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Troy Purcell, Carroll College football add initial 2020 signees

Eight Montanans highlight the class
Posted: 12:53 PM, Feb 05, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-06 11:18:50-05
Sunday Conversation: Troy Purcell finding comfort zone in return to Carroll College

(Editor's note: Carroll College athletics release)

HELENA -- The Carroll College Football team welcomed in 26 signees in its initial signing class of 2020, the program announced Wednesday on National Signing Day.

"The Fighting Saints 2020 recruiting class is filled with winners," coach Troy Purcell said. "The coaching staff did a great job finding the right fit of student-athletes for Carroll College and the football program. The class consists of 21 multi-sport athletes, 12 three-sport athletes and 16 team captains. They represent players from Idaho, California, Washington, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Hawaii and Montana. The future is bright for Carroll College Fighting Saints football."

The class currently features eight offensive and 16 defensive players, while two recruits will enter the program as athletes. The Saints brought in 16 players that were team captains, including nine all-state players.

The program expects to add another wave of signees in the coming weeks.

Here's a rundown of Carroll's 2020 class to date.

Basil Coutinho / Missoula, Mont. /Loyola Sacred Heart HS / ATH, 6'2, 205
Coutinho was a four-year varsity player at wide receiver and linebacker for Loyola. He was a letter winner in basketball, track and tennis. Off the field, Coutinho was an academic all-state selection. He is the son of Cynthia and Newton Coutinho. He has two sisters (Kirby and Skylar). He plans on pursuing a degree in biology.

Coutinho on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because I really liked the atmosphere, players and coaches. Carroll also has an incredible pre-med program."

Chase Coyle / Grants Pass, Ore. / Grants Pass High School / QB, 6'2, 205
Coyle was a first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-state QB as a senior at Grants Pass. In his career, Coyle was a four-year letter winner, two-time all-conference QB, and two-time team captain. Coyle is also a three-year letter winner in basketball and two-time letter winner in baseball. Off the field, Coyle was a four-year member of the honor roll. He the son of Glennelle and Shane Coyle. He plans to pursue a degree in business.

Coyle on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because it felt like a big family, and is a great fit to get my education and play football."

Trajan Forrester / Phoenix, Ariz. / North Canyon HS / DL, 6'3, 250
Forrester was a four-time all-district and all-region performer at North Canyon. Forrester was a letter winner in three other sports: wrestling, track and basketball. Off the field, Forrester was a three-year member of the honor roll. He is the son of Nicole and John Forrester Sr. He has one brother (John Jr.) He plans to pursue a degree in business.

Forrester on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because it felt like home. It just felt right."

Liam Haffey / Missoula, Mont. / Loyola Sacred Heart HS / OL, 6'4, 260
Haffey was a captain, four-year letter winner and an all-conference performer on the offensive line at Loyola. Haffey was also a four-year letter winner in track and basketball. Off the field, Haffey was a five-time academic all-state performer. He is the son of Jen and John Haffey. He has one brother (Finn). He plans on pursing a degree in political science.

Haffey on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because it felt like home to me, (plus) being able to have a sense of family and playing for a program with a winning tradition."

Johnathan HagEstad / Surprise, Ariz. / Willow Canyon HS / DB, 5'10, 175
HagEstad was a two-time all-region and all-district performer at Willow Canyon. HagEstad was a football team captain and a two-time varsity letter winner in track. Off the field, he was a two-year member of the all-academic team. HagEstad is a Montana native and the son of Rachel and Patrick HagEstad. He has two brothers (Michael and Austin). He plans to pursue a degree in business.

HagEstad on why he chose Carroll College: "It gave me the opportunity to get back to Montana. Carroll has a great community and education and gives me the opportunity to compete for championships."

Jayden Jackson / Surprise, Ariz. / Shadow Ridge HS / DE, 6'3, 200
Jackson was an Arizona 6A second-team and a first-team all-district pick at Shadow Ridge. Jackson was a first-team all-region selection and a three-year letter winner in track, running an 11.08-second 100-meter dash as a junior. Off the field, Jackson was academic all-district and a member of the of the principal's list. Jackson is the son of Daphne Davis. He has one brother (Jhamil). He plans to pursue a degree in business.

Jackson on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because I felt like I was a part of the team already. I feel like the community around the school will help me be successful."

Tucker Jones / Hamilton, Mont. / Hamilton HS / LB, 6', 210
Jones was the Western A defensive player of the year and two-time first-team all-state linebacker at Hamilton. Jones was a team captain, a three time all-conference wide receiver and an all-conference player for the Bitterroot Red Sox baseball team. Jones has been selected to participate in the Knights of Columbus Badlands Bowl and the Montana East-West Shrine Game. Off the field, Jones was a member of the National Honor Society and a four-time academic all-state selection. He is the son of Melanie and Darrin Jones. He plans to pursue a degree in environmental science.

Jones on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because of the welcoming relationship between the football program and the school itself."

Mike Kavila / Meridian, Idaho / Mountain View High School / DB, 5'11, 165
Kavila was a second-team all-conference and second-team all-Idaho defensive back at Mountain View. Kavila was a two-year letter winner. He is the son of Jackie and Joseph Kavila. He has one sister (Kali) and one brother (Elijah). He plans to pursue a degree in accounting.

Kavila on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because it felt like home and I felt very welcomed."

Trevor Klein / Phoenix, Ariz. / Brophy Prep HS / DB, 6'1, 190
Klein was a two-year letter winner and an all-region defensive back at Brophy Prep. Klein was also a varsity performer in wrestling and track. Off the field, he was a two-time academic all-state performer. He is the son of Nancy and Joe Klein. He has three sisters (Hannah, Abby and Emma). He plans to pursue a degree in Biology.

Klein on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because of the amazing academic prestige and the unique culture in and around the school."

Jadon Lamb / Townsend, Mont. / Broadwater County High School / OL, 6'3, 235
Lamb was a three-time all-conference player and a 2019 all-state offensive lineman at Broadwater County. Lamb has also been a three-time all-conference and a 2019 all-state wrestler, as well as earning all-conference honors in track. Off the field, Lamb is a member of the National Honors Society and is a four-time academic all-state selection. Lamb is the son of Janina and Landon Lamb, who played football at Carroll from 1996-99. He has one brother (Connor) and two sisters (Sophia and Annaliya). He plans to pursue a degree in business.

Lamb on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because I've wanted to be a Saint since I was little. I grew up watching Saint football, it's close to home, and my dad went there."

Liam Lynch / Spokane, Wash. / Ferris HS / DL, 5'10, 200
Lynch was a team captain and an all-conference performer at Ferris. Lynch was a three-year letter winner in football and three-year letter winner in track. Off the field, Lynch is a first-team all-conference academic performer. He is the son of Stacy and Patrick Lynch. He has one sister (Olivia). He plans on pursuing a degree in biology.

Lynch on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because it embodies everything I want from college."

Thomas McGree / Butte, Mont. / Butte Central Catholic HS / DB, 6'1, 190
McGree was a 2019 all-state defensive back and four-year letter winner at Butte Central. He was a team captain. McGree was an all-state performer in the 110-meter hurdles and triple jump for the Maroons track and field program. He has been selected to play in the 2019 Badlands Bowl, as well as the Montana East-West Shrine Game. Off the field, McGree is a member of the National Honor Society and was academic all-state. McGree is the son of Jim and Erin McGree, and has one sister (Lacey) and two brothers (Connor and Nate, who both played at Carroll). He plans to pursue a degree in Business.

McGree on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because it felt like home to me. I got along with all the coaches and the current players."

Ben Mehlhaff / Eugene Ore. / Sheldon HS / OLB/DE, 6'2, 205
Mehlhaff was an all-conference linebacker and four-year letterman at Sheldon HS. Mehlhaff was a member of the 2019 state finalist Sheldon High team, as well as a three-year varsity letter winner in track. He served as a captain his senior year. Off the field, Mehlhaff was the 2019 Scholar Athlete of the Year and a member of the honor roll at Sheldon. Mehlhaff is the son of Leslie and Bryan Mehlhaff and has one sister (Grace) and one brother (Tristan). He plans to pursue a degree in civil engineering.

Mehlhaff on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because it is a great fit for me both academically and athletically. Also, I love Helena."

Zane Melzer / Nine Mile Falls, Wash. / Gonzaga Preparatory School / TE, 6'3, 215
Melzer was a three-time team captain and first-team all-conference player at Gonzaga Prep. He was a team captain. In addition to earning three varsity letters in football, Melzer earned varsity letters in lacrosse and track. Off the field, Melzer is a 3A academic state champion. Mezler is the son of Angelie and Rod Melzer and has two brothers (Kaz and Oz). He plans to pursue a degree in business.

Melzer on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because I had a great relationship with the coaches and players at Carroll, and I love Montana."

Hunter Nicely /Monrovia, Calif. / Monrovia High School / OLB, 5'11, 190
Nicely was team captain, a first-team all-conference linebacker and all-valley league defensive MVP as a senior at Monrovia. Nicely was first-team all-league as a junior and a two-year varsity letter winner in track. Nicely is the son of Samantha and Jason Nicely and has one brother (Gage). Nicely plans to pursue a degree in business.

Nicely on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because I have the opportunity to receive a great education and play the sport that I love."

Carson Ochoa / Yorba Linda, Calif. / Yorba Linda HS / TE, 6'3, 225
Ochoa was a first-team all-league tight end at Yorba Linda. Ochoa was a two-time letter winner in football and two-time letter winner in wrestling at Yorba Linda. He is the son of Shauna and Jeff Ochoa. He has one brother (Matson). He intends to pursue a degree in nursing.

Ochoa on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because of how I was welcomed with open arms. Carroll also has a great nursing program that will benefit me in the future."

Carsen Paine / East Wanatchee, Wash. / Eastmont HS / FB, 6'1, 230
Paine was team captain and a two-time all-league performer on the offensive line at Eastmont. Paine is also a varsity discus thrower and a two-time cross country mountain biking state champion. Off the field, Paine is a four-year member of the honor roll at Eastmont. Paine is the son of Kim and Chad Paine. He has one brother (Chase). He intends to pursue a degree in psychology.

Paine on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because it offers a great education in an awesome town. I couldn't think of a better place to go and play football."

Max Peed / Rathdrum, Idaho / Lakeland HS / OL, 6', 240
Peed was a team captain, all-league offensive lineman and three-year letter winner at Lakeland. Peed is a varsity track performer who made the state meet in discus. Off the field, Max is the son of Julie and Jerry Peed. He has two sisters (Erin and Claire) and two brothers (Charlie and Jack). He plans on pursuing a degree in biology.

Peed on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll for the academics, the chance to play with my older brother and the Catholic environment."

Cameron Pruitt / Boise, Idaho / Borah HS / OLB, 5'11, 185
Pruitt was a first-team all-state performer at linebacker at Borah. Pruitt was a team captain, three-year varsity letter-winner, an all-conference receiver and a varsity letter winner in basketball. Cameron is the son of Melissa and Randy Pruitt. He has one sister (Mariah). He plans on pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering.

Pruitt on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because it felt like home and a place where I can see myself succeeding in the future."

Esvin Reyes / Plains, Mont. / Plains HS / ATH, 6', 210
Reyes was a team captain and three-time all-conference selection at running back and linebacker at Plains. Reyes was a four-year letter winner in basketball. Off the field, Reyes is a four-time academic all-state selection. He is the son of Dulce and Joel Reyes. He plans on pursuing a degree in biology.

Reyes on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because of its great academic and athletic programs. It felt like a home away from home."

Hank Rugg / Missoula, Mont. / Frenchtown HS / DE, 6'3, 200
Rugg was a two-time all-state performer at defensive end, two-time all-conference receiver and team captain at Frenchtown. Rugg was also an all-conference performer in basketball and track. Off the field, Rugg was a four-time selection for academic all-state. He is the son of Korey and Ryann Rugg. He has one brother (Brock). He plans to pursue a degree in accounting and strategic finance.

Rugg on why he choose Carroll College "I chose Carroll for the academic excellence and the football tradition."

Luke Schabot / Meridian, Idaho / Centennial HS / WR, 6'2, 180
Schabot was a team captain and an all-conference performer at receiver at Centennial. He was a three-year varsity letter winner in football, basketball and track. Off the field, he is a three-time all-conference academic performer. He is the son of Jennifer and Chad Schabot. He has one brother (Kyle). He plans on pursuing a degree in Health Sciences.

Schabot on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll College because of the excellent academics, great community and outstanding football program."

Mason Yochum / Billings, Mont. / Billings Central Catholic HS / LB, 6'1, 205
Yochum was a 2019 team captain and all-state linebacker at Billings Central. Yochum was an all-conference performer at tight end and a member of the 2018 Class A football and basketball state championship teams for Billings Central. Off the field, Yochum was a three-time academic all-state performer. He is the son of Christy and Chris Yochum. He has one sister (Madison). He plans to pursue a degree in education.

Yochum on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because the atmosphere on campus and game day was second to none."

Mid-Year Transfers

Tyler Dennis / Fernley, Nev. / Feather River College / DB, 5'11, 180
Dennis comes to Carroll College from Feather River College in Quincy, California. Dennis was a two-time all-conference selection and a recipient of the team's APAM award for character and hard work. Prior to Feather River, Dennis was a two-year starter at Fernley High School. Dennis is the son of Laura and Shane, and has one sister (Savannah) and one brother (Tommy). He plans to pursue a degree in Health Science.

Dennis on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because it's the best of both worlds, educationally and athletically. I loved the great culture on campus and within the football program."

Jake Medders / Arcadia, Calif. / Arcadia HS / LB, 6'3, 220

Medders comes to Carroll College from Montana State University. Prior to MSU, Medders was the Pacific League Player of the Year and CIF Division 8 Defensive Player of the Year at Arcadia High. Medders was a three-year letter winner in football and is a four-time member of the athletic honor roll. He is the son of Alisa and Dave Medders and has two sisters (Brooke and Alex). He plans to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering.

Medders on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because I visited the campus multiple times and this is where I knew I wanted to be. It feels like a place I can call home."

Nainoa Soto / Kapa'a, HI / Feather River College / DB, 5'11, 180
Soto comes to Carroll College from Feather River College in Quincy, California. Soto was a two-year standout at safety for the Golden Eagles. Prior to Feather River, Soto was an all-conference defensive back at Kapa'a HS. Nainoa is the son of Gayleen Palama and Mark Soto. He has one sister (Lehela). He plans to pursue a degree in public health.

Soto on why he chose Carroll College: "I chose Carroll because of the great education I will get and the history Carroll has as a dominant football program."