FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Head Coach Jerome Souers and the Northern Arizona football team have added 23 new Lumberjacks this afternoon on National Signing Day. Out of the group, 20 of those players signed National Letters of Intent, while another three have accepted admission into NAU and have signed commitments to join the team in the fall. Twelve out of the signees hail from the state of Arizona.
"I know that our staff is extremely excited about this 2016 class," Souers said. "We identified some positions of need and there's no doubt in our mind that we were able to find some outstanding student-athletes. Our priority is always going to be recruiting the state of Arizona and I think we've proven once again that a lot of the very best Arizona has to offer ends up with a Lumberjack jersey on."
NAU continues to prove that it likes to keep guys in-state and this year isn't any different. The Lumberjacks were able to ink another solid Arizona class with some of the state's top players making their way to Flagstaff in the fall.
Grabbing All-State recognition and joining the Lumberjacks are Centennial H.S. offensive lineman Steven Bailey, Estrella Foothills HS running back Joe Logan, and Ironwood Ridge HS offensive lineman Chase Laurita.
Continuing with a powerful presence at the line, the Lumberjacks tabbed Horizon HS offensive lineman Luke Rudolph. Add to that tight end Zach Simmons, from Salem Hills HS in Utah, who played his first-three years of high school ball at Mingus Union in Cottonwood.
Switch to the defensive side of the ball and NAU has signed Red Mountain HS safety Desi Ethridge, Apollo HS defensive end Carson Taylor, and junior college transfer linebacker Byron Evans from Glendale CC via Phoenix Christian HS.
A pair of specialists joins the class for NAU with Nogales HS kicker/punter Luis Aguilar and Agua Fria HS kicker/punter Griffin Roehler closing out the in-state signees.
The Lumberjacks' ability to bring guys over from California was shown once again. Particularly in the area of San Diego, NAU tabbed the No. 2 running back in the state in Nate Stinson from Helix Charter HS. The pipeline in San Diego grows with the signing of San Diego HS cornerback Ju'Shawnte Spann and Mission Bay HS cornerback Myles Dumas. Expanding outside the city limits of S.D. and into the of Inland Empire, NAU inked Rancho Cucamonga HS athlete Aaron Manning and Colony HS cornerback Khalil Dorsey. Safety Brandon Worthy from Orange Coast College by the way of Vista Murrieta HS signed with NAU as a midyear transfer. Valley Christian HS safety Jairus Woodson and Bishop Alemany HS wide receiver Marcel Myers wrap up a stellar California class.
"Our staff then was able to identify some truly special players from the state of California that really round our class out to be one of the most talented we've ever had," Souers said. "The number of All-State players that we have is phenomenal and we truly believe that a lot of these guys will provide an instant impact for us next season."
Tight end Roland Chavez gives NAU a recruit out of New Mexico via Clovis HS, while defensive tackle Junior Olie transfers to NAU from Tyler JC (Texas).
Chaparral HS wide receiver Ryan Bright, Prescott HS tight end Derek Knotek, and Etiwanda HS safety Kendall Greer have all accepted offers to join NAU's roster.
"The amount of support we get from our administration when it comes to the resources we have in recruiting is unrivaled at the FCS level," said Souers. "The excitement surrounding the program right now is at an all-time high and we can't wait to see what the 2016 season brings."
NAU opens the 2016 schedule on the road at Arizona State University on Sept. 3. Before then, catch a sneak peek of the Lumberjacks at their annual spring game on April 23.
Complete List of Signees Below
Luis Aguilar K/P 6-1 190 Nogales, Ariz. (Nogales HS)
Steven Bailey OL 6-3 305 Litchfield Park, Ariz. (Centennial HS)
Ryan Bright WR 6-5 190 Scottsdale, Ariz. (Chaparral HS)
Roland Chavez TE 6-3 215 Clovis, N.M. (Clovis HS)
Khalil Dorsey CB 5-9 170 Ontario, Calif. (Colony HS)
Myles Dumas CB 6-1 175 San Diego, Calif. (Mission Bay HS)
Desi Ethridge S 5-11 190 Mesa, Ariz. (Red Mountain HS)
Byron Evans LB 6-1 235 Phoenix, Ariz. (Glendale CC/Phoenix Christian HS)
Kendall Greer S 5-10 175 Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Etiwanda HS)
Derek Knotek TE 6-3 225 Prescott, Ariz. (Prescott HS)
Chase Laurita OL 6-3 245 Oro Valley, Ariz. (Ironwood Ridge HS)
Joe Logan RB 5-11 200 Buckeye, Ariz. (Estrella Foothills HS)
Aaron Manning ATH 5-8 185 Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Rancho Cucamonga HS)
Marcel Myers WR 6-2 185 Los Angeles, Calif. (Bishop Alemany HS)
Junior Olie DT 6-1 295 Watauga, Texas (Tyler JC/Euless Trinity HS)
Griffin Roehler K/P 5-11 205 Litchfield Park, Ariz. (Agua Fria HS)
Luke Rudolph OL 6-4 275 Scottsdale, Ariz. (Horizon HS)
Zach Simmons TE 6-4 225 Salem, Utah (Salem Hills HS)
Ju'Shawnte Spann CB 6-1 180 San Diego, Calif. (San Diego HS)
Nate Stinson RB 5-7 185 San Diego, Calif. (Helix HS)
Carson Taylor DE 6-2 215 Glendale, Ariz. (Apollo HS)
Jairus Woodson S 6-0 180 Pleasanton, Calif. (Valley Christian HS)
Brandon Worthy S 5-10 190 Murrieta, Calif. (Orange Coast College/Vista Murrieta HS)