CWU Football Announces Addition of 28 Student-Athletes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU Football Announces Addition of 28 Student-Athletes to Wildcat Program

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By CWU Athletics

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (Feb. 1) -- A total of 28 high school seniors, all from the state of Washington, have signed National Letters of Intent to join the football program at Central Washington University, fifth-year head coach Blaine Bennett announced on Wednesday.

The signing class represents a geographically-diverse group from the Evergreen State, with players coming from up and down the I-5 corridor as well as eastern Washington. The school with greatest representation in the signing class is Lake Stevens High School, which had four Vikings -- three on the offensive side of the ball -- while Kentlake High School (Kent, Wash.), Lakes High School (Lakewood, Wash.), and Union High School (Camas, Wash.) had two signees each.

"We are very excited to get everybody we wanted from the state of Washington," Bennett said. "Being able to sign players from the state of Washington was a goal for us, and we were able to accomplish that goal by signing a very talented class of 28 in-state players."

From a positional standpoint, Central Washington's greatest pursuit was for quarterbacks and wide receivers in the class of 2012. Nearly half of the Wildcats' 28 signees were recruited to play either the quarterback or wide receiver position, as CWU signed five quarterbacks and nine wide receivers to National Letters of Intent.

"We felt that the quarterback position was the highest need for us," Bennett added, "especially since we signed just one quarterback last year. The dynamic of offense has changed over the past few years and we needed to bring in some athletic players at the quarterback position who can run and throw well, and I think we did that.

"This may be the fastest group we have signed (since 2008)," Bennett continued. "We have players that have great potential for the future, including several playmakers in our group, but we were able to address needs we had at every position."

The Wildcats' most accomplished signee, at least according to the Seattle Times' list of top 100 prep players in the state of Washington, was tight end David Fontenette of Bethel High School in Spanaway. Fontenette was a "Red Chip" prospect, making him one of the top 27 players in Washington according to the Times. The 6-foot-2, 228-pounder was a first-team Class 4A special teams performer by the Associated Press.

Six other signees earned White Chip designation from the Times. Included among those White Chips was running back Jordan Todd of Bellevue's Interlake High School, who earned Class 2A Player of the Year and first-team all-state honors from the Associated Press after leading the state of Washington with 2,681 rushing yards for the Saints.

Two of the White Chip prospects -- quarterback Jake Nelson and wide receiver Christian Gasca -- represented Lake Stevens. Nelson threw for 2,086 yards and 21 touchdowns with just four interceptions, completing 70.1 percent of his passes, while Gasca ranked fourth among Class 4A receivers with 959 yards on 52 grabs with 13 touchdowns. Also making the move from Lake Stevens to CWU were honorable mention all-state linebacker Korey Young and second-team all-WesCo 4A North performer Brady Pahukoa.

Two of the White Chip selections are quarterbacks, as Nelson and Drew Austin of Graham-Kapowsin High School both earned that distinction. Also signing onto the Wildcats as signal-callers were Trevon Myhre of Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., Tyler Stumph of Stadium High School in Tacoma, Wash., and Kaben Humphrey-Butler of Union High School in Camas, Wash.

The eight wide receivers to join the Wildcats are Gasca, Pahukoa, plus first-team all-conference standouts Andrew Dodd (Jackson High School in Mill Creek, Wash.), Josiah Miller (Oak Harbor High School), Joshua Richards (Southridge High School in Kennewick, Wash.), James Segura-Mitchell (Timberline High School in Lacey, Wash.), Jesse Zalk (Prairie High School in Brush Prairie, Wash.), and second-team all-Columbia Basin Big Nine honoree Maurice Handcox from Walla Walla, Wash.

The two players representing Lakes High School in the signing class were both White Chip prospects. Linebacker Charles Hall and running back Levonte Littlejohn were both honorable mention Class 3A all-state honorees from the Associated Press while earning first-team all-South Puget Sound League 3A accolades at their respective positions.

Staying on the east side of the state to continue their football careers were Handcox and Richards, defensive lineman Matt Miller from Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, and offensive lineman Cole Vanderbilt from Connell High School.

Central Washington has won three of the past four Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships and has posted a 34-12 overall record during Bennett's four previous seasons in Ellensburg. The 2012 Wildcats are expected to open their game schedule at Texas A&M University-Kingsville on Sept. 1.

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