As expected, John Walsh, the prep All-American quarterback from Los Angeles' Carson High School, signed a letter of intent Wednesday morning to play football for Brigham Young University.
Walsh, 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, passed for an amazing 3,690 yards and 44 touchdowns last fall. He announced last month that he would sign with BYU.In the meantime, the University of Utah also signed three preps who have been rated by some as blue-chip recruits: Aaron Hansen and Todd Jackson, a pair of linemen from Utah, and Luther Elliss, a tight end from Mancos, Colo.
Wednesday was the first day universities can sign football players to letters of intent.
Here is a look at Wednesday'ssignings:
The Cougars, looking for defensive help after some embarrassing season-ending defeats, came up with a defensive back out of Florida who hasn't played since the 1989 season.
BYU sports information director Ralph Zobell said the Cougars have signed Karlos Rhodes, a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder from Fort Walton Beach High School in Fort Walton Beach.
Rhodes was a highly sought prospect in his senior year in '89, but suffered a knee injury that ended his season and the visits from recruiters.
Among the schools that sought his services before the injury were Florida State, Miami, LSU and Mississippi State. Rhodes is already attending BYU and is expected to participate in spring practice, Zobell said.
BYU also signed 5-11, 185-pound running back Daily Johnson out of state 5A (the highest classification) champion Marshall High in Marshall, Texas; lineman Shane Werley, 6-4, 245, from Rangeview High in Aurora, Colo.; and offensive lineman Nathan Howard, 6-5, 240, from Centerville High in Clifton, Va. Johnson was also recruited by Texas, TCU and Baylor; Werley by Oregon and Wyoming; and Howard by Virginia, Air Force and Duke.
Locally, Provo High wide receiver-defensive back Terence Saluone signed with BYU. The Cougars are projecting the 6-3, 200-pound Saluone as a tight end. He was recruited by Hawaii, Utah and Utah State.
University of Utah
The Utes went to the JC ranks to find several defensive players. On Wednesday, they signed two linebackers - Kelvin Lambert, a 6-1, 250-pounder from Mississippi Delta JC, and Sam Manu, a 6-foot, 240-pounder from Riverside JC. Lambert was the MVP of the state all-star game. Manu helped Riverside to an 11-0 record and the national championship in 1989. He was named the MVP of the Orange County Bowl, in which he intercepted three passes.
The Utes also went to Mississippi to sign two defensive backs: Sam Rhodes, a 6-1, 200-pounder from Mississippi Delta JC who intercepted 12 passes in two years, and Reggie Alston, a 6-1, 225pounder from Northwest Miss. JC. Rhoades intercepted 12 passes in two years. Alston, a preseason JC all-America, made nearly 100 tackles and 6 interceptions last season and earned all-region honors.
Hoping to improve their weak showing last season in the offensive line, the Utes signed Gary Potts, a 6-4, 280-pound all-league offensive lineman from Hancock JC (Calif.) who has served four years in the U.S. Marines.
"He is an impact player," said Ute coach Ron McBride. "He can be a big-time player."
The Utes signed two all-conference tight ends from the California JC ranks: Dan Uribe, a 6-5, 225-pounder from Chabot JC, and Derek Whiddon, a 6-4, 220-pound sophomore from Orange Coast JC. Uribe is a former record-setting hurdler. In high school, Whiddon was an all-state football player, an all-conference basketball player, a state champion in the javelin, and a four-year honor roll student.
The Utes, looking for a punter/placekicker to replace the graduated Wayne Lammle, signed Steve Young, a 6-3, 190-pound all-region punter/placekicker from Ricks College.
As expected, the Utes quickly signed a number of instate recruits first thing Wednesday morning. Among those signings were five all-state linemen from Utah: Danny Davis, from Mountain View High; Hema Katoa, from Granger High; Darren Walker and Jackson, from Springville High; and Hansen, from Skyline High.
Davis, an honors student, took first place in the Utah Valley Strength Meet and starred in wrestling and track. Walker recorded 14 sacks in 10 games last season and was the Region 8 MVP. Utah beat out BYU to sign Jackson and Hansen, who were both named to the Blue Chip Report All-American team. Jackson has bench pressed 405 pounds. Hansen, a three-year starter, was the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year and made Street & Smith's list of top players to watch.
The Utes went to California to sign another top offensive lineman in Jason Emerick, a 6-4, 270-pounder from Ramona High School in San Diego. Emerick was selected as the top lineman in San Diego County.
The Utes also signed Jeff Kirkman, a running back/defensive back from Clearfield High, and Chris Godrey, a linebacker/tight end from Bountiful High.
Kirkman, an honorable mention USA Today All-American, did it all for Clearfield last season. He gained more than 1,000 yards running and receiving. He also returned two interceptions and two kickoffs for touchdowns, intercepted nine passes and recovered two fumbles. He'll play defensive back for Utah. Godfrey caught 43 passes last season, but he'll play linebacker at Utah.
Along with Hansen, the Utes signed another blue-chip prep in Elliss, a 6-5, 240-pound tight end from Mancos, Colorado. Elliss, who caught 87 passes for 1,263 yards and 19 touchdowns in two seasons, earned all-state honors in football and all-conference honors in basketball.