SFU sign 12 more to recruiting class

BURNABY, BC – Simon Fraser University head football coach Thomas Ford continues to recruit the best student-athletes from two countries, welcoming 12 more student-athletes from British Columbia, Washington State, California, Arizona and Alaska, as he re-shapes the Clan football program.

Ford signed 19 student-athletes on Signing Day in February, and with these 12 student-athletes set to join the Clan, the 2018 recruiting class now stands at 31.

Four student-athletes with Lower Mainland ties are joining the Clan, including Surrey’s Nate Hunt, a two-year starter at quarterback for Holy Cross Regional High School. He becomes the second quarterback in this recruiting class.

This latest wave of recruits includes four offensive linemen, three with post-secondary experience. Returning to his home province after a year at McMaster University is Vancouver-native Rueben Buchannan who played high school football at Notre Dame Regional. Wyatt Gardner joins the Clan after playing his sophomore season at Santa Barbara City College while Tyler Wood was a sophomore last season at Fresno City College. Abbotsford’s Nathan Frenette comes to SFU from WJ Mouat high school.

The 2018 recruiting class now features six offensive lineman.

Running back Jason Nelson transfers to SFU from San Joaquin Delta CC after a breakout sophomore season. Harrison Copoloff will bolster the Clan’s offense as the 6-2, 215-pound tight end caught 15 passes for 318 yards in 2017.

“We added some older players up front and in the backfield that have the potential to make an impact day one,” said Ford. “These guys will provide battle-tested experience and are all highly motivated to come in and compete.  We also added some very good high school players, including many from BC, that will shape the foundation for the future of the program.  Overall we are extremely excited about the offensive additions to our initial class.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Ford signed defensive linemen Davion Dixon and Wayne Johnson out of O’dea High School in Seattle, where Defensive Coordinator Taylor Summers formerly coached. Defensive back Jacob Wade, a native of Alaska Anchorage, signs on from Robert Service HS, where he was a Cook Inlet Conference first team all-star. Also joining the Clan is New Westminster’s Rochon Bhattacharya, a sophomore cornerback at West Hills College in Coalinga, Calif. He recorded 26 tackles and one interception in nine games last season.

“We were able to get some difference makers on defense that just weren’t ready to make a decision before signing day,” explained Ford.  “We were also really excited to be able to bring a BC guy (Rochon Bhattacharya) back home after getting two years of quality playing experience at the Junior College level.”

“The defensive players in this second wave of signees also have a winning pedigree including two players that played for Coach Summers on the WA 3A State Championship team.  We are also very excited about starting a pipeline up North in Alaska as well.  Combining the group of incoming guys with our current defensive roster will help us improve on D in a hurry.”

On special teams, SFU signed punter/place kicker Kees Metselaar, a recent grad from South Kitsap HS in Port Orchard, Wash. “Finding a special talent like Kees was pretty unique,” Ford said. “There are plenty of athletes that can kick and punt, but very few are good at both.  Kees provides a rare combination of leg strength and accuracy that will have an immediate impact in 2018.”

ATHLETE                       POS   HT      WT     HOMETOWN                  SCHOOLS

Davion Dixon                 DT      6-2      300     Seattle, WA                     O’dea HS

Jason Nelson Jr.             RB      5-9      180     Tracy, CA                         Tracy HS/San Joaquin Delta

Harrison Copoloff            TE      6-2      215     Scottsdale, AZ                 Notre Dame Prep

Nathan Frenette             OL      6-3      250     Abbotsford, BC                 WJ Mouat

Rochon Bhattacharya     CB      5-11    185     New Westminster, BC      New Westminster SS/West Hills

Wayne Johnson              DE      6-0      210     Seattle, WA                     O’dea HS

Rueben Buchannan        OL      6-1      270     Vancouver, BC                 Notre Dame SS/McMaster

Wyatt Gardner                OL      6-2      280     Snohomish, WA               Snohomish HS/Santa Barbara

Tyler Wood                     OL      6-3      275     Fresno,CA                        Sunnyside HS/Fresno

Nate Hunt                      QB      6-3      205     Surrey, BC                       Holy Cross SS

Jacob Wade                    DB      5-11    185     Anchorage, AK                 Robert Service HS

Kees Metselaar               P/K     6-2      200     Port Orchard, WA             South Kitsap HS


Source: Steve Frost, Sports Information Director SFU

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