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With 11 seniors gone, ’Cats add 16 to roster

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Weber State University walks onto the field while #19, wide receiver David Ames, carries his helmet by his side. (Kalie Pead/ The Signpost)

Sixteen Wildcats joined the Weber State University football team on National Signing Day, Feb. 5. WSU football welcomes three transfer signees, three returned missionaries and ten high school players.

“It’s another group that we really like,” head coach Jay Hill said. “Obviously, we wouldn’t have signed them if we didn’t like them.”

The three transfer signees add two sophomores and a junior to the ‘Cats roster.

Kahlef Hailassie is a 6-foot-1 sophomore who plays defensive back out of Cosumnes Oaks, California. Before transferring to Weber State, Hailassie played at the University of Oregon last fall.

Okiki Olorunfunmi joins the Wildcats as a 6-foot-5 sophomore playing defensive end. The Clovis, California, native is a junior college transfer from Reedley Junior College.

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Wildcats celebrate their victory over the Eagles (Cameron Till / The Signpost)

“We really love the way Okiki looks right now,” Hill said. He’s already gaining a bunch of strength and size since he’s been here. He’s going to be a great player for us.”

Mackenzie Morgan is a 6-foot-2 junior punter from Trigg, Australia. Morgan came to the United States through the same program as Doug Lloyd and is transferring to Weber State from North Carolina State.

“Those three guys I can comment on right now,” Hill said. “I’ve already seen them, a little bit of what they do in the weight room and running around, and I’m super excited about them.”

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The Weber State Wildcat football team runs onto the field before the game begins while pyrotechnics erupt in the background. (Kalie Pead/ The Signpost)

Among the 10 high school signees joining the ’Cats, four join the offense as linemen: James Bruce, Anthony LaFrance, Hunter Scott and Devin Smith.

Bruce joins the Wildcats out of Odessa, Texas. The 6-foot-4 offensive lineman played his high school football at Permian. LaFrance, also 6-foot-4, and a native to Chino Hills, California, played for Ayala High School.

Scott comes from Gilbert, Arizona. The 6-foot-5 offensive lineman is out of Perry High School. Smith hails from Spring Branch, Texas; the 6-foot-3 lineman played for Smithson Valley.

Also joining the offense, Jordyn Turner was a three star recruit out of Bothell, Washington. The 6-foot-5 wide receiver is looking to make an impact in his first year with Rashid Shaheed, Josh Davis, Ty Macpherson, Devon Cooley and Justin Malone.

Keayen Nead, out of Sugar City, Idaho, rounds out the additions to the ‘Cats’ offense. The Sugar City native played for Sugar Salem and is a 6-foot-5 tight end.

The other four high school signees joining the ‘Cats play defense. Salt Lake City native Abraham Williams joins the ’Cats out of West High School as a defensive back.

Jagger Childs is a 6-foot-4 defensive linemen out of Kennewick, Washington, and Connor Finlayson is a 6-foot-5 defensive end out of Highland, Utah, having played ball for Lone Peak.

Brayden Wilson is another tall defensive linemen at 6-foot-5. The Kaysville native played his high school ball at Farmington High School.

“I’m excited about the rest of the guys,” Hill said. “We will see what they become as a class.”

Joining the 13 signees are three athletes who have signed previously but are returning from their missions for next fall.

Bronson Barron is a 6-foot-3 quarterback out of American Fork. Before leaving for his mission, Barron played at American Fork High School.

Jacob Bosco is a 6-foot-1 linebacker out of Provo. The Provo native played for Timpview before he left for his LDS mission.

Colby Samuels will also join the Wildcats after serving his LDS mission. The Lehi native is a 6-foot-3 wide receiver who played high school football at Skyview.

The Wildcats begin spring ball on March 10 as they look forward to their season opener against the University of Wyoming on Sept. 5.

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