Weber State football: Wildcats pick up plenty of speed

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 2 2011 9:00 p.m. MST

OGDEN — Weber State added some speed on the outside on both sides of the ball, and potential stars at running back and defensive tackle on Wednesday.

The Wildcats signed a total of 18 players on National Letter of Intent day, with the receiver and defensive line positions leading the class with four players apiece.

"It was what we targeted," said Weber State coach Ron McBride. "It (the signing class) fills in the areas we need. It wasn't a class that we had to fill in a bunch of areas, but we got some guys that could move in and contribute right away."

McBride is pleased with his entire class, but two players — Connor Myers and Barrington Collins — stand out as guys who might contribute right away.

Myers, a defensive tackle from Oklahoma, earned all-state honors at Edmond Memorial High. He's a big, strong kid who drew interest from several schools before ultimately deciding on Weber State.

"He was a tough get," McBride said. "People kept pouncing in on him towards the end."

Collins, from Corona, Calif., could immediately help the Wildcats at running back. He rushed for more than 2,400 yards and scored 42 touchdowns in his high school career. With Vai Tafuna graduated and Bo Bolen on an LDS Church mission, the opportunity is there for Collins to play.

"He's something," McBride said. "He's a special kind of cat."

Another special kind of cat, according to McBride, is Eric Shufford. The recruit from Fontana, Calif. is listed as an athlete and could play quarterback, running back, receiver or defensive back for the Wildcats. Weber State will figure that out later.

"He looks like Michael Vick looked on film in high school," said McBride. "He's an option quarterback and ran up and down the field."

The Wildcats, who didn't sign any junior college players, added eight local athletes. They believe one of their top finds is Woods Cross receiver Darchon Taggart, who had more than 1,000 receiving yards and averaged a whopping 28 yards per catch during his senior season.

"We got what we thought was the best receiver in Utah," McBride said of Taggart. "We identified him last summer as the guy we wanted."

Joining Taggart as new Weber State receivers are Devonte Johnson (South High, Denver, Colo.), Marquis Walters (Del City, Okla.) and Elie Bouka from Canada. Weber State signed two cornerbacks — Solomon Means and Maurice Talley. Both players are from California, and they can run like the other recruits at receiver and defensive back.

The Wildcats signed one quarterback, Benjamin Maraz, from Phoenix, Ariz. He was a four-year starter in high school.

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