Three transfers, all from the community college ranks, and five high school student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent or financial aid tender during the Regular Signing Period for Division I football. One more recruit, also a community college transfer, signed on Jan. 15, the final day of the Midyear Junior College Transfer Period.
The announcement was made Wednesday by 11th-year Mustang football coach Tim Walsh and Cal Poly director of athletics Don Oberhelman in the Cal Poly Football Office.
The class of recruits includes two linebackers, one defensive lineman, one offensive lineman, a trio of running backs and two defensive backs.
Cal Poly signed six players during the Early Signing Period on Dec. 19. That group included two offensive linemen, two defensive backs, a wide receiver and a kicker.
“We really did well with our late signing period, mixing some junior college defensive players with some skill and size on the offensive side,” said Walsh. “Add this group to the six signed early in December and this is an excellent group that will have future impacts as well as immediate impacts on our football team moving forward.
“We added three excellent high school running backs that will compete at our slot positions,” Walsh added. “I can’t wait to see the entire class together in the fall!”
The Early Signing Period ran from Dec. 19-21 while the Midyear Community College Transfer Period was open from Dec. 19 through Jan. 15. The Regular Signing Period opened today and ends April 1.
Cal Poly captured the Big Sky championship in their first season in the conference (2012), is 30-26 in its first seven years in the Big Sky, has claimed five conference titles in the last 15 years, including four in the eight-year existence of the Great West Conference (2004-11), and earned its fourth NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff berth in 2016.
The Mustangs have won 64 of their last 89 home contests (72 percent) and, overall, Cal Poly has won 104 of its last 183 games (57 percent) going back to the 2002 finale.
Last fall, senior fullback Joe Protheroe shattered most of the school rushing records as he led the nation (FCS) in rushing with 1,810 yards and also broke the career rushing mark with 4,271 yards en route to seven All-America honors. Senior cornerback Dominic Frasch finished No. 1 in the FCS in passes defended (1.9 per game) and joined Protheroe as an Associated Press All-American.
The signees (listed alphabetically):
Mark Biggins Jr., RB, 5-10, 190, San Francisco, Calif. (St. Ignatius High School) Under head coach John Regalia at St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco, Biggins returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown against Bellarmine Prep (he also rushed for 75 yards and two more scores in that game) and led the Wildcats into the CIF-Central Coast Section Open Division III playoffs. Biggins earned honorable mention All-Metro praise from the Chronicle as an all-purpose player and honorable mention All-City accolades from the Examiner as a running back after he was named to the All-West Catholic Athletic League first team for the second time. Biggins also runs track at St. Ignatius with best marks of 12.9 in the 100, 25.41 in the 200 and 1:01.21 in the 400. A member of the Principal’s Honor Roll, Biggins also participates in the St. Ignatius Black Student Union and St. Ignatius Magis, an academic, social and cultural support program for students from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds. He chose to be a Mustang because “I feel that this school is a perfect fit for me academically and athletically. And a plus to that is that I will be majoring in construction management, which would put me on a good path for the future.”
Walsh: “Biggins gives us a football player who has proven he can play on either side but will start as a slot with good instincts. He’s a physical player, too.”
Aarmon Euwing, LB, 6-1, 215, Sacramento, Calif. (Christian Brothers High School/Sacramento City College) In two seasons at Sacramento City College, Euwing collected 148 tackles, including 20.5 tackles for lost yardage and nine sacks. As a sophomore linebacker, Euwing notched 97 tackles (49 solo), including nine tackles for lost yardage and 4.5 sacks, along with one fumble recovery, earning defensive co-most valuable player and first-team All-National Division Valley League honors He also earned all-state and all-region honors. Euwing earned 51 tackles (34 solo) as a freshman with 11.5 tackles for lost yardage and 4.5 sacks. He also forced two fumbles, recovered one and broke up two passes, again earning all-conference honors. Euwing is a 2017 graduate of Christian Brothers High School, which also produced former Cal Poly and National Football League cornerback Asa Jackson (Ravens, Lions and 49ers). During his senior season in 2016, Euwing made 100 tackles (79 solo), 22 for lost yardage and four sacks. He also was credited with three quarterback hurries, five pass breakups, two interceptions, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. Euwing also rushed for 268 yards and nine touchdowns, helping the Falcons to an 11-3 record, first-place finish in the Capital Athletic League and a runner-up finish in the CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs. Euwing earned All-Metro first-team honors as a defensive lineman. His numbers as a junior include 64 tackles (43 solo), 10 for lost yardage and a pair of sacks. He also had one quarterback hurry, one interception, one fumble recovery and two pass breakups. Also recruited by Arkansas State, Euwing chose Cal Poly “because I’ll be able to excel academically as well as athletically.”
Walsh: Euwing has all the tools. He just wasn’t blessed with great size, but has great athletic ability. He can play either inside or outside linebacker.”
Shakobe Harper, RB, 5-7, 185, Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei High School) Harper’s 1,272 yards rushing and 19 receptions helped Mater Dei claim the California state Open Division championship last fall at Cerritos College. Under legendary head coach Bruce Rollinson, Harper averaged 85 yards per game and 7.0 yards per carry for the Monarchs, who finished 13-2 overall, was runner-up in the Trinity League and captured the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 title with a 17-13 triumph over St. John Bosco. He rushed for 122 yards and three touchdowns in the 35-21 win over De La Salle in the state title game, Mater Dei’s second consecutive state title. Harper earned first-team All-Trinity League honors three times and also landed on CalHi Sports all-state team three times. He also earned All-CIF-Southern Section Division 1 and second-team All-Orange County honors last fall. He rushed for over 100 yards six times as a senior, including a career-best 162 yards on just 13 carries and two touchdowns in the 2018 season opener against Bishop Amat. Harper also rushed for 999 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior and 660 yards and 14 scores as a sophomore, giving him 2,931 career yards (No. 2 all-time at Mater Dei) and 49 touchdowns on the ground, averaging 7.1 yards per carry and surpassing the 100-yard mark 12 times. He also caught 59 passes for 681 yards and six touchdowns in his Mater Dei career, giving him 55 career prep scores, also No. 2 all-time at Mater Dei. Winner of the team’s scholar-athlete and John Huante awards, Harper chose to continue his football and academic careers at Cal Poly because “on my official visit, it felt like home.”
Walsh: “Harper is the complete player who may be game ready now because of his instincts, power, toughness and he’s faster than all. We think he will be a good one soon.”
Dawson Hurst, DB, 6-0, 195, Loomis, Calif. (Del Oro High School) A younger brother of Cal Poly sophomore defensive back Mason Hurst, Dawson rushed, passed, received and made tackles under head coach Jeff Walters at Del Oro High school. Hurst rushed for 121 yards and one score, caught 24 passes for 380 yards and seven touchdowns, completed six of 10 passes for 124 yards and, on defense, earned 51 tackles (29 solo) with 4.0 for lost yardage and one sack. He also recovered four fumbles and intercepted one pass, that coming in the final minute to seal a 14-13 win over Saint Francis in the semifinals of the California state Division 2-AA playoffs. Del Oro went on to lose to Grace Brethren 21-14 in the state title game, concluding a 13-2 season that also included a second-place finish (to Folsom) in the Sierra Foothill League and the CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship. Dawson earned first-team All-Metro honors as an all-purpose player from the Sacramento Bee and drew All-CIF-Sac-Joaquin Section honorable mention praise as a defensive back. He also was a unanimous pick on the All-Sierra Foothill League first team for the second straight year and earned all-state honorable mention praise. Hurst’s statistics as a junior include 306 yards on 57 rushes and two touchdowns, six catches for 33 yards and 58 tackles and three fumble recoveries. Also recruited by UC Davis and Stetson, Hurst chose Cal Poly “because of its football program, academics and the overall environment of San Luis Obispo, the best place for me.”
Walsh: “Hurst adds speed and physicality as a young freshman cornerback from Sacramento-area power Del Oro High School. He has the stature to compete for us early.”
Dominic King, DL, 6-5, 270, Santa Maria, Calif. (St. Joseph High School/Allan Hancock College) After playing just one season of football at St. Joseph High School in Santa Maria, King helped Allan Hancock College to 18 wins in 22 games over the 2017 and 2018 seasons and berths in a pair of American Championship bowl games. As a sophomore at Hancock, King recorded 28 tackles (21 solo), including 11.5 for lost yardage and seven sacks, helping the Bulldogs to a 10-1 mark, first-place finish in the American Conference’s Pacific Division and a win over San Bernardino Valley College in the bowl game at Righetti High School. Postseason honors include first-team all-conference and first-team all-state. During his freshman season at Hancock, King notched 22 tackles (11 solo), including seven for lost yardage and six sacks. The Bulldogs were 8-3 and lost to Southeastern in the bowl game at Santa Maria High School. King earned 14 tackles in his lone season of football under coach Dustin Davis at St. Joseph High School, including one sack. He also was a wrestler for the Knights, qualifying for the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet, and was named a scholar-athlete with a 3.5 grade-point average.
Walsh: “King had a great season at Hancock College and adds excellent length to our defensive line at 6-5 and 270 pounds. We feel his best football is in front of him.”
Palu Laipeli, LB, 6-1, 225, Burlingame, Calif. (Burlingame High School/College of San Mateo) Laipeli made 38 tackles as a freshman and 81 more as a sophomore middle linebacker at College of San Mateo. In the two seasons, Laipeli earned 14 tackles for lost yardage, including 4.5 sacks, and broke up five passes. As a sophomore in 2018, Laipeli earned first-team All-Bay 6 League National Division honors and was named the conference’s defensive MVP after recording 81 tackles and intercepting three passes, returning one 36 yards for a touchdown against Fresno City College. Laipeli helped CSM to an 8-3 overall record, Bay 6 National Division title at 5-0 and a berth in the NorCal semifinals, where the Bulldogs lost to Laney 14-0. Laipeli, who notched 38 tackles as a freshman at CSM, also utilized a redshirt year and has two years remaining to play two seasons at Cal Poly. He is a 2016 graduate of Burlingame High School, where he rushed for 1,147 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior while also making 45 solo tackles, including 13 for lost yardage and 3.5 sacks. Laipeli earned second-team All-Metro honors as an all-purpose player and also was named Peninsula Athletic League offensive player of the year.
Walsh: “NorCal Defensive player of the year in Northern California’s best conference speaks volumes of Palu’s ability. Like Euwing, Palu can play either inside or outside linebacker and both had offers from FBS schools.”
Dorien Mars, RB, 5-9, 180, Corona, Calif. (Roosevelt High School) As a senior under head coach Tommy Leach at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Eastvale, Mars rushed for 690 yards and five touchdowns and also caught nine passes for 126 yards, helping the Mustangs to a 5-6 overall mark and a berth in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs. Mars earned second-team All-Big VIII League honors. He also was a cornerback on defense, notching 25 tackles and breaking a school record with four pass breakups in a single game during his junior season. Mars also ran on the Mustangs track and field team with personal bests of 10.84 in the 100 and 22.45 in the 200 and earned several Junior Olympics gold medals.
Walsh: “Mars gives us some speed right away with a 10.8 100 meters. He has the ability to go the distance at any time.”
Jaylen Morgan, CB, 5-10, 170, Hawthorne, Calif. (Hawthorne High School/Ohio U./El Camino College) Morgan, who led El Camino College to an 8-3 record and a berth in the California Community College playoffs last fall, signed his National Letter of Intent on Jan. 15, the final day of the Midyear Junior College Transfer Period. A 2016 graduate of Hawthorne High School, Morgan played just 1 1/2 seasons of football for the Cougars under head coach Donald Paysinger. He played safety, cornerback, wide receiver and returned kickoffs. Morgan also was a point guard on the Cougars basketball team and competed on the track and field team in the 100, 400 relay and long jump. The 5-10, 170-pound Morgan was a redshirt at Ohio University for the 2016 season and played in two games in 2017, making one tackle for the Bobcats in the Bahamas Bowl against UAB. Ohio was 9-4 following the 41-6 win over the Blazers. Morgan transferred to El Camino College for the 2018 season and earned 19 tackles (15 solo, four assisted) as the Warriors posted an 8-3 mark and claimed the Central League’s National Division title. Morgan also recorded one tackle for lost yardage, broke up four passes and blocked two kicks. Morgan received scholarship offers from BYU, San Diego State and Hawaii before choosing to attend Ohio. Morgan’s father, Omarr Morgan, was a standout player at BYU from 1996-97, twice earning first-team All-Western Athletic Conference honors. Morgan has two years of eligibility left.
Walsh: “Morgan is a corner who started out at Ohio University. He gives us some JC experience to compete at corner immediately.”
Mohab Wahdan, OL, 6-4, 305, San Diego, Calif. (Torrey Pines High School) Born in Florida, Wahdan and his family moved to Egypt when Mohab was 2. Choosing to get a better education after living in Cairo for 12 years, Mohab chose to attend Torrey Pines High School, beginning in the middle of the 2016 football season. He basically was a redshirt in 2017 as he learned all about the game, then quickly became a starter last fall at right tackle on the offensive line as well as on the defensive front, helping the Falcons to a 10-1 overall mark, Avocado League title at 5-0, a No. 1 ranking in the San Diego Section and a runner-up finish in the CIF-San Diego Section Open Division playoffs. Wahdan was selected to play in the Spanos All-Star Game. Wahdan played soccer, basketball and Olympic handball while growing up in Egypt. At Torrey Pines, Wahdan also participates in track and field with personal bests of 43-9 1/4 in the shot put and 126-6 in the discus. He also plays rugby. In the weight room, he had best marks of 290 pounds in the bench press, 610 in the squat and 650 in the dead lifts last September. Wahdan has participated in youth leadership and has earned scholar-athlete honors at Torrey Pines.
Walsh: “Wahdan has only played a couple of years of American football, but he is strong and athletic at 6-4 and 305 pounds. He’s raw but has a big future.”
During the Early Signing Period in December, Cal Poly announced the signings of:
Mitch Anderson, WR, 5-11, 180, Whittier, Calif. (La Habra High School) Payson Campisano, OL, 6-3, 250, San Diego, Calif. (Torrey Pines High School) Isaiah Jernagin, DB, 5-8, 170, Bakersfield, Calif. (Bakersfield High School) D’Angelo McKenzie, S, 5-10, 180, San Jose, Calif. (Valley Christian High School/Washington State) Dominic Stellini-Splan, OL, 6-1, 285, Tracy, Calif. (Tracy High School/City College of San Francisco) Colton Theaker, K, 6-3, 180, Arroyo Grande, Calif. (Arroyo Grande High School)
-Provided by Cal Poly