the football team.
<a href=””>Highlight Reel can be seen by clicking here</a>
• RB • 5-9 • 170 • FR • HS • Arlington, Texas (Arlington HS)High School: Was a three-year letterwinner at Arlington High School in Arlington, Texas… Earned second-team all-Texas Class 5A honors… Was a unanimous all-district MVP… Rushed for 1,815 yards on 192 carries (9.5 ypc) with 24 TDs while adding 11 receptions for 91 yards (8.3 ypc) with two TD’s… Finished career as the AHS all-time rushing leader with 4,400 yards as well as the Colts’ all-time rushing TD record holder with 53.Personal: Born Oct. 1, 1993… Son of Sobya Ball… Intends on majoring in business at Utah State… Chose USU because of coaching staff.
<a href=””>Highlight Reel can be seen by clicking here</a>
• CB • 5-11 • 170 • FR • HS • Milwaukee, Wisc. (Bradley Tech HS)High School: Played cornerback, quarterback and wide receiver at Bradley Tech High School in Milwaukee, Wisc… Earned second-team all-conference honors… Registered 75 tackles with one interception… Posted 109 receptions for 666 yards (6.1 ypc) with 12 TD’s, while passing for 599 yards on 33-of-90 passing with five TD’s… Helped the Trojans to the city championship in junior season… Also a four-year letterwinner in track & field.Personal: Born Sept. 24, 1992… Son of Marcus Ellison and Frenice Johnson… Has one sister… Undecided on an intended major at Utah State… Chose USU because of academics and the football program’s up-and-coming status.
• CB • 6-0 • 170 • JR • TR • Mableton, Ga. (Campbell HS/Eastern Arizona CC)Junior College: Played quarterback and wide receiver at Eastern Arizona CC as a sophomore, helping the Gila Monsters to a runner-up finish in the Top of the Mountains Bowl, ending with an 8-4 record… Played at Highland CC as a freshman… For his career he was 4-of-8 passing for 158 yards (39.5 ypc) with two TD’s… Added 96 carries for 684 yards (7.1 ypc) with one TD… Also had 20 catches for 461 yards (23.1 ypc) with four TDs … Added nine kick returns for 243 yards (27.0 ypr) with one return for a 98-yard TD.High School: Was a three-year letterwinner playing quarterback, wide receiver and safety at Campbell High School in Smyrna, Ga… Earned all-county honors… Helped the Spartans to the playoffs in two seasons.Personal: Born June 28, 1992… Son of Anthony Wright and Tracee Glover… Has two brothers and two sisters… Uncle, Jeffrey Wright, played football at Georgia Tech (1990-93)… Intends on majoring in business management or pre-physical therapy at Utah State… Has future career plans to own his own massage therapy clinic… Chose USU because of coaching staff, campus and community environment and the players on the team.
• LB • 6-1 • 210 • FR • HS • Hallandale Beach, Fla. (Hallandale HS)High School: Was a four-year letterwinner at linebacker at Hallandale High School in Hallandale Beach, Fla… Totalled 150 tackles with 15 sacks with five forced fumbles for career… Was a two-time all-Broward County first team selection… Helped the Chargers to the district championship in junior season… Also a four-year letterwinner in both basketball and track & field.Personal: Born Jan. 22, 1994… Son of Delroy Hamiton, Sr. and Shannon Sims… One of six children with three brothers and two sixters… Plans to major in broadcast journalism, with future plans of earning of master’s in broadcasting… Chose USU because of family atmosphere of program.
• WR • 5-11 • 200 • JR • TR • St. Louis, Mo. (Vashon HS/Coffeyville CC)Junior College: Earned second-team Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) all-conference honors at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College… Ranked eighth in NJCAA with 57 receptions for 800 yards (14.0 ypc/80.0 ypg) with three TD’s. High School: Played both wide receiver and safety at Vashon High School in St. Louis, Mo… Earned first-team all-St. Louis Public League Football Team honors as both wide receiver and safety, as well as all-state accolades… Posted 22 receptions for 636 yards (28.9 ypc) and 12 TDs as a senior… On defense he snared five interceptions and had 12 pass break-ups while posting 12 solo tackles… Ended career with over 200 catches for over 3,000 yards with 45 TDs… Also a two-year letterman in track & field and baseball for the Wolverines, running an 11.0 100m time and a 23.0 200m time… Earned a National Honor Society scholarship.Personal: Born Dec. 10, 1991… Son of Gordon and Sharron Jenkins… Has four sisters… Intends on majoring in heath and exercise science… Chose USU because it felt like the best fit for him.
• WR • 6-5 • 230 • JR • TR • Washington, D.C. (Anacostia HS/West Hills College Coalinga JC)Junior College: Played at West Hills College in Coalinga, Calif… Earned first-team all-NCFA Golden Gate Conference as a sophomore in 2010, after leading team with 27 receptions for 588 yards (21.8 ypc)/65.3 ypg) with seven TD’s, ranking second on team in scoring.High School: Played at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C… Named to the all-district and all-state teams… Named team MVP senior year… Had 105 receptions for 832 yards (7.9 ypc) with seven TD’s… Would have ranked third among state junior college receivers in yards per catch but was three catches shy of minimum requirement… Added 116 yards rushing… Also lettered in track & field, qualifying for the DCIAA City Championships in the high jump, discus and shot put.Personal: Born August 12, 1990… Son of Tammy Lorick… Has six sisters… Chose USU because he thought it would be a good fit for him.
• OL • 6-6 • 245 • FR • HS • West Jordan, Utah (Copper Hills HS)High School: Played offensive lineman, outside linebacker, defensive end and tight end at Copper Hills High School… Three-year starter and team captain for the Grizzlies… Also a three-year letterwinner in basketball and track & field, and also competed in rugby.Personal: Last name is pronounced Malo-hee-fo-oh… Born June 21, 1989… Son of Peni and Shelly Malohifo’ou… One of seven children with four brothers and two sisters… Recently returned from an LDS Church mission to Fiji (Oct. 2009-2011)… Undeclared on a college major… Chose USU because of relationships with coaching staff.
<strong>Bruce “JoJo” Natson</strong>
• WR • 5-7 • 145 • FR • HS • Oakland Park, Fla. (Boyd Anderson HS)High School: Played wide receiver at Boyd H. Anderson High School… Was high school teammates with current USU wide receiver Travis Reynolds… Named to all-district team and was the named the Cobras’ team MVP… Posted 41 receptions for 560 yards with seven TDs his senior year… Had 90 receptions for 900 yards and 20 touchdowns for career.Personal: Born Feb. 1, 1994… Son of Bruce and Lakeltha Natson… Oldest of three children, with one brother and one sister… Undecided on a major… Chose USU because of high school teammate connection and the coaching staff.
• QB • 5-9 • 180 • FR • HS • Logan, Utah (Logan HS)High School: Played quarterback at Logan High School… Led Logan to the 2011 Utah 4A State Championship with a 14-0 record… Also led the Grizzlies to back-to-back region titles… Recorded 3,489 passing yards on 267-of-427 (.625) with only seven interceptions and 1,605 rushing yards on 264 carries (6.1 ypc)… Had a total 73 touchdowns his senior season (49 passing, 24 rushing)… Named a second-team MaxPreps All-American selection, as well as the Salt Lake Tribune 4A Football MVP and the Logan Herald Journal All-Valley Player of the Year… Also saw limited action as a safety.Personal: Born Oct. 1, 1993… Son of Keith and Joni Nelson… Third of four children with two brothers and one sister… Older brother, Riley, started his collegiate career at USU and is now quarterback at BYU, while younger brother, Chase, plays at Logan HS… Is undecided on a major… Chose USU because of the program’s up-and-coming status.
• OL • 6-5 • 255 • FR • HS • Danville, Calif. (San Roman Valley HS)High School: Played offensive tackle and defensive end at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, Calif… Named to first-team all-league, first-team all-East Bay and first-team all-Metro teams… Helped the Wolves to the North Coast Section championship as a senior 2011 after reaching the NCS semifinals as a junior… Anchored offense that averaged 263.9 passing yards and 155.4 rushing yards while scoring 31.8 points per game… Posted 12 tackles as a defensive end including two sacks as a senior after 15 tackles with one sack as a junior.Personal: Born Nov. 24, 1993… Son of Jeffrey and Suzanne Simonich… Oldest of two children… Plans to major in exercise science with future plans in athletic training or physical therapy… Chose USU because of the many opportunities he will have both athletically and academically.
• OL • 6-4 • 330 • JR • TR • Salt Lake City, Utah (Jordan HS/Snow College)Junior College: Played offense line and defensive line at Snow College, helping the Badgers to the Top of the Mountains Bowl title… Earned second-team all-Western States Football League (WSFL) honors… Totaled 34 tackles and two sacks on the season.High School: Played both offensive line and defensive line at Jordan High School, earning all-region honors… Was high school teammates with current Aggie center Tyler Larsen… Helped the Beetdiggers to the state playoffs all four seasons… Posted 13 tackles in senior season… Also had one rush for three yards.Personal: Last name is pronounced Vuh-vow… Born Dec. 13, 1993… Son of Mailofiti and Valasi Vavau… One of six children… Undeclared on a college major… Chose USU because of high academic reputation of university, the coaching staff and the football program.
• S/LB • 6-2 • 200 • FR • HS • Plain City, Utah (Fremont HS)High School: Played running back and strong safety at Fremont High School, helping Silverwolves to Utah State 5A runner-up finish… Named Utah 5A MVP as well as Region 1 MVP as a senior… Had 1,309 rushing yards on 211 carries with 19 TD’s… Top outing was 256 yards with TD’s in playoff game… Added 300 receiving yards on the season… Also had 61 tackles and two interceptions, returning one for TD… Amassed 3,653 yards with 45 TD’s for career… Earned first-team all-state as a junior as well as all-area MVP and all-region MVP… Also lettered in basketball. Personal: Born Aug. 20, 1993… Son of Jamie and Kayla Vigil… Has three brothers and one sister… Older brother, Zach, is linebacker for Aggies… Undeclared on a college major… Chose USU because of family connections and close to home.
• OT • 6-4 • 270 • JR • TR • Phoenix, Ariz. (South Mountain HS/Glendale CC)Junior College: Played offensive tackle at Glendale CC in Glendale, Ariz… Earned first-team all-Western States Football League (WSFL) and first-team all-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC)… Started all 23 games of two-year career with the Gauchos… Helped Glendale to a No. 16 ranking in the NJCAA in 2011 with an 8-4 record in sophomore season after a No. 19 NJCAA ranking as a freshman, playing in the Valley of the Sun Bowl both years… Helped pave way for a Gaucho offense that averaged 353.0 ypg and 32.3 ppg. High School: Was a two-year letterwinner at both offensive tackle and defensive end at South Mountain High School at Phoenix, Ariz… Earned first-team all-Metro Region honors for both offensive tackle and defensive end for the Jaguars… Also lettered in basketball and track & field, earning all-state honors in the shot put.Personal: Born Jan. 13, 1992… Son of Janet Ward… Undecided on a major at Utah State… Chose USU because of high academic standards.
<a href=””>Click here for Highlight Reel</a>
<strong>Alex Wheat, Jr.</strong>
• WR • 6-5 • 210 • SO • TR • Alpharetta, Ga. (Alpharetta HS/Palomar JC)Junior College: Played wide receiver at Palomar College… Earned second-team all-Southern Conference honors after tallying 47 receptions for 854 yards (18.2 ypg) and 11 touchdowns.High School: A two-year letterwinner at wide receiver at Alpharetta High School in Alpharetta, Ga… Posted 18 receptions for 228 yards (12.7 ypc) with one TD… Added one kick return for 15 yards… Also a three-year letterwinner in basketball and two-year letterwinner in track & field… Placed second in the triple jump at the Region 6-5A meet and qualified for the state meet as a senior after finishing third as a junior… Earned MVP honors of the KSA Holiday Basketball Tournament in senior season.Personal: Born Nov. 5, 1992… Son of Alex Wheat, Sr. and Kalessa Williams… Has two brothers and one sister… Is the nephew of Ted Ginn, Jr., wide receiver and kick returner for the San Francisco 49ers… Intends on majoring in education at Utah State… Chose USU because he felt he could succeed individually and be a part of a winning program.