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Stan Plewe, Dixie State Athletics, File

Paul Peterson's first signing class at Dixie State heavy on Snow College influence

By Sean Walker, | Posted - Feb 6th, 2019 @ 9:01pm

ST. GEORGE — With a move to Division I on the horizon, new Dixie State coach Paul Peterson signed his first recruiting class — and one that has several familiar names for the former Snow College head coach.

The Trailblazers signed 21 players Wednesday as part of the first day of the national signing period, including 17 high school players.

Meanwhile, six players on Peterson’s inaugural roster at Dixie State spent time at Snow.

"We're very excited to sign this 2019 Trailblazer class," Peterson said in a statement. "We felt we put together, in a very short amount of time, a class that will represent the leadership skills, correct principles, and values we are seeking at Dixie State University. Plus, they are big-time ballers. They will add depth to an already loaded roster and will definitely help us seek out an RMAC championship and win plenty of games in the exciting transition to Division I status."

Dixie hired Peterson in December, plucking the first-year Snow College head coach from Ephraim less than a month after not retaining former coach Shay McClure. What followed was a two-month-long courtship with NCAA Division I status, culminating with an invitation to join the Western Athletic Conference and become an FCS independent beginning with the 2020-21 season.

While one season of Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference play remains, the current class of Trailblazers will be tasked with helping jumpstart the school’s transition period. That includes taking part in already announced series with nearby Southern Utah and fellow Big Sky opponent Weber State.

The group includes former Layton High kicker James Baird, who played two seasons at Snow and set the third-best mark in the NJCAA by booting 12-of-16 field goals.

Former Bingham defensive back Simote Lokotui logged 32 tackles, three fumbles and an interception in his freshman season at Snow, and Orem native D’Arman Notoa was a first-team all-Western States Football League and junior college All-American after running for 1,094 yards and 16 touchdowns as a freshman with the Badgers.

Tight end Chase Hess of Taylorsville, Tyler Hill from Sandy, and Los Angeles-bred wide receiver Jalen Powell also followed Peterson from Ephraim, enrolling at Dixie State prior to Wednesday’s signing day.

Other locals who signed with Dixie State include Salem Hills’ offensive lineman Alex Foster, Pine View lineman Solo Katoa and Cyprus' Ben Schmith.

Dixie State 2019 recruiting class

Name Pos Hometown/High school
Avirex Aupiu LB Compton, Calif.
James Baird K Layton HS/Snow College
Syrr Barnes LB Lake Forest Calif.
Alex Foster OL Salem Hills HS
Chrishawn Gordon DB Valley Center, Calif.
Tyrell Grayson DB Fresno, Calif.
Siotame Ha’unga OL Waipahu, Hawaii
Mitch Jacobs DE Las Vegas, Nev.
Rickie Johnson WR Murrieta, Calif.
Andrew Kannely-Robles RB Yreka, Calif.
Solo Katoa OL Pine View HS
Cy Kuboyama-Hayashi WR Waipahu, Hawaii
Simote Lokotui DB Bingham HS/Snow College
Mayson McIntire OL Hemet, Calif.
Jayden Nersinger DE Snow College
Ben Schmith OL Cyprus HS
Linaudre Schwallie DT Las Vegas, Nev.
Malini Ti’a DB Livermore, Calif.
Kobe Tracy QB Chubbuck, Idaho
Isaiah Ward LB Natomas, Calif.
*Chase Hess TE Snow College
*Tyler Hill CB Snow College
*Jalen Powell WR Snow College
*mid-year enrollee

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