College football • Eighteen of Thunderbirds' 24 recruits hail from Utah.
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Calling it a "banner year" for in-state recruiting, Southern Utah coach Ed Lamb signed 24 players to letters of intent on Wednesday.
Eighteen members of SUU's recruiting class are from Utah, led by Jordan High School defensive lineman Zach Larsen.
A Salt Lake Tribune first-team all-state selection, he is the brother of Southern Utah All-American Cody Larsen.
"I'm really pleased with the Utah part of our recruiting," Lamb said. "It's the best year for us, in terms of recruiting the state, that we've ever had."
According to Lamb, his roster of recruits wasn't finalized until the final hours of the process.
"We had some real down-the-stretch battles for some guys," he said. "With three of four of them, it was really nip-and-tuck."
Among the out-of-state recruits signed by SUU are East Los Angeles College quarterback Aaron Cantu and 300-pound offensive lineman Daniel Fleischman, a transfer from the University of Wyoming.
Cantu led all junior college players with 3,358 passing yards last year. He is the heir apparent to record-setting quarterback Brad Sorensen, who is expected to be selected in the upcoming NFL Draft.
"Aaron had a lot of other options," Lamb said. "He's one of most highly recruited guys we've ever signed. He's very much like Brad a tall pocket-passer with a quick release."
Southern Utah signed two other players from California: defensive lineman Dashaun Cosby from Tennyson High School near Oakland and first-team all-CIF quarterback Tyler Fenton from The Webb School in Claremont, Calif.
The Thunderbirds also signed long snapper Chandler Dowell of Desert Vista (Ariz.) High School and running back Pete Williams of Denver South High.
Otherwise, Lamb stayed in Utah.
He signed four players from St. George, including all-state quarterback Ty Rutledge and offensive lineman Josh Anderson from Desert Hills High School and defensive linemen Weslee Moeai and Wesley Kauvaka of Pine View.
SUU's 2013 class
Player High school/JC Pos. Ht. Wt.
Lehi Afatasi Kearns HS DL 6-1 280
Toa Afatasi Kearns HS FB 5-9 190
Chinedu Ahanonu West Jordan HS LB 6-0 215
Josh Anderson Desert Hills HS OL 6-3 245
Greg Aspinall Timpview HS FB 5-11 205
Dorien Banks Cottonwood HS LB 5-10 210
Pat Baker South Sevier HS LB 6-2 190
Aaron Cantu East L.A. College QB 6-3 215
Malcolm Card-Turner Highland HS WR 6-1 180
Dashaun Cosby Tennyson (Calif.) HS DL 6-6 200
Chandler Dowell Desert Vista (Ariz.) HS LS 5-11 210
James Felila Kearns HS RB 6-1 190
Tyler Fenton The Webb (Calif) School QB 6-2 190
Daniel Fleischman Issaquah (Wash.) HS OL 6-6 300
Collin Greenhill Layton Christian HS DL 6-2 260
Wesley Kauvaka Pine View HS DL 6-4 275
Zach Larsen Jordan HS DL 6-1 270
Weslee Moeai Pine View HS DL 6-3 280
Sialao Mobley Herriman HS LB 6-1 190
P.J. Nu'usa East HS DL 6-1 275
Ty Rutledge Desert Hills HS Ath. 6-1 180
Mafua Vailolo Woods Cross HS LB 5-11 205
Pete Williams Denver South HS RB 5-9 180
Mason Woodward Syracuse HS DL 6-1 270