The 2017 recruiting class the Yotes announced Wednesday features a strong California flavor with 18 of the 30 players hailing from the state, including 15 from Southern California.
The College of Idaho’s roster had 24 California players last season.
But unlike NCAA programs, NAIA teams like the College of Idaho can recruit and sign players throughout the year. Last year, the Yotes announced 21 players on National Signing Day and added 30 more before the start of the season.
Wednesday’s signing class includes nine recruits from Idaho and seven from the Treasure Valley. Frontier Conference foe Rocky Mountain has drawn attention for snagging 13 known commitments from Treasure Valley players to Billings, Mont.
College of Idaho coach Mike Moroski said he wants to keep as many native Idahoans as possible, but added Caldwell’s academically challenging liberal arts college isn’t for everyone.
“Frankly, some kids want to leave Idaho,” Moroski said on the College of Idaho coach’s show on ESPN Radio. “We recruit all Idaho kids. We want Idaho kids. We’ll give anybody from Idaho a chance. But some of them want to leave, and some don’t quite fit at the College of Idaho.”
Mountain View High, the defending 5A state champion, headlined the Yotes’ local recruiting haul with three signees — wide receiver Keenan Pattwell, offensive lineman Carter Ballenger and defensive back Josh Elsberry. All three were first-team 5A All-Idaho picks, and Pattwell set an 11-man state championship-game record with six touchdowns in November.
Other Treasure Valley recruits include linebacker Peyton Pettigrew (Rocky Mountain), fullback/linebacker Ben Hruby (Bishop Kelly), offensive/defensive lineman Triden Mitchell (Caldwell) and linebacker Caulen Michael (Wilder).
The College of Idaho enters its fourth season since reinstatement this fall after going 4-7 for three straight years. The 2017 season will feature the Yotes’ first Division I opponent — Northern Colorado of the Big Sky — on Sept. 2 during the second week of the season.
College of Idaho 2017 recruiting class
- OL Alex Houston, 6-3, 265, Placer HS (Auburn, Calif.)
- FB/LB Ben Hruby, 6-0, 225, Bishop Kelly HS
- DB Bobby Brattain, 6-0, 205, Yorba Linda HS (Yorba Linda, Calif.)
- DB Cameron Dawson, 5-11, 175, Heritage HS (Romoland, Calif.)
- RB Canyon Olsen, 6-0, 185, Kimberly HS
- OL Carter Ballenger, 6-3, 305, Mountain View HS
- LB Caulen Michael, 5-11, 195, Wilder HS
- DB Colton Larceval, 6-1, 180, Steele Canyon HS (Spring Valley, Calif.)
- WR Hayden Carrasco, 6-1, 190, Chiawana HS (Pasco, Wash.)
- DB Jae Vitin, 5-8, 175, Eastlake HS (Chula Vista, Calif.)
- RB Jager Leavitt, 6-0, 175, Blackfoot HS
- LB Jake Bale, 6-0, 220, La Mirada HS (La Mirada, Calif.)
- DB James Silva, 5-8, 175, Butte College (Livermore, Calif.)
- DB Jayden Dawson, 5-11, 175, Heritage HS (Romoland, Calif.)
- LB Justin Johnson, 6-1, 220, Corona HS (Corona, Calif.)
- DT Jonah Aumua Uiagalelei, 6-1, 330, La Mirada HS (La Mirada, Calif.)
- WR Jordan White, 5-10, 175, Sierra College (Lakeland, Fla.)
- WR Joseph Branch, 5-10, 175, Hawkins HS (Los Angeles)
- DB Josh Elsberry, 5-8, 185, Mountain View HS
- WR Keenan Pattwell, 5-8, 160, Mountain View HS
- WR Keonte McMurrin, 5-9, 170, West Salem HS (Salem, Ore.)
- DE Leo Tamba, 6-1, 205, Mission Viejo HS (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
- LB Mika Duran, 5-10, 190, Centennial HS (Corona, Calif.)
- RB Nick Calzaretta, 5-11, 200, Redwood HS (Larkspur, Calif.)
- DL Noah Anthony, 5-10, 250, Centennial HS (Corona, Calif.)
- LB Peyton Pettigrew, 6-2, 195, Rocky Mountain HS
- DB Reece Walker, 5-10, 170, Sante Fe Christian HS (Solana Beach, Cailf.)
- DB Segun Olubi, 6-2, 200, Centennial HS (Corona, Calif.)
- DL Si’u Anderson, 5-11, 270, Centennial HS (Corona, Calif.)
- OL/DL Triden Mitchell, 6-5, 240, Caldwell HS