Mavs restock in the trenches with 2010 class

Mesa State College beefed up its offensive and defensive lines Wednesday, the first day high school seniors could sign letters of intent.

Nine of the 21 high school student-athletes are linemen, and Mesa coach Joe Ramunno hopes to add some more before the end of the signing period April 1.

“The offensive line is a big necessity,” Mesa State coach Joe Ramunno said. “Our depth we really wanted to attack this year. We’re excited about the guys we have. It’s a good group.”

Bear Creek High School standouts Austin Bennett (6-foot-3, 265 pounds) and Dylan Heitsmith (6-2, 320) highlight the group of offensive linemen.

“The Bear Creek boys are both big,” Ramunno said. “We’ve been watching them a long time. Dylan Heitsmith is a very good football player. I like what he does offensively. I think he’s going to be a real solid contributor for us. Austin Bennett is the same kind of thing. They are strong and physical guys. We’re looking forward to both being a part of what we have here.”

Mesa State added offensive linemen Jeff Berghorn (6-4, 300) of Littleton, B.J. Warrior (6-4, 250) of Denver and Palisade’s Zaid Bradfield (6-3, 260).

“This will be a good group to come in and help us solidify our depth,” Ramunno said. “We’re young. That’s a position they have to mature a little bit.”

Mesa lost Matt Goeas and Joe Bolognesi from last season. Goeas left school and Bolognesi decided not to return.

Ramunno added four defensive linemen, led by Caleb Spaulding (6-3, 240) of Fort Collins. He is a three-time all-conference selection and an all-state pick.

“Probably one of the best recruits in the state of Colorado is Caleb Spaulding,” Ramunno said. “He can get off the ball, he just might be a little undersized (for Division I).

“We know we’re recruiting the right guys when they are on the cusp of Division I. There are always diamonds in the rough, but you’ve got to be in the hunt for those guys.”

Former Mesa State assistant coach Darrell Funk’s son, Tyler Funk (6-1, 220), a defensive end from San Diego, signed with the Mavericks, along with Zach Beach of Castle Rock and Jacob Massey of Rifle.

Ramunno landed a highly recruited quarterback in Sean Blackmer of Greeley. Blackmer was getting interest from Colorado State, Northern Arizona, Montana and Montana State before an injury ended his senior season. Blackmer was 22-2 as a starter for Greeley West in the same offensive scheme as Mesa.

“He is a great competitor who handles pressure well,” Ramunno said. “He’s a great kid with size and a great arm.”

Blackmer will compete with returning quarterbacks Michael Mankoff, Robert Felberg and Jason Haferman.

Ramunno added five linebackers to replace two starters, including Joe Clausi (6-2, 230) of Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City, and three defensive backs.

Safety Travis McRae of South Jordan, Utah, was a first-team all-state pick and regional MVP as well as a regional wrestling champion. Others are Central’s Holden Reed and Dylan Thompson of Littleton.

Mesa added fullback Tyler English of Laramie, Wyo., and wide receiver Dekota D’Angelo of San Jose, Ariz., on offense.

Mesa State begins spring practice Feb. 22, depending on weather conditions.


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