Vandals sign 10 players to NLI

Vandals sign 10 players to NLI
University of Idaho receives grant funding to improve natural resources on croplands

Idaho football signed 10 future student-athletes to National Letters of Intent or financial aid agreements Wednesday, on the first day of the 2019 regular signing period, head coach Paul Petrino announced. The Vandals inked eight high school seniors and two FBS transfers who will be eligible to compete immediately.

The group of 10 future Vandals joins 14 football student-athletes who put pen to paper during the early signing period, including nine who are already enrolled for the spring semester.

“If this isn’t our best class we’ve signed here, it’s definitely one of the best classes we’ve put together,” Petrino said. “The assistant coaches did a great job of filling our needs and adding a couple of just really good players. They should all work right now like they’re going to help right away. If they’re ready to play, we’re going to play them.”

Wednesday’s addition to the class includes two sets of brothers and another pair of high school teammates.

Brothers Kayode and Mujeeb Rufai both signed with Idaho as transfers from Boise State. Kayode, a defensive end who appeared in 19 games for the Broncos, will arrive as a redshirt junior with two years of eligibility remaining. Mujeeb redshirted in 2018, his first season in Boise. The defensive back will have four years remaining.

Twins, and three-star prospects, Hayden and Hogan Hatten of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ariz. were two of five Idaho signees from the state of Arizona. Two more, David Eppinger and Daseau Puffer, were teammates at Chandler High School in Chandler, Ariz. Premier Region Defensive Player of the Year Sully Shannon (Phoenix/Brophy Prep) rounded out the Arizona contingent.

Idaho landed in-state wide receiver Nehemiah Parker from Mountain Home, Idaho (Mountain Home High School). Parker was a second-team all-state selection as a senior.

The Vandals also locked up two high school standouts from eastern Washington in offensive lineman Josh Guzik (Spokane, Wash./Rogers High School) and Jack Schuster (Richland, Wash./Richland HS).

2019 Idaho Football signees (Feb. 6)

David Eppinger

DB | 5-11 | 177

Chandler, Ariz. | Chandler HS

Second team all-region defensive back at Chandler High School…helped Wolves to third-consecutive 6A state title…began prep career at Perry High School…ranked as No. 7 cornerback in Arizona by USA Today…limited to seven games as a senior, recorded two interceptions and 42 tackles…recorded nine tackles in state championship game against Perry.

Joshua Guzik (pronounced GOO-zik)

OL | 6-6 | 277

Spokane, Wash. | Rogers HS

First-team All-Greater Spokane League 3A offensive lineman at Rogers High School…MVP of Eastern Washington’s Big Man Camp…took eighth at state in wrestling as a junior…profiled as a KXLY Shining Star as a senior.

Hayden Hatten

TE | 6-3 | 218

Scottsdale, Ariz. | Saguaro HS

Second-team all-conference tight end as a senior at Saguaro High School, helping Sabercats to state championship…rated a three-star prospect by 247 Sports…tallied 38 receptions for 763 yards (20.1 yards per reception), eight receiving touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns, a passing touchdown, and two sacks his senior year…began prep career at Pinnacle High School…all-state selection as a junior, tallying 68 catches for 1,029 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Hogan Hatten

LB | 6-2 | 221

Scottsdale, Ariz. | Saguaro HS

First-team all-region linebacker as a senior at Saguaro High School, helping Sabercats to state championship…rated a three-star prospect by 247 Sports…recorded 52 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks…forced one fumble and returned an interception for a touchdown…began prep career at Pinnacle High School…two-way player for the Pioneers at linebacker and tight end…caught 15 passes for 240 yards and four scores as a junior.

Nehemiah Parker (pronounced NEE-uh-MY-uh)

WR | 6-4 | 182

Mountain Home, Idaho | Mountain Home HS

Second-team all-state selection and first-team All-Great Basin Conference wide receiver for Mountain Home High School as a senior…hauled in 33 receptions for 505 yards and seven touchdowns…also scored on a 95-yard run…led Tigers to state playoffs in 2018.

Daseau Puffer (pronounced duh-SAY-auw; like Junior Seau)

WR | 6-4 | 181

Chandler, Ariz. | Chandler HS

Second-team all-region wide receiver at Chandler High School…helped Wolves to three consecutive 6A state titles…38 receptions for 693 yards (18.2 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns as a senior…six receptions for 122 yards and a touchdown in Chandler’s regular-season finale.

Kayode Rufai (pronounced KAY-oh-dee / ROO-fie)

DL | HT | WT

Portland, Ore. | Boise State

Spent three seasons at Boise State…will be eligible immediately at Idaho as a redshirt junior…redshirted as a freshman in 2016 and appeared in 19 career games across 2017 and 2018…made 18 career tackles, including one tackle for loss and half a sack…career-high four tackles against Air Force in 2018…half sack came in 2018 season opener at Troy…2017 Academic All-Mountain West…first-team All-Portland Interscholastic League and honorable mention all-state as a senior at Lincoln High School…began prep career at Lake Oswego High School…rated a three-star recruit out of high school by 247Sports and Rivals…top-10 recruit in the state of Oregon according to multiple outlets.

Mujeeb Rufai (pronounced moo-jeeb / ROO-fie)

DB | 6-0 | 198

Portland, Ore. | Boise State

Redshirted as a freshman at Boise State in 2018…will be eligible immediately at Idaho as a redshirt freshman in 2019…first-team All-Portland Interscholastic League as a senior…began high school career at Lincoln High School, where he was an all-conference selection in football and basketball.

Jack Schuster

ATH | 6-4 | 187

Richland, Wash. | Richland HS

Played tight end and defensive end for Richland High School…helped Bombers to undefeated state championship as a junior…team returned to the playoffs as a senior, finishing season 7-3…also letters in basketball at Richland.

Sully Shannon

LB | 6-1 | 200

Phoenix, Ariz.| Brophy Prep

All-Region First Team and Premier Region Defensive Player of the Year…All-USA Arizona First Team…played safety at Brophy Prep…played senior season under former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna…recorded 100 tackles and five interceptions in his final prep season.