Hill Adds 22 High School Recruits to 2008 Squad
    Pat Hill announced his 2008 signing class of 22 high school seniors.
    Pat Hill announced his 2008 signing class of 22 high school seniors.

    Feb. 6, 2008

    Press Conference Video

    FRESNO, Calif. - There's size and speed in Pat Hill's 12th recruiting class. The veteran coach is pleased with a talented class that will augment an already young and talented group of Bulldogs currently in the program.

    Hill signed a class exclusively made up of 22 high school seniors, six from Valley high schools.

    For Hill, an emphasis of this class was placed on offensive and defensive linemen. Fresno State added six defensive and offensive linemen. As a group, they comprise some of the largest line recruits Hill has ever signed. The offensive linemen average 274 pounds.

    The Dogs added three tight ends in this class, and two linebackers. Hill is excited about two athletes in the class, Rashad Evan and A.J. Ellis, who could contribute early because of their position flexibility.

    In all, the Dogs signed three of the Contra Costa Times' Bay Area top 10 rated players, No. 3 Rashad Evans, N. 8 David Gory and No. 10 James Robinson.

    Fresno State reached into the state of Texas for the second straight year, signing three players, including two talented defensive linemen. Last season, the Dogs signed quarterback Matt Faulkner from Texas.

    Hill only signed one quarterback in 2008, Fresno's Player of the Year Ebahn Feathers. He also only signed just one running back (Michael Harris) and one defensive back (L.J. Jones).

    Once again, Hill plucked some of the best prospects from the Valley. In addition to Feathers, who Hill calls a "great quarterback prospect because of his arm strength, athletic ability and leadership skills", he didn't have to go far from campus to sign tight end/defensive end Michael Butler from Sunnyside High School.

    Bakersfield was again a hotbed for the Dogs. One year after getting national prep rushing leader Ryan Mathews, Hill returned to the South Valley to sign standout defensive lineman Matt Akers (Liberty High School) and receiver Anthony Johnson (Highland High School). Akers was a second-team All-State selection. Other recent Bakersfield area players who played for the Dogs include quarterback David Carr, receiver Rodney Wright and linebacker Bryce McGill. In addition to Mathews, current Bulldogs and 2008 NCAA kick return leader A.J. Jefferson is from Bakersfield.

     

     

    "As a whole, our coaching staff feels very good about this class," said Hill. "As with any class, there are players who will need some time to develop and there are some players who can contribute sooner. I feel really good about the linemen we got on both sides of the ball. We got some tough, physical guys who fit the mold of Bulldog football players of years past. I'm especially excited about Ebahn Feathers. He's not only a special talent on the field, he's a special person and a leader. We are always looking to improve the speed of or our team. We signed some real fast guys in A.J. Ellis Rashad Evans, L.J. Jones and Michael Harris. We also improved our speed at linebacker with Ricky Pemasa and Damion Whittington, who bring the same type of explosive speed as Marcus Riley (2007 WAC Defensive Player of the Year) and Quaadir Brown brought to our team. I'm looking forward to getting them on campus this summer and getting ready for an exciting 2008 season."

    2008 Fresno State Football Signing Class

    Matt Akers, Defensive Line, 6-3, 240, Bakersfield, Calif. (Liberty)
    Michael Butler, Tight End/Defensive End, 6-3, 220, Fresno, Calif. (Sunnyside)
    Max Devlin, Offensive Line, 6-4, 270, Windsor, Calif. (Windsor)
    A.J. Ellis, Athlete, 5-11, 175 San Jose, Calif. (Andrew Hill)
    Rashad Evans, Athlete, 5-9, 180 San Jose, Calif. (James Logan)
    Ebahn Feathers, Quarterback, 6-1, 210, Fresno, Calif. (Washington Union)
    David Gory, Tight End, 6-4, 235, San Ramon, Calif. (California)
    Logan Harrell, Defensive Line, 6-2, 275, Santa Margarita, Calif. (Santa Margarita)
    Michael Harris, Running Back, 5-11, 195, Chino Hills, Calif. (Chino Hills)
    Richard Helepiko, Offensive Line, 6-2, 290, Moreno Valley, Calif. (Moreno Valley)
    Marcel Jensen, Defensive Line, 6-6, 230, Fairfield, Calif. (Rodriguez)
    Anthony Johnson, Wide Receiver, 6-0, 180, Bakersfield, Calif. (Highland)
    L.J. Jones, Defensive Back, 5-11, 170, Encino, Calif. (Crespi)
    Chase McEntee, Defensive Line, 6-2, 265, Galena Park, Texas (North Shore)br> Ricky Pemasa, Linebacker, 6-0, 200, Orange, Calif. (Orange Lutheran)
    Trevor Richtor, Offensive Line, 6-5, 275, El Segundo, Calif. (El Segundo)v James Robinson, Defensive Line, 6-5, 320, Richmond, Calif. (Salesian)
    Douglas Spacht, Offensive Line, 6-3, 285, Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Poly)
    Tapa Taumoepeau, Tight End, 6-1, 220, Euless, Texas (Trinity)
    Austin Wentworth, Offensive Line, 6-5, 290, Rocklin, Calif. (Whitney)
    Damion Whittington, Linebacker, 6-1, 220, Norco, Calif. (Norco)
    Anthony Williams, Defensive Line, 6-2, 280, Humble, Texas (Atascocita)

    # # # # #

    2008 Fresno State Football Signing Class Biographies

    Matt Akers, Defensive Line, 6-3, 240, Bakersfield, Calif. (Liberty)
    A tough and physical player ... bench presses 380 pounds ... played linebacker at Liberty but is projected as a defensive end ... selected second-team All-State by CalHiSports ... rated as one of the Top 25 ends in California by one recruiting service ... had 87 tackles and 16 sacks in his senior season ... selected the Bakersfield Californian's Defensive Player of the Year ... had five games in which he had at least two sacks ... had a season-high 14 tackles against Bakersfield High ... led Liberty to an 8-4 record ... also considered San Diego State and Colorado State. Pat Hill: "Matt plays the game with great passion. He's what we look for in a defensive player. He's got a great motor and plays the way we like to play."

    Michael Butler, Tight End/Defensive End, 6-3, 220, Fresno, Calif. (Sunnyside)
    Helped the Wildcats to a 7-4 record playing both defensive end and tight end ...Butler averaged over 17 yards per reception and scored two touchdowns as a senior ... had 21 catches for 358 yards ... his best game came against Washington Union in which he had four receptions for 104 yards ... on defense, he contributed 30 tackles, with six sacks and recovered four fumbles ... Pat Hill: "Michael Butler has a great attitude and has the physical ability to be a good player on either side of the ball for us in the future."

    Max Devlin, Offensive Line, 6-4, 270, Windsor, Calif. (Windsor)
    Can play any position on the offensive line for the Bulldogs ... played both ways ... as a defensive player, finished with 19 tackles and one sack ... a good athlete who had two receptions for 43 yards and a 32-yard touchdown against Sonoma Valley ... recruited by Cal, Washington, TCU and UNLV. Pat Hill: "Max is an outstanding offensive line prospect. He has great size and athletics ability and that gives him outstanding position flexibility for us on the line."

    A.J. Ellis, Athlete, 5-11, 175 San Jose, Calif. (Andrew Hill)
    A versatile and explosive player who is expected to play see action in a variety of ways for the Dogs ... could be used in a role similar to Bulldog MVP Clifton Smith ... Ellis rushed for 1,527 yards and scored 26 touchdowns as a senior and became the first Andrew Hill player since 1997 to earn a Division I scholarship ...led his team to an 8-1-1 record ... averaged 9.73 yards per carry and over 12 yards per reception ... rushed for 244 yards against Yerba Buena and had a season-long 86 yard touchdown run ... played running back and cornerback ... had 43 tackles and two interceptions on defense ... "I'm really happy for A.J.," Andrew Hill coach Jeff Borges said. "He's one of those kids that comes around every once in a while. He can see beyond what's in front of him. He's going to be successful in football and what ever comes after that." ... recruited by Utah. Pat Hill: "He's got some of the special athletics qualities of Clifton Smith. I see him making a contribution on returns and all over the field in our offense. He's an explosive player."

    Rashad Evans, Athlete, 5-9, 180 San Jose, Calif. (James Logan)
    Selected the No. 3 rated player in the Bay Area by the Contra Costa Times ... the last James Logan player rated in the top 5 was current Dallas Cowboy Roy Williams ... comes from the same high school that produced former Bulldog receiver Charles Smith ... very explosive and strong for his size and can play physical ... played quarterback at James Logan but is projected as a receiver or running back ... rushed for 1,420 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior, leading his league in rushing ... had 25 tackles as cornerback ... recruited by Cal, Oregon and USC. Pat Hill: "Another explosive athlete very comparable to Adam Jennings and Rodney Wright coming out of high school. He will compete for playing time early."

    Ebahn Feathers, Quarterback, 6-1, 210, Fresno, Calif. (Washington Union)
    One of the most dominating offensive players in Valley history ... selected state player of the year for medium-sized schools ... named the 2008 Valley Player of the Year after rushing for 24 touchdowns and passing for 24 touchdowns ... accounted for over 4,000 total yards, more than 1,800 rushing and 2,200 passing yards ... had three 200-yard rushing games ... threw for 300 yards in one game and had five other games in which he threw for more than 200 yards ... averaged 8.26 yards per carry and completed 56% of his passes ... had 37 carries for 278 rushing yards against Chowchilla ... had 12 carries for 259 yards and four touchdowns against Los Banos, including a 96-yard touchdown run ... completed 14-of-17 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns against Reedley ... selected MVP of the San Francisco area combine in the summer before his senior season ... led the Panthers to a 9-4 record as a senior ... accounted for 32 touchdowns as a junior, rushing more nearly 1,000 yards and passing for more than 1,500 yards ... had more than 7,500 total yards and 84 touchdowns for his career ... has been clocked at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash. Pat Hill: "Ebahn is best athlete we've ever signed at the quarterback position. He's got all of the tools to be an outstanding college quarterback. He's a tough kid and can take a hit. I like his arm strength and quick release. He's a proven runner and with his speed, change of direction and elusiveness can make plays happen. He was blessed with some real God-given talents. I feel he's the best quarterback prospect Fresno has produced in quite a few years."

    David Gory, Tight End, 6-4, 235, San Ramon, Calif. (California)
    Comes from one of the Bay Area's best programs ... California High to an 11-2 record and third round of the playoffs before losing to powerhouse De La Salle ... injured prior to his senior season ... an outstanding athlete who was the starting center on the Cal High basketball team as a junior ... an outstanding student ... recruited by Washington and Air Force. Pat Hill: "He missed his senior year with a knee injury. The injury is healed and I believe we got a special player we might not have gotten if not for him getting hurt."

    Logan Harrell, Defensive Line, 6-2, 275, Santa Margarita, Calif. (Santa Margarita)
    Brings great bloodlines to the Bulldogs program ... has a brother playing at Colorado State and father played for the Florida Gators ... is the Godson of NFL Hall of Fame lineman Jack Youngblood ... set a Santa Margarita record for most career tackles by a defensive lineman with 179 ... played both ways for two seasons ... selected to the junior All-State team in 2006 ... had 67 tackles and 6.5 sacks as a senior ... had a 13-tackle game against St. John Bosco ... selected to the All-Trinity League team ... recruited by Washington State. Pat Hill: "He brings size and quickness to the defensive line. He has the mental and physical maturity to play early in his career."

    Michael Harris, Running Back, 5-11, 195, Chino Hills, Calif. (Chino Hills)
    Rushed for 999 yards in eight games as a senior ... had seven 100-yard plus games ... scored 12 touchdowns ... had a season-high of 178 yards and four touchdowns against Etiwanda ... had 1,450 yards and 21 touchdowns as a junior ... averaged 7.84 yards carry ... ran for 204 yards and five touchdowns against Ayala ... committed to Fresno State over Utah, San Diego State and Minnesota ... Pat Hill: "Michael is a tough hard running back. He's a physical player with good hands and will sit perfectly into our system."

    Richard Helepiko, Offensive Line, 6-2, 290, Moreno Valley, Calif. (Moreno Valley)
    Led his team to the Inland Valley championship and CIF-Southern Section semifinals and a 10-3 record ... a strong and physical player who bench presses 370 pounds ... selected to play in the Navy Marine Corps Classic, which was shown live on ESPN2 ... selected first-team All-Inland Valley after spearheading an offense that averaged more than 27 points per game, had a 1,000-yard rusher and a quarterback who threw for more than 1,300 yards ... played left tackle at Moreno Valley, but is projected to play guard for the Dogs. Pat Hill: "A very physical player lineman with quick feet and explosive power. He fits the description of what we want in an offensive guard."

    Marcel Jensen, Defensive Line, 6-6, 230, Fairfield, Calif. (Rodriguez)
    A great athlete who has been a football and basketball standout at Rodriguez High ... has great size and growth potential ... led his team to an 11-2 record and 42-13 win over Vallejo Bethel in the title game ...had 35 tackles and two sacks as a senior ... Division I basketball prospect who has been selected to a couple all-tournament squads this season ... his basketball team is 19-5 and he's averaging eight points, nine rebounds and four blocks per game ...because his size and athletic ability, he has great upside as a defensive end ... only played two seasons of high school football, missing his junior year ... Pat Hill: "Marcel is one of those diamond in the rough players who I think will excel at Fresno State. He has great athletic ability and is explosive. He's a quick jumper on the basketball court."

    Anthony Johnson, Wide Receiver, 6-0, 180, Bakersfield, Calif. (Highland)
    A versatile Valley athlete who had more than 900 rushing yards and over 300 receiving yards while scoring 14 touchdowns ... he averaged over eight yards per carry and nearly 13 yards per reception ... recorded 28 tackles and an interception on defense ... was explosive on special teams and averaged over 26 yards per kickoff return and 18 yards per punt return ... Pat Hill: "Anthony is a real sleeper in this very talented class. I feel has a great upside as a receiver."

    L.J. Jones, Defensive Back, 5-11, 170, Encino, Calif. (Crespi)
    Named the top defensive player in the Serra League ... comes from one of California's top programs ... the Celts were 11-3 and ranked in the top five in the state during the season ... had 65 tackles, four interceptions and recovered two fumbles ... had a two-interception game against Bishop Amat ... had season highs of eight tackles against Mater Dei and Notre Dame ... scored four touchdowns on the season and had two kickoff returns of more than 90 yards ... averaged 48 yards per return ... as a junior, he had 48 tackles, recovered a fumble and blocked a punt ... coached by former Bulldog Jeremiah Ross ... comes from the same high school that head coach Pat Hill graduated from ... Pat Hill: "L.J. Is one of the top cornerbacks in Southern California. He made the prestigious All-CIF Big 5 team and will give us another outstanding young cornerback and returner."

    Chase McEntee, Defensive Line, 6-2, 265, Galena Park, Texas (North Shore)
    Selected first-team all-district for two straight seasons ... second-team All-Greater Houston as a senior ... as a junior, had 77 tackles, 10 for losses and three sacks... comes from a dominating program that has produced more Division I players than any other program in the state of Texas for the last dozen years ... North Shore finished with a 14-1 record in 2007, losing in the semifinals of the Division I 5-A playoffs ...played on the best defensive team in the Houston area ... rated as one of the top 110 players in the Houston Area by the Houston Chronicle... a four-year National Honor Society member ... selected the District 225A Defensive MVP during his senior season ... selected second-team all-district as a sophomore ... a smart student-athlete who also considered Navy, Air Force and TCU ... Pat Hill: "I was very impressed with Chase on film. He was a dominating player in the largest division of high school football in Texas. He has a motor like (former WAC Defensive Player of the Year) Garrett McIntyre and plays a very physical brand of football."

    Ricky Pemasa, Linebacker, 6-0, 200, Orange, Calif. (Orange Lutheran)
    One of the top rated linebackers in California ... a great athlete who was featured as a linebacker and running back ... led a team that finished 10-2 and ranked in the top10 in the stat in 2007 ... finished the season with 102 tackles and 14 quarterback sacks ... had two interceptions and recovered two fumbles ... average six yards per carry as a back and rusher for over 700 yards and scored 12 touchdowns ... a tough and punishing player ... as a junior, he rushed for more than 700 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging 7.5 yards per carry ... led the Lancers to a 14-1 record and 5A Division championship in 2006 ... Pat Hill: "I think Ricky could develop into a big-time linebacker for the Bulldogs. He has great leadership skills and plays with passion and explosiveness. I'd look for him to contribute early in his career."

    Trevor Richter, Offensive Line, 6-5, 275, El Segundo, Calif. (El Segundo)
    A three-time All-Pioneer League selection ... two-way player ... had 57 tackles and seven sacks as a defensive player during his senior season ... selected to the Lion's Club All-Star football team ... projected as a left tackle for the Dogs ... Pat Hill: "Trevor is a physical player. He's got the tools be an excellent left tackle. We like his range and tenacity."

    James Robinson, Defensive Line, 6-5, 320, Richmond, Calif. (Salesian)
    One of the top linemen in the Bay Area ... played both ways but is projected as an inside presence on defense ... didn't play football until his sophomore season in high school ... selected All-Bay Football League on offense and defense ... recruited by Arizona State ... selected by the Contra Costa Times Top 25 players to watch ... Pat Hill: "James is a big, physical player who should developed into a big-time lineman on either side of the ball."

    Douglas Spacht, Offensive Line, 6-3, 285, Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Poly)
    Rated as the seventh-best center in the nation by one scouting service...A strong and physical player who is expected to be an impact player earlyin his career ...selected the Moore League Most Valuable Lineman ... selected all-state in California .... led Long Beach Poly to a 13-1 record and Division 5 championship ...played left tackle as a junior but moved to center as a senior ... selected first-team all-Southern California ... recruited by Oregon, San Diego State and UNLV ... selected on of the top 50 players in California by the Contra Costa Times ... Pat Hill: "He is a tough, hard-nosed football player that will challenge early for playing time. I felt he was the best center I saw on film all season long."

    Tapa Taumoepeau, Tight End, 6-1, 220, Euless, Texas (Trinity)
    One of three Texas natives to sign with the Bulldogs ...comes to Fresno State from the 2007 Texas State 5-A Division I Championship team that finished the season 15-1 ... it was the second state title in three years for Trinity ...selected second-team All-State by the Texas Sports Writers Association ...had 13 receptions for 242 yards and three touchdowns ... averaged over 18 yards per reception ... his team defeated Converse Judson 13-10 in San Antonio Alamodome in the championship game ... a baseball and football standout for Trinity High ... played shortstop on a state playoff team in Texas ... runs well and has excellent hands ... showcased the ability to make dynamic catches in clutch situations ...raised in Utah but his family moved to Texas his sophomore year ... Pat Hill: "Tapa is a very physical tight end with the ability to stretch defenses. He reminds me of Jeremy Johnson on high school film."

    Austin Wentworth, Offensive Line, 6-5, 290, Rocklin, Calif. (Whitney)
    A big, physical player who is projected to play tackle for the Dogs ... first-team all-state selection ... an all-Metro selection by the Sacramento Bee after leading Whitney to an 11-2 record and appearance in the All-CIF title game ... a two-year team captain ... the first Division I prospect from the fledgling Whitney program ... plays center on the basketball team ... played both ways for Whitney and had 25 tackles on defense, recovered two fumbles and blocked a kick ... selected first-team all-league for two straight seasons ... 2007 Pioneer League lineman of the year ... set a record for "pancake blocks" with 83 ... selected to the North-South All-Star game ... Pat Hill: "Austin is another big, physical player in the this class. He has the ability to play guard or tackle. I think he is still developing and has a great upside."

    Damion Whittington, Linebacker, 6-1, 220, Norco, Calif. (Norco)
    An explosive player and big hitter ... one of the top 50 ranked outside backers in the nation by one scouting service ... a solid student ... had 96 tackles as a senior and five games of last least 10 tackles ... had a season-high 17 tackles against Rancho Verde ... had one interception ... led Norco to a 9-3 record and second round in the playoffs ... Pat Hill: "Damion is a fast, exlosive linebacker. He ran a 10.88 100 meter as a junior and adds tremendous speed to the linebacker group."

    Anthony Williams, Defensive Line, 6-2, 280, Humble, Texas (Atascocita)
    Selected second-team All-District 215A ... two-time Academic All-District selection ... had 84 tackles, four sacks, 14 tackles for losses as a senior ... had 49 solo tackles ... rated as one of the top 110 players in the Houston Area by the Houston Chronicle ... had an outstanding season on a team that had a 3-7 record ... Pat Hill: "In Anthony, we get another physical lineman with good quickness. He lived in Riverside, Calif., before moving to Texas. He's an excellent student."

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