Feb. 1, 2006
Fresno, Calif. - Fresno State head coach Pat Hill announced his 2006 recruiting class today. The class includes seven players who earned All-State high school honors. This class also features some of the best high school talent in the San Joaquin Valley, and one junior college defensive standout.
Hill announced the class today, which totaled 18 players. The class consists of four defensive linemen, four linebackers, two running backs, two receivers, two defensive backs, two all-purpose athletes, whose position are yet to be determined, two offensive linemen and a punter.
Hill once again traveled the Valley, landing 10 student-athletes from Valley high schools, adding to the Bulldogs' roster which is already plump with local products. Since Hill took over the program in 1997, his focus has been recruiting Valley high school products.
"Overall this is the best class we've ever had," Hill said. "We have never had a class with this many all-state players. This class has a lot of speed and skill. I really like the defensive linemen we got. We added some size but they are good athletes and fit into the mold of the type of linemen we've had recently. They are some really tough kids who will easily fit into our program and buy into what Bulldog football is all about. Once again, we had good class from the Valley. I've always said, there is good football in the Valley. We are very fortunate to have so many outstanding high school players and coaches in our backyard. We are looking forward to getting these guys on campus."
The Bulldogs are preparing for the 2006 season with off season workouts, strength and conditioning training, and Academic Gameplan sessions.
|2006 Fresno State Football Signings|
|Name||Position||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown (High School)|
|Lorne Bell||Defensive Back||5-10||195||Simi Valley, Calif. (Simi Valley)|
|Jamel Hamler||Receiver||6-1||190||San Leandro, Calif. (San Leandro)|
|Anthony Harding||Running Back||6-0||215||Turlock, Calif. (Pitman)|
|Ken Hedrington||Athlete||6-1||175||Fresno, Calif. (Bullard)|
|Nico Herron||Linebacker||6-3||240||San Leandro, Calif. (San Leandro)|
|Andrew Jackson||Defensive Line||6-5||250||Grass Valley, Calif. (Nevada Union)|
|Ben Jacobs||Linebacker||6-3||225||Las Vegas, Nev. (Silverado)|
|A.J. Jefferson||Athlete||6-0||180||Bakersfield, Calif. (West)|
|Robert Malone||Punter||6-2||215||Riverside, Calif. (Martin Luther King)|
|Lonyae Miller||Running Back||5-11||210||Fontana, Calif. (Fontana Kaiser)|
|Damion Owens||Defensive Back||5-11||185||San Leandro, Calif. (San Leandro)|
|Charley Robbins||Offensive Lineman||6-2||270||Fresno, Calif. (Bullard)|
|Mark Roberts||Defensive Line||6-2||275||Modesto, Calif. (Modesto)|
|Robert Schenck||Linebacker||6-2||235||San Marcos, Calif. (Mission Hills)|
|Taylor Smith||Defensive End||6-3||230||Clovis, Calif. (Buchanan)|
|Will Smith||Linebacker||6-1||205||Fresno, Calif. (Sunnyside)|
|Michael Stuart||Defensive End||6-4||245||Westlake, Calif. (Moorpark College)|
|Barry Wilson||Receiver||6-3||170||Tulare, Calif. (Tulare Union)|
|Kenny Wiggins||Offensive Lineman||6-7||260||Elk Grove, Calif. (Elk Grove)|
Biographical Information for 2006 Fresno State Football Signees
Lorne Bell, Defensive Back, 5-10, 195, Simi Valley, Calif. (Simi Valley)
A versatile player with experience playing both offense and defense ... as a wide receiver, had 63 catches for 902 yards and eight touchdowns in 2005 ... led his team as a senior with 102 tackles ... made four interceptions and three sacks ... selected the team's MVP ... named a Scholar-Athlete by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's San Fernando Valley Chapter ... also played guard on the basketball team ... brother, Calvin, played football at Michigan ... coached by Todd Borowski ... "In Lorne, Fresno State is getting such a solid player. He has great leadership skills and is a big-time game player. He was able to play on both sides of the ball in high school, which definitely gives him some great experience going into Fresno State," said Borowski.
Hill on Bell: "Lorne is a very physical player. He's a lot like James Sanders (former Bulldog and current New England Patriot) coming out of high school."
Jamel Hamler, Wide Receiver, 6-1, 190, San Leandro, Calif. (San Leandro)
A standout player who led team in receiving with 51 receptions for 803 yards and 11 touchdowns ... on special teams, had 12 punt returns on the year for 208 yards ... ranked second on team his senior year in scoring with 80 total points ... an integral part of his high school squad that went 12-1 in 2005 while winning their league and making it to the North Coast Section Division 4A championship game ... a first-team all-Hayward Area selection ... named to the all-East Bay team ... a member of the San Francisco Chronicle's all-Metro team ... joins high school teammates Nico Herron and Damion Owens in signing with the Bulldogs ... coached by Brad Bowers ... "Jamel is probably one of the funniest guys you will ever meet. He is quite the jokester who loves to have fun. But at the same time, he is also one of the most competitive and tough guys on the team, always willing to step it up and do what it takes to win."
Hill on Hamler: "A very strong and physical receiver. He made a lot of big plays in high school. Jamel has shown great integrity on the recruiting process by sticking to his original commitment to become a Bulldog when he had an offer from aPac-10 school."
Anthony Harding, Running Back, 6-0, 215, Turlock, Calif. (Pitman)
Rushed for 1,646 yards and 22 touchdowns last fall for Pittman, which had a record of 8-4 ... averaged 8.6 yards per carry ... added 15 receptions for 225 yards and two more touchdowns ... had 14 tackles and one interception on defense ... averaged 21.5 yards per kickoff returns and had a 95-yard return for a touchdown against Bever High ... rushed for five touchdownsn and a season high 196 yards against Johanson in his team's 43-14 win ... rushed for more than 100 yards in 11 of 12 games ... guided his team to consecutive Central California Conference championships ... Modesto Bee All-Stanislaus District selection and conference MVP.
Hill on Harding: "A physical north-south runner. He was never caught from behind in high school. Also runs track. In three years, he never missed a game, so he is a durable, tough back."
Ken Hedrington, Athlete, 6-1, 175, Fresno, Calif. (Bullard)
Helped lead Bullard to a 10-3 record and the Central Section finals against Bakersfield ... selected all-league as a running back ... rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the Central Section title game ... coached by Don Arax.
Hill on Hedrington: "Kenny has position flexibility. In high school, he was a physical runner north-south runner. He could play fullback, tailback or linebacker."
Nico Herron, Linebacker, 6-3, 240, San Leandro, Calif. (San Leandro)
A smart linebacker who led team as a senior in total tackles with 82 ... had one fumble recovery ... made two sacks ... helped lead high school squad to a 12-1 record in 2005, a league championship and an appearance at the North Coast Section Division 4A championship game ... selected second-team all-state ... a first-team all-Hayward Area selection ... named to the all-East Bay team ... a member of the San Francisco Chronicle's all-Metro team ... joins high school teammate Damion Owens in signing with the Bulldogs ... coached by Brad Bowers ... "Nico is the hungriest football player we have had come through San Leandro High School. He is always wanting more. His dedication to learning and studying the game has translated to the phenomenal skills he shows while playing on the field," said Bowers.
Hill on Herron: "Nico is a team leader. He has great leadership qualities. He's a very physical player. He's another player with great position flexibility. He has great size and could be an outstanding edge rusher, middle linebacker or strong side linebacker."
Andrew Jackson, Defensive Line, 6-5, 250, Grass Valley, Calif. (Nevada Union)
Was an overwhelmingly dominant player on both the offensive and defensive line positions ... was named the Sacramento Bee's 2005 Player of the Year ... a first-team all-state selection... led the Nevada Union Miners to their first section title (Sac-Joaquin) since 1994 ... was the best blocker for an offense that scored 30 or more points in all four of its playoff games ... on defense as a senior, recorded 68 tackles and 11 sacks ... a team captain and earned the team's Jim Brown MVP award ... coached by Dave Humphers ... "Andrew is one of the most dominating players I have ever seen. Every other play he put an opponent on his back. He is relentless in his pursuit of the ball carrier and his work ethic is unmatched. He is the best leader I have ever coached," said Humphers.
Hill on Jackson: "Played both sides of the ball but earned first-team all-state on defense. He plays with great effort. He'a a special athlete with size and should become an impact player."
Ben Jacobs, Linebacker, 6-3, 225, Las Vegas, Nev. (Silverado)
A two-way player who was a standout on defense as a linebacker ... three-year varsity starter ... helped his team to an 8-4 record in 2005 and a second round playoff appearance ... as a senior, was first-team all-district (Southeast Sunrise) at linebacker and the district's Defensive Player of the Year ... was also first-team all-region (Sunrise) and the region's Co-Defensive Player of the Year ... was first-team all-state as an inside linebacker ... was Silverado's Skyhawk Award Winner which is the team MVP ... as a senior compiled 99 tackles, 33 solo ... made six sacks ... had three interceptions ... forced four fumbles and recovered two ... as a tight end on offense, made 15 receptions for 297 yards and two touchdowns ... is also a standout wrestler, taking second in the state as a junior ... also throws the shot put, qualifying for the state championships in his junior year ... coached by Doug Thornhill ... "I expect that Ben will develop immediately into a great Division I athlete. He has great size and speed and plays very smart. He's a leader by example on the field, in the weight room and in the classroom," said Thornhill.
Hill on Jacobs: "A first-team all-state player who is 30-1 as a wrestler. Has the size and athletic ability to play linebacker or defensive line. He was an outstanding tight end. Ben is an outstanding athlete with the type of position flexibility we like."
A.J. Jefferson, Athlete, 6-0, 180, Bakersfield, Calif. (West)
Despite not playing football his junior season, this talented two-way player helped lead West High to a Section title ... a versatile athlete who led the squad with 43 receptions for 901 yards and eight touchdowns, fourth-most yards in Kern County ... averaged 21 yards per reception ... had two carries for 53 yards and a 38-yard touchdown ... on defense, he had 52 total tackles, six interceptions with 170 return yards, blocked two punts and six field goals ... had one blocked punt and two blocked field goals against South High ... led West to a 12-1 record and section championship win over Tulare Union ... select first-team all-area as a defensive back.
Hill on Jefferson: "A.J. is an outstanding three sport star at West High, who we feel has great potential to be a big-time cornerback here at Fresno State. He reminds me of (current Bulldog) Marcus McCauley coming out of high school. He has outstanding position qualities."
Robert Malone, Punter, 6-2, 215, Riverside, Calif. (Martin Luther King)
A good all-around athlete who played tight end and defensive end in addition to being the team's punter ... has good size ... averaged 39.2 yards per punt with a long of 59 yards ... downed six inside the 20 yard line ... averaged 23.6 yards per reception and scored six touchdowns ... had 20 receptions for 471 yards ... had 13 tackles and 4.5 sacks on defense ... cousin of USC punter Tom Malone ... Bulldog coaches liked his overall athletic ability ... showed great hang time in the 4.8 second range and a strong leg.
Hill on Malone: "John Baxter feels like he could be our next outstanding punter. He is a very good athlete with great physical and mental toughness, which is an important quality in a punter."
Lonyae Miller, Running Back, 5-11, 210, Fontana, Calif. (Fontana Kaiser)
An explosive player with a great combination of speed and power ... selected third-team all-state in California ... ran for an astounding 2,567 yards on 277 attempts his senior season ... finished fourth in the state in rushing yards ... averaged 9.27 yards per carry with 34 touchdowns and a long run of 94 yards ... rushed for more than 100 yards in every game and had seven games of 200 or more yards ... best game came against Coachella Valley, when he rushed for 277 yards and four touchdowns ... averaged 223.6 yards per game in the last five games of his high school career, reaching the 200-yard mark four times ... scored a season-high five touchdowns against Rubidoux ... guided his team to a 10-3 record ... on defense, recorded 19 total tackles, 16 solo, and two interceptions ... was named a first team All-CIF Southern Section at running back ... named the Sunkist League Offensive MVP ... named an Old Spice Top 50 athlete ... coached by Dick Bruich ... "He's one of the most talented athletes I've ever coached. He is very explosive between the tackles, but he can also beat the opposition with speed. I believe Lonyae will have a great college career," said Bruich.
Hill on Miller: "Lonyae is an outstanding running back prospect. He has size, speed and power. He's a very physical inside runner with speed to get to the edge. We feel very fortunate to attract this type of young man."
Damion Owens, Defensive Back, 5-11, 185, San Leandro, Calif. (San Leandro)
An all-around team contributor ... on offense, made seven receptions for 94 yards and one touchdown in 2005 ... on defense, made 31 total tackles and one quarterback sack ... intercepted six passes and recovered one fumble ... part of his high school squad that went 12-1 in 2005 while winning their league and making it to the North Coast Section Division 4A championship game ... a first-team all-Hayward Area selection ... named to the all-East Bay team ... a member of the San Francisco Chronicle's all-Metro team ... joins high school teammate Nico Herron in signing with the Bulldogs ... coached by Brad Bowers ... "Damion is a very competitive player who just dares quarterbacks to test him. He loves it when the opponent throws his way so he can make them look foolish," said Bowers.
Hill on Owens: "This young man possesses all the mental and physical qualities to be a great cornerback. We had him in our team camp for two years and believe he can become a big, physical lockdown corner."
Charley Robbins, Offensive Lineman, 6-2, 270, Fresno, Calif. (Bullard)
Third team all-state selection ... first team all-Valley honoree ... named CMAC Lineman of the Year ... helped his team reach the Central Section finals ... also was a member of the wrestling team during his junior season ... coached by Don Arax ... "Plain and simple, Charley is a knee-bender. He just drills people. He is an extremely hard-working kid who possesses a typical lineman mentality. I believe Charley has all the tools to be successful at the next level," said Arax.
Hill on Robbins: "Charley was the `king of the cage' in our summer drills. He's a very physical, hardnosed offensive lineman. He is very comparable to Cole Popovich (Freshman All-America offensive guard for the Bulldogs) coming out of high school."
Mark Roberts, Defensive Line, 6-2, 275, Modesto, Calif. (Modesto)
An aggressive defensive lineman, who also played on offense in goal line situations ... selected second-team all-state ... was Modesto High's defensive lineman of the year and named to the all-league team ... a two-time all-district (Stanislaus) selection ... a two-time all-section (Sac-Joaquin) ... made 98 tackles and 9 sacks as a senior ... in 2004, led Modesto to its first league title since 1972 ... anchored the defensive line in 2005 to give Modesto its first outright league title in 46 years and a 7-4 overall record ... coached by Rod Long ... "Mark is the best defensive lineman we've ever coached here at Modesto High. His motor is always running and he never gives up on a play. He has great quickness, often coming back to make tackles 15 yards up-field. He's also very serious about his school work," said Long.
Hill on Roberts: "Mark was the most physical defensive lineman I saw this year. We feel this young man will be an impact player here early in his career. He's very similar to Jason Stewart (former All-WAC Bulldog and Indianapolis Colt player) coming out of high school but at the same size Jason played at his senior season here."
Robert Schenck, Linebacker, 6-2, 235, San Marcos, Calif. (Mission Hills)
A quick linebacker that really progressed through his senior year ... league defensive player of the year despite being on a team that finished last in the Valley League of the Southern Section with a 1-10 record ... All-County selection ... made 76 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three interceptions, three fumbles caused, two pass breakups and one quarterback hurry as a senior ... also scored two defensive touchdowns ... played fullback on the offensive side of the ball ... coached by Chris Hauser ... "I would describe him as a warrior. We asked him to do a lot, being a brand new school with no seniors. We knew we weren't going to be very successful in the win-loss column, but that never interfered with what Robert wanted to get accomplished out there," said Hauser.
Hill on Schenck: "Robert is a big-time talent. Was the outstanding defensive player in our summer skills camp. He has a great combination of size, speed and toughness. He could play early in his career."
Taylor Smith, Defensive End, 6-3, 230, Clovis, Calif. (Buchanan)
A local defensive end from Buchanan High School in Clovis, Smith has developed into one of the top linemen in the Valley ... first-team all-TRAC ... first-team All-Valley ... member of the Clovis Independent All-Star team ... named the team's defensive MVP ... recorded 47 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception and 2 fumble recovery's for Buchanan High School as a senior ... grew up as a Fresno State fan ... coached by Mike Vogt ... "I think he's an athletic player and we always played him on defense. He'll bring a good pass rush, and has an extremely good technique. He plays hard on every play, and will be a good fit at Fresno State. I think he really fits the mold of the kind of player that the Fresno State program recruits from the Valley," said Vogt.
Hill on Taylor Smith: "He had an outstanding performance at the Fresno State summer camp. He ran a 4.7 40-yard dash and show outstanding athletic ability. We feel he can play up or down on the line, which gives him great position flexibility."
Will Smith, Linebacker, 6-1, 205, Fresno, Calif. (Sunnyside)
Two-time NYL (North Yosemite League) first team selection ...NYL Lineman of the Year as a senior ... second team Fresno Bee all-star squad ... all-league and all-Valley selection in track and field ... coached by Shannon Pulliam ... "Will is a kid who has all the potential. He is very intelligent and probably one of the fastest linebackers Fresno State has recruited. Will is a well-rounded individual; he is also involved in student council, AP classes and serves as rally commissioner. I'm looking forward to watching him at the next level."
Hill on Will Smith: "Will has great potential. He's an outstanding athlete with big-time speed. He's one of the top hurdlers in the state and finished second in his event at the Save Mart Center at the Run for a Dream meet."
Michael Stuart, Defensive End, 6-4, 245, Westlake, Calif. (Moorpark College)
A defensive standout at Moorpark College joins the Bulldogs for his sophomore season ... lined up all over the field for Moorpark, playing on both sides of the ball ... returned a fumble 43-yards for a touchdown against Long Beach City College ... a highly-touted recruit out of high school, redshirted in 2004 for USC ... named as an All-CIF Southern Section first-team member and was the all-CIF Division IV Offensive Player of the Year ... he had 75 receptions for 1,279 yards (17.1 avg.) with 18 TDs on offense and 95 tackles, 13 sacks and 4 forced fumbles on defense as a senior wide receiver and defensive lineman ... he also played basketball at Westlake High School ... coached by Jim Bittner at Moorpark ... "Mike is a very outstanding defensive lineman. He has great quickness and speed. I think that he should help Fresno State immediately in terms of a pass rush. He's definitely an impact player."
Hill on Stuart: "Could be a big part of the 2006 defensive line. He's an outstanding player who signed with USC out if high school in 2004. We feel fortunate to have an outstanding player and young man like Mike in our program."
Kenny Wiggins, Offensive Lineman, 6-7, 260, Elk Grove, Calif. (Elk Grove)
First team All-Delta League ... First team All-Metro ... First team All-Section honoree, which includes all of Northern California ... also a member of the basketball team, earning first team all-league honors ... coached by Dave Hoskins.
Hill on Wiggins: "This young man has all of the physical qualities to be a big-time offensive tackle. He reminds me a lot of Chris Conrad (former Bulldog and Pittsburgh Steeler). After our summer camp, we offered him a scholarship based on his athletic ability, toughness and physical qualities."
Barry Wilson, Receiver, 6-3, 185, Tulare, Calif. (Tulare Union)
Led the state in receiving yards with 1,810 on 84 receptions ... scored 27 touchdowns and average 21.6 yards per reception ... selected second-team all-state ... had four games of 200-yards or more, include a season-high 10 receptions for 267 yards and four touchdowns ... caught five touchdown passes against Granite Hill and Porterville ... led his team to a 12-1 record, losing to West High of Bakersfield in the Central Section championship ... set a Central Section record for most receiving yards (1,810) and touchdowns in a season (27) ... first-team Fresno Bee All-Star selection.
Hill on Wilson: "We felt Barry was the top receiver in the Valley. He's an outstanding young man with unlimited physical qualities to become a big-time play maker."
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