Cowboy Football Announces 2012 Recruiting Class [VIDEO]
University of Wyoming head football coach Dave Christensen announced the 2012 recruiting class on Wednesday. Christensen's fourth recruiting class at Wyoming contains 23 signees with 12 recruits on offense, 10 on defense and one special teams performer. Many of the recruits will come to Wyoming from the west coast, with six signees from California and five from Washington.
"We're very pleased with the class that we've put together," said Christensen. "I really like the athleticism and the depth in this class. We always try to balance out each class, signing players at positions across the board -- offensive line, defensive line, linebackers, secondary and skill positions offensively. I think we've added quality players in all of those areas. We also signed a punter. After losing a four-year starter, we needed someone who had the ability to step in there right away and punt for us."
Chase Appleby, DT, 6-0, 270, Frisco, Texas (Centennial HS), named First Team All-State Class 4A in Texas by Rivals.com. Appleby also was named District 9-4A Defensive Player of the year as a defensive lineman his senior season at Centennial High School in Frisco, Texas.
Sam Awrabi, DE, 6-3, 240, Clovis, Calif. (Clovis East HS), ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 66 overall recruit at all positions in the talent-rich state of California. Awrabi, who played outside linebacker at Clovis East High School in Clovis, Calif., is projected as a defensive end at Wyoming.
Justin Bernthaler, DE, 6-2, 245, Stuttgart, Germany (Fullerton College), ranked by JCGridiron.Rivals.com as the No. 2 best junior college weakside defensive end recruit in the nation in 2011. He was also ranked as the No. 58 best California junior college recruit at all positions by 247Sports.com., and SuperPrep Magazine's Jan. 15, 2012, issue ranked him as the No. 69 junior college recruit in the nation at all positions.
Nico Brown, WR, 6-2, 190, Leander, Texas (Leander HS), earned First Team All-District 16-5A honors as a senior at Leander High School in Leander, Texas. Class 5A is the largest classification in the state of Texas. As a team captain, he helped lead Leander High to an 8-4 overall record and a 6-0 conference record as it advanced to the State Playoffs.
Jacob English, OL, 6-6, 240, Beloit, Kan. (Beloit HS), honored as a First Team Class 3A All-State selection by both the Kansas Football Coaches Association and the Wichita Eagle.
Tim Gleeson, P, 6-3, 190, Melbourne, Australia, trained by Nathan Chapman, a former Australian Football League player who also punted briefly for the Green Bay Packers. Gleeson originally had dreams of playing Australian rules football professionally, before deciding to pursue American football and an education in the United States.
Damian Greene, CB, 5-9, 175, Sammamish, Wash. (Skyline HS), led his Skyline High team in Sammamish, Wash., to the 2011 and 2009 Class 4A State Championships -- the largest classification in the state of Washington.
Siaosi Hala'api'api, LB, 6-2, 220, Honolulu, Hawaii (Kaimuki HS), earned Honorable Mention All-State honors from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser his senior season. He was also named the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) White Conference Defensive Player of the Year his senior season, and was named a First Team OIA linebacker and utility player and a Second Team OIA running back .
Sam Hardy, DL, 6-3, 270, West Hills, Calif. (Chaminade HS), was a First Team All-Mission League selection at Chaminade College Prep as a senior. He helped lead the Eagles to the Semifinals of the 2011 CIF-Southern Section Western Division Playoffs.
Nathan Leddige, OL, 6-6, 285, Beaverton, Ore. (Southridge HS), named to the 2011 Oregonian Class 6A All-State team as an Honorable Mention selection. Class 6A is the largest classification in the state of Oregon. Leddige also earned First Team All-Metro honors at Southridge High School in Beaverton, Ore., as both a junior and senior.
Walker Madden, OL, 6-9, 260, Yucca Valley, Calif. (College of the Desert), rated as the No. 34 best California junior college recruit at all positions by 247Sports.com. Madden earned Second Team All-Central East Conference honors in 2011 at College of the Desert where he helped lead his team to a No. 21 ranking in the final California Community College Football Coaches Association Poll.
D.J. May, RB, 5-11, 190, Federal Way Wash. (Federal Way HS), earned First Team Associated Press All-State Class 4A honors as a senior. He joins his high school teammate Uso Olive in this year's Wyoming recruiting class.
Dylan Muscat, DB, 6-0, 175, Santa Monica, Calif. (Santa Monica), named First Team All-CIF and First Team All-Ocean League as a senior at Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica, Calif. He helped lead his high school team to an 11-2 record, the Ocean League Championship and the Semifinals of the CIF Playoffs his senior year.
Eric Nzeocha, WR, 6-1, 200, Neusitz, Germany (FOS Ansbach), brother of current Wyoming Cowboy linebacker/safety Mark Nzeocha. Eric Nzeocha played for the Franken Knights Youth Team, a club team in Neusitz, Germany. He also was selected to play on the Junior National Team by the Bavarian Football Association.
Uso Olive, DT, 6-1, 293, Federal Way, Wash. (Federal Way HS), ranked by ESPN.com as the No. 12 recruit in its breakdown of the top recruits in the state of Washington. Superprep Magazine ranked him as the No. 20 top recruit in the state of Washington. Olive also was a 2011 Associated Press First Team Class 4A All-State selection. He is joined by his high school teammate D.J. May in this year's Wyoming recruiting class.
Connor Rains, OT, 6-7, 305, Placerville, Calif. (American River CC), ranked as the No. 17 best junior college offensive tackle in the nation by JCGridiron.Rivals.com in 2011. Rains earned 2011 California Community College All-America honors from the JC Athletic Bureau.
Chase Roullier, OL, 6-4, 290, Burnsville, Minn. (Burnsville HS), rated as the No. 15 recruit at all positions in the state of Minnesota by ESPN.com. Roullier earned First Team Associated Press All-State honors as a senior.
Trent Sewell, WR, 6-2, 205, Bothell, Wash. (Bothell HS), ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 8 best recruit in the state of Washington at all positions. ESPN.com rated him as the No. 11 recruit in the state of Washington. Both Rivals and ESPN ranked Sewell as the No. 1 wide receiver recruit in Washington.
Jason Thompson, QB, 6-3, 195, Renton, Wash. (Kennedy Catholic HS), rated by SuperPrep Magazine as its No. 19 recruit on its list of top players in the state of Washington. Thompson was also selected by the Seattle Times as a First Team All-State selection.
Tommy Thornton, QB, 6-1, 210, Tempe, Ariz. (Macros De Niza HS), named by the Arizona Coaches Association as a First Team Division II All-State quarterback at Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Ariz.
Austin Tixier, DL, 6-3, 242, Arlington Heights, Ill. (Prospect HS), earned All-Area and All-Mid-Suburban East Conference honors as a senior in 2011 at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Ill. If that high school sounds familiar to Wyoming Cowboy fans, it is because it is the same high school as current Cowboy offensive lineman Nick Carlson.
Lucas Wacha, LB, 6-2, 200, Texarkana, Texas (Pleasant Grove HS), earned First Team All-Northeast Texas and First Team All-District 15-3A honors as a linebacker. His senior season, he recorded 97 tackles, 4.0 sacks and intercepted one pass.
Shawn Wick, RB/DB, 5-11, 190, Ventura, Calif. (St. Bonaventure HS), named to the All-CIF Southern Section North Division team at the conclusion of his senior season. Cal-Hi Sports selected him as a Fourth Team All-State Multi-Purpose performer as both a running back and defensive back. He also earned First Team All-Ventura County in voting by area coaches and was named First Team All-County by the Ventura County Star.
*Grayshirt recruit, will go on scholarship in January 2013