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15 Bishop Gorman football players sign with Division I schools

An impressive total of 15 Bishop Gorman football players signed their national letter of intent to play Division I college football on the first day of the early signing period on Wednesday. Thirteen Gaels signed with FBS programs.

It’s the largest number of signees for Bishop Gorman during the early signing period since it was implemented in 2017.

Players signed with Southern California, Stanford, Oregon, Wisconsin, Georgia, Louisiana State, Hawaii, New Mexico State, Pennsylvania, Boston College, Utah and Utah Tech.

Six other Southern Nevada players signed as well, including Liberty offensive lineman Ed Haynes, who signed with UNLV, and Silverado athlete Donavyn Pellot, who signed with UCLA.

Bishop Gorman offensive lineman Zak Yamauchi was one of those signees. Offensive coordinator Craig Canfield had been looking for an opportunity to give him what they call at Gorman his “senior run.”

It didn’t come in the Class 5A state championship game last month, so they made sure to run the play that would give Yamauchi a chance to score a rushing touchdown in last Saturday’s bowl game.

“The first time I ran it, I only gained 4 yards,” Yamauchi said. “But I got a chance to run it again. Then I scored all thanks to my big boys up front.”

The 6-foot-5-inch Stanford commit made sure the highlight of him scoring his lone rushing touchdown in high school made the rounds to all his new coaches to let them know he could run it into the end zone if needed.

“They all saw it,” Yamauchi said. “100 percent, I’ll be ready.”

Headlining Gorman’s class is five-star wide receiver and the top-ranked Nevada class of 2023 prospect Zachariah Branch, who signed with Southern California.

“I’m just looking forward to going in there and working hard, wherever they want to use me on the field,” Branch said.

A trio of Gorman defensive backs was also a part of the early signing day class. Four-star safety Kodi Decambra signed with Oregon. Four-star defensive back Justyn Rhett signed with Georgia and three-star defensive back Jeremiah Hughes signed with LSU.

Wide receiver Trech Kekahuna, who verbally committed to Arizona last Saturday, signed his letter of intent to play for Wisconsin with his family at his home.

Hughes, who said LSU was his “dream college” dating to when he fell in love with the school by playing the video game “NCAA Football 06” when he was a kid, believes his time at Gorman will help him transition to a Southeastern Conferenec school.

“It gives you a realistic idea of what college is going to be like,” Hughes said. “You’re going to be around some great players. You just have to come to work every day and be ready to grind.”

Gorman coach Brent Browner believes the togetherness of this senior class and selflessness helped them succeed on the field and helped them to get the opportunity to play Division I college football.

He pointed to the seniors’ motto: “It’s not about me, it’s about the G,” as evidence of how they were humble throughout their time together.

“They were all equal in our eyes and in their own eyes,” Browner said. “That’s what you have to have when you have this many kids that have the ability to play at the next level.”

For Branch, he said Wednesday was especially special given the friendships all of the teammates have formed from their time growing up together to playing at Gorman.

“Just to see each other’s journey and grow every day with each other is something that’s really important to me,” Branch said. “I couldn’t be prouder enough to say I played with these guys throughout high school.”

Browner called this class of seniors “special” and said he wasn’t surprised by the success they had at Gorman given all the work they put in.

“They wanted the work and they did the work,” Browner said. “I’m really proud of those guys.”

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on Twitter.

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