ThunderWolves land 41 on National Signing Day

ThunderWolves land 41 on National Signing Day



PUEBLO, Colo. (February 3, 2016) – The Colorado State University-Pueblo football program announced the signing of 41 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent Wednesday on National Signing Day.

Thirty-six incoming freshmen and five transfers already enrolled at CSU-Pueblo signed with the five-time defending Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champions. The class is evenly made up of 20 offensive players, 20 defensive players and a kicker. Twenty-five of the signees hail from Colorado, while Arizona (8), California (2), Florida (2), Texas (2) and Washington (1) were also represented.

For the complete roster and breakdown by position and state, cick HERE.

All signees are contingent upon admission to CSU-Pueblo and compliance with NCAA rules, including certification by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

For headshots, bios, highlights and a comment from Head Coach John Wristen about each student-athlete, visit the 2016 Signing Day Central page HERE.

2016 Signing Class (Alphabetically)

Transfers (5)

Ijumaa (EJ) Armstrong (CB, 6-0, 190, Los Angeles, Calif. / Culver City HS / Montana State)

Montana State (2013): Joined the team in January of 2013 ... Played in three games in 2013 for the Bobcats and totaled one solo tackle.

Hawai'i (2012): Member of the scout team.

Hawai'i (2011): Redshirt.

Culver City High School: Twice was named all-city and one time all-conference ... In 2011 was named LA City All American ... As a senior, ranked 10th in the league in total tackles with 56 ... As a junior, led the team in interceptions with four and recorded 67 tackles ... Earned Iron Man Award for Defense and rookie of the year in 2009 ... Helped guide the Corsairs to two Ocean League titles.

Personal: Is the son of Ijumaa Sr. and Nicole Armstrong ... Has one brother, Jai ... Plans to major in mass communications.

David Cardinal, Jr. (RB, 5-8, 205, Denver, Colo. / Hays HS / Pittsburg State)

Pittsburg State (2015): Appeared in 11 games during 2015 ... Rushed three times for 31 yards and averaged 10.3 yards per attempt ... Returned three kickoffs for 14 yards.

Pittsburg State (2014): In eight games totaled 89 yards on 16 carries.

Pittsburg State (2013): Redshirt.

Hays High School: A Kansas Class 5A All-State selection as a senior at Hays High School in 2012 ... Two-time conference offensive MVP (2011-12) for the Indians ... A 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl selection.

Personal: Is the son of David Cardinal Sr. and Stephanie Aker ... Has three siblings ... Plans to major in sociology.

Brandon Edwards (QB, 6-3, 200, Seattle, Wash. / Inglemoor HS / Santa Barbara CC)

Santa Barbara City College (2014 and 2015): Appeared in 19 games at quarterback for the Vaqueros ... Completed 282 passes for 3,226 yards ... Averaged 169.8 yards per game, tossing 28 touchdowns in two seasons ... Completed 57.3 percent of his pass attempts ... Earned American Pacific Conference Player of the Week three times.

Inglemoor High School: Played under the direction of head coach Frank Naish and the Vikings…also competed in baseball and basketball.

Personal: Is the son of Eric Edwards and Jodie Johnson ... Has one brother, Eric ... Plans to major in business finance.

Jaylen Mitchell (WR, 5-8, 175, Portland, Ore. / Liberty HS (Nev.) / UNLV)

UNLV (2014): Started as the punt and kick returner as a redshirt freshman for the Rebels ... Returned 14 punts for 124 yards (8.9 ypr) with a long return of 48 yards ... Brought 13 kicks back for 228 yards (17.5 ypr) and a long of 30 yards.

UNLV (2013): Redshirted. 

Liberty High School (Nevada): Won three Sunrise Division titles and finished state runner up twice ... A multi-position athlete with the Patriots, Mtichell was named a first team all-state defensive back as a senior after making 49 tackles and grabbing a school record nine interceptions ... Led his team in receiving TDs with six in 2012 ... Also lettered in track and field and basketball.

Personal: Is the son of Jason and Allison Mitchell ... Has two siblings, Jayden and Josh Plans to major in mass communications.

Osha Washington (WR, 5-11, 190, Stockton, Calif. / Lincoln HS / Santa Barbara CC)

Santa Barbara City College (2014, 2015): Appeared in 19 games in two seasons with the Vaqueros ... Caught 55 passes for 654 yards for 11.9 yards per reception ... Caught six touchdown passes … Totaled 13 rush attempts for 29 yards ... Was the primary punt returner in sophomore season with 264 total yards on 26 attempts ... Earned San Joaquin All-Area ... Named second team accolades in the SCFA American Pacific Conference ... Was named offensive MVP…  

Lincoln High School: Earned first team all-area and appeared in the Lions all-star game.

Personal: Is the son of Chris and Michelle Washington ... Has four siblings, brothers Chris and Jordan played football at Occidental College ... Majors in sociology (criminology). 

Incoming Freshmen (36)

Hunter Alderson (OL, 6-4, 265, Tucson, Ariz. / Ironwood Ridge HS)

Ironwood Ridge High School: Was a 2015 First Team All-Southern Arizona selection ... Earned conference first team and division 2 second team accolades.

Personal: Is the son of Gordy Kelly ... Has two sisters, Whitney and Sarah ... Proposed business finance major.

Anthony Barron (S, 5-11, 180, Greenwood Village, Colo. / Cherry Creek HS)

Cherry Creek High School: Was a member of the 2014 state championship team with the Bruins ... Totaled 42 tackles (25 solo) as a senior with an interception and four passes defended ... Also competed in lacrosse.

Personal: Son of Ken Barron and Mari Hicks ... Has one sister, Alana ... Proposed psychology major.

Cody Braesch (QB, 6-5, 210, Berthoud, Colo. / Berthoud HS)

Berthoud High School: Passed for 6,033 yards in his four years with the Spartans ... Threw for a career best 2,291 yards as a junior ...  Averaged a career high 226.8 passing yards per game as a senior ... Scored 19 touchdowns through the air with only six interceptions as a senior for a 98.2 QBR ... Completed 57.6 percent of his passes in his final year with the Spartans ... Played basketball for Berthoud High School.

Emmanuel Byarm (OLB, 6-1, 225, Maricopa, Ariz. / Hamilton HS)

Hamilton High School: 2015 All-Division One Honorable Mention Team as a senior ... Made 48 tackles and 15 solo stops as a junior ... Blitzed his way to four sacks in his junior season with the Huskies … Recovered a fumble and racked up 27 QB hurries.

Tre Campbell (OLB, 6-3, 200, Surprise, Ariz. / Shadow Ridge HS)

Shadow Ridge High School: Led the Stallions to Section III Champions in 2013 ... Named player of the week three times in 2015 ... Compiled 40 tackles (19 solo) with seven tackles for loss ... Added three sacks (-11 yards) with a forced fumble.

Personal: Son of Arthur and Karissa Campbell ... Has two siblings, Arthur and Kennya ... Proposed business major at CSU-Pueblo.

JC Chery (RB, 5-8, 185, Aurora, Colo. / Cherry Creek HS)

Cherry Creek High School: Ran for 179 yards on just 30 carries (6.0 ypc) before an injury ended his senior season early ... In two games posted a 100-plus yard game, a long rush of 42 yards and scored two touchdowns ... Member of the 2014 5A State Championship team.

Personal: Son of Ginal and Christina Chery ... Younger brother of Carline, Chanelle, and Cameron ... Posted a 3.5 GPA at Cherry Creek HS ... Plans to major in sports medicine.

Luke Conilogue (ILB, 6-5, 200, Erie, Colo. / Erie HS)

Erie High School: Took home All-Northern Conference honors in both football and baseball ... Totaled 125 tackles for the Tigers as a senior ... Compiled 19 tackles (nine solo) in a game against Mead (Sept. 25).

Personal: Son of Tina and Chuck Conilogue ... Brother of Marisa and Connor ... Connor played football at the Chadron State College ... Plans to major in sports management.

Josh Coppock (TE, 6-7, 235, Colorado Springs, Colo. / Vista Ridge HS)

Vista Ridge High School: Played tight end and on the defensive line at Vista Ridge HS ... Helped the team to a 9-2 overall record with a 5-0 mark in conference play ... Totaled nine receptions for 106 yards and four touchdowns ... Also a member of the basketball team for the Wolves.

Personal: Son of Russ and Stephanie Coppock ... Has one sister, Rachel ... Plans to major in business.

Lalo Diaz (DL, 6-0, 250, Pueblo, Colo. / Pueblo East HS)

Pueblo East High School: Member of back-to-back Colorado 3A State Championship teams ... Earned a spot on the CHSAA/ MaxPreps All-State First Team ... Totaled 50 tackles, nine of which were solo ... Dropped quarterbacks for four sacks, as he guided the Eagles defense to a 3A State Championship in 2015 ... Recovered  a fumble and ran it back for a touchdown.

Tanner Draper (S, 6-3, 200, Amarillo, Texas / Randall HS)

Randall High School: Played the 2014-15 seasons on both sides of the ball ... On the defensive side, Draper picked off 10 passes and returned for 143 yards ... Totaled five pass deflections, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery during senior season ... In two seasons, Draper gathered 105 total tackles (64 solo) ... Compiled seven tackles for loss and averaged 6.0 tackles per contest ... Helped guide the Raiders to first place in the 5A Region I District 3 standings ... Led the conference with his 10 picks and was fifth in tackles ... Recorded two receptions for eighteen yards as a junior.

Brendon Drugan (RB, 5-10, 190, Naples, Fla. / Gulf Coast HS)

Gulf Coast High School: Drugan led Florida Class 7A Region 3 District 12 in total yards with 1,813 during 2015 ... Drugan rushed for 1,268 yards and 489 yards receiving ... His 18 total touchdowns and 108 total points were highest in district 12 ... Drugan averaged 151.1 rushing yards per game.

Justyn Dugar (TE, 6-5, 215, Houston, Texas / Yates HS)

Yates High School: Earned District 20-5A All-District Second Team Offense … Yates HS went 4-6 his senior season ... Received District 20-5A Honorable Mention All-District in both football and baseball.

Wes Exum (LB, 6-4, 230, Thornton, Colo. / Horizon HS)

Horizon High School: Made 85 tackles as a senior ... Forced two fumbles ... Hurried the quarterback three times ... Named All-Front Range Conference as a junior and a senior.

Personal: Son of Kristin Slayton ... Brother of Lee, Angelique, and Jasmine ... Proposed finance major. 

Preston Guerra (QB, 6-2, 210, Peoria, Ariz. / Cactus HS)

Cactus High School: Earned first team all-section at quarterback, First Team All-PUSD and all section scholar athlete ... Is a United State Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete ... Earned second team all purpose on ... A two-time team captain … Sits in the top 1% of graduating class … On the field Guerra threw for over 4,500 yards in two seasons, connecting on 51 touchdown passes ... On the ground he rushed for more than 1,500 yards, including 27 rushing TDs.

Personal: Is the son of Brandon and Amie Guerra ... Has two siblings, Emilie and Brie ... His father, Brandon, played football at Colorado Mesa University (formerly Mesa State) ... Proposed sport management major at CSU-Pueblo.

Hunter Harms (DL, 6-3, 230, Littleton, Colo. / Columbine HS)

Columbine High School: Named First Team All-Jeffco League ... Brought down the QB for 13 sacks as a senior ... Forced two fumbles ... Contributed to a defense that led the Rebels to a JeffCO League Championship. 

Personal: Son of Nicole and Ryan Harms ... Older brother of Tanner Harms ... His Uncle, Justin, played baseball at the University of Illinois ... Plans to major in business.

Jayden Hilferty (OL, 6-3, 290, Limon, Colo. / Limon HS)

Limon High School: Hilferty is a four-time all-conference selection, 2015 first team all-state recipient and 2014 second team all-state member ... Recorded 129 total tackles (32 solo) ... Earned a state championship for wrestling in 2015 at heavyweight.

Personal: Is the son of Timothy and Jodi Hilferty ... Has two siblings, Elivia and Gaige ... Intends to major in psychology.

Ammon Johnson (WR, 6-3, 185, Denver, Colo. / Cherry Creek HS)

Cherry Creek High School: Pulled in 30 receptions for 400 yards and four touchdowns ... Named Second Team All-Centennial League ... Helped the Bruins to a Final Four finish as a senior ... Earned All-Colorado honors from Six Zero ... Received a top 10 wide receiver ranking in the class of 2016 by Colorado Preps report ... Excelled in the classroom, earning 2015 CHSAA Academic All-State Honorable Mention ... Participated in DECA, qualifying for district competition in 2015 ... Played basketball and ran track.

Personal: Son of Tasha and John Johnson ... Brother of Keon, Tajohn, and Rashon ... Undecided on an academic major.

DuJuan Lawrence (WR, 6-0, 185, Phoenix, Ariz. / Joy Christian HS)

Joy Christian High School: Led the state of Arizona in touchdowns as a senior ... Played 41 varsity games in his career ... Caught 104 passes for 2,041 yards in his prep career ... Scored 55 touchdowns for the Eagles ... Named Division 5 Player of the Year ... Led the Eagles to four consecutive Arizona State Championships ... Played basketball for Joy Christian.

Personal: Son of Todd and Kimber Garrett ... Has four brothers named Brady, Landon, Cohen, and Preston ... Intends to major in physical therapy.

Marcus Lawrence (CB, 6-2, 175, Aurora, Colo. / Grandview HS)

Grandview High School: Earned First Team All-Centennial League honors ... Made 30 tackles ... Picked off a pass and forced a fumble … Scored three touchdowns and averaged 26.9 yards per catch as a receiver.

Personal: Son of DeNita Larence ... Has three siblings named Deion, Dene, and Dominique ... Dominique played football at Saddleback Community College … Intends to major in exercise science.

Danny Martin (CB, 5-10, 175, Pueblo, Colo. / Pueblo East HS)

Pueblo East High School: Helped lead the Eagles to the 2015 Colorado 3A State Championship ... Rushed for 1,483 yards and 27 touchdowns from the quarterback position in his final season at Pueblo East ... Ran for 120 yards and three touchdowns in the Colorado 3A State Championship game ... Scored five total touchdowns to propel Pueblo East to a 3A State Championship ... Threw for 1,614 yards as a senior ... Completed 92 of his 180 pass attempts ... Scored 16 touchdowns through the air ... Intercepted six passes as a senior.

Tate McGown (DL, 6-4, 290, Highlands Ranch, Colo. / Mountain Vista HS)

Mountain Vista High School: Earned second team all-conference and second team honorable mention ... Recorded 36 solo tackles, one sack and one forced fumble with the Eagles. 

Personal: Is the son of Michelle McGowan ... Has one brother, Corey ... Plans to major in psychology.

Hassani Moore (WR, 5-11, 160, Denver, Colo. / Denver East HS)

Denver East High School: Played four seasons with the Angels, earning second team all-state honors ... Brought down 50 receptions for 696 yards and five touchdowns ... Averaged 13.9 yards per catch and posted a long reception of 75 yards ... Rushed 34 times for 314 yards and five scores, which included a 63 yard rush to the end zone ... Went off for 10 receptions, 181 yards and a score against Fruita Monument (Sept. 3). 

Personal: Is the son of Wiliam Moore and Mary Jones-Moore ... Has three siblings, Sherman, Roneeka, and Imani ... Plans to major in psychology at CSU-Pueblo.

Steven O'Malley (ILB, 6-0, 225, Denver, Colo. / Cherry Creek HS)

Cherry Creek High School: Compiled 61 tackles as senior ... Pulled down quarterbacks for two sacks as a senior ... Collected 159 tackles in his four years with the Bruins ... A member of the 2014 team that won the Colorado 5A State Championship. 

Personal: Is the son of Patrick and Stephanie O'Malley ... His older brother, Patrick, also plays for the Pack.

Trevor Philio (OLB, 6-3, 225, Denver, Colo. / Cherry Creek HS)

Cherry Creek High School: Helped guide the Bruins to a state title in 2014 and a conference championship in 2013 ... Earned second team all-conference ... Recorded 9.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss during senior season ... Played basketball for two years.

Personal: Is the son of Melvin Philio and Patricia Gordon ... Has one brother, Devin ... Plans to major in business marketing.

Tazmen Roe (DL, 6-4, 220, Glendale, Ariz. / Apollo HS)

Apollo High School: Roe helped guide Apollo High School to a 7-3 record in 2015 ... The Hawks finished second in conference ... Recorded three tackles, two solo, in one game played in 2015 ... Roe punted twice for the Hawks totaling 77 yards with a season long punt of 47 yards.

Joab Rolfe (DL, 6-5, 230, Colorado Springs, Colo. / Pine Creek HS)

Pine Creek High School: Registered 41 tackles with seven solo stops ... Dropped the quarterback for 4.5 sacks ... Recovered two fumbles.

Personal: Son of Daniel and Laurie Rolfe ... Brother of Juliette, Isaak, Elias, Caetlin, Hannah and Joseph ... Intends to major in business marketing.

Eviahn Scott (DL, 6-5, 290, Aurora, Colo. / Aurora Central HS)

Aurora Central High School: Received First Team All-Colorado honors ... Led all Colorado defensive ends in tackles with 59 as a senior ... Compiled six QB sacks in his senior campaign.

Personal: Son of Nathan and Mona Scott ... Older brother of Nya and Dasahn Scott ... Nathan played football at University of Colorado, graduating in 1997 ... Plans to major in environmental science. 

Jamaal Sears (CB, 6-2, 170, Surprise, Ariz. / Valley Vista HS)

Valley Vista High School: Recorded two interceptions for 60 return yards, 29 tackles (21 solo) and four pass deflections with one fumble recovery ... Named second team all league as a defensive back. 

Personal: Intends to major in computer science at CSU-Pueblo.

Caleb Sheets (OL, 6-4, 250, Colorado Springs, Colo. / Falcon HS)

Falcon High School: Received honorable mention Academic All-State as a junior and senior ... Guided the Falcons to a conference championship in 2014 and a conference championship game as a senior ... Two-year varsity starter. 

Personal: Son of David (stepmom Katie) and Christen Sheets ... Brother of Colin, Courtney, Caitlin, Taylor and Jacks ... Father, David played football at St. Cloud State University ... Proposed criminal justice major.

Ryan Strabala (OL, 6-3, 225, Colorado Springs, Colo. / Coronado HS)

Coronado High School: Helped guide the Cougars to 2013 3A state championship ... Was a two-time first team all league selection ... Named second team all state performer ... Recorded 315 tackles in his time at Coronado ... Competed in wrestling for three seasons, placing sixth at the 2014 5A state wrestling championships.

Personal: Son of Gerry and Julie Strabala ... Has two sisters, Alicia and Lauren ... Plans to major in criminology.

Nathan Taylor (K, 6-1, 190, Phoenix, Ariz. / Thunderbird HS)

Thunderbird High School: As a senior totaled 55 kickoffs for 3,227 yards (58.7 ypk) with 39 touchbacks ... Recorded 32 punts for 1,107 yards (34.6 ypp) with a long of 68 yards and three inside the 20 ... Racked up 42 points on 36-of-42 (85.7%) extra points and two feld goals (long of 57) ... Helped guide Thunderbird HS to a 7-3 record in 2015.

Personal: Is the son of Michael and Julie Taylor ... Has two siblings, Brittany and Anthony ... Proposed athletic training major.

Dean Thompson (OLB, 6-2, 220, Pueblo West, Colo. / Pueblo West HS)

Pueblo West High School: Received First Team All-South Central League honors as a junior ... Named Second Team All-South Central League as a senior ... On the court he led the Cyclones basketball team to a conference championship ... Excelled in the classroom, earning a spot on the honor roll. 

Personal: Son of Janell Solomon and Michael Thompson ... Older brother of Tarie, Justin and Zoey Thompson and Anthony and Alecx Solomon ... Plans to major in physical therapy. 

Tristian Upton (RB, 6-0, 185, Fort Myers, Fla. / S.W. Christian Academy)

Southwest Florida Christian Academy: Rushed for 2,400 yards in 19 games at running back ... Punched in 29 touchdowns ... Posted more than 950 receiving yards with 12 touchdowns in his career ... Became the Kings all-time single-season leading rusher with 1,176 rushing yards ... Set school records with 263 rushing yards in a single game and six touchdowns in a single game ... Sprinted to the longest rush in school history with a 99 yard scamper ... Received All-Area Honorable Mention ... Named a Rotary All-Star ... Eared the SFCA Athlete of the Week Award three times.

Personal: Son of Darla Betzer … Older brother of Hannah Upton … Plans to major in business management.

Quincey Voss (RB, 5-10, 185, Aurora, Colo. / Cherokee Trail HS)

Cherokee Trail High School: Earned all conference and all state honors ... Named offensive player of the year ... Recorded 61 rushes totaling 438 yards and six touchdowns ... Tallied 63 tackles on the defensive side of the ball. 

Personal: Son of Damon and Dionne Voss ... Has four siblings, Chris, Tori, DiMaggio, and Mikel ... Plans to major in criminology.

Jackson Wibbels (OLB, 6-0, 200, Colorado Springs, Colo. / Pine Creek HS)

Pine Creek High School: Earned CHSAA/ MaxPreps First Team All-State honors ... Collected 102 tackles as a senior ... Ranked 18th nationally with 23.5 sacks as a senior ... Recovered three fumbles and blocked a punt in his senior campaign ... Led the state of Colorado with 23.5 sacks ... Made 181 tackles and 37 sacks in his final two seasons with the Eagles.

Anthony Wilson (OL, 6-3, 280, Aurora, Colo. / Hinkley HS)

William C. Hinkley High School: Two-time first team all conference selection (14-15, 15-16) and was selected second team all conference in 2013-14 ... Named team captain for senior season ... Earned power push up division champion ... Recorded 66 tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles during senior year ... Tallied 37 tackles and 4.5 sacks for his junior year.

Personal: Son of Anthony and Tia Wilson ... Has one sister, Tiara ... His uncle, John W. Quinn, competed in football for Adams State University ... His cousin, Brian Brunett, played football at University of Jacksonville ... Plans to major in exercise science.

The ThunderWolves in 2015

The ThunderWolves went 12-2 overall for their third 12-plus win season in the last four years. The Pack went a perfect 9-0 for the fourth time in the last five years to earn their fifth consecutive RMAC Championship.

CSU-Pueblo earned the No. 4 seed in the NCAA Playoffs and made its fifth straight appearance in the Division II postseason Nov. 21. The ThunderWolves hosted No. 5-seed University of Indianapolis in the first round and won 27-14, then took to the road for their first-ever true road game in the playoffs. The Pack traveled to No. 1-seed Midwestern State University and downed the Mustangs 26-17 to earn a spot in the quarterfinals for the third time in the last four years. CSU-Pueblo suffered a 31-7 loss to No. 6-seed Grand Valley State University in the game at the Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl, to close the season and end the defense of the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship.

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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics.