Hoffman part of Eags' impressive class

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by EWU Football

KREM.com

Posted on February 6, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 6 at 11:55 PM

Eastern’s losses were Eastern’s gain.

After losing a slew of wide receivers and linebackers from its 2012 football team, Eastern Washington University re-stocked those positions Wednesday (Feb. 6) as head football coach Beau Baldwin announced the signing of 17 high school players to letters of intent to attend EWU and play for the Eagles.

“We lost a lot of seniors at the linebacker and wide receiver positions, and we were able to address those in this class,” he said. “We were able to fill that void.”

The 17 players signed include seven All-State selections from Washington, as well as two from Oregon. In addition, the Eagles signed a highly-rated running back from California, D.J. Martin from Stockdale High School in Bakersfield, Calif. Locally, the Eagles signed defensive back/wide receiver Jake Hoffman out of North Central High School in Spokane, Wash.

Best of all, the Eagles were able to get commitments from most of the recruits they offered scholarships to – and many of those commitments came early in January when the first official trips were made by recruits.

 “It’s a very strong class,” said Baldwin. “One of the ways we judge that is how many commit to us after trips – especially on early trips. A lot of times when you don’t get them to commit, you have to scramble a lot on the last weekend or two. We were able to have a high percentage commit to us early. That was huge.”

 “We knew going into it the class wouldn’t be a huge number,” he continued. “But we are signing the players we earmarked very early on in recruiting, and we felt like these players would really fit well into our program.”

Eastern lost a trio of wide receivers who all earned All-America honors and had 1,000-yard seasons at EWU. Brandon Kaufman, Nicholas Edwards and Greg Herd helped lead the Eagles to the 2010 NCAA Division I title, and an appearance in 2012 in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship Subdivision Playoffs.

To help shore up that area, the Eagles signed a trio of wide receivers – Nic Sblendorio from State 4A Champion Skyline High School in Sammamish, Wash.; Victor Gamboa from Washington HS in Tacoma, Wash.; and Kendrick Bourne from Milwaukie Arts Academy/Milwaukie HS in Portland, Ore. Hoffman may also play as a receiver.

“We need another group of young receivers,” said Baldwin, whose starting quarterback, Vernon Adams, will be a sophomore next fall. “You can call them inexperienced, but we have some players who are in the program already. Including the players coming in with this class, we’re excited about our next wide receiver group.”

At linebacker, the Eagles lost a pair of starters, plus four other seniors who contributed mostly on special teams. In turn, the Eagles signed Albert Havili from Federal Way (Wash.) High School; Jake Gall from Cle Elum/Roslyn (Wash.) High School; and John Kreifels from Thomas Downey High School in Modesto, Calif.

“On paper, we lost six linebackers,” Baldwin explained. “Some of those seniors were involved in special teams and didn’t play a ton at linebacker. But three or four of them played a lot of snaps at linebacker, so that’s another position where we were able to sign three linebackers.

“There is a potential that one, two or even all three of those guys could play right away,” he said of the new recruits. “That’s not taking away from anybody already in our program, but with special teams and how physical the position is, you play anywhere from six to eight linebackers. That was a position of need.”

Four defensive linemen were also signed – a position the Eagles can never have enough of, according to Baldwin.

“Defensive line jumps out, but that jumps out every year,” he said of the recruiting class. “We play a lot of defensive linemen during the year, and that gives us a huge benefit at the end of the season. We always say we are going to be as good on defense as our defensive line, and we go from there. That means you have to continue to recruit a lot of players at that position.”

Martin was highly-recruited, and at one point was rated as high as the No. 14 running back in the nation by the various high school scouting services. He rushed for 4,624 yards and had 57 touchdowns in his high school career, including 1,824 and 23 touchdowns as a senior. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Martin was named Cal-Hi Sports State Sophomore of the Year and ESPNHS Sophomore All-American in 2010 after rushing for 1,900 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Baldwin said that past success has a lot to do with Eastern’s recruiting triumphs, but also the school’s ever-changing facilities and game-day environment. The addition of a red Sprinturf surface in 2010 and a new scoreboard/videoboard in 2012 have already paid dividends in awareness and respect for EWU’s program.

“The change in the environment – and especially the game-day environment – really helps,” he said. “A lot of these young men came to a game on their own and they got to see a different environment than what was here just four or five years ago. That’s exciting and it helps us with recruiting. The red turf and the new scoreboard are exciting to them. And now, with the plans we have moving forward, they see the excitement of what that growth can do. They see a university that’s not afraid to grow.

“It’s allowed us to have our recruiting presence spread out further than before,” he added. “We aren’t explaining who we are and where we are from – they know about us. Winning a lot of football games, Big Sky Championships and the National Championship from two years ago have also been big.”

 

Eastern Washington University 2013 Recruiting Class

Name
Pos.
Ht.
Wt.
Hometown (High School)
Roldan Alcobendas
K
6-0
175
Camas, Wash. (Camas HS ’13)
Kendrick Bourne
WR
6-3
190
Portland, Ore. (Milwaukie Arts Academy ’13)
Joe Douglas
DL
6-3
240
Richland, Wash. (Hanford HS ’13)
Samson Ebukam
DL
6-3
230
Portland, Ore. (David Douglas HS ’13) 
Jake Gall
LB
6-1
215
Cle Elum, Wash. (Cle Elum/Roslyn HS ’13)
Victor Gamboa
WR
6-0
180
Tacoma, Wash. (Washington HS ’13)
Albert Havili
LB
6-2
240
Federal Way, Wash. (Federal Way HS ’13)
Jake Hoffman
DB/WR
6-0
170
Spokane, Wash. (North Central HS ’13)
John Kreifels
LB
5-9
205
Modesto, Calif. (Thomas Downey HS ’13)
Andre Lino
DL
6-3
240
Seattle, Wash. (Bishop Blanchet HS ’13)
William Lopez
OL
6-5
240
Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview HS ’13)
D.J. Martin
RB
5-10
205
Bakersfield, Calif. (Stockdale HS ’13)
Joe Miles
OL
6-5
265
Auburn, Wash. (Auburn-Riverside HS ’13)
Nic Sblendorio
WR
6-0
190
Sammamish, Wash. (Skyline HS ’13)
Matthew Sommer
DL
6-5
290
Salem, Ore. (West Salem HS ’13)
D'londo Tucker
DB
6-0
170
Federal Way, Wash. (Federal Way HS ’13)
Keonte White
DB
6-4
185
Pacoima, Calif. (Sylmar HS ’13)

More about the 2012 & 2013 Eagles . . .

Spring practice begins in late March for the Eagles, who are expected to return seven starters on offense and five on defense, plus the team’s punter. Eastern’s top players returning on defense include All-America cornerback T.J. Lee and All-America linebacker Ronnie Hamlin. Despite losing three starting linemen and a pair of linebackers, the Eagles have three starters back in the secondary, plus another (Jordan Tonani) who started seven games as an injury replacement. On offense, Eastern returns four offensive linemen, plus all of its tight ends and running backs. Despite the loss of three starting wide receivers, Eastern returns a nine-game starter at quarterback in Vernon Adams, who was selected by College Sporting News as FCS Freshman of the Year on its “Fabulous 50” list. The College Sports Journal also selected a Freshman All-America team, and Adams was joined on that squad by Tonani and return specialist Shaquille Hill.

Eastern’s 2012 season ended with a 45-42 loss to Sam Houston State in the semifinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs, denying the Eagles a repeat trip to Texas to play for the NCAA Division I title. Eastern, which ranked fourth in the final regular season Sports Network Top-25 poll and was seeded second in the playoffs, finished the 2012 season 11-3. It was the fourth 10+ win seasons in school history (joining the 2010, 1997 and 1967 squads), and came on the heels of EWU’s sixth Big Sky Conference Championship in football.

 “This team was an incredible group, and we will keep moving forward,” said Baldwin, who is now 44-19 in five seasons as EWU’s head coach. “I had a blast this season, an absolute blast.”

Eastern captured a share of the Big Sky Conference title and the league’s automatic playoff berth with a 7-1 league record. Of Eastern’s seven Big Sky wins, six came by a combined margin of 28 points – one by seven points, two six-point wins and a trio by just three points. On the other side of the coin, the Eagles were only 10 points from an unbeaten season, having last-possession chances to pull out wins in their first two losses and then having a furious rally and 42-point second half against Sam Houston State result in a three-point setback.

Eastern is one of only five schools to have made the playoffs at least six times in the past nine years (2004-12). The others are Appalachian State, Montana, New Hampshire and Southern Illinois.

 “Our goals were, and they will be next year, to take games one at a time,” said Baldwin, whose team has regular season non-conference games scheduled against Oregon State, Toledo and Sam Houston State in the 2013 season. “Winning the Big Sky is first, but we are still going to think in terms of winning the whole thing. We always will. If you are not thinking that way, then why are you doing it? That’s my approach, and that’s my opinion. I know our players would say the same.”

 

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ROLDAN ALCOBENDAS

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “We’re excited to sign a kicker with his talent. He’s performed very well at some of the competitions outside of his seasons to go along with doing an outstanding job as a kicker and punter at Camas. He’s a huge signing for us, and will add to our competition at that position as soon as he gets here. He has that kind of ability. We usually sign one special teams player a year, and he’s it.”

HS: Will graduate from Camas HS in 2013. He was a first team 4A All-Greater St. Helens League selection as a kicker. A three-year starter as a kicker/punter, he had a career-long 52-yard field goal versus Auburn Mountainview. Alcobendas had a punting average of better than 40 yards and missed just one extra point attempt all season. For the season, 96 percent of his kickoffs resulted in touchbacks. Against Oregon City on Aug. 31, Alcobendas did not allow a kickoff return as he put all 10 of his kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. The Papermakers finished the season with a 12-1 record, falling to Skyline 51-28 in the semifinals of the State 4A Playoffs. As a junior in 2011, he was a first team 3A All-GSHL selection as a kicker. He also earned All-GSHL honors (all classifications) from gshlfootball.com. Camas lost in the 3A State Playoffs to O'Dea and finished 11-2 on the season. He was a first team punter on the 2011 preseason gshlfootball.com all-star team (all classifications). As a sophomore in 2010, Alcobendas was a second team All-GSHL selection as a kicker by gshlfootball.com. Camas finished the season with an 11-1 record, losing only to Lakes in the quarterfinals of the State 3A Playoffs. He was an award winner at the Oregon State University Football Camp three years in a row. He won the field goal competition (57 yards) and punting field goals challenge. He placed in the top five at the University of Oregon Kicking Camp in kickoffs, punting, and field goals. Also plays soccer for the Papermakers and was a first team 4A All-GSHL selection as a midfielder as a junior in 2012. An outstanding student, he was a GSHL Scholar-Athlete in all three sports all four years of his high school career.

Personal: Born 5/30/95 in Vancouver, Wash. Full name is Roldan Hunter Alcobendas. His parents are Rommel and Cisame Alcobendas. Considering majoring in physical therapy. Name is pronounced “roll-dan al-coe-ben-dez.”

 

KENDRICK BOURNE

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “He’s along the same lines of some of the bigger receivers we’ve had lately. He fits into the mold of players who have performed so well for us over the last four years in Brandon Kaufman, Greg Herd and Nicholas Edwards. Along with his size, he has great explosion and athleticism at the position. But there is still a big ceiling he can hit – his best football is still to come. As good as he has been both on the basketball court and the football field, he will be able to take it to another level in the next four or five years that other people may not see. We’re excited about the raw talent he brings to the table. He’s been excited from day one about Eastern Washington and that’s something I love seeing. And he won’t turn 18 until August, so it’s exciting to think about how young he is and how much growth potential he still has.”

HS: Will graduate from Milwaukie Arts Academy in Portland, Ore., in 2013. The Charter school is on the campus of Milwaukie High School where Bourne played football. He was chosen as a second team 5A All-State selection by the  Oregonian. He was a first team All-Northwest Oregon Conference selection as a wide receiver and a second team selection as a safety. He was invited to play in the Polynesian All-American Bowl in La Mirada, Calif. in January, 2013. He finished the 2012 season with 54 receptions for 1,292 receiving yards (long of 90) and 18 touchdowns. Also had 14 carries for 100 yards rushing and one TD. He had six 100-yard receiving games, including a season-high 199 yards on eight receptions in the final game of the season against Churchill. He had three receiving TDs in each of the last three games of the season. He averaged over 23 yards per catch in seven of his 10 games in 2012. He finished second in receiving yards and touchdown receptions among players from the 5A and 6A ranks in the state of Oregon. He helped lead Milwaukie to a 7-3 record, including a 5-2 league mark. Bourne also plays basketball for the Mustangs, who were the State 5A runners-up in Oregon in the 2011-12 season. Prior to playing for Milwaukie, he was a two-way starter in 2011 as a junior at Benson Tech in Portland. Bourne had 32 receptions for 446 yards and three touchdowns on offense, as the Techmen finished 2-8. He also started as a freshman at Benson Tech when the school finished 5-5, but did not play as a sophomore.

Personal: Born 8/4/95 in Portland, Ore. His parents are Eric and Luisa Turner. Last name is pronounced “born.”

 

JOE DOUGLAS

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “We’re not sure why, but he was somewhat under the radar. We were able to work with him at our camp – our defensive line coach Ryan Sawyer and offensive line coach Aaron Best both loved him. Joe is going to be a great d-lineman for us. His athleticism, his lightness on his feet and his overall effort show up both on the football field and basketball court. I haven’t seen too many defensive linemen out of high school move as fluidly and do the things that he does. It’s exciting. We loved watching him at camp and on video, and we’ve recently been even more excited after watching him move and compete on the basketball court. The sky is the limit for Joe once he gets here. He’s another young player who is only 17 right now, and we think he will flourish as time goes on.”

HS: Will graduate from Hanford HS in 2013. WashingtonPreps.com selected him as one of 193 players on its “Best of the Northwest” list of recruits. Also selected among “others to watch” on Ron Siegel’s pre-season All-State team (seniors only). He was a unanimous first team All-Mid-Columbia Conference selection as a defensive lineman and a second team pick as an offensive lineman. As a senior in 2012, he was named Hanford's most outstanding player on defense. On offense, he helped open holes for running back Jalen DeVine, who amassed 1,448 yards rushing yards on the season. The Falcons improved by five wins to finish 7-3 overall and 6-2 in the league. As a junior in 2011 when Hanford finished just 2-8, Douglas was a unanimous selection on the All-Columbia Basin Big 9 first team as an offensive lineman. Douglas also plays basketball for Hanford, which is 14-5 thus far (through games of Feb. 1). He was selected first team All-Columbia Basin Big 9 for basketball as a junior. He averaged 16.7 points and over 10 rebounds a game for the Falcons, including a 24-point, 14-rebound effort and the game-winning field goal with three seconds remaining in an early-season home win over Richland.

Personal: Born 3/26/95 in Gary, Indiana. His parents are Joseph Toliver and Leah Douglas.

 

SAMSON EBUKAM

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “All of our defensive linemen bring some different things to the table. Samson is going to give us some pressure off the edge, a high motor and the ability to run around. We love it when we see a defensive lineman also carrying the football on offense – that’s rare. That shows some of his athleticism and straight-line speed. He has great goals for himself as far as putting on weight and getting bigger and stronger for the college level. He is going to give us something dynamic and explosive that’s hard to find and hard for offenses to deal with. Along with all his physical attributes, he has great discipline, work ethic and both physical and mental toughness to play at a high level.”

HS: Will graduate from David Douglas HS in 2013. He was selected to the All-Mount Hood Conference first team as a defensive lineman and honorable mention as a tight end. He was a two-way starter for the Scots, and also played fullback, as a senior in 2012. David Douglas finished 5-7, losing 42-6 to Sheldon in the first round of the State 6A Playoffs. He was also a starter and second team All-Mt. Hood Conference selection as a defensive lineman as a junior in 2011. Ebukam helped lead the Scots to the second round of the Oregon State 6A playoffs where they lost 28-18 to Oregon City. David Douglas finished 4-8, including a 17-14 first-round playoff win over West Linn. Also plays basketball and competes in track and field at David Douglas. Was third at the State 6A Track Championships in the javelin as a sophomore. He set the school record with a throw of 184-10. He also ran on the school’s 4x100 meter relay team.

Personal: Born 5/9/95 in Nigeria. Full name is Nnamaka Samson Ebukam. His parents are Tobias and Stella Ebukam. Considering majoring in exercise science. Last name is pronounced “ay-boo-com.”

 

JAKE GALL

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “He is going to be a part of that next young crew of linebackers. He also has the athleticism to play safety, but can go down and play the outside linebacker position. He was a tremendous playmaker at Cle Elum. When we watched him, you knew exactly where he was on offense, defense or on special teams. He never came off the field – he was one of those players who is out there for everything. He also brings a tremendous character and grit to what he does as well. Along with his athleticism, he’s going to be a perfect fit for our program and our young group of linebackers.”

HS: Will graduate from Cle Elum HS in 2013. He was selected to the Tacoma News Tribune All-State team as a linebacker and one of only 12 players selected to the defense. Was also named to the Associated Press 1A All-State first team as both a running back and linebacker, and was a second team choice as an all-purpose player. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. WashingtonPreps.com selected him as one of 193 players on its “Best of the Northwest” list of recruits. Also selected to Ron Siegel’s pre-season All-State team (seniors only). Gall was selected as the Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year in the 1A South Central Athletic Conference (SCAC). He had 1,234 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns, plus he added another 460 yards on 23 receptions with five touchdowns. Also had a kickoff return for a TD and averaged over 44 yards on four kickoff returns for the season. Defensively, he had 74 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks and four interceptions, with two returned for touchdowns. Gall was a four-year starter and helped lead Cle Elum/Roslyn to the quarterfinals of the State 1A Playoffs in 2012. The Warriors finished 10-2 overall and 5-1 in the league, and lost to Royal 61-27 in the State 1A quarterfinals after a 48-6 playoff win over  Cashmere. Prior to the season, Gall was selected to the Tacoma News Tribune preseason All-State team for all classifications as a running back. As a junior, Gall was selected to the Associated Press 1A All-State first team as a linebacker and was an honorable mention pick at running back. Was a first team All-SCAC West Division selection as a running back and linebacker, and was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. The Warriors finished 9-2 overall and 6-0 in the league before losing to Chelan 35-19 in the State 1A Playoffs. As a sophomore in 2010, he was a first team all-league selection as both a running back and defensive back, and was the league's leading rusher with 868 yards. The Warriors finished 5-4 on the season and 4-2 in the league.

Personal: Born 7/3/94 in Seattle, Wash. His parents are Kelly and Marla Gall.

 

VICTOR GAMBOA

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “He has raw talent – and you see it outside of football in track. He has explosiveness and athletic ability, and at the same time there are some untapped skills that will enable him to definitely play his best football moving forward. One of the exciting parts of recruiting is when you find those players and project where they might be one, two and three years away from now. We think he’ll just explode when he can play football full-time. He’s very competitive and physical, and maybe was a player who flew a little under the radar. But we were able to get a good look at him early, and we really see some great things in Victor.”

HS: Will graduate from Washington HS in 2013. He was chosen to the Associated Press 2A All-State first team as a defensive back and on the second team as a wide receiver. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. WashingtonPreps.com selected him as one of 193 players on its “Best of the Northwest” list of recruits. He was a member of the Tacoma News Tribune All-Area squad as a wide receiver, and was also selected to Ron Siegel’s pre-season All-State team (seniors only). Was named the MVP, Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Back of the Year in the 2A South Puget Sound League. He was a first team selection on the All-SPSL 2A squad as both a wide receiver and defensive back. A three-year starter, Gamboa had 53 receptions for 856 yards (16.2 average) and 10 touchdowns as a senior. He also rushed eight times for 106 yards (13.3 average) and one TD. Gamboa had a 14.4 yard average on seven punt returns and a 15.4 average on five kickoff returns. Defensively, he had 25 total tackles (16 solo) and two interceptions for the Patriots. He led his school to a 6-4 record overall and 5-2 league mark, losing to Kingston 40-37 in a playoff game. As a junior in 2011, Gamboa earned honorable mention honors as a wide receiver on the Associated Press 2A All-State team. He was the 2A South Puget Sound League Offensive MVP and was a first team All-SPSL 2A selection as a wide receiver. Gamboa racked up 1,098 receiving yards on 56 receptions (19.6 average) and had 12 touchdowns. He had a season-high 10 catches for 189 yards and two touchdowns in a wild, 49-46 loss to Sumner. Gamboa also added 113 yards rushing with a TD, averaged 11 yards on five punt returns and 18.4 yards on five kickoff returns. The Patriots finished 5-5 on the season and had a 3-4 league mark. As a sophomore in 2010, Gamboa was named to the All-SPSL 2A squad as a first team selection as a wide receiver and a second team pick as a defensive back. He had 28 receptions for 478 yards (17.1 average) with six touchdowns, and also had seven rushes for 89 yards and a TD. Defensively, Gamboa had 30 tackles (17 solo) and one interception. He also averaged 21.8 yards per kickoff return with one touchdown, and he returned a punt for a TD as well. Washington finished his sophomore season 4-6 overall and 4-3 in the league. As a track and field competitor, he finished fourth in the State 2A Championships in the 110-meter hurdles as a junior in 2012. He has a personal-record time of 14.68 in the 110-meter hurdles and 38.68 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles.

Personal: Born 8/22/95 in Tacoma, Wash. His parents are Romeo Gamboa and Melanie Morgan. Considering majoring in engineering.

 

ALBERT HAVILI

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “He fits into the slightly bigger mold of a linebacker. One of our strengths at linebacker over the years has been our athleticism, without a question. Albert brings that same athleticism, but he also adds size to it. We see that size with some of the teams we play in our league and in the playoffs. They just have a little more lead in their pencil. That’s what you want in any position – you want to be diverse. You want to have different types of players, and Albert is unique in that sense – he may come here and be bigger than any of the linebackers we currently have on campus. Along with that, he’s an extremely talented football player. He’s going to be a great fit for us and fits in well with our other players. We’re expecting great things right away from Albert – he’s that good and he’s big enough and strong enough to handle it right away. It’s all up to him, but he can come in and have an impact right off the bat.”

HS: Will graduate from Federal Way HS in 2013. He was selected to the Tacoma News Tribune All-State team as an offensive lineman and as one of only 12 players selected to the offense. Havili was chosen to the Associated Press 4A All-State squad as a first team linebacker. He was named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. WashingtonPreps.com selected him as one of 193 players on its “Best of the Northwest” list of recruits. He was a member of the Seattle Times "Star Times" All-Area team from schools in King and Snohomish counties, and was also chosen to the Tacoma News Tribune All-Area squad. Prior to the season, Havili was named to the Seattle Times preseason All-State team for all classifications as a linebacker. Also selected to Ron Siegel’s pre-season All-State team (seniors only). In addition, he was named 4A South Puget Sound League Offensive Lineman of the Year and Linebacker of the Year and was a first team all-league selection as a both an offensive lineman and linebacker. He and fellow EWU signee D’londo Tucker helped lead Federal Way to an 11-1 record and a South Puget Sound League South Division regular season championship (8-0). Federal Way won 11-straight games before losing to Camas 65-32 in the quarterfinals of the State 4A Playoffs. Prior to that, the Eagles defeated Rogers (Puyallup) 46-28 in the playoffs. As a junior, he was a first team All-SPSL South Division selection as both an offensive lineman and linebacker. He helped the Eagles finish 10-1 overall and a perfect 8-0 in the league. Federal Way lost 21-11 to Eastlake in the first round of the State 4A Playoffs. Havili is also an outstanding track and field athlete, and is the holder of the Federal Way school record in the discus. He finished third in the discus at the State 4A Championships in 2012. His future Eagle teammates Andru Pulu (’09) and Jordan Pulu (’12) also graduated from Federal Way, and he is a classmate of D’londo Tucker (’13).

Personal: Born 8/7/95 in Laie, Hawaii. His parents are Taniela and Telvsila Havili. Considering majoring in business or sociology. Last name is pronounced “hah-vee-lee.”

 

JAKE HOFFMAN

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “It’s always exciting to sign somebody local and a player with his talent. A lot of times you have to project where you are going to see a recruit play at the college level. We think he can play in either the secondary or at wide receiver for us. He runs very well and he’s explosive when you see him jump and run. He has that burst and he likes contact. He has all the tools to play at a few different positions. We’re excited about where he’s going to fit. He may have been a little under-recruited, and sometimes that happens. But we kept our eye on him and talked about him the entire fall, and we’re glad it worked out. He’s going to help us and he is also going to fit in great with the rest of our team.”

HS: Will graduate from North Central HS in 2013. He was selected to the Associated Press 3A All-State team as a first team all-purpose player. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. WashingtonPreps.com selected him as one of 193 players on its “Best of the Northwest” list of recruits. Hoffman was named for the second straight year on the All-Greater Spokane League first team as an all-purpose player. Hoffman was a jack-of-all-trades player for the Indians, as he was a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback and safety for. He also was a long snapper for punts as a junior, the team’s punter as a senior and returned punts and kickoffs. As a senior in 2012, Hoffman completed 80-of-157 passes for 915 yards and rushed 111 times for 529 yards and nine touchdowns. He also caught 27 passes for 393 yards and one TD. Against Lewis and Clark, Hoffman caught a season-high nine passes for 146 yards and a TD, plus he ran for a touchdown and was 3-of-4 passing for 30 yards. He threw for a season-high 257 yards and a touchdown, plus ran for 93 yards and two TDs in a game versus Central Valley. Hoffman accounted for five touchdowns and had his only 100-yard rushing game against Rogers, as he ran for 123 yards and three TDs in a win. He also threw for 55 yards and a TD, and returned an onside kick for a touchdown in that game. Hoffman started at linebacker on defense and ranked second in the GSL as a punter, averaging 40.6 yards on 22 punts. The Indians finished the season 1-9 overall. As a junior in 2011, Hoffman was named first team All-GSL as an all-purpose player. He completed 143-of-252 passes for 1,770 yards with nine touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He carried the football 197 times for 849 yards and nine TDs. Hoffman completed 28-of-47 passes for a career-high 322 yards in the last game of the season versus Pasco. He ran for 174 yards and a score and threw for 95 yards and another TD in a win over Shadle Park. Hoffman threw for 218 yards and a TD while adding 101 yards rushing and four TDs in a win over Rogers. He was also a starter at safety and was the team’s long snapper for punts. North Central finished the season 2-8. As a sophomore in 2010, Hoffman was a first team All-GSL selection as a wide receiver after he led the GSL in receiving with 51 catches for 679 yards and eight touchdowns. North Central finished his sophomore season with a 3-7 record. He also competed on the track and field team at North Central. As a junior, Hoffman was the GSL 3A district champion in the 400-meter dash and was second in the 100 meters. He finished 4th in the 100 meters and third in the 400 meters in the 3A regionals and went on to compete in the 400 meters at the State 3A Championships. As a sophomore, he finished second in both the 200 and 400 in the GSL 3A district meet.

Personal: Born 9/20/94 in Spokane, Wash. His parents are David and Jennifer Hoffman. Considering majoring in business or accounting.

 

JOHN KREIFELS

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “He may seem undersized, but he’s in the same mold as some of the best linebackers we’ve ever had. It’s easy to point to J.C. Sherritt, but you can point to a lot of our players at a lot of different positions who were, quote-unquote, undersized coming out of high school, but have great ability. The video of John is tremendous and we were also able to see him at football camp in the summer. We developed a relationship with him early, and we’re impressed by him as a football player. Comparing him to J.C. Sherritt is not fair right now to John, but you aren’t far off to say there are some similarities to what you saw in high school out of both young men. They were both a little bit under the radar because of their height and weight, but we expect huge things out of John. He’s a great competitor and works hard – he’s a tremendous talent. Size doesn’t affect him at all, and he will go up against anybody and make plays.”

HS: Will graduate from Thomas Downey HS in 2013. Kreifels started at linebacker as a senior and was a first team All-Modesto Metro Conference selection. He helped lead the Knights to a 10-2 record and their first conference championship since 2003. He had 56 total tackles (38 solo), one sack, three quarterback hurries, 10 pass deflections, four fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and one blocked field goal for the Knights. He returned that blocked field goal 70 yards for a touchdown versus Merced on Aug. 31. He also had 10 tackles, three pass deflections, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in that game. Kreifels had a season-high 13 tackles in a win against Central Catholic, which was the first time in 23 years any Modesto public school had defeated Central Catholic. Thomas Downey finished 10-2 overall and was a perfect 6-0 in the Metro Conference. The Knights lost 56-20 to Granite Bay in the quarterfinals of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Playoffs after defeating Bethel 41-6 in the first round. Prior to the 2012 season, the Modesto Bee selected him a as a first team preseason All-MCC selection as a defensive back. Kreifels was also named the Most Valuable Defensive Back at the University of Oregon football camp. As a junior in 2011, Kreifels was chosen as a first team All-Modesto Metro Conference selection as a linebacker, and was one of only two juniors selected to the first team defense. He started at linebacker and totaled 82 tackles (22 solo), eight sacks, six quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two pass deflections. He had a season-high 12 tackles and a sack in consecutive games against Davis and Bower in October 2011. He helped lead the Knights to their first playoff appearance in eight years. The Knights finished 8-3 and 5-1 in the league, and lost 34-12 to Del Campo in the first round of the playoffs. He also wrestled in high school.

Personal: Born 12/22/94 in Sacramento, Calif. His parents are Rhodney and Pennie Kreifels. Last name is pronounced “cry-fuls.”

 

ANDRE LINO

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “He has the total package at the defensive end position. He has the ability to rush the passer and the ability to take on tight ends. He’s a great fit for us in terms of what we see in a defensive lineman with a little bit of everything. Sometimes you have a pass-rush specialist or plug-up defensive tackle. Andre has the size and athleticism to do a little bit of both. He’s an infectious person when you are around him and see how he interacts withour other players. He has a way about him that is special. He’s going to be a great player for us and we look forward to adding to our tradition of defensive linemen who have had an impact. He’ll be a part of our next crew.”

HS: Will graduate from Bishop Blanchet HS in 2013. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. Also selected among “others to watch” on Ron Siegel’s pre-season All-State team (seniors only). A three-year starter at Blanchet, Lino was the Metro League Mountain Division co-Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2012. He also earned first team All-Metro League Mountain Division honors as both an offensive and defensive lineman. He led the Braves to a 6-4 record overall. In addition, he was a first team all-league defensive lineman as a junior when he helped his team to a 5-5 record. He earned second team honors as a sophomore when Blanchet was 3-7. Also competes in track and field.

Personal: Born 4/20/95 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. His parents are Viliami and Alisi Lino. Considering majoring in mechanical engineering. Name is pronounced “lee-know.”

 

WILLIAM LOPEZ

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “He was a little under the radar because 6-5, 240 is a little light for an offensive lineman. But some of our very best offensive linemen have come out of high school with that size. The same was true with Clay DeBord coming out of high school, and last year he got himself up to 285 and became our starting left tackle. We’ve had those conversations with Willie because he has some of those same skills. He has long arms, the 6-5 frame and moves well on his feet. I refer to basketball a lot because you can tell how they move on the court, how they compete and how they play. Watching Willie on the basketball court really sealed the deal for us. He will fit into what we are doing and his best football is yet to come. When he can concentrate on one sport and naturally put on weight, he could explode. You add his feet and his athleticism to his 6-5 frame and he’s a player that can be a future tackle for us. You want to find those interior players and the players who can play outside at tackle. We’re excited to see what Willie can bring.”

HS: Will graduate from Skyview HS in 2013. He was selected to the Associated Press 4A All-State team as a second team offensive lineman. He earned first team All-Greater St. Helens League 4A honors as both an offensive and defensive lineman as a senior in 2012. A two-way starter, he was coached at Skyview by former EWU assistant coach and defensive coordinator Steve Kizer. The Storm finished the season 7-3 overall and 4-1 in the GSHL, advancing to the playoffs where it lost to Newport 56-35. As a junior in 2011, he was named as a first team defensive lineman on the GSHLFootball.com preseason all-star team (all classifications). Lopez was a two-way starter for the Storm, which lost its first two games of the season before winning 11-straight to advance to the State 4A Championship Game. They lost to Skyline 38-7, but Lopez did register a sack in the loss. Skyview finished the year 11-3 and was 4-0 in league play. As a sophomore in 2010, Lopez intercepted a screen pass and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown in Skyview's 37-34 win over Union that clinched the GSHL 4A title. He helped the team finish 8-3 overall and 4-0 in the GSHL, and the Storm lost to Auburn 28-21 in the first round of the State 4A Playoffs. Lopez also competes in basketball and track and field. Skyview is currently 9-10 in basketball (through Feb. 4). As a junior in 2012, he was the GSHL 4A district shot put and discus champion and went on to compete in the State 4A Championships.

Personal: Born 6/8/95 in Los Angeles, Calif. His parents are Vincent Lopez and Rosalinda Rendon. Considering majoring in civil engineering or mechanical engineering.

 

D.J. MARTIN

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “He’s probably the highest profile player we recruited and deservedly so. He’s been productive all the way back to his sophomore season. He’s an every down running back. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, block, get short yardage or hit the big one. He has all the tools and we’re excited about that. He’s explosive and a great fit for us. With the depth we have coming back, we decided to sign only one running back. It’s always good to sign at least one tailback in every class and we feel very good about signing D.J.”

HS: Will graduate from Stockdale HS in Bakersfield, Calif., in 2013. At one point, the recruiting website 24/7 ranked Martin as high as a four-star prospect (94 grade) and the No. 14 running back in the nation (he received three stars, an 89 grade and ranked 26th prior to signing day). MaxPreps.com ranked him 18th nationally. Rivals.com called Martin a four-star prospect and the nation’s No. 24 running back (49th prior to signing day). Scout.com ranked him as high as a three-star prospect and ranked him 35th nationally, and ESPN Recruiting Nation listed Martin as high as a three-star recruit and the No. 63 RB in the nation (he was 66th prior to signing day). Scout.com also ranks him among its West Top 150 ratings, ranking him 114th (No. 12 among running backs). As a senior in 2012, he was selected to the Bakersfield Californian All-Area first team as a running back. Martin was also named to the All-Southwest Yosemite League first team. He had 1,824 yards rushing on 206 carries (8.85 average per rush) and 23 touchdowns. He had a season-high 387 yards on 28 carries and scored four rushing touchdowns in a win over Independence High School (Bakersfield). The previous week, Martin ran for 289 yards and five TDs in a win over Buchanan HS (Clovis, Calif.). He had nine 100-yard games on the season – including five of 188 yards or more -- and rushed for at least one touchdown in every game for the Mustangs. He also returned 14 kickoffs for 394 yards (28.1 average) with a long return of 59 yards. He helped lead his team to a 5-6 record and 3-2 league mark, losing 42-14 to Bullard in the first round of the CIF Central Section Division I Playoffs. Martin was selected to the MaxPreps 2012 California Preseason All-State Football first team prior to the 2012 season. He played in only five games as a junior, but still managed to rush for 900 yards and 11 touchdowns, including a career-high 405 yards on just 13 carries (31.2 yards per carry) and five touchdowns in a 60-16 win over East Bakersfield. He scored on bursts of 61, 30 and 80 yards in the second quarter, then added another 80-yarder in the third quarter. His effort came after being sick with a virus for three days earlier in the week. His team finished 2-8 overall and 2-3 in league play. Martin was named Cal-Hi Sports State Sophomore of the Year and ESPNHS Sophomore All-American in 2010 after rushing for 1,900 yards and 23 touchdowns. Stockdale finished 6-6 overall and 2-3 in the league. The Mustangs beat Buchanan 41-30 in the first round of the CIF Playoffs before falling 42-14 to Clovis West in the quarterfinals.

Personal: Born 11/20/94 in Bakersfield, Calif. Full name is Deon Martin Jr. His parents are Deon Martin Sr. and Felicia Martin. Considering majoring in business.

 

JOE MILES

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “We felt like Miles was one of the best offensive linemen in the state of Washington at any recruiting level. He was one of our earliest commitments. We evaluated a lot of video of Joe in the spring and became one of our first offers in early fall. He’s very athletic and has the versatility to play at offensive guard, but he’s also athletic enough and moves well enough to play tackle – he has the height and range for that position as well. He’s a quality, hard worker in the classroom and off the field – he’s very talented. Our relationship with him was built very early, and we feel good about what Joe is going to bring to our program and what we are trying to do.”

HS: Will graduate from Auburn-Riverside HS in 2013. As a senior, he has named first team All-SPSL 4A North Division as an offensive lineman, and was a second team choice as a defensive lineman. He had 39 total tackles (19 solo), two sacks, four quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery. Miles was a team captain in 2012 for a team that finished 1-9. As a junior, he also earned first team All-SPSL 4A North Division honors as an offensive lineman. He helped open holes for Ravens running backs who totaled over 2,000 yards rushing for the season. As a defensive lineman, he had 21 total tackles, one tackle for loss, one fumble recovery and a pass broken up. He also averaged 32.5 yards per punt on 19 punts, with a long of 49. He converted three field goals and four conversion tries for 13 total points as a kicker. His team finished 4-6 overall and was 3-5 in the league. He earned honorable mention All-SPSL 4A North Division honors as a sophomore. He had 22 tackles on the season, with three tackles for loss and 1/2 sack. He punted 23 times for an average of 34.7 yards per punt, with a long of 59. He was also was the team’s kicker, scoring 38 points with 29 PAT's and three field goals. Auburn-Riverside finished the season 5-5 overall and 4-4 in the league.

 

NIC SBLENDORIO

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “Nic to me is the total package at wide receiver. He is a great route runner, has speed and athleticism to run by people and the intelligence to understand how to get open and what a defense is trying to do. Nic has the ability to play each wide receiver position. When our receivers have the ability to play inside or outside, we become multi-dimensional and defenses don’t know where certain players are going to line up. That is similar to what we’ve done in the past with Nicholas Edwards, Brandon Kaufman and Greg Herd. Nic will have both the physical ability and the mental capacity to move around to different spots. We’ve had a number of players from Skyline, and they have all had an impact and have been successful. We expect the same out of Nic. He comes in as a very polished wide receiver because of the program he plays in, how many balls he is able to catch and the routes he runs. Coach (Matt) Taylor does an incredible job there, and Nic may be further along than other players because of the program he comes from.”

HS: Will graduate from Skyline HS in 2013. Sblendorio helped lead Skyline to a 37-5 record in three years and a pair of state championships. He was selected to the 2012 Associated Press 4A All-State team as first team wide receiver. Was also named to the Tacoma News Tribune's All-State team for all classifications as a second team wide receiver. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. WashingtonPreps.com selected him as one of 193 players on its “Best of the Northwest” list of recruits. He was also a member of the Seattle Times "Star Times" All-Area team from schools in King and Snohomish counties. Sblendorio was a first team All-Kingco 4A Crown Division selection as both a wide receiver and safety. He was a two-way starter as a both a wide receiver and defensive back for the two-time State 4A champions. A top receiving target for USC-bound Max Browne, Sblendorio had 54 receptions for 1,049 yards (19.4 average yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns as a senior. He caught a season-high nine passes for 200 yards and three TDs in a victory over Camas in the semifinals of the State 4A Playoffs. Sblendorio had 49 tackles and one interception defensively. Skyline defeated Lakes Stevens (42-0), Roosevelt (54-21), Camas (51-28) and Bellarmine Prep (49-24) en route to its second-straight State 4A title. The Spartans finished a perfect 14-0 and 5-0 in league play. As a junior, he was a second team All-Kingco Crown Division selection as a safety. He had 40 catches for 522 yards and eight touchdowns, and also had 37 tackles and three interceptions on defense. The Spartans won the State 4A championship with a 38-7 victory over Skyview in the title game after beating Woodinville (26-21) in the semifinals, Central Valley (52-17) in the quarterfinals and Mead (27-17) in the first round. Skyline finished the year 11-3 overall and 3-1 in the league. As a sophomore in 2010, he had 38 receptions for 320 yards and two touchdowns, as well as 16 tackles and a fumble recovery on defense. The Spartans were 12-2 overall and 4-0 in the league, and finished as the State 4A runner-up. They defeated Rogers of Puyallup (34-7), Issaquah (42-12) and Curtis (35-34) in the playoffs before falling to Ferris (24-16) in the title game. Skyline also won the State 4A title in his freshman season in 2009. His future Eagle teammates Evan Day (’10), Jase Butorac (’10) and Nick Washburn (’10) also graduated from Skyline, as well as Tyler Washburn (’08), who set a school record with 51 games played in his EWU career (2009-12).

Personal: Born 10/5/94 in Sammamish, Wash. Full name is Dominic Edward Sblendorio. His parents are Edward and Deborah Splendorio. Considering majoring in physiology. Last name is pronounced “Sblen-door-ee-oh.”

 

MATTHEW SOMMER

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “Matt is by far the biggest of our four recruits on the defensive line. He brings size and physical ability to our defensive tackle position. We haven’t signed too many players out of high school who have the weight he carries, yet move as well as he does. It’s very, very impressive to watch that. We’re excited to see what he brings to the table. He’s unique in that we don’t sign too many 6-5 defensive linemen pushing 300 pounds who move the way he does. That is going to make him an impact player right away and we’re excited about what he is going to do for us. We really felt that Matt fit in well with our program on his recruiting trip. He bonded well with the other players on our team, and the Cheney area will be a great fit for him as well.”

HS: Will graduate from West Salem HS in 2013. Sommer moves from playing on the first black artificial turf field in the nation at West Salem to the first red turf field at EWU. He helped lead his school to four-straight league titles. As a senior in 2012, he was selected as a first team 6A All-State selection as a defensive lineman by the Oregonian. WashingtonPreps.com selected him as one of 193 players on its “Best of the Northwest” list of recruits. Rated as a two-star recruit by Scout.com.  Sommer was also named Central Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year and the Salem Statesman-Journal All-Mid Valley Defensive Player of the Year. He was a first team All-Central Valley Conference selection as a defensive lineman and was second team all-conference as an offensive lineman. Sommer had 46 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, six sacks, eight passes broken up, and three blocked field goals as a senior. He was a two-way starter for West Salem, which finished the year with a 10-2 record after losing 28-7 to defending State 6A champion Lake Oswego in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Prior to the 2012 season, Sommer was named to the MaxPreps.com pre-season Oregon All-State football team as an offensive lineman. As a junior, he was a second-team All-Central Valley Conference selection as a defensive lineman. He totaled 36 tackles and had six tackles for loss. The Titans finished the season with a 7-4 record and lost 49-28 to eventual Oregon 6A champion Lake Oswego in the second round of the playoffs. Sommer was also a second-team All-Central Valley Conference selection as a defensive lineman as a sophomore. Also played basketball at West Salem.

Personal: Born 2/16 /95 in Salem, Ore. His parents are Michael Sommer and Tami Gagnon. Last name is pronounced “saw-murr.”

 

D'LONDO TUCKER

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “He’s a true, true cornerback, but he also has the ability to help us on special teams in our return game. He’s dynamic with the ball in his hands as well. But he has the skills, length, speed and mental ability that make him a true corner. When you talk to him, get a feel for how he thinks and see his personality, you just see it. You see that confidence and the ability to have short memory – that’s what you want at corner. The best of the best corners have that, and so does D’londo. It’s always nice to find great in-state cornerbacks – we have three now who are all in-state players who have been productive for us. We were able to do that again and recruited one of the best cornerbacks in the state. That’s a big deal for us.”

HS: Will graduate from Federal Way HS in 2013. He was selected to the Associated Press 4A All-State squad as a second team defensive back. Named by the Seattle Times as a "White Chip" selection as one of the top 100 prospects in the state of Washington. WashingtonPreps.com selected him as one of 193 players on its “Best of the Northwest” list of recruits. Also selected among “others to watch” on Ron Siegel’s pre-season All-State team (seniors only). Tucker was named Defensive Back of the Year for the 4A South Puget Sound League South Division. He was also a first team All-SPSL wide receiver and defensive back. He and fellow EWU signee Albert Havili helped lead Federal Way to an 11-1 record and a South Puget Sound League South Division regular season championship (8-0). Federal Way won 11-straight games before losing to Camas 65-32 in the quarterfinals of the State 4A Playoffs. Prior to that, the Eagles defeated Rogers (Puyallup) 46-28 in the playoffs. He had 26 receptions for 432 yards and five touchdowns and had five interceptions on defense. As a junior, Tucker was a first team All-SPSL South Division selection as a defensive back. He had three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. Tucker also starts for Federal Way's highly-ranked basketball team (17-3 through games of Feb. 1) and averages about 12 points per game. He also averaged more than 11 points per game in basketball as a junior and was a first team All-SPSL South Division selection. The Eagles finished 16-10 in the 2011-12 season. In addition, Tucker competes in track and field. His future Eagle teammates Andru Pulu (’09) and Jordan Pulu (’12) also graduated from Federal Way, and he is a classmate of Albert Havili (’13).

Personal: Born 1/2/95 in Tacoma, Wash. His parents are Herman and Dee Tucker. Considering majoring in business. First name is pronounced “duh-lawn-doe.”

 

KEONTE WHITE

Eagle Head Coach Beau Baldwin: “By stature, he’s probably the biggest cornerback we’ve signed at Eastern, which is intriguing to me. He not only has the ability to get his hands on receivers and make life miserable for them, but he also has the speed and athleticism to run with the faster receivers in our conference. The attribute that also impressed myself, defensive coordinator John Graham and cornerbacks coach Cherokee Valeria was his ability and his love for tackling. With the base schemes we run on defense, it’s very important that our cornerbacks are physical – and Keonte is definitely a physical player. He’s the type of cornerback you are seeing more and more at the higher levels of football. With a couple of years in a college weight program, he has a chance to physically explode and play some of his best football over the next four to five years.”

HS: Will graduate from Sylmar HS in 2013. He was selected to play in the 17th annual Daily News East-West All-Star Game at College of the Canyons. Earned second team All-Valley Mission League honors. White had 56 total tackles (17 solo), 25 passes broken up and one forced fumble for the Spartans as a senior in 2012. He had a season-high seven tackles, plus four passes broken up, in a win over Panorama. Offensively, he had 17 receptions for 342 yards and (20.1 average) and one touchdown. He also had a rushing touchdown. He helped lead Sylmar to a 7-4 record overall and 5-1 league mark. The Spartans lost to Venice 56-14 in the first round of the CIF Los Angeles City Section Division I Playoffs. In his junior season, Sylmar finished 3-7 overall and 2-4 in league play. As a sophomore in 2010, he had 17 catches for 257 yards (15.1 average) and five touchdowns. White had a season-high five receptions for 91 yards and two TD in a game versus Reseda, and had touchdown catches in four consecutive games late in the season. He also had 110 yards and a TD rushing. The Spartans lost to Carson 42-6 in the first round of the CIF Los Angeles Section Division I Playoffs to finish 5-6 on the season after a 3-3 league finish. White also played basketball and competed in track and field at Sylmar High.

Personal: Born 8/2/94 in Pacoima, Calif. His parents are Terrence Lewis and Barbara Suggars Gable. First name is pronounced “key-on-tay.” He is the younger brother of former USC running back C.J. Gable, who played for the Trojans from 2006-10. Gable rushed for over 1,500 yards and had nearly 1,200 yards in kickoff returns in his career. He became the first USC true freshman to start an opener at tailback when he did so at Arkansas, finishing the game with 51 yards on 12 attempts with a 3-yard touchdown.

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