Joe Davidson

Former 5-star recruit among seven to sign UC Davis football letters of intent

Offensive lineman Nico Sarale was the most heavily recruited football player in Oakdale history and initially committed to Fresno State.
Offensive lineman Nico Sarale was the most heavily recruited football player in Oakdale history and initially committed to Fresno State. Modesto Bee file

Dan Hawkins’ pledge to build the UC Davis football program back to prominence starts with recruiting, and the second-year Aggies coach rejoiced in the flood of letters of intent that came through the fax machine on Wednesday.

Reinforcements to a roster already expecting to return a wealth of talent are on the way. Seven student-athletes submitted papers to the Aggies, which followed the 11 who submitted their written commitments during the December early signing period. UCD went 5-6 last season and had its strongest showing in the Big Sky Conference.

“Each of these guys are well-rounded individuals who want to receive a great education,” Hawkins said of his commits.

The Aggies signed:

▪ John Aloma, long snapper, Moorpark College;

▪ Lance Babb II, receiver, Schurr High School in Montebello;

▪ Malik Banks, offensive line, Villa Park High School;

▪ Matt Hyman, tight end, Santa Rosa Junior College;

▪ Jake Parks, offensive line, Serra High in Huntington Beach;

▪ Nico Sarale, offensive line, Oakdale High School;

▪ Josiah Suani, defensive line, Hayward High School.

A five-star recruit in high school, Aloma lands with the Aggies after transferring colleges for the second time. He played in junior college in 2017 after spending a season at Utah.

Parks played in perhaps the toughest high school league on the West Coast, the Trinity League, and had 18 sacks. Sarale was the most heavily recruited football player in Oakdale history and initially committed to Fresno State.

UCD will also bring in scores of walk-ons, including Bee All-Metro linebacker Jason Gallagher of Jesuit, All-Metro tight end Garren O’Keefe of Colfax and All-Metro utility player Justin Poerio of Oak Ridge. Each confirmed those commitments through social media and with on-campus signing ceremonies.

Joe Davidson: 916-321-1280, @SacBee_JoeD

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