Saco Alofipo admitted he was a little nervous about giving a speech as part of Liberty’s National Signing Day ceremony Wednesday.
But he had no qualms about describing the type of football player Utah State will add when he gets to campus.
“Physical, tough, nasty, I’ve got a lot of tenacity in me,” said Alofipo, who expects to play strong safety in college. “I’ve been working my whole life to have a chance to play at the next level.”
Alofipo was one of six Patriots who signed Wednesday, the first day of the regular signing period. Three of them — defensive backs Isaiah Hampton and Eli Wilson and running back Brody Clark — will remain teammates after signing with Minnesota-Duluth.
Alofipo was one of two from the valley that Utah State added. He joins Desert Pines’ Jett Solomon, who is expected to play safety in college.
“That’s my boy,” Alofipo said of Solomon. “We’ve played on the same seven-on-seven team and traveled to a lot of different states with each other, and we’ve played against each other. He’s a great player.”
While making it clear he has thrilled about the opportunity Utah State afforded him, Alofipo still wonders about the offers he might have received had he been able to play his junior season, which was wiped out because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But he didn’t hang his head during that time. At the encouragement of Liberty coach Rich Muraco, Alofipo and his teammates used the time to work on their individual ability.
“I feel like I, and a lot of my teammates, could have gotten a lot more looks because that was a big year, not just for us but for everyone around the country,” Alofipo said. “The junior year is a big year in recruiting, but it was something that pushed us to get more in the weight room and more work on the field.”
Faith Lutheran linebacker Jordan Pollard was the only other player in the valley who signed with a Football Bowl Subdivision school Wednesday. He will head to San Jose State.
Liberty’s Hampton, Wilson and Clark will be joined at Minnesota-Duluth, which was 9-3 and reached the Division II playoffs, by Shadow Ridge linebacker Roy Makiao-Fa’agai.
Legacy defensive back Montae Pate and Silverado wide receiver Jaden Thrower will team up at Football Championship Subdivision school Weber State.
Basic had three players sign to remain as teammates, as defensive lineman Allen Danielson and wide receivers Deshaun Fletcher and Chris Manuma are bound for NAIA school Dakota State. They will be joined there by Las Vegas linebacker Adonis Jackson and Liberty offensive lineman Sakaria Muaina and running back Larry Royal.
Southern Nevada football signees
Kyle Holmes, QB, Missouri Valley College
Allen Danielson, Dakota State
Deshaun Fletcher, WR, Dakota State
Chris Manuma, WR, Dakota State
Lackawanna Caston, DB, Golden West Community College
Nyic’Quavayion Willis, QB, University of Mary
Tyree Beasley, DB, South Dakota School of Mines
Jett Solomon, ATH, Utah State
Rjay Tagataese, QB, Chaffey Community College
Jordan Pollard, LB, San Jose State
Adonis Jackson, LB, Dakota State
Montae Pate, ATH, Weber State
Saco Alofipo, S, Utah State
Brody Clark, RB, Minnesota-Duluth
Isaiah Hampton, DB, Minnesota-Duluth
Sakaria Muaina, OL, Dakota State
Larry Royal, RB, Dakota State
Eli Wilson, DB, Minnesota-Duluth
Roy Mokiao-Fa’agai, LB, Minnesota-Duluth
Jaden Thrower, WR, Weber State