College of Idaho football signs over 40 players

Posted at 7:43 AM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 09:43:58-05

CALDWELL, Idaho — Coming off their most successful season in program history, College of Idaho head coach Mike Moroski and his staff announced the signing of over 40 players to Frontier Conference Letters of Intent for the 2020 season. The full signing class can be found here.

The diverse class currently features 41 student-athletes – including 35 players from the Class of 2020; 23 players from the State of Idaho; 10 players who earned All-State distinction; with four players transferring from NCAA Division I teams. C of I is expected to add to the already stellar class in the coming days and weeks. The Coyotes added key depth at the skill positions – including three running backs, five receivers and a pair of tight ends.

Headlining the running back group is Boise State transfer Allamar Alexander, who used the 2019 season as a redshirt year and will join the team for Spring Practice. Alexander was a 2018 4A All-State selection at Columbia High, rushing for a division-best 2,147 yards and 31 touchdowns.

Two other local backs are headed to Caldwell – Charlie Baker of Eagle High and Devon Fox from Rocky Mountain. Baker earned 5A All-State honors as a senior, rushing for 823 yards and six scores, with Fox earning All-Southern Idaho Conference accolades after rushing for 887 yards and eight touchdowns.

Weber State transfer Justin Haase is poised to make an impact and will be in uniform for spring drills. Haase used a redshirt year at WSU after teaming with current C of I quarterback, Jacob Holcomb in leading Puyallup High in Washington to the 4A state semifinals in 2018 – recording 1,065 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns.

Brock Richardson of Churchill County High in Nevada is set to join his brother Connor as part of the receiver group. The freshman was a 3A All-State pick, leading his team to the 2018 3A state title and a runner-up finish in 2019 – finishing with 964 receiving yards, 829 rushing yards and 24 combined touchdowns.

Three local receivers are key in the class – including transfer Conner Croft, who played last fall at Rocky Mountain College. Croft, a 2018 All-SIC selection at Rocky Mountain High after averaging nearly 20 yards a reception, will be with the team for Spring Practice. Both Kaden Birch of Rocky Mountain and Cade Smith of Nampa are key possession receivers – Birch earning All-SIC honors after recording 524 yards and eight touchdowns and Smith earning All-SIC honors after rushing for 570 yards and adding 336 receiving yards during his senior season.

C of I added a pair of tight ends – including Division I transfer Jackson Lightner of Idaho State. Lightner used a redshirt year at ISU last fall, after earning All-SIC honors as a senior at Bishop Kelly High – and has enrolled at the College. He will be joined by Mitchell Moore of Placer High in California, an extremely physical run blocker, who earned All-Foothill Valley League honors as a senior.

Up front, the Coyotes have inked seven new offensive linemen – all looking to contend for playing time as C of I graduated an All-Frontier Conference center, guard and tackle. Sophomore transfer Zach Wallace saw game action last season as a long snapper at Idaho State, but was an All-Tri County Athletic Conference pick as a prep at St. Mary’s High in California and will join the team this spring.

Three local players make the short trip to Caldwell, including All-SIC and 5A All-State pick Tyler Barron of Meridian High. He will be joined by his high school teammate John Hazlett and Borah High standout Joseph Metzger, both All-SIC picks in 2019.

C of I picked up three linemen from the west coast – adding Brett Gydesen from Oregon, Nathan Metz from Washington and Blake Kilkenny from California. Gydesen was an All-Three Rivers League tackle at Tualatin High; Metz was an All-KingCo selection at Woodinville High, helping his team to the 4A state semifinals; with Kilkenny, from Whitney High, earning All-Sierra Foothill League and Sacramento Bee All-Metro honors as a senior.

On the defensive side – the Yotes loaded up on the line, as C of I must replace all four starters. Local product, Brad Cushman of Vallivue High leads the defensive tackle group – earning 4A All-State honors after recording 70 tackles, including 18 for loss and nine sacks as a senior.

Four other Idaho defensive tackles are headed to C of I – J.J. Flores and Isaiah Wright of Highland, Colten Alvarez of McCall-Donnelly and Carter Christensen of Twin Falls. Both Flores and Wright were part of Highland’s 5A state runner-up team in 2018 – with Flores recording 46 tackles as a senior, earning All-High Country Conference accolades. Alvarez earned 2A All-State honors as a senior, helping MDHS to a state runner-up finish, with Christensen earning All-Great Basin Conference honors on both sides of the line.

Four tackles head to C of I from out of state – Tanner Sackman and Connor Uhde from Washington, Jordan McKean from Utah and T.J. Seguritan from Hawaii. Sackman had a dominant season at Omak High, earning Caribou Trail League MVP and 1A All-State honors; Uhde made 33 tackles and earned All-North Puget Sound League honors at Enumclaw High; McKean recorded 34 tackles and four sacks as a senior at Fremont High in Plain City; with Seguritan starting every game at tackle for Kahuku High.

Three ends will add to the Coyotes depth – Idaho native Jayce French, Montana product Connor Rauckhorst and Washington signee Cole Schmidt. French earned All-SIC honors at Capital High, recording seven sacks as a senior; Rauckhorst returns to football after his two-year church mission – coming off a 2016 season at Sentinel High in Missoula where he earned AA All-State honors; with Schmidt a two-time All Mid-Columbia Conference selection at Walla Walla High.

Four linebackers are among those in the 2020 recruiting class, including one with a familiar last name. Joey Calzaretta of Redwoods High in California is the younger brother of current senior Nick Calzaretta, an All-Frontier Conference running back for the Yotes. The younger Calzaretta is a two-time All-Marin County Athletic League selection.

Idaho products Tanner Leaf, Willie Nelson and Easton Bunnell all look to contribute in 2020. Leaf, from Capital High, earned All-SIC honors after leading his team with 102 tackles; Nelson, from Bonneville High, is a three-time All-High Country Conference pick; with Bunnell earning 2A All-State honors at Melba high, recording 84 tackles as a senior.

C of I will add four members to the secondary, including two Idaho natives. All-State selection Jake Collett of Homedale led his team to consecutive 3A state title appearances – recording 76 tackles and 11 tackles for loss as a senior – with Cooper Leaf, an All-SIC pick from Capital High, recording 80 tackles from his safety position as a senior.

California product, Cole Martello and Texas player Dane Presto also head to the Treasure Valley – Martello an All-Desert Empire League selection at Palm Desert High where he had 64 tackles and two picks, with Presto, from Paetow High in Katy, earning All-5A Special District 10 honors as a senior, recording five interceptions.

Specialists will be key in the recruiting class – as the Yotes lose both their kicker and punter to graduation. Kicker Cameron Simons from Bullard High in Fresno, earned All-Metro Athletic Conference honors in 2019, with Stan Mulderij, an exchange student from The Netherlands, earning 4A All-State honors at Nampa High, making 52-of-57 extra points. Punter Andrew McKague earned 5A All-State honors at Redmond High in Oregon, averaging 42.9 yards per attempt over the past two season. The squad also added long snapper Devon Long from Rocky Mountain High, where he helped his team to the 2018 5A state title.