OGDEN -- Weber State football coach Jody Sears wants his 2013 football recruiting class to be tough.
"From a character standpoint, from a cultural standpoint, we've got to build the toughness of this football team," he said. "We've got to have playmakers."
Sears added 25 players to his first recruiting class at Weber State on Wednesday, 16 on offense and nine on defense, though several of the signees are expected to delay their arrivals in Ogden until after two-year missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Wildcats will get some help, however, from a pair of previously signed returning missionaries.
Running back/returner Bo Bolen is back in the program after a mission to the Philippines.
Bolen, who was a second-team All-Big Sky player in his first two seasons, will be a junior and already ranks third in school history in kickoff return yards (1,805) and eighth in all-purpose yards (3,476).
Bolen began his career with former Weber State coach Ron McBride, but Sears and his staff kept in touch through emails while he was in the Philippines.
"We've been talking about Bo since we got here," Sears said. "He was an all-conference performer -- awesome."
Bountiful High defensive end Helam Heimuli will also join the program after initially signing in 2010 and serving a mission in Atlanta, Georgia.
Weber State signed three quarterbacks as Sears looks for a replacement for two-year starter Mike Hoke, though two are expected to serve LDS missions.
Junior college transfer QB Alfonso Medina (Santa Monica College) is already on campus, as is safety D.J. Bush (Foothill JC).
Medina, who led Santa Monica to back-to-back Pacific Conference titles and was named league MVP as a sophomore, will compete for the quarterback job with senior Jordan Adamczyk, who backed up Hoke last year. Ben Maraz, Tyler Parson and Jadrian Clark were all freshmen quarterbacks a year ago.
"(Medina) is extremely productive," Sears said. "He's very cerebral, understands-the-game kind of a guy, understands what it takes to be successful, but he's coming from a different environment. Everything is so far, so good as far as making the transition."
Sears said his staff went looking for toughness and playmaking, especially in the skill spots on offense, starting with the wide receivers and quarterbacks.
"I love the guys we got, starting with (Mountain Crest product) Eddy Hall," Sears said. Hall, who helpd Mountain Crest reach the 4-A championship game in each of the last two seasons, does not have a position listed but could end up as a slot receiver after starring at running back in high school.
"He's listed as an athlete, but he can do things with the football," Sears said. "We had him in four camps last summer and every time we had him in a camp, we went away thinking, golly, we've got to have that guy. He's just a football player. He's tough and he's got some swagger and some leadership skills."
Six Florida high school football players will come across the country to play at Weber State, including a 6-foot-2 receiver from Ocala that Sears said was one of WSU's top targets.
"Cameron (Livingston) was our No. 1 wide receiver that we wanted from the get-go, way back last summer," he said.
Another receiver, Gabe Davis (Jacksonville, Fla.) has "big play potential -- strong kid," Sears said.
Florida was the second most fertile recruiting area for Weber State behind eight from Utah.
"There's tons of football players down there," Sears said. "I love the foothold we have in there."
WSU inked four from Hawaii, three from Idaho, two from California and one apiece from Colorado and Nevada.
After serving as the interim coach last season and receiving a three-year contract extension in November, Sears is finishing his first recruiting cycle as a head coach. It's different from recruiting as a defensive coordinator, he said -- he has a lot more irons in the fire.
He's more conscious of the overall picture, he said, and he had to get in the homes of all of WSU's recruits.
"I had to get my traveling hat on," he said. "It's awesome to be able to walk into a kid's home with a three-year contract and say, hey, here we are, we have nothing to hide, Weber State's an awesome place, one of the most beautiful places in the world, and you know what, we've got a pretty good football program, why don't you come up and take a peek, I think you'll love it."
Seven future Wildcats will serve LDS missions before taking the field for Weber State, including two quarterbacks, Dixie High product Blake Barney and Chad Leckington (Shelley, Idaho).
Pleasant Grove High tight end Dallin Hatch and wide reciever teammate Skyler Munson, Lone Peak wide receiver Austin McChesney, Granger High offensive lineman Feleti Mulitalo and defensive end Jonah Williams (Meridian, Idaho) also intend to serve missions.