Gooding Football players sign NLI's with ISU, early signing period underway

POCATELLO, Idaho ( AP / KMVT ) The relevance of the traditional National Signing Day in early February has just taken a major hit.

Under a policy that took effect this year, high school seniors could sign letters of intent during an early signing period that began Wednesday and runs through Friday.

The vast majority decided they didn't want to wait to pick their schools: of the nation's top 25 prospects, according to a composite ranking of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports, only a handful are delaying their decisions to February.

Clemson signed two of the nation's top three prospects in quarterback Trevor Lawrence and defensive end Xavier Thomas.

The top previously uncommitted player to announce his decision Wednesday was defensive end Micah Parsons, who chose Penn State.

Closer to home, Gooding athletes signed their NLIs with Idaho State University.

Linebackers Ruger Jennings and Sam Funkhouser.

Jennings is a three–time, first–team All–Idaho pick with 133 tackles and 28 tackles for loss.

Funkhouser made the All–Idaho second team, and if he didn't go down with a season ending injury during the regular season, I bet you this would have been first–team.

They'll have a formal signing in February with their high school teammates.

2017 Idaho State Early Signings

Christian McFarland, 6-0. 190, S, Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento City College, Jr.
Sam Funkhouser, 6-2, 198, LB, Gooding, Idaho, Gooding HS, Fr.
Preston Holfeltz, 6-4, 300, OL, Sandy, Utah, Snow College, Jr.
Ruger Jennings, 6-2, 180, S, Gooding, Idaho, Gooding HS, Fr.
John Perko, 6-4, 290, OL, Spokane, Wash., Gonzaga Prep, Fr.
Ty Metcalfe, 6-0, 180, S, Syracuse, Utah, Syracuse HS, Fr.


Boise State signed 19 student–athletes.

The balanced class includes 10 offensive and nine defensive student–athletes.

The Broncos signed two individuals from the Gem State in nose tackle Keeghan Freeborn from Rocky Mountain and tight end Cole Ramseyer of Coeur d'Alene.

11 athletes from California, three from Texas, one that hails from Hawaii and finally one out of Maryland.


Billy Bowens WR 6-1 175 Redlands, Calif. (Redlands East Valley HS)
Three-star recruit according to 247sports and Scout (two-star Rivals)…as a senior in 2017, played in 10 games making 41 receptions for 896 total yards and 10 touchdowns…was also explosive as a kick returner, collecting 311 yards on kick returns through 10 games, finishing with 1,255 all-purpose yards and had one touchdown on a punt return, another on a kick return…as a junior in 2016 tallied an impressive 18 touchdowns in 12 games on 56 total receptions for 1,123 total yards (93.6 per game) and tallied 128 kick return yards for a total of 1,256 all-purpose yards….was named to the 2016 All-CIF Southern Section Div. 2 Offensive Team…Was named to the All-Citrus Belt League Offensive Team in 2016.

Stefan Cobbs WR 6-0 170 Keller, Texas (Fossil Ridge HS)
Three-star recruit per both 247sports and Rivals…unanimously selected as the Texas 3-6A All-District Most Valuable Player following a senior season in which he hauled in 67 passes for 1,332 yards and 24 touchdowns…also returned nine kickoffs for a 22.1-yard average, and seven punts for a 7.6-yard average…played in only one game as a junior due to a knee injury, catching five passes for 119 yards and a touchdown in that game…caught 32 passes for 408 yards and three scores as a sophomore.

Garrett Curran OL 6-5 288 El Cajon, Calif. (Granite Hills HS)
Three-star recruit according to 247sports and ESPN (2-star by Rivals)…earned First Team All-San Diego Section honors in 2017…earned All-CIF San Diego Second Team honors as a junior in 2016…helped lead team to the CIF San Diego Section Div. 2 Quarterfinals in 2016 and the CIF San Diego Section Div. 2 Semifinals in 2017…also played baseball and wrestled.

Kukea Emmsley DE 6-5 230 Kapolei, Hawaii (Kapolei HS)
Three-star recruit per ESPN, 247sports and Rivals…team captain was rated as the No. 3 prospect in Hawaii by Rivals, No. 5 by ESPN and No. 7 by 247sports…selected to play in the Polynesian Bowl following his senior season…was an honorable mention All-OIA Division I Red Conference selection following both his junior and senior seasons…was also honorable mention all-state following his final prep campaign.

Keeghan Freeborn NT 6-1 300 Meridian, Idaho (Rocky Mountain HS)
Two-star recruit per 247sports and Rivals…No. 4 prospect in the state of Idaho per 247sports…named first-team 5A All-Idaho on the offensive line following both his junior and senior years…was also named 5A All-Southern Idaho Conference along the offensive line following his senior year, to the All-SIC Second Team as a junior and was honorable mention as a sophomore.

Kekaniokoa Gonzalez C 6-2 291 Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei HS)
HGH SCHOOL: Two-star recruit according to 247sports and Rivals…Was the No. 2-ranked center in the state of California according to…Member of the No. 1-ranked nationally Mater Dei Monarchs, completed a perfect season in 2017 and won the CIF State title…Also helped team win their first CIF Southern Section title since 1999 in 2017…Was named to the All-Trinity League First Team Offense in 2017…Set to compete in the 2018 Polynesian Bowl.

Brandon Hawkins SLB 6-3 210 Georgetown, Texas (Georgetown HS)
HIGH SCHOOL: Three-star recruit per ESPN, 247sports and Rivals…also rated as one of the top 50 at his position in the country per ESPN…two-time team captain…unanimous selection to the Texas All-District 19-5A First Team at outside linebacker following a senior season in which he registered 125 tackles, including 16.0 for-loss and 4.0 sacks…included were a pair of safeties…also blocked two field goal and a punt, forced two fumbles and had four pass break-ups…named first-team Texas All-District 19-5A as a junior, also at outside linebacker, recording 132 tackles, including 13.0 TFLs…also had six pass break-ups and two forced fumbles…started at cornerback during his sophomore season, recording 48 tackles, two interceptions and 12 PBUs…also forced three fumbles and recovered another…three-time academic all-district selection was also honorable mention academic all-state as a senior.

John Hightower WR 6-3 175 Landover, Md. (Riverdale Baptist HS/Hinds CC)
SOPHOMORE (2017): Caught 13 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns on the season…had a catch in seven of his nine games played, including four with multiple receptions.
FRESHMAN (2016): Caught 18 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns in his collegiate debut…had a reception in eight of his nine games played, including six games with multiple catches…career-high four receptions in two games.
Played both offense and defense for Riverdale Baptist High School.

Scale Igiehon NT 6-3 334 Del Valle, Texas (Del Valle HS)
Three-star recruit per ESPN, 247sports and Rivals…rated No. 56 at his position nationally by Rivals…was named first-team Texas All-District 14-6A following his junior season…was second-team all-district as both a sophomore and senior…as a junior, had 55 tackles, including 18 TFLs…sophomore year racked up 49 tackles, including 11 TFLs and 2.0 sacks…as a freshman, had 35 tackles, including 4.5 TFLs and 2.0 sacks, and an interception.

Tyric LeBeauf CB 6-2 178 Long Beach, Calif. (Long Beach Poly HS)
Three-star recruit per Rivals and 247sports…as a senior in 2017, collected 47 tackles (32 solo) through 11 games, with four interceptions one tackle-for-loss…also returned 14 punts over 11 games…in 2016 as a junior he tallied 13 tackles over nine games with two interceptions, one a pick six…was named the seventh-best cornerback in the west in’s post summer rankings.

Phillip Mills LB 6-3 224 Menifee, Calif. (Paloma Valley HS)
Rated a three-star recruit by 247sports and Rivals….a team captain, three-year starter and three-time all-league honoree, he collected a career-high 91 tackles (55 solo) with 14.0 tackles-for-loss and 10 sacks, one interception and three fumble recoveries through 12 games as a senior in 2017…as a junior in 2016 collected 62 tackles, an interception and a blocked punt…as a sophomore in 2015, he collected 68 tackles (39 solo) and two tackles-for-loss through 11 games…led team to the CIF SS Div. 5 semifinals in 2017…will compete in the Makasi Bowl All-Star Game on Dec. 30.

Chris Mitchell CB 6-1 190 Mission Viejo, Calif. (Mission Viejo HS)
Three-star recruit by Rivals and 247sports…the 75th best safety in the nation according to 247sports, 93rd-best recruit in the state of California according to 247sports…finished his senior season in 2017 with 50 tackles (35 solo), along with one tackle-for-loss, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries…also rushed for 284 yards on 47 carries for five touchdowns as a senior…as a junior in 2016 made 24 tackles over six games, also working on special teams…was named the MaxPreps Semper Fidelis Player of the Game on Sept. 16, 2016 in a victory over Long Beach Poly HS…was also named the MaxPreps Semper Fidelis Special Teams Player of the Game on Nov. 11, 2016 vs. Servite.

Cole Ramseyer TE 6-4 216 Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (Coeur d’Alene HS)
Three-star recruit per 247sports and Rivals…rated the No. 3 prospect in the state of Idaho by 247sports…named first-team 5A All-Idaho and first-team 5A All-Inland Empire following a senior campaign in which he hauled in 43 passes for 602 yards and five touchdowns…defensively, recorded 49 tackles, including 2.0 sacks, and recovered three fumbles…helped lead Coeur d’Alene to the 5A State Championship Game…was also named first-team 5A All-Inland Empire as a junior after catching 45 passes for 434 yards and three touchdowns…as a sophomore, caught 18 passes for 405 yards and four touchdowns.

DJ Shramm LB 6-2 224 Fresno, Calif. (Clovis West HS)
Three-star recruit by 247sports and Rivals…named the 10th-best linebacker in the state of California and the 75th best inside linebacker in the nation according to 247sports…as a senior in 2017 collected one interception, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble and two sacks with one touchdown…as a junior in 2016 was named Tri-River Conference Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-League honoree after collecting 95 total tackles, five sacks (MaxPreps says he just had one sack), five forced fumbles and one interception…as a sophomore in 2015 earned Second Team All-League honors after collecting one interception and three fumble recoveries…three-time scholar athlete in football…also earned three letters in baseball.

Khalil Shakir WR 6-0 218 Murrieta, Calif. (Vista Murrieta HS)
A four-star recruit as ranked by 247sports…three-star recruit as ranked by Rivals…ranked the 18th-best athlete in nation, 46th-best recruit in California by 247sports…in 2017 he finished the season with 102 carries for 906 yards (8.9 per carry), and seven touchdowns, along with 17 receptions for 243 yards (15.5 yards per carry) and two touchdown receptions…was named to the 2016 All-CIF Southern Section Div. 1 Offensive Team at the utility position…named to the 2017 HSGameTime Preseason All-Area Team…Set to compete in the Polynesian Bowl in January 2018.

Danny Smith RB 6-0 210 Oxnard, Calif. (Oxnard HS)
Three-star recruit according to 247sports…in 2017 at Oxnard HS he was named to the Ventura County Coaches Association All-County Large-School Offensive First Team after rushing for 1,610 yards on 176 carries in nine games with 20 touchdowns, averaging 178.9 yards per game and 9.1 yards per carry…also caught nine passes for 180 yards and one touchdown…named Oxnard HS Offensive Player of the Year…started his high school career at Morrilton High School in Morrilton, Ark., before transferring to Oxnard HS in Feb. 2017…as a junior at Morrilton HS in 2016, he rushed for 914 yards on 177 carries through 10 games, averaging 5.2 yards per carry with 10 touchdowns…also caught 10 passes for 67 yards with one touchdown…twice named MaxPreps Semper Fidelis Player of the Game.

Cameron Thomas WR 6-4 205 Austin, Texas (Westwood HS)
Three-star recruit per ESPN, 247sports and Rivals…rated the No. 78 recruit in Texas and one of the No. 96 wide receiver in the country by ESPN…as a senior, caught 80 passes for 1,346 yards and 19 touchdowns en route to Texas All-District 13-6A First Team honors…also returned seven kickoffs for a 28.7-yard average, including one for a touchdown…transferred to Westwood High School from Southern Lab High School in Baton Rouge, La.

Andrew VanBuren RB 6-1 215 West Hills, Calif. (Chaminade Prep)
Three-star running back recruit according to ESPN, 247sports, Rivals…ranked the 38th-best running back in the class nationally, 77th-best recruit in California…rushed for 1,259 yards on 224 carries in 11 games for 21 touchdowns as a senior in 2017, as he was named the Mission League Offensive MVP, leading the Eagles to the Mission League title…as a junior he rushed for 542 yards on 90 carries with 11 touchdowns in 12 games and was named to the All-Mission League First Team…in 2015 as a sophomore he rushed for 404 yards on 71 carries in 11 games for five touchdowns…for his career, Van Buren rushed for 2,205 yards on 385 carries in 34 games, averaging 5.7 yards per carry and 37 touchdowns.

Demitri Washington STUD 6-5 245 Solana Beach, Calif. (Santa Fe Christian HS)
Three-star recruit according to,…also a standout on the offensive side of the ball, is the 40th-best dual player nationally…played five games in his senior season before injury, collected 45 tackles (29 solo), 7.0 tackles-for-loss, 10 QB hurries and five sacks…also rushed for 243 yards on 32 carries for four TDs…2016 San Diego Union Tribune All-Academic Team.


Aarron Boatright
DE/TE | 6-5 | 241
Manning, S.C. | East Mississippi CC
Helped East Mississippi Community College to the 2017 NJCAA National Championship…Lions also won the MACJC Championship, for their sixth state title in nine years…Boatright was named All-NJCAA Region 23…ranked second on the team with five sacks…finished with 27 tackles, including 6.5 for loss…as a freshman at Pima Community College in 2015, recorded 41 tackles, 5.5 sacks and six tackles for loss… all-area selection at offensive line at Manning High School…also played tight end and H back in high school…interested in pursuing a degree in history.

Bruce Burns
OL | 6-3 | 345
San Leandro, Calif. | Laney College
Named California Community College Athletic Association first-team All-American as a sophomore… paved way for a rushing attack that averaged 260 yards per game…helped Laney College to 9-2 record, advancing to the Norther California Semifinals…All-Valley League as a freshman in 2016…all-conference performer at Arroyo High School…interested in pursuing a degree in kinesiology.

Matthew Faupusa
OL | 6-3 | 310
Cypress, Calif. | Los Alamitos HS
Helped paved the way to a Sunset League championship for Los Alamitos as a senior on offensive and defensive lines…second-team all-league selection as a junior on offense…also a standout rugby player.

Logan Floyd
OL | 6-4 | 289
Kearns, Utah | Kearns HS
2017 honorable mention all-state selection and two-time all-region honoree…led Kearns to a 9-2 record and state playoff appearance as a senior…Cougars advanced to playoffs each of his final three seasons…interested in pursuing a degree in exercise science and health.

Edwin Grande
OL | 6-5 | 291
Oakland, Calif. | Monterey Peninsula College
All-league selection as a sophomore…helped Monterey Peninsula advance to American Division Championship Bowl after finishing regular season as co-champions of the Golden Coast League with a 5-1 conference mark…interested in pursuing a degree in business or psychology.

Ariyon Huff
WR | 5-8 | 191
Sacramento, Calif. | Yuba College
All-California Region II and All-Pacific 7 League selection as a sophomore…recorded 67 catches for 805 yards and six touchdowns…also rushed for 79 yards and threw a touchdown…first-team all-league kick returner as a freshman…averaged 31.8 yards per kickoff return and 13.8 yards per punt return, including one touchdown, to go with 388 receiving yards and four scores…led Grant High School to Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title as a senior…scored game-tying touchdown and converted a fourth down on the game-winning drive of the championship game…interested in pursuing a degree in kinesiology.

James Jones
LB | 6-1 | 243
New Orleans, La. | George Washington Carver College Academy
First-team All-District 10-4A as a senior…helped Carver advance to the second round of the 4A LHSAA playoffs…Rams went 7-3 on the season, including the school’s first playoff win since 2013…averaged 6.6 tackles per game as a senior…interested in pursuing a degree in childhood psychology.

Michael Noil
CB | 5-8 | 152
Portland, Ore. | Madison HS
First-team All-Portland Interscholastic League choice as an all-purpose player following senior season…standout corner back, wide receiver and kick returner…second-team all-league selection at kick returner as a junior…brother Wyror is also a member of the Idaho football program, redshirting as a freshman in 2017…interested in pursuing a degree in business.

Brian Robinson
OL | 6-4 | 346
Hayward, Calif. | Laney College
All-league offensive lineman as a sophomore in 2017…paved way for a rushing attack that averaged 260 yards per game…helped Laney College to 9-2 record, advancing to the Norther California Semifinals…first-team All-Mission Valley tackle as a senior at Moreau Catholic High School…interested in pursuing a degree in kinesiology.

Cameron Townsend
DL | 6-1 | 277
West Hills, Calif. | Moorpark College
Second-team all-league selection at Moorpark College…recorded 40 tackles as a sophomore, including a team-high three sacks among his seven tackles for loss…tallied 2.5 sacks as a freshman in 2016...all-county selection while starring at Oaks Christian High School…interested in pursuing a degree in kinesiology and physical therapy.

Tyrese Walker
RB/CB | 5-6 | 165
Baton Rouge, La. | Madison Prep Academy
Named 2A Louisiana Offensive Player of the Year as a junior, and second-team All-USA Louisiana by USA TODAY…rushed for 2,462 yards and 40 touchdowns and led Madison Prep to state championship game…three-year starter, starring on offense, defense and special teams…also lettered in basketball, winning a state title each of the last three seasons…interested in pursuing a degree in physical education.

Connor Whitney
S | 6-3 | 200
Spokane, Wash. | West Valley HS
Led West Valley to a 12-1 record and berth in the 2A state semifinals as a senior in 2017…named Great Northern League Defensive MVP as a junior, also earned first-team honors at wide receiver and punter…coached by his father, Craig…all-conference performer in basketball and baseball.

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