Feb. 2, 2005
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis football coach Bob Biggs and his staff announced Wednesday that 10 outstanding student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent while two more have signed athletics aid agreements during the first day of the football signing period.
UC Davis, in the second year of a four-year reclassification from NCAA Divison II to Division I-AA status, finished 6-4 overall in 2004 and in second-place in the first-year Great West Football Conference. The Aggies opened the season unbeaten through their first five games, peaking at No.21 in the Div. I-AA national polls.
Additionally, head coach Bob Biggs earned distinction by winning his 100th career game on Oct. 2 when UC Davis beat Northern Colorado.
Any further signings will be announced as they are received during the signing period.
Below are comments from Coach Biggs and bios on the student-athletes.
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown High School
Brad BISPO TE 6-5 220 Modesto, Calif. Downey HS
Chris CARTER WR 6-0 190 Danville, Calif. San Ramon Valley HS
Steve GATENA* OT 6-5 250 Thousand Oaks, Calif. Westlake HS '04
Michael HEALEY RB 6-1 195 Pleasant Hill, Calif. College Park HS
Conor KIRKPATRICKWR 6-1 190 Danville, Calif. Monte Vista HS
Luke McDONOUGH TE 6-4 227 La Habra, Calif. La Habra HS
Marcus NOLAN* RB 5-10 205 Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. South Hills HS '02Citrus College/SJSU
Josh POTTER OL 6-6 265 Napa, Calif. Napa HS
Andy RICE DE 6-5 235 Yuba City, Calif. Sutter Union HS
Ryan SMITH QB 6-2 200 Clovis, Calif. Buchanan HS
Mason THOMAS DE 6-3 225 Eureka, Calif. Eureka HS
Clayton TUNNEY QB 6-3 194 Carlsbad, Calif. La Costa Canyon HS
* - Did not sign a National Letter of Intent; Signed athletics aid agreements
COACH Bob Biggs QUOTE
"We want to be in a position in 2007 where we are a playoff-contending team and in order to do that we have to have depth across the board. We have to be two to three deep with quality players because we found out last year when you're playing bigger, stronger and faster teams week in and week out, injuries take their toll. I think if you're going to be a playoff team you have to have depth and you have to count on a lot of people contributing, not just your 22 starters. I think that's been our goal is to get depth at all the positions and I think we're doing a good job."
***Biographies of each of the signees follow***
BRAD BISPO (6-5, 220, TE, Modesto, Calif./Downey HS
Posted 72 catches for 1,106 yards and 15 touchdowns during senior season, earning All-Modesto Metro Conference first-team honors... Was also named the Modesto Metro Conference Most Valuable Player... Was named second-team all-state, team MVP and Academic All-Modesto Metro Conference... Honorable mention all-section.. Stanislaus County District Player of the Year and was winner of Blue Knight Award by school's alums for academic and athletic excellence... Was named All-Central California Conference first team in 2003 and was an Academic All-CCC the same season... Was also selected all-district first-team after helping lead Downey to CCC championship... Is also a four-year member of varsity basketball team and was named first-team All-CCC last year... Winner of National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete... His father, Frank, played football at UC Davis (1983-85) and has the second-longest TD reception in school history (92 yards from Chris Petersen against Humboldt State in 1985).
CHRIS CARTER (6-0, 190, WR, Danville, Calif./San Ramon
Caught 63 passes for 1,890 yards and 19 TD's, helping lead San Ramon Valley to a CIF-North Section championship and an 11-2 record in 2004... Selected to All-Metro and All-San Francisco Chronicles first teams.
STEVE GATENA (6-5, 250, OT, Thousand Oaks, Calif./Westlake
HS '04/Air Force)
DID NOT SIGN A NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT; SIGNED ATHLETICS AID AGREEMENT
All-Marmonte League first team in 2003.. Also selected All-Ventura County, All-CIF Southern Section and All-Los Angeles Times All-Region... Westlake won CIF-Southern Section Division IV title in 2003... Also named All-Ventura County Academic first team, All-Ventura County Star first team and All-Region by CBS Sportsline... Additionally, he was named Scholastic All-CIF and was National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete winner... Attended Air Force Academy during fall semester
MICHAEL HEALEY (6-0, 195, RB, Pleasant Hill, Calif./College
Scored 43 touchdowns and rushed for 3,100 yards rushing in three years of varsity football... Scored 23 touchdowns and had 170 total points to set Contra Costa County records... Was fifth in the county in rushing yards with 1,495... Named to Contra Costa Times "Cream of the Crop"... Co-MVP of the Diablo Foothill Athletic League in 2004... Named to All-DFAL first team as linebacker and utility offense... All-Contra Costa Times first team as utility offense in 2004... 2003 accomplishments: All-DFAL first team linebacker and second team utility offense... All-East Bay third team by Contra Costa times as a linebacker... Team captain... Team MVP of offense... 2002: All-DFAL second team as running back.
CONOR KIRKPATRICK (6-1, 190, WR, Danville, Calif./Monte
Named to All-East Bay Athletic League team in both 2003 and 2004... Was also selected to All-Area team by Tri-Valley Herald those same two seasons... Named second-team All-Metro in December and was also a second-team pick by the San Francisco Chronicle .. Posted 75 catches for 1,017 yards as a senior and had more than 50 catches as a junior... Team finished 9-3 his junior season and was 7-4 last year... Honored as San Ramon Valley Athlete of the Week in November 2003... Also a guard on the basketball team where he earned all-league honorable mention in 2003.
LUKE McDONOUGH (6-4, 227, TE, La Habra, Calif./La Habra
Named to All-Freeway League first team after helping lead La Habra HS to a 9-4 record and a berth in the CIF-Southern Section semifinals... Had 28 catches for 580 yards during his senior season... Also named Rookie of the Year... Also a member of the La Habra basketball team... McDonough averaged 15 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists per game last season, earning All-Freeway League first team accolades and team MVP honors... Has been named Scholar-Athlete each year.
MARCUS NOLAN (5-10, 205, RB, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./South
Hills HS '02/Citrus College/San Jose State)
DID NOT SIGN A NATIONAL LETTER OF INTENT; SIGNED ATHLETICS AID AGREEMENT
Transfer from Citrus College in southern California where he scored 11 touchdowns and helped lead his team to a 7-3 record... Named All-Western State Conference honorable mention and was team's offensive MVP... Named to All-Valley Vista League first team as a senior at South Hills HS and was an All-CIF Southern Section pick as a safety... Rushed for 1,500 yards as a senior... Set school records with 46 career touchdowns and 23 for a season... South Hills won CIF-Southern Section Division IX championship with a 13-1 record in 2001... Also played basketball and ran track at South Hills... His father, Larry, was inducted into the Canadian Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame in 2002... Attended San Jose State prior to Citrus College
JOSH POTTER (6-6, 265, OL, Napa, Calif./Napa HS)
Offensive tackle and tight end for Napa High School where he earned team Most Improved Player accolades in both 2003 and 2004... Team captain last season... All-Monticello Empire League honorable mention as a tackle last season... Napa won section title his junior season and was league titlist and had a 10-2-1 as a senior.... National Football Scholar-Athlete nominee... Earned Governor's Scholarship.
ANDY RICE (6-5, 235, DE, Yuba City, Calif./Sutter Union
Posted 14 sacks in eight games for Sutter Union during 2004 season... Was a preseason all-state pick... Helped lead team to a Butte View League championship and CIF-Northern Section title with 12-0 record... Team went a combined 23-1 during his two years on varsity... Sutter Union was ranked third in the state last season.
RYAN SMITH (6-2, 200, QB, Clovis, Calif./Buchanan HS)
Set Buchanan High School records for career passing attempts (402), completions (210), passing yards in a game... Finished his career with a school-record 29 touchdown passes as well... Rushed 185 times in his career for 1,004 yards... Completed 110 passes and had 13 TD passes in 2004 while also rushing 78 times for 504 yards and 6 TD's...Received Coaches Awards last season... Named to Prep Star All-Region team, was a preseason Army All-America nominee and was selected to the Clovis Independent All-City team... Twice named All-Tri City Athletic Conference... Named MVP of the Boise State camp... Also played basketball and baseball, earning all-league honors in hoops.
MASON THOMAS (6-3, 220, DE, Eureka, Calif./Eureka HS
Was both a standout defensive end and punter, collecting 40 solo tackles (102 total tackles) and averaging 42.5 yards punting in 2004... Had 92 total tackles, including four sacks, to go with a 45.0 punting average his junior season... Eureka finished 13-0 in 2003 and won league and CIF-North Coast Section titles... The team was 8-2 and won the Humboldt-Del Norte League title last year... Named all-county as a defensive end last year All-HDNL... Was an all-league and all-county honorable mention as a junior... Selected to 2003 CalHiSports.com All-State Underclass team as a punter... Nominated for Cal-Hi Sports all-state team for 2004.
CLAYTON TUNNEY (6-3, 194, QB, La Costa Canyon HS)
Helped lead La Costa Canyon to CIF-San Diego Section semifinals for first time in school history after squad upset top-seeded Carlsbad in quarterfinals... Voted team's offensive Player of the Year... Prep Pigskin Player of the Year finalist for San Diego... Holds school records for single-season passing completions and yards... Passed for 2,400 yards last season... All-Palomar Conference first team, All-North County Times first team, All-San Diego Union Tribune first team... Participated in the Max Emfinger High School All-American Bowl Game Classic at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.
Big Sky Scholar-Athlete Award