Two seasons ago, SilverAndBlueSports.com filmed a profile of former Nevada quarterback Mason Magleby, who was part of the Hornets’ 2012 signing class Wednesday.
By Bill Bradley, SacStateSports.com Editor
Sacramento State added 22 new football players Wednesday on 2012′s opening day of National Letter of Intent. Yet the most important ones to the Hornets’ immediate success may be already on campus.
Of the 22 signees, two of them were transfers from Football Bowl Subdivision schools and have transferred from junior colleges. All six have enrolled and will help the Hornets fill some holes when spring football starts later this semester. Two others also will come from the JC ranks next fall.
“We needed some guys that could help us win now,” Hornets Coach Marshall Sperbeck said Wednesday afternoon. “When you lose a (fullback) Jake Croxdale and (tailback) Bryan Hilliard – guys who have been in the program for awhile – to replace them with A.J. Ellis (from Fresno State) and Ezekiel Graham (from Southwest Junior College) helps us.
“Also, to get another bounce-back (from an FBS school) in quarterback Mason Magleby like we got in Jeff Fleming was huge.”
Magleby, a former Del Oro High School quarterback, transferred after two seasons at Nevada. Ellis comes to the Hornets from Fresno State with one year of eligibility remaining. And Graham was a junior college all-American last season.
Magleby’s signing is reminiscent of the past two season-opening starters: McLeod Bethel-Thompson transferred to Sac State from UCLA and Fleming came from New Mexico State.
With Tommy Edwards transferring to Division III Occidental College, the Hornets have five quarterbacks on the roster: Magleby, prep signee Nolan Sorensen of Clovis Buchanan High School, freshman Colin Burnett of Auburn Placer High, freshman Jake Geringer and freshman Garrett Safron. Despite Safron playing in five games last season and finishing the year as the starter, it sounds like a quarterback competition is in the making.
“Magleby brings good depth to the position and gives us the opportunity to bring in a guy who has played at the Division I level,” said Sperbeck of Magleby, who completed 10 of 11 passes and threw for four touchdowns last season. “… Everybody competes for the starting job.”
Besides Magleby, the Hornets signed three other players from the Sacramento area. They added former Monterey Trail offensive lineman Jessie Brown from American River College, Elk Grove running back Deon Ransom and Sheldon wide receiver Kyi Thomas.
“We’re trying to get the best local kids,” Sperbeck said, “but we’re trying to get the best players, period. We’re going to always start in Sacramento and venture out from here. We were fortunate to get some local kids like we always try to do and we wish we could have gotten a couple more.
“There were some other guys who were talented players here in town that we just weren’t able to land. I think we did really well with the ones we did get. I like the Ransom kid and I think Ky Thomas really has a lot of upside as a wide receiver. He’s only played one year of football. He’s could have like a 44-inch vertical jump, so we’re really excited about his potential.”
Despite some notoriety Thomas has received as a basketball player, Sperbeck said he will only play football at Sac State.
“I think he came to the realization that he didn’t have a lot of interest (from schools) in basketball right now. I think he’s going come to the realization that football is his future.”
Ransom rushed for 1,825 yards and 27 touchdowns last season in helping Elk Grove to a 12-1 record.
“I think we filled some quality needs and got some pretty good people in,” Sperbeck siad. “I think we did very well and I am very excited about the way our kids are working as a team. (The midyear transfers) have fit in right away.”