NAU’s football team held its National Signing Day Wednesday night at the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort, signing 30 new recruits to help build and improve the team. NAU was able to bump up the physical size of its team and fans should be excited to see a team that will try and improve from its 4-8 record last season. Sixteen of the recruits are from Arizona, which is something that NAU head coach Chris Ball wanted.

“We’re going to do this thing with Arizona kids,” Ball said. “ We’re going to win championships with an Arizona all-star team.”

On top of throwing their fishnet into the Arizona pond, the recruiting team was able to pull eight recruits from California, three from Nevada and one from Hawaii, New Jersey and Virginia.

Out of the 30 recruits that will put on the blue and gold next year, 17 are defensive players, while the other 13 play offense. The main goal for the Lumberjacks was to get players with size and strength.

NAU's defensive needs included getting defensive linemen, defensive backs and improving its size overall.

“In game six, the biggest guy on our defense was 250 pounds,” Ball said. “So, we needed to get some bigger guys up there."

On the offensive side of the ball, the focus was to recruit running backs with size. Ball said the team needs to get better at running the ball this upcoming season and were fortunate that there were some talented running backs in the state this year.

One of the biggest issues the football team faced last year was dealing with a lot of injuries. NAU was able to sign three offensive linemen and Ball said that will help keep his team healthy throughout the 12-game season.

“We can’t go through another year like that,” Ball said. “One of the reasons we had so many injuries was because physically, we didn’t have the right guys — you need to recruit that.”

Out of everything, Ball was most proud of the characteristics of the players NAU was able to recruit. The coaching staff took the time to meet the recruits that will come and play for NAU.

Recruits

Defensive Players:

Sean Haymon | Position: defensive back | Height: 5-foot-11 | Weight: 190 pounds | Central High School

Nehemiah Magalei | Position: defensive line | Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 309 pounds | Chandler High School

Devontae Ingram | Position: defensive back | Height: 5-foot-11 | Weight: 165 pounds | South Mountain High School

Colby Humphrey | Position: defensive back | Height: 5-foot-10 | Weight: 165 pounds | Desert Vista High School

Trejan Apodaca | Position: defensive back | Height: 5-foot-11 | Weight: 160 pounds | Oceanside High School

Sheldon Newton | Position: defensive line | Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 316 pounds | San Jacinto High School

Cory Hall | Position: defensive line | Height: 6-foot-5 | Weight: 251 pounds | Arbor View High School

Kukea Emmsley | Position: defensive line | Height: 6-foot-5 | Weight: 263 pounds | Transfer from Boise State University

Braxen Tessler | Position: outside linebacker | Height: 5-foot-10 | Weight: 180 pounds | Saguaro High School

Miles Leblanc | Position defensive line | Height: 6 feet | Weight: 270 pounds | Desert Vista High School

Andrei Mayberry | Position: defensive back | Height: 6 feet | Weight: 205 pounds | Perry High School

Bryan Certain | Position: inside linebacker | Height: 5-foot-10 | Weight: 210 pounds | Bishop Gorman High School

De’Von Graves | Position: defensive back | Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 200 pounds | Transfer from North Carolina State University

Kamdan Hightower | Position: defensive back | Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 180 pounds | Chaparral High School

Xavier Lyas | Position: defensive line | Height: 6-foot-5 | Weight: 245 pounds | Transfer from North Carolina State University

AJ Maluia | Position: defensive line | Height: 6-foot-2 | Weight: 260 pounds | Liberty High School

Traemaine Savea | Position: defensive line | Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 290 pounds | Transfer from East Los Angeles College

Offensive Players:

Victor Arteaga | Position: offensive line | Height 6-foot-3 | Weight 305 pounds | Transfer from El Camino College

Jake Woods | Position: wide receiver | Height: 6-foot-5 | Weight: 200 pounds | Cardinal Newman High School

Regis Velez | Position: wide receiver | Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 212 pounds | Brophy College Preparatory

Joshua Maignan | Position: running back | Height: 5-foot-9 | Weight: 182 pounds | Florence High School

Adam Verbalaitis | Position: offensive line | Height: 6 feet | Weight: 263 pounds | Pinnacle High School

Blake Gamez | Position: offensive Line | Height 6-foot-1 | Weight 275 pounds | Verrado High School

Kevin Daniels | Position: running back | Height: 6-foot-2 | Weight: 225 pounds | Glendale High School

Adam Giordano | Position: tight end | Height: 6-foot-5 | Weight: 245 pounds | Transfer from Wagner College

Tyson Grubbs | Position: running back | Height: 5-foot-10 | Weight: 190 pounds | Desert Vista High School

David Haen | Position: wide receiver | Height: 6-foot-1 | Weight: 183 pounds | Sunnyslope High School

Niko Haen | Position: quarterback | Height: 6 feet | Weight: 185 pounds | Sunnyslope High School

Tye Kassen | Position: offensive line | Height: 6-foot-3 | Weight: 270 pounds | Saguaro High School

Rene Zaldivar | Position: running back | Height: 6 feet | Weight: 200 pounds | Los Altos High School