Hauck Announces 2013 UNLV Class
 
 
 
 

Feb. 6, 2013

Recruit Photo Gallery | Signees Highlight Video | Signing Day Press Conference

LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV football head coach Bobby Hauck's fourth recruiting class at the school, made up of 20 future Rebels, was announced during Wednesday's initial day of the national signing period.

"I really like the makeup of our class," Hauck said. "We have a good blend of junior college and high school players. I think we addressed some needs with the JC guys helping fill in the veteran part of our roster while we added a good group of kids coming out of the high school ranks."

The list, which includes 13 high school players and seven junior-college players, features seven recruits that were assigned at least three stars by either Scout.com, 247Sports.com, ESPN or Rivals.com. The group includes five midyear JC signees but not the trio of grayshirts that signed previously and joined the program this semester as true freshmen.

The class is nearly evenly split with 11 offensive players, eight on defense and one listed as an Athlete. The full breakdown is as follows: 4 DL, 3 LB, 3 OL, 3 WR, 2 RB, 2 TE, 1 DB, 1 QB and 1 ATH.

"We have a class that is spread out in terms of positions, being equal on offense and defense," Hauck said. "That's what you want to do -- make sure your board is covered."

The group consists of student-athletes whose hometowns are spread among seven states, one territory and one foreign country: nine from California, three from Texas, two from Nevada and one each from Arizona, Hawaii, Utah, Washington, American Samoa and Finland.

"We did really well in our normal recruiting footprint -- the West, along with the state of Texas. Having made some inroads in Texas has been very productive for us. Specifically the Houston area guys have been really good players and good students.

"We signed two locals and we'll keep pounding Las Vegas hard," Hauck said. "I think we offered nearly every recruit in town that is going to sign a Division I scholarship. We'll continue to show Las Vegas kids that this is a great place to stay and play their college football."

A complete list of UNLV's 2013 football signees follows.

UNLV 2013 FOOTBALL RECRUITING CLASS (20 Total Signees)

HIGH SCHOOL SIGNEES (13)
NAME POS HT WT CL-EXP HOMETOWN PREVIOUS SCHOOL
Nicolai Bornand LB 6-1 230 FR-HS Santa Barbara, CA Dos Pueblos HS
Devonte Boyd WR 6-2 175 FR-HS Henderson, NV Basic HS
Malo Feula LB 6-0 235 FR-HS Pago Pago, A. Samoa Tafuna HS
Niko Kapeli RB 5-8 205 FR-HS Henderson, NV Liberty HS
Jared Lebowitz QB 6-4 195 FR-HS Pasadena, CA St. Francis HS
Chris Lopez OL 6-4 285 FR-HS San Marcos, CA Mission Hills HS
Torry McTyer ATH 6-0 175 FR-HS Los Angeles, CA Cathedral HS
D.J. Moffitt LB 6-2 210 FR-HS Livermore, CA De La Salle HS
Trent Riley WR 6-2 195 FR-HS North Bend, WA Mount Si HS
Jacobie Russell TE 6-4 235 FR-HS Houston, TX North Shore HS
Kyle Saxelid OL 6-7 255 FR-HS Elk Grove, CA Cosumnes Oaks HS
Keith Whitely RB 5-9 185 FR-HS Houston, TX La Porte HS
Antonio Zepeda TE 6-6 240 FR-HS Phoenix, AZ Camelback HS

JUNIOR COLLEGE SIGNEES (2)

NAME POS HT WT CL-EXP HOMETOWN PREVIOUS SCHOOL
Efrem Clark DL 6-2 275 JR-TR Houston, TX Trinity Valley CC
Damon Collins DB 5-9 180 JR-TR Antioch, CA Diablo Valley College

JUNIOR COLLEGE MIDYEAR SIGNEES (5)

NAME POS HT WT CL-EXP HOMETOWN PREVIOUS SCHOOL
C.J. Backlund OL 6-4 265 JR-TR Helsinki, FINLAND Chabot College
Jack Killian* WR 6-0 195 JR-TR Modesto, CA San Joaquin Delta College
Asten Koki DL 6-3 255 JR-TR Pearl City, HI Mt. San Antonio College
Pingi Moli* DL 6-4 265 JR-TR West Valley, UT Mt. San Antonio College
Sieua Vaesau* DL 6-3 250 JR-TR Pinole, CA Diablo Valley College

*Already Enrolled at UNLV

HIGH SCHOOL SIGNEES

NICOLAI BORNAND
LB | 6-1 | 230 | FR-HS | Santa Barbara, CA | Dos Pueblos HS
An all-around athlete that excelled at three positions in high school but is projected as a LB for the Rebels ... A three-star recruit as a kicker according to ESPN, which ranked him the No. 16 K in the nation ... Name is pronounced "NEEK-oh-lye BOR-nand" ... Hails from the same prep program that produced former UNLV safety (2003-06) and current Rebel graduate assistant coach Jay Staggs. HIGH SCHOOL: A three-year letterwinner at Dos Pueblos HS in Goleta, CA, under coach Nate Mendoza, seeing time at TE, LB and serving as the team's kicker and punter ... Named Channel League Defensive MVP, All-City Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-CIF Western Division team as a senior ... Recorded 124 tackles, 19 TFL and three interceptions in 2012 ... Offensively, he posted 560 receiving yards and five touchdowns ... Made nine field goals last fall. PERSONAL: Nicolai Bornand was born on Feb. 1, 1995, in Santa Barbara, CA ... The son of Dennis and Jennifer Bornand ... Has one older brother, Brendon, and one younger brother, Blake.
HAUCK ON BORNAND: "Nico is a big, physical linebacker. We're very excited about him. He is a heavy hitter that is also a great special teams guy. Kicking won't be his first duty at UNLV but you're always looking for a guy that can do that."


DEVONTE BOYD
WR | 6-2 | 175 | FR-HS | Henderson, NV | Basic HS
A supremely athletic ball-catcher that is one of two Southern Nevada players in this year's class ... A three-star recruit according to ESPN, which also ranked him the No. 158 WR recruit in the nation and No. 3 overall recruit in the state ... Ranked the No. 8 recruit from the Silver State by Rivals.com and No. 9 by 247Sports.com ... The second UNLV signee from local program Basic HS in as many years as OL J'Ondray Sanders chose the Rebels before grayshirting and enrolling at the university in January. HIGH SCHOOL: A three-year letterwinner at Basic HS under coach Jeff Cahill ... Lined up at WR, safety and KR for the Wolves ... Caught 66 passes for 1,081 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior ... Best game came against Bonanza HS when he caught seven passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns ... As a junior, totaled 65 receptions for 1,118 yards and eight touchdowns ... Named First Team All-State as a WR by Nevada Preps while also earning second team honors as a DB with 28 tackles and eight interceptions ... Also competes in basketball and track. PERSONAL: Devonte Eugene Boyd was born on Oct. 5, 1993, in New Orleans.
HAUCK ON BOYD: "Devonte is one of our two local guys this year. He played for Coach Cahill out at Basic. I had a chance to watch him live and he is a special player. His production was down a bit last fall because many defenses tilted his direction. We saw him make a lot of plays on the defensive side of the ball. He's a tall, long-armed fast guy that can really go up and get it."


MALO FEULA
LB | 6-0 | 235 | FR-HS | Pago Pago, AS | Tafuna HS
A three-star prospect according to 247Sports.com ... Name is pronounced "MAH-low fay-EWE-lah" ... One of three linebackers in this year's class ... Selected to play for the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) World Team, which lost Feb. 5 to Team U.S. in the 2013 International Bowl 2013 in Austin, TX ... Following in the footsteps of three UNLV defensive players that also hailed from American Samoa: Sonny Sanitoa, Isaako Aaitui and Daniel Mareko ... Sanitoa, who will be a sophomore defensive lineman for the Rebels this fall, led the team in QB sacks last season with five, which were compiled in just nine games ... Aaitui and Mareko were also linemen and completed their collegiate careers in 2010. HIGH SCHOOL: A standout at Tafuna HS under coach Oakland Salave'a ... Helped the Warriors to the ASHSAA island championship in 2012 as Tafuna defeated Leone 34-6 in the title game.
HAUCK ON FEULA: "Malo is a terrific young man from American Samoa that had never been to the mainland until his visit. We had a lot of help over there in the recruiting process because they felt like UNLV was a good fit for him. He is a fierce competitor that likes to put his pads on people. He's a heavy hitter and is going to be a big, fast dynamic linebacker."


NIKO KAPELI
RB | 5-8 | 205 | FR-HS | Las Vegas, NV | Liberty HS
A powerful but speedy back that is the first player from Liberty High to sign a football scholarship at UNLV ... Ranked the No. 145 RB recruit in the nation by ESPN and the No. 13 recruit overall from the Silver State ... Scout.com lists him as the No. 175 RB in the country ... Name is pronounced "NEE-co kah-PELL-ee." HIGH SCHOOL: A four-year letterwinner at Liberty HS where he earned all-conference recognition each season and helped the program rise into a regional power ... Played both ways as a safety and RB under coach Rich Muraco ... Closed his prep career as the all-time leading rusher at Liberty with 5,575 yards and 57 touchdowns ... Rushed for 1,277 yards and 14 scores during a senior season that saw the Patriots finish as state runners-up ... Also hauled in three of his six career receiving TDs in 2012 ... As a junior, he was named First Team All-State by Nevada Preps after posting gaudy numbers that included rushing for 2,389 yards and 29 touchdowns ... Sprinted for a career-high 310 yards in the 2011 Sunrise Regional semifinals against Las Vegas HS. PERSONAL: Niko Kahelelani Kapeli was born on July 7, 1995, in Hilo, HI ... The son of Kosi and Venise Kapeli ... Has two older brothers, Kuuipo and Jordan.
HAUCK ON KAPELI: "Niko played for Coach Muraco at Liberty High School and it's great to have a guy from just down the street. We're excited to have his family join our family. He runs hard and is difficult to tackle. He's a physical ball carrier with a low center of gravity and nice change of direction."


JARED LEBOWITZ
QB | 6-4 | 195 | FR-HS | Pasadena, CA | St. Francis HS
A seasoned prep signal-caller that is the only quarterback in this year's class ... A three-star recruit according to Scout.com and 247Sports.com, which also listed him as the No. 40 pro-style QB in the nation and No. 99 overall recruit from the state of California. HIGH SCHOOL: An overall four-year letterwinner at two high schools: St. Francis HS under coach Jim Bonds as a junior and senior and at South Burlington HS in Burlington, VT, as a freshman and sophomore ... Started 44 consecutive varsity games ... Was unanimously voted the 2012 All-Area Football Player of the Year by Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, La Canada Valley Sun and Pasadena Sun ... Named to all-area first team, All-Mission League First Team and All-CIF Western Division team ... Passed for 2,560 yards and 23 touchdowns on 194 of 352 attempts as a senior ... Added 200 yards and three touchdowns rushing ... Was a second team all-area and All-Mission League selection as a junior ... Was part of a Golden Knights team that went 9-3 and made it to the CIF quarterfinals as a junior ... Passed for 2,234 yards and 21 touchdowns and ran for 257 yards and four TDs in 2011 ... Passed for 2,700 and 30 touchdowns as a sophomore for the South Burlington Rebels ... A good athlete that also lettered in lacrosse. PERSONAL: Jared Charles Lebowitz was born on Oct. 15, 1994, in Burlington, VT ... The son of Molly and Harrison Lebowitz ... Has an older sister, Tess, who attends the University of Vermont.
HAUCK ON LEBOWITZ: "Jared played for Coach Jim Bonds at St. Francis, who played quarterback at UCLA while some of us were there in the 1990s. He alerted us to Jared and we got on him a little later than normal in the process but he rose quickly to the top of our list. He moved to California from Vermont to get more exposure and we're sure glad he did. He's got a big arm and can come in here and make some noise."


CHRIS LOPEZ
OL | 6-4 | 285 | FR-HS | San Marcos, CA | Mission Hills HS
A nice-sized young blocker that is one of three O-linemen in this year's class. HIGH SCHOOL: A two-time letterwinner at Mission Hills HS under coach Chris Hauser ... Helped the Grizzlies to a 2012 CIF San Diego Section Division I runner-up finish and back-to-back league championships ... Named Second Team All-Avocado East League as a senior. PERSONAL: Chris Jose Lopez was born on Feb. 15, 1995, in Riverside, CA ... The son of Jose and Veronica Lopez ... Has a younger brother, Aidrian, and sister, Briana.
HAUCK ON LOPEZ: "Chris comes from a high school program that our staff has taken players from over the years. He's a big, physical, athletic kid. We're not sure if he'll play inside or outside but are thinking he can play in the interior because he is such a physical player."


TORRY McTYER
ATH | 6-0 | 175 | FR-HS | Los Angeles, CA | Cathedral HS
A talented two-way speedster that originally committed to California but instead became a late addition to the UNLV class ... A three-star recruit according to ESPN, Rivals.com and 247Sports.com ... Rated the No. 117 overall recruit in the state of California by 247Sports and No. 154 from the Golden State by ESPN ... A product of the same prep program that produced current Rebel DB Tajh Hasson and former Rebel receiving great Earvin Johnson. HIGH SCHOOL: Played at Cathedral HS under coach Kevin Pearson ... Helped the Phantoms finish 10-3 as a senior while playing both DB and WR ... Caught 33 passes for 662 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012 while adding two 80-yard-plus kickoff returns ... Posted 30 total tackles, including nine TFL, to go with 13 passes defended. PERSONAL: His father, Tim McTyer, was an All-WAC defensive back for BYU in 1995-96 and then played in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles (1997-98) and Cleveland Browns (1999).
HAUCK ON McTYER: "Torry is a good-looking prospect on both sides of the football. We've listed him as an athlete but will probably start him out at the wide receiver position. After he reopened his recruitment, there was a mad scramble by a lot of teams in our league. Fortunately, we had a spot open on the offensive side of this class and were able to fit him in."


D.J. MOFFITT
LB | 6-2 | 210 | FR-HS | Livermore, CA | De La Salle HS
A highly recruited athlete that is a three-star recruit according Scout.com, 247Sports.com, ESPN and Rivals.com ... Listed the No. 43 OLB recruit in the country by ESPN as well as the No. 53 overall recruit in talent-rich California and No. 73 in the West ... Scout lists him as the No. 51 and 247Sports as the No. 67 OLB in the nation ... The second Rebel to sign with UNLV out of prep powerhouse De Le Salle High School in as many years as his former teammate, Anthony Williams, began his career as a freshman WR for UNLV in 2012. HIGH SCHOOL: A two-year letterwinner at De La Salle HS under coach Bob Ladouceur ... Helped the Spartans to back-to-back CIF Championships as he finished his prep career 28-1 ... A two-way talent that lined up at LB, DE, FB and TE ... Named First-Team All-East Bay Athletic League and CalHi Sports Third Team All-State after a senior season that included 68 total tackles, nine TFL and two interceptions ... As a junior he posted 56 takedowns, three picks and scored twice on defense. PERSONAL: David Joseph "D.J." Moffitt was born on March 1, 1995, in Hayward, CA ... The son of Trynesia Noel ... Has an older sister, Courtney ... Comes from an athletic family ... His uncle, Chris Ryan, played at Clark Atlanta before carving out a long career as an Arena Football League running back with Grand Rapids and Philadelphia ... His cousin, Mario Iglesias, pitched for five seasons in the Minor Leagues after starring on the mound at Stanford while cousin Michael Iglesias also pitched 10 seasons in the Minors.
HAUCK ON MOFFITT: "D.J. comes from Coach Bob Ladouceur's last team at De La Salle. Our receiver Anthony Williams is from there and played for us last year as a true freshman. So that is a nice pipeline that we have going from such a storied program. D.J. played well all over the field but we see him at linebacker for the Rebels."


TRENT RILEY
WR | 6-2 | 195 | FR-HS | North Bend, WA | Mount Si HS
A versatile athlete that is one of three WRs in this year's class ... UNLV's second recruit out of the state of Washington in as many years as TE Andrew Price (Blaine, WA) signed in 2012. HIGH SCHOOL: A two-sport standout at Mount Si HS located in Snoqualmie, WA ... Played WR and DB for coach Charlie Kinnune ... Caught 56 passes for 876 yards as a senior for the Wildcats, who reached the state semifinals ... His school-record 25 touchdowns included two coming on interceptions and two on punt returns ... Named KingCo 2A/3AOffensive Player of the Year ... Selected to the AP 3A All-State Football Team and was listed as one of the state's top 100 football players by the Seattle Times ... Also an all-conference basketball player. PERSONAL: The son of Eric and Shari Riley ... His father is a member of the Eastern Washington University Athletic Hall of Fame and played in the NFL for the New York Jets in 1987 ... Brother, Tanner Riley, is a member of the basketball team at the University of Portland.
HAUCK ON RILEY: "Trent is a multi-sport athlete but we think his best sport is football and that his best days are ahead of him. He'll grow into a fine football player at UNLV."


JACOBIE RUSSELL
TE | 6-4 | 235 | FR-HS | Houston, TX | North Shore HS
A still-learning tight end that possesses both great size and athletic ability ... Listed as the No. 92 TE recruit in the nation by 247Sports.com ... Hails from the same prep program that produced two 2012 Rebel starters, RB Tim Cornett and WR Devante Davis. HIGH SCHOOL: A two-year letterwinner at North Shore HS under coach David Aymond ... Earned first team all-district honors ... Helped the Mustangs to a 13-2 record and an appearance in the Class 5A-1 state quarterfinals ... Had eight catches for 111 yards in 2012 ...A three-year letterwinner as a forward for the NSHS basketball team. PERSONAL: Jacobie Javon Russell was born on May 7, 1995, in Houston, TX ... The son of Angela Russell ... Has five sisters: Jacoby, Tristan, Mia, Jordin and Adrienne.
HAUCK ON RUSSELL: "Jacobie is kind of new to the game. He viewed himself as a basketball player early on but has really grown into a very good looking tight end prospect. He's big, he can run and has good hands. He's from the same high school that gave us Tim Cornett and Devante Davis. Coach Aymond thinks we really stole one again from down there."


KYLE SAXELID
OL | 6-7 | 255 | FR-HS | Elk Grove, CA | Cosumnes Oaks HS
A still-growing blocker that is one of three O-linemen in this year's class ... Listed as the nation's No. 163 OT by Scout.com and ESPN ranked him the No. 197 overall recruit in California ... Last name is pronounced "SAX-ah-lid" ... Comes from the same prep program as 2012 UNLV signee, WR Michael Thomas. HIGH SCHOOL: A two-time letterwinner at Cosumnes Oaks HS in Elk Grove ... Played both sides of the ball as an OL and DE for coach Ryan Gomes ... Named Second Team All-Sierra Valley after posting 44 tackles and three QB sacks as a senior as the Wolfpack finished 9-3 overall. PERSONAL: Kyle Erickson Saxelid was born on April 13, 1995 ... The son of Richmond and Cheryl Saxelid.
HAUCK ON SAXELID: "Kyle is a 6-foot-7 kid that is prototypical of the offensive tackles we've recruited over the years that have gone on to great things. He's a tall, athletic, long-limbed guy that will be able to protect the edge."


KEITH WHITELY
RB | 5-9 | 185 | FR-HS | Houston, TX | La Porte HS
A highly recruited back that is one of two RBs and three Texans in this year's class ... Will join fellow Lone Star State product Tim Cornett (Houston) in the Rebel running back corps ... A three-star recruit according to Scout.com, which lists him as the No. 87 RB recruit in the nation ... Ranked the No. 122 RB by 247Sports.com ... Name is pronounced "WHITE-lee." HIGH SCHOOL: A three-year letterwinner at La Porte HS near Houston for coach Jeff LaReau ... A highly decorated student-athlete that helped his team to back-to-back 21-5A titles while playing RB, safety and KR ... Named 2012 District MVP as a senior after rushing for 1,347 yards and nine touchdowns ... Preseason All-Greater Houston Second Team selection by the Chronicle after an all-district junior campaign that included 1,400 rushing yards and 13 scores ... A three-sport letterwinner for the Bulldogs having also competed in track and baseball. PERSONAL: Keith Michael Whitely was born on April 25, 1995 ... The son of Keith and Michelle Whitely ... His uncle, Antonio Armstrong, was a four-year letterman as a LB for Texas A&M (1991-94) before moving on to the NFL with the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.
HAUCK ON WHITELY: "After committing to us, Keith received some offers from BCS auto-bid conference schools. Everyone associated with the Rebels should have a lot of admiration for him because he was a man of his word and stuck to his commitment to UNLV. He has shown a tremendous amount of character. He's a very talented runner that is going to come in and do big things for us."


ANTONIO ZEPEDA
TE | 6-6 | 240 | FR-HS | Phoenix, AZ | Camelback HS
An all-around athlete that excelled at multiple positions on the field ... Played TE, DE, QB, RB and handled the punting and kickoff duties as a prep star ... The only recruit from Arizona in this year's class ... Last name is pronounced "zah-PED-ah." HIGH SCHOOL: A four-year letterwinner at Camelback HS under coach Brandon McNutt ... Earned first team all-state honors at defensive end as a senior for the Spartans ... Recorded 46 tackles, including 10 sacks, recovered one fumble and returned it for a touchdown in 2012 ... Had 900 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 37 catches ... Passed for 550 yards and three touchdowns ... Also ran for 300 yards on 28 carries, including two scores ... Earned all-state honorable mention and first team all-section as a junior at tight end ... Earned Academic Athlete honors as a junior ... Also lettered as a forward in basketball and baseball. PERSONAL: Antonio Michael Zepeda was born on Dec. 31, 1994, in Des Moines, IA.
HAUCK ON ZEPEDA: "Antonio is a big, raw kid but if you were to go out and recruit frames and athletic ability, he is what you'd be looking for. He's also a good high school basketball player and when he focuses just on football he will get bigger and stronger. We're excited about what he'll become over the years."


JUNIOR COLLEGE SIGNEES

EFREM CLARK
DL | 6-2 | 275 | JR-TR | Houston, TX | Cypress Ridge HS/Trinity Valley CC
One of four junior-college defensive linemen slated to join the Rebels this season ... Will be reunited with fellow-DL and senior-to-be Parker Holloway as both played for the same community college in Texas. JUNIOR COLLEGE: Played two seasons at Trinity Valley Community College located in Athens, TX ... Coach Brad Smiley's Cardinals finished 8-3 in his freshman season ... In nine games played in 2012, he had 21 total tackles and two sacks. HIGH SCHOOL: A 2011 graduate of Cypress Ridge HS in Houston, TX ... Played DT for coach Gary Thiebaud ... Named first team all-district as a senior after earning second team honors as a junior for the Rams. PERSONAL: Efrem Zimbalist Clark was born on Aug. 16, 1993, in Houston ... The son of Efrem Clark and Shirley White ... Has a sister, Shenisa White ... His father lettered as a DL and LB for Sam Houston State in 1985.
HAUCK ON CLARK: "We really feel strongly that Efrem can come in and help us on the defensive line. He's a big, physical active guy that gets off the ball well. We think he can play both defensive tackle and some end for us. He will be a great addition to our line.


DAMON COLLINS
DB | 5-9 | 180 | JR-TR | Antioch, CA | Deer Valley HS/Diablo Valley College
The only true defensive back in this year's recruiting class will be expected to compete for immediate playing time in the Rebel secondary as well as possibly vie for kickoff return duties ... Ranked the No. 27 junior college CB recruit in the nation by 247Sports.com ... Joined JC teammate Sieua Vaesau in signing with UNLV this season. JUNIOR COLLEGE: Played two seasons at Diablo Valley College located in Pleasant Hill, CA ... Was the top cornerback and kick returner for coach Mike Darr ... Named First Team All-Mid-Empire Conference as a sophomore DB after totaling 26 tackles, six pass breakups and taking two of his three interceptions back for touchdowns ... Also averaged 32.6-yards per kickoff return in 2012 ... Grabbed three interceptions and averaged 24.8 yards on 14 kickoff returns in 2011. HIGH SCHOOL: A 2011 graduate of Deer Valley HS in Antioch, CA ... Earned two letters after lining up at RB, WR, CB and KR for the Wolverines during his senior season under coach Rich Woods. PERSONAL: Damon Lewis Collins was born on April 8, 1992, in San Francisco ... The son of Damon Sr. and Bridgette Collins ... Cousin Nate Burleson, was a star WR at Nevada, Reno and just finished his 10th NFL season, while another cousin, Lyndale Burleson, played basketball for the Wolf Pack from 2006-09.
HAUCK ON COLLINS: "Damon is a great young man, very engaging and confident. The thing that sticks out to me is how competitive he is. He competes for the football and will add a great level of competition at the corner position for us."


JUNIOR COLLEGE MIDYEAR SIGNEES

C.J. BACKLUND
OL | 6-4 | 265 | JR-TR | Helsinki, Finland | Chabot College
The second player out of Helsinki, Finland, to join the Rebels in as many years as Max Ehlert played linebacker at UNLV in 2012 and will be a senior next fall ... Like Ehlert, Backlund played for Chabot College, which is located in Hayward, CA ... Backlund, who was a unanimous choice for First Team All-Golden Gate Conference in both 2011 and 2012, helped the Gladiators tie for first place in the league last season under coach Danny Calcagno.
HAUCK ON BACKLUND: "C.J. will provide immediate depth for the interior of our offensive line. We expect him to challenge for a starting spot at either guard or center this year."


JACK KILLIAN
WR | 6-0 | 195 | JR-TR | Modesto, CA | Central Catholic HS/San Joaquin Delta College
A receiver that graduated from Central Catholic High School in Modesto, CA, before playing two seasons at San Joaquin Delta College located in Stockton, Calif. ... Last year he caught 55 passes for 992 yards and 14 touchdowns for coach Gary Barlow's Mustangs ... Killian led the Northern California Football Association Valley Conference in league play with seven scores.
HAUCK ON KILLIAN: "Jack is a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball and will give us another reliable veteran target to throw the football to."


ASTEN KOKI
DL | 6-3 | 255 | JR-TR | Pearl City, HI | Roosevelt HS/Mt. San Antonio College
An interior lineman that is a native of Pearl City, HI, and graduate of Honolulu's Roosevelt High School ... Name is pronounced "As-tin COKE-ee" ... Spent two seasons playing for Mt. San Antonio College located in Walnut, CA ... Last year he totaled 22 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss for the Mounties under coach Bob Jastrab, who was a graduate assistant at UNLV from 1993-94.
HAUCK ON KOKI: "Koki gives us another inside defensive lineman and improves our numbers at a position we've been thin at, which is important. He will get off the ball and make plays."


PINGI MOLI
DL | 6-4 | 265 | JR-TR | West Valley, UT | Granger HS/Mt. San Antonio College
A graduate of Granger High School in West Valley, UT, Moli is the second player out of Mt. SAC to sign with the Rebels as he played alongside fellow-midyear Asten Koki on the Mounties' defensive line ... Name is pronounced "PIN-nee MOE-lee" ... Finished with 22 total tackles, including three sacks for a loss of 18 yards, and a fumble recovery last season as coach Bob Jastrab's team went 11-1 overall and swept the Central Conference of the Southern California Football Association.
HAUCK ON MOLI: "Having Pingi here for the spring will be a great help. We expect him to immediately add experience and maturity to our defensive line."


SIEUA VAESAU
DL | 6-3 | 250 | JR-TR | Pinole, CA | Pinole Valley HS/Diablo Valley College
A three-star recruit that is ranked the No. 13 JC DE recruit according to 247Sports.com ...Name is pronounced "SEE-u-a VAH-ah-sow" ... A graduate of Pinole Valley HS in Pinole, CA, which is the same program that produced former Rebel DB and all-conference kick returner Deante' Purvis (2008-11) ... Vaesau played both on the defensive line and at linebacker at Diablo Valley College under coach Mike Darr ... Recorded 36 total tackles, including 6.5 quarterback sacks, for the Vikings as a sophomore last fall.
HAUCK ON VAESAU: "Sieua is a big, athletic defensive player with unlimited potential. We see him moving from a big linebacker on the JC level to being a big part of our defensive line."


 

 

 
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