FRESNO, Calif. - (FRESNO STATE) When Pat Hill sent his assistant coaches on the recruiting trail, marching orders were simple. Find the best front seven defensive players and improve the team's speed. After several months on the recruiting trail, Hill is pleased with the efforts.
"The emphasis on this year's class was improving our speed on defense and getting more depth for our defensive line and I feel very good about accomplishing those goals," said Hill, who will enter his 15th season next fall. "This class is heavy on linebackers and offensive and defensive linemen, a need of ours for the future. We signed six players from the Valley and only six offensive players. We always look to add speed and I'm really pleased with athletic ability and speed with this group on the defensive side of the ball. When we get these guys on campus in the fall, I believe we will have the fastest team since I've been at Fresno State."
In all Hill signed five linebackers, five defensive linemen, three offensive linemen, one quarterback, running back, defensive back, receiver and a multi-purpose athlete.
As usual Hill tapped in the fertile San Joaquin Valley, taking six area players, led by Clovis West defensive end Donavon Lewis, Visalia running back Dillon Root, Bakersfield linebacker Kyrie Wilson, Sacramento athlete Devontae Butler and two from Stockton, quarterback Marcus McDade and linebacker Malique Micenheimer.
Fresno State's 2011 Recruits
Davante Adams, Wide Receiver, 6-2, 200, Palo Alto, Calif. (Palo Alto)
Talented multi-sport athlete with incredible speed and leaping ability... as a senior caught 64 passes for 1,094 yards and 12 touchdowns... helped lead Palo Alto to CIF state championship... as a junior recorded 29 receptions for 484 yards and seven touchdowns... runs a 4.48 forty and has a 42" vertical jump... two-star basketball recruit according to Rivals.com who averages 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists... quoted saying "I really liked the coaches, they're really laid back. They seemed really interest in having me there. I plan on having some fun and getting some stuff accomplished down there academically"... recruited by Cal, Hawaii and San Diego State. Head coach Pat Hill: "A great athlete who played on a state championship team. Davante has great size and hands. He will remind our fans of Jamel Hamler."
John Archuleta, Offensive Line, 6-4, 270, Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton)
Member of Class 5A Division I Arizona state football championship team... as a junior named the top offensive lineman in Nevada... selected to Arizona's top 50 seniors list by the Arizona Republic... named All-Tribune honorable mention... during senior season blocked for running game that averaged 263.7 yards per game and scored 46 touchdowns... quoted saying "I liked (Fresno State) more than any other visit. I really like the coaching staff... Fresno is really behind the football program"... recruited by UNLV. Head coach Pat Hill: "He comes from a strong program that has won multiple state championships in Arizona. He's aggressive and can pull and run in the open field. John could be a very good guard for us."
Allen Brown, Offensive Line, 6-4, 265, San Dimas, Calif. (San Dimas)
Aggressive and athletic lineman with long arms... named first team All-Valle Vista League as well as Co-Lineman of the Year... blocked for running game that averaged 267.8 yards per game and scored 37 touchdowns during senior season... as a junior qualified for the CIF state championships in the discus throw... cousin, Porscha Finley, played softball at Fresno State in 2004... received offers from Colorado State and San Jose State Head coach Pat Hill: "Allen is very athletic and has long arms. He has the position flexibility to play either tackle or guard."
Devontae Butler, Athlete, 5-10, 200, Sacramento, Calif. (Grant)
An excellent athlete who is projected to play either safety or running back ... was a skilled high school runner with excellent acceleration and cutback ability... as a junior ran for nearly 2,000 yards and 37 touchdowns on 197 carries... helped lead Grant to the CIF State Open Division title... rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown in the title game... first-team All-Metro... as a senior carried the ball 263 times for 2,884 yards and 45 touchdowns... led Northern California and finished in the top 10 in the state in rushing... sat out the second half of five games due to blowouts... caught nine passes for 152 yards on the season... had six rushing touchdowns in a single game, five touchdowns twice and four scores five times... two games with more than 300 yards... had 10 200-plus yard games on the season, including a string of nine-straight ... named Sacramento Bee Player of the Week following his 221-yard, four-touchdown effort against Rosemont in barely a half of action ... first-team MaxPreps All-State Division I... NorCalPreps.com Division I Player of the Year... named second-team CalHiSports.com All-State ... SacBee All-Metro... three-star recruit according to Rivals.com also ranks No. 74 at his position nationally... recruited by California, Oregon and Washington and signed with Washington State last year but never enrolled at school there ... will be a true freshman in the fall of 2011. Head coach Pat Hill: "As a running back for Grant High School, he was as good as there was in California a year ago. He's a very physical player who spent this past year working out and has developed and matured physically who could be a premier college safety."
Mershad Dillon, Defensive Line, 6-1, 260, Santa Maria, Calif. (Santa Maria)
Talented athlete that played every snap at quarterback and defensive line as a senior... recorded 53 tackles, 23 of them for a loss, four forced fumbles, one interception and league leading 17 sacks during senior season... earn the Los Padres League's Defensive Lineman of the Year ... Santa Maria coach Mike Reagan said, "He's a funny kid and he has a real playful and good spirit. He's got a good heart and kids like to be around him"... runs the 100m in 11.2 seconds and a member of the two-time league champion 4x100m relay team... recruited by Cal Poly, Nevada and San Jose State Head coach Pat Hill: "A tremendous athlete who was the starting nose guard and quarterback on his team. I don't remember ever having someone do that. He has big-time speed for a man of his size. He reminds me of Jason Stewart (former All-WAC and NFL lineman for the Dogs) with the way he plays the game."
Ejiro Ederaine, Linebacker, 6-2, 190, Corona, Calif. (Santiago)
Aggressive athlete with good hands... named Linebacker MVP at National Underclassmen Combine... recorded 77 tackles, nine sacks, two fumble recoveries and one interception as a senior... registered 73 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries as a junior... quoted saying "I really liked the feel of (Fresno) and the atmosphere. It's like a family, and I know they are going to play good football"... recruited by Nevada, Oregon State, San Jose State and Vanderbilt Head coach Pat Hill: "A young player, he's only 17-years old, who I think has great growth potential to develop into an outstanding outside linebacker. Has very good feet and is explosive."
Suli Faletuipapai, Defensive Line, 6-3, 265, Gardena, Calif. (Junipero Serra)
Lined up on both offensive and defensive line... helped lead team to back-to-back CIF state title games... recorded 42 tackles and ten sacks as a senior... top ten in sacks in Los Angeles area... quoted saying about his visit, "It was a great experience. Coach [Pat] Hill is a great man. They showed me a lot of love. What stuck out for me were the academics, that's real good for me"... recruited by Arizona, San Jose State, Utah and Utah State Head coach Pat Hill: "He hasn't played a lot of football but comes from an outstanding high school football program. Suli great growth potential and long arms and I think will be an outstanding pass rusher at Fresno State."
Donavon Lewis, Defensive End, 6-3, 240, Fresno, Calif. (Clovis West)
Explosive player who was one of the Valley's premier defensive players over the last two seasons ... first-team All-Valley selection after collecting a school record 25 quarterback sacks during his career ... the previous record was held by his older brother, Chris, a former Bulldog defensive lineman ... father, James, played for the Bulldogs in the 1980s ... rated at one service as the nation's 95th best outside linebacker prospect ... led the Golden Eagles to a 12-1 record as a senior and Valley title with a 20-10 win over Bakersfield ... only loss on the season was to Crespi High, 34-33, a game in which he had 2.5 sacks ... had 75 tackles and 9.5 sacks in his senior season ... had one interceptions and forced two fumbles ... recruited by Washington State and Nevada . Head coach Pat Hill: "Donavon is a very mature and physical player who has the ability to get on the field very early in his career. He's aggressive and quick and I expect him to make an impact right away on our defensive line."
Marcus McDade, Quarterback, 6-3, 190, Stockton, Calif. (Saint Mary's HS)
Signed with the Bulldogs in 2010 but elected to attend Hargrave Academy prep school, where he saw interested from Miami (Fla.) and West Virginia ... has a rocket arm quarterback ... scout.com experts say he "makes throws that some NFL QB's cant" ... threw for 2,435 passing yards averaging 202.9 yards per game ... rated by one service as the 26th-best player in California ... connected on well over half his passes maintaining a 58.3 completion percentage ... threw 31 touchdown passes with only two interceptions ... boasted a 128 QB rating his senior year ... showed evasive mobility adding 228 rushing yards along with five rushing touchdowns ... AMP recruiting ranked him among the top five in the country in quarterback arm strength ... Named First Team All-Tri-City Athletic League Football Team ... was outstanding Offensive Player of the Year ... teammate WR Josh Harper, also a Bulldog recruit, was awarded Offensive Player of the Year ... coach says "McDade has a nice combination of arm strength and accuracy" ... recruited out of St. Mary's by Oregon, Oregon State and Washington. Head coach Pat Hill: "Marcus is a very talented quarterback who has a big-time arm and ability to make plays. He makes good decisions on the field as his high touchdown low interception ratio proves. He's honed his skills and loves the game of football. I look forward to watching him develop as a pro-style quarterback."
Malique Micenheimer, Linebacker, 6-1, 225, Stockton, Calif. (McNair)
Great athlete with position flexibility ... played linebacker, fullback and tight end at McNair ... one of the top ranked high school wrestlers in California during his senior season and named to the National High School Coaches Association All-America team ... rated as the 88th-best player in the state ... selected second-team All-State by Cal-Hi sports ... powerful player who has great speed and pursuit ... led his team to an 8-4 record and second round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs ... earned all-section honors ... finished his senior season with 171 tackles, 1026 of them solo for an average of 15.5 per game ... had 39 receptions for 570 yards and three touchdowns ... had a season-high of 22 tackles against West High of Tracy ... made 16 solo tackles against St. Mary's ... recruited by San Jose State and San Diego State. Head coach Pat Hill: "Malique has great speed and athletic ability. He plays with a great motor and is a great prospect to play either inside or outside linebacker. He's one of the best wrestlers in California, which means he's tough and understands leverage."
Karl Mickelson, Linebacker, 6-0, 215, San Diego, Calif. (Morse)
Tough, active player ... makes plays all over the field ... top tackler for the Tigers with 68 in the first five games of the season ... had 15 tackles against West View and Mar Vista ... as a junior was the team's top tackles with season highs of 11 against San Diego High and Clairemont ... finished his junior season with 74 tackles ... selected All-CIF first team ... recruited by Nevada. Head coach Pat Hill: "He plays with a big-time motor. He was hurt part of his seniors season but when he played we was a special player. Has great speed and instincts."
Justin Northern, Offensive Line, 6-4, 270, Lakewood, Calif. (Mayfair)
An aggressive dominating left tackle who was one of California's top linemen ... named to the All-CIF Southern Section first-team after his senior season ... lead Mayfair to an 8-5 record and the semifinals of the CIF playoffs ... the Monsoons averaged over 250 rushing yards per game ... recruited by Air Force, USC and Stanford. Head coach Pat Hill: "Justin is a very intelligent player who wants to study pre-med. He's very mature and brings the ability to play all of the five offensive line positions. I expect he will play very early in his career."
Maurice Poyadue, Defensive Line, 6-2, 280, Martinez, Calif. (Alhambra)
Named first-team All-DFAL and third-team All-East Bay ... aided the Bulldogs to an overall mark of 7-4 and second place league finish ... played in Holiday Classic All-Star game in 2010 ... recorded seven sacks his junior season ... Contra Costa Times rated him 14th among the Top 20 Cream of Crop East Bay Area recruits. Head coach Pat Hill: "Maurice was a big-time find for us. He plays with a big-time motor and is already very developed physically. He's explosive and powerful and will make a great three technique."
Dillon Root, Running Back, 6-0, 180, Visalia, Calif. (Redwood)
Explosive and athletic back ... Averaged 7.08 rushing yards a game ... ran for a total of 1,854 yards on 262 carries ... longest rush of the season was for 85 yards ... carried the ball 33 times against Mt. Whitney for a season-high ... had a season-high 311 rushing yards against Hanford ... recorded 29 rushing touchdowns ... helped the Rangers to an 8-4 mark in 2010 ... had 14 receptions for 92 yards and an average of 6.57 yards ... recorded one receiving touchdown ... had 12 kickoff returns for 206 yards and averaged 17.17 yards ... longest return was 41 yards ... named second-team all-state and First -Team All-Bee ... named WYL Offensive Player of the Year ... ran a 10.8 100-meters last year and reached the finals of the state track meet. also recruited by Nevada. Head coach Pat Hill: "Dillon has big-time speed and is a powerful runner. He's got a chance to be another in the long line of big-time running backs at Fresno State."
Jaamal Rose, Linebacker, 6-2, 200, San Jose, Calif. (Valley Christian)
Named All-West Catholic Athletic League First-Team ... also named league's Most Valuable Linebacker ... earned All-State third team honors ... helped the Warriors to an overall mark of 11-3 in 2010 ... Named All-West Catholic Athletic League Honorable Mention as a junior. Head coach Pat Hill: "Jaamal has great speed. His ability to run and put pressure on offenses will be great against option and spread teams."
Ronald Ussery, Defensive Line, 6-3, 230, Encino, Calif. (Crespi)
Tallied 48 tackles during his senior season, second best in the league ... recorded 8.8 tackles per game ... had 0.4 sacks per game ... had a season-high seven solo tackles against Vista Murrieta High School ... recorded a season-high 14 tackles against Notre Dame High School ... caused two fumbles ... had a total of 106 tackles in his career ... team finished the 2010 season with a 8-4 record ... also recruited by Arizona State, Nevada and New Mexico State. Head coach Pat Hill: "He has very good speed and long arms and gives us great position flexibility to play linebacker or end."
Charles Washington, Defensive Back, 5-11, 190, Encino, Calif. (Crespi)
An aggressive safety who makes tackles ... Tallied 86 tackles in 2010 ... had 57 solos tackles and 29 assisted tackles ... recorded a season-high nine tackles against Recorded five interceptions ... rushed for 123 yards on seven carries ... recorded four touchdowns ... averaged 17.5 rushing yards a game ... led Celts to an 8-4 finish in 2010 and was named the league defensive MVP. Head coach Pat Hill: "Charles reminds me of James Sanders (New England Patriots) or Edward Dillihunt (current Bulldog). He's a great athlete who can cover man to man and he's physical and loves to hit."
Kyrie Wilson, Linebacker, 6-3, 210, Bakersfield, Calif. (Ridgeview)
Great pass rusher with exceptional speed that played both sides of the ball... during high school career recorded 40 receptions, 629 receiving yards, 15.7 yards per reception and 6 touchdowns as a tight end... Southwest Yosemite League Defensive MVP as a senior... All-Southwest Yosemite Linebacker as a junior... runs the 40 yard dash in 4.5 seconds... three-star recruit according to Rival.com and ranks No.100 at his position nationally... head coach Dennis Manning said "He plays the run well but he loves getting after the quarterback and I think his upside is off the charts"... recruited by Oregon and Washington State. Head coach Pat Hill: "We are excited to get Kyrie Wilson. He has the kind of speed and athletic ability that we are looking for on defense. He plays the game very fast."