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Weber State football signing day: 3-star DE Carson Mott finds home; meet the 12 signees

By Brett Hein - Standard-Examiner | Feb 1, 2023
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In this photo from the fall 2022 season, Simi Valley High School (California) defensive end Carson Mott plays in a football game. Mott signed to play at Weber State.
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Weber State football 2023 signee Dahlyn Jones (88) plays in a game for DeSoto High School in Texas in this undated photo.
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In this photo from the fall 2022 season, Simi Valley High School (California) defensive end Carson Mott plays in a football game. Mott signed to play at Weber State.

Nine months ago, Carson Mott was committed to play football at California.

Three months ago, he was committed to Colorado.

Two months ago, he told The Athletic what he wanted was “honestly, just a home … somewhere that suits me.”

He’s found that home at Weber State. The three-star defensive end from Simi Valley, California, completed his turbulent recruiting process by signing with Weber State on Wednesday — the first day of the football’s regular signing period known as “signing day.”

“It’s been crazy … I had to figure out where I was going to go really quick,” Mott told the Standard-Examiner on Tuesday night. “And it’s been hectic, just moving really fast. Fast-paced on just about everything.”

Mott decoupled himself from Cal after coaching changes and committed to Colorado in June. After landing on Colorado, the Buffs fired head coach Karl Dorrell in October. When Colorado’s well-publicized hire of Deion Sanders was complete in early December, Mott was told he no longer had a home there.

So it’s no wonder his priorities sharpened in their focus. Mott had no previous connection with Weber State before Colorado cut ties in December but assistant coaches Matty Ah You (linebackers) and Grant Duff (defensive ends, co-defensive coordinator) made good impressions quickly. Mott signed with WSU over offers from Washington, Washington State, San Diego State, Hawaii, New Mexico State, Idaho and Montana.

“They had the most down-to-earth coaches, the nicest to me, treated me the best. It seems like the school has a lot to offer,” Mott said. “It was just about the way the coaches treated me and my family. Went we went there for our official visit, a big thing for me was definitely if my family liked it. And they loved it. I also really like the area the school is in, I think Ogden is pretty cool. It’s really beautiful out there, and my mom and dad loved it. I loved the campus, the weight room, the facilities, I liked it all. It made my decision really easy once we went out and saw everything.”

Did it make him feel a certain way being a two-time Pac-12 commit now signing with an FCS school?

“I think I can start anywhere but honestly, it just comes down to how I’m treated within the program. As long as I can continue my academic and athletic career, and have my college paid for, it doesn’t matter what level of football I’m playing,” Mott said. “I just love the sport and I want to play it.”

Mott said he’s excited to find hiking and fishing spots in Northern Utah.

He also brings a particular athleticism to his defensive end spot. He’s currently gearing up for lacrosse and track seasons. When he puts the spikes on, he runs the 200-meter dash and a leg of his team’s 4×100 relay.

“My speed off the ball gives me an advantage against offensive linemen, I can get around them. And my physicality against everyone I’ve played,” he said. “I’m very strong and I think that gives me an advantage over a lot of people I play against, even if they outweigh me.”

He was more pointed two months ago with The Athletic: “Whatever school’s gonna get me is gonna get a new sack record holder … and I’m gonna make sure that the scholarship that they give to me was worth it.”

Mott is one of several three-star recruits who signed with Weber State both on Wednesday and going back to December’s early signing period. Weber State ultimately signed 12 players for the 2023 class and seven were rated three stars by 247 Sports.


Wednesday wrapped up new head coach Mickey Mental’s first signing class for Weber State. He was introduced as head coach on early signing day (Dec. 21, 2022) and inked 12 players between December’s early period and Wednesday’s signing day.

“With a lot of the roster coming back, we didn’t have as many spots available. But we hit on positions of need, kids with high grades, high character, high-ceiling kids and hopefully add value to our really good team already,” Mental told the Standard-Examiner.

The high percentage of highly rated players came through in part because WSU kept its coaching staff together after Jay Hill departed.

“Keeping the staff intact, my assistants are the best in the country. They do a fantastic job recruiting, on the field, with our guys,” he said.

Despite the ratings and lists of Power Five and FBS offers several Weber State signees carry, Mental indicated he and his staff rely on their own evaluations.

“Obviously, when you’re recruiting against schools like that, it’s always nice in the back of your mind. But all that matters is what the film says, and who the player is as a person,” Mental said. “The film and getting to know the kids and their families is the most important thing to us.”

None of the 12 scholarship signees are from Utah, something Mental said was definitely not intentional. Confirmed walk-ons include Roy High offensive lineman Cole Millward and Fremont linebacker Christian Blanch, and WSU was heavily involved with several Utah preps that ultimately chose elsewhere (many to BYU and Utah State).

As is, he said “all the stars aligned” — both for the good players who did choose Weber State, and for the Utah players who signed to play somewhere else.

“It was just one of those years. I’m always going to live in the state of Utah, and we’ve got to recruit the state,” Mental said. “We thought we were on the right guys and they just chose somewhere else, at the end of the day. But we will recruit the state of Utah, that’s not an issue.

“I think we got really good players. That’s what matters, in the scope of things.”


Below is a list of players WSU signed Wednesday.


Safety • Downey, California • Downey HS

Carey (6-foot-1, 185 pounds) is a three-star-rated safety who piled up monster numbers as a high school senior. He led Downey (12-3) with 78 tackles, adding one interception, eight pass breakups and three forced fumbles.

That’s just one side of the ball. He also led his team with 1,517 receiving yards (101 per game, 21.1 per reception) with 22 touchdowns. He added a rushing touchdown and two kick-return TDs (he totaled 424 return yards on 32.6 yards per return on a split-duty basis).

“He brings versatility, ball skills, range, physicality to our room,” said Joe Dale, safeties coach and co-defensive coordinator, in a social media video.


DL • Connell, Washington • Connell HS

Another three-star player, Clyde (6-foot-3, 250 pounds) held offers from Air Foce, Idaho and Eastern Washington. He totaled 26 tackles, including eight for loss, at defensive end and caught 13 passes for 90 yards and a TD as a tight end.

“Things that really stand out on his film are going to be his versatility, his overall strength,” Duff said. “I love the kid because he’s a country-tough farm boy.”


CB • Bellevue, Washington • Bellevue HS

Daniels (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) is a three-star-rated cornerback who had offers from Arizona, Air Force, Army and Portland State. He played cornerback, safety, running back and returned kicks for the Wolverines. Daniels was expected to walk on at Washington or Washington State, according to his 247 Sports page.

“Great, young corner. Smooth … smart player. I love his versatility and I love his instinct,” conerbacks coach Andre Dyson said.


LB • Orange, California • El Modena HS

Hitchens (6-foot-1, 220 pounds) led his El Modena (11-1) team in tackles with 117, including six sacks and 11 for loss, with three interceptions. As a tertiary running back, he rushed for 494 yards (9.5 per carry) and six touchdowns.

“Very physical inside the box, reads the pullers really well. Excited to get this guy,” Ah You said.


TE • DeSoto, Texas • DeSoto HS

Jones (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) is a highly-recruited tight end who seemed to slip through the cracks after not signing anywhere in the early signing period. He signs with WSU after receiving offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Marshall and Toledo. He caught 47 passes for 609 yards and seven touchdowns for DeSoto (14-2).

“I love what Dahlyn did on film was his ability to be attached to the line of scrimmage and show his physicality in the run game,” said David Fiefia, WSU’s tight end coach, in a video. “He also possesses the ability and speed to be split out, making big-time catches off the jam and scoring touchdowns.”


DB • Houston, Texas • CE King HS

Mackey (5-foot-10, 190 pounds), who also runs the 200 and 400 in track, can play corner, safety and nickel. He totaled 32 tackles and six pass breakups as a senior.

“He’s very physical, plays the game the right way. Very versatile,” cornerbacks coach Andre Dyson said. “Loves to play press-man, he’s a great man-cover corner guy.”


DE • Simi Valley, California • Simi Valley HS

Mott (6-foot-5, 23o pounds) totaled 26 tackles with six sacks in five games as a senior.

In a signing day video, Duff said “the sky’s the limit for this young man. I’m so glad we’re playing with him and not against him.”


WR/KR • Dallas, Texas • SMU

Record (5-foot-8, 160 pounds) is an FBS transfer who has three years left to play. A three-star recruit out of James Madison High School in Dallas, the slot receiver signed with hometown SMU where he played in 2021 and 2022 but did not catch any passes.

Record appeared in seven games in 2021 as a freshman, using a season of eligibility. He redshirted the 2022 season and appeared in four games, returning two kickoffs for 63 yards. He’s currently enrolled at WSU.


The following players signed to Weber State in December during the early signing period.

Trevor Beck: OL from Meridian, Idaho.

Major Givens: Three-star running back from San Diego, California.

Richie Munoz: Three-star, stat-stuffing QB from Covina, California.

Will Way: OL from Tucson, Arizona.


The following walk-on players have committed to Weber State for the 2023 class.

Max Bateman: TE from Lone Peak High School (Highland, Utah), rated three stars by 247 Sports.

Christian Blanch: LB from Fremont High School (Utah), who plans to serve a mission first.

David Brinton: LB from Corner Canyon High School (Draper, Utah).

Tyler Buckway: OL from Morgan High School (Utah).

Dylan Gutierrez: QB from La Verne, California, rated three stars by 247 Sports.

Josh Higgins: DB, junior college transfer from Reedley College in California.

Cole Millward: OL from Roy High School (Utah), rated three stars by 247 Sports.

Bryce Paulsen: OL from Pleasant Grove (Utah).

Elijah Teriipaea: LB from Skyridge High (Utah).


Below is a rundown of outgoing and incoming players via the transfer portal.

Bronson Barron: The three-year WSU quarterback transferred to Western Kentucky.

Eddie Heckard: The WSU senior cornerback transferred to BYU.

Jayleen Record: The former three-star recruit was lightly used at SMU as a slot receiver and kick returner and is now enrolled at WSU.

Nuuletau Sellesin: The young WSU defensive end transferred as a walk-on to BYU.

Kylan Weisser: The experienced QB entered the transfer portal before WSU’s coaching changes but later removed his name and remained at Weber State.


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