Region 9 stars sign to play at next level; DSU announces signees

Desert Hills' Nephi Sewell (2) signed to play football at Nevada.

ST. GEORGE – It has almost become a rite of passage for Desert Hills football players when they announce where they are committing to play at the next level. On Wednesday, five players from the Utah 3A State Champion Thunder announced where they would continue their football careers at the next level.

Desert Hills’ Nephi Sewell (2) is overcome with emotion as he hugs the 3AA championship trophy, Desert Hills vs. Pine View, 3AA State Championship, Football, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 18, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Utah 3A Player of the Year Nephi Sewell announced that he would join his brother Gabe at the University of Nevada.

“Nevada got a steal with Nephi,” said Desert Hills head coach Carl Franke. “They are looking to bring him in as an athlete. He will play various roles on both sides of the ball. He is, by far, the most talented player ever to play at Desert Hills.”

Bundy Sewell, Nephi’s cousin, will head north to play at Southern Utah University.

Bundy Sewell (71) signed to play at SUU. FIle photo from Oct. 2, 2015, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

“Bundy is joining a team that is stacked at his position,” said Franke. “He may not get playing time immediately. But he will be a force for them in a couple of years.”

Houston Stapley will travel the farthest. He will play at Southern Virginia University, a Division III school.

“Southern Virginia is a private school that caters to LDS kids,” said Franke. “The head coach, Joe DuPaix, is the son of Roger DuPaix, who is a legend up at Skyline High School. Coach DuPaix is real familiar with Utah football. Houston has a 4.0 GPA and will attend on an academic scholarship. He hopes to play there on the offensive or defensive line.”

Two players, defensive lineman Adeeb Jaouni and linebacker Masan Tuileta, decided to continue their careers at Dixie State University.

“Jaouni and Tuileta are both very raw,” said Franke. “Jaouni is very athletic and is still learning how to play the game. Tuileta was recruited by Dixie State as a linebacker. He will have to adjust from having his hand in the dirt to the standup position where he is reading and reacting. I am happy for them. They could not have picked a better coaching staff to teach and mold them into good football players.”

Pine View’s Tyler Heaton (52), Pine View vs. Ben Lomond, 3AA State Football Playoffs, St. George, Utah, Oct. 28, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

Jaouni and Tuileta are joined by three players from the opposing team in the state champion game. Pine View’s Dylan Hendrickson (defensive back), Lance Mandrigues (wide receiver) and Tyler Heaton (defensive lineman) have all committed to playing for the Trailblazers.

Coach Shay McClure has placed an emphasis on local recruiting and could be seen many times over the last two years on the sidelines of Region 9 matchups.

Dixie State also got key commitments from several players across the western United States.

Khalil Spruill from Mar Vista High School out of southern California amassed amazing numbers at running back. He gained 4,048 yards for his career, including 1,916 his senior year. He averaged 13.7 yards per carry last year and 213 yards per game. He gained at least 100 yards in each of his nine games as a senior.

Tavian Meyers is a 6-foot-3, 300-pound, offensive lineman that played for Utah 5A State Champion Bingham. Meyers is known for his work ethic. He shaved 25 pounds off his frame to get quicker for his senior season with the Miners. Sekou Hera is a 6-3, 180-pound, safety from Crespi High School out of Granada Hills, Calif. Hera is an exceptional athlete that played for a subpar team his senior year.

Cedar’s Mason Fakahua (12) signed to play football at BYU, file photo from Sept. 16, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

The only other Region 9 players to sign national letters of intent were Cedar athletes Mason Fakahua and Quaid Murray. Fakahua signed to play for Brigham Young University, while Murray will stay home and play for Southern Utah University.

Below is a non-comprehensive list of the athletes that signed national letters of intent Wednesday to play for the Dixie State Trailblazers.

DSU signees
Masan Tuileta – LB (6-0, 215) St. George, Utah/Desert Hills HS
Jordan Watson – DL (6-2, 225) Riverside, Utah/Bear River HS
Dylan Hendrickson – DB (6-5, 200) St. George, Utah/Pine View HS
Tarrean Brown – DE (6-2, 225) Long Beach, Calif./St. John Bosco HS
Sekou Hera – SAF (6-3, 180) Granada Hills, Calif./Crespi HS
Adeeb Jaouni – DL (6-4, 260) St. George, Utah/Desert Hills HS
Ahmir Davis – ATH (5-11, 165) Pasadena, Calif./Muir HS
Deven Osborne – WR (6-7, 200) Los Angeles, Calif./Culver City HS
Dreshaun Moore – DT (6-1, 290) Fontana, Calif./Fontana HS
Nathan Anderson – DE (6-4, 240) Roy, Utah/Roy HS
Kyle Murray – DL (6-1, 255) Los Angeles, Calif./St. John Bosco HS
Ethan Udy – SAF/RET (5-11, 175) Layton, Utah/Northridge HS
Colton Carter – LB (6-2, 217) Lehi, Utah/Lehi HS
Ian Selin – DB (5-9, 170) Bountiful, Utah/East HS
Lance Mandrigues – WR (5-8, 160) St. George, Utah/Pine View HS
Nathaniel Hines – OL (6-4, 305) Imperial Beach, Calif./Mission Bay HS
Khalil Spruill – RB (6-0, 200) San Diego, Calif./Mar Vista HS
Raeshawn Roland – DB (5-10, 160) Arcadia, Calif./Arcadia HS
Helaman Su’esu’e, Jr. – LB (6-0, 200) Salt Lake City, Utah/East HS
Tevita Halalilo – LB (6-2, 250) Perris, Calif./Rancho Verde HS
Isaac Hamilton – QB (6-4, 220) Pleasant Grove, Utah/Summit Academy
Walker Holgreen – OL (6-2, 285) North Salt Lake, Utah/Woods Cross HS
Olita Palmer – RB (5-9, 190) Winchester, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS
Jacob Schneider – DE (6-5, 225) San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines HS
Kehari Harrigfeld – TE (6-5, 240) Idaho Falls, Idaho/Bonneville HS
Nyrobi Akai – DL (6-2, 285) Carson, Calif./Santa Fe HS
Tyler Heaton – DT (6-2, 280) St. George, Utah/Pine View HS
Darrius Nash – DB (6-1, 180) Los Angeles, Calif./San Fernando HS
Davis Hadlock – TE (6-5, 230) Farmington, Utah/Viewmont HS
Nahzi Salih – DB (5-11, 190) Henderson, Nev./Silverado HS
Columbus Bingham – DB (6-2, 185) San Diego, Calif./Morse HS
Kentero Yoshikawa – TE (6-2, 220) South Jordan, Utah/Bingham HS

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