Sean Lewis’ first National Signing Day at SDSU a success

Sean Lewis addresses the media about the early signing day. (Paul Garrison/EVT)

Anthony McMillian (left) and Isaiah Buxton (right) signing day artwork. (Credit: Twitter @AztecFB)

The early signing period for the class of 2024 began Wednesday morning and lasts through Friday. The Aztecs signed 15 high school recruits along with 11 transfers on the first day. The 84.93 average rating per recruit per 247Sports is the highest among teams in the Mountain West so far. 

Here are the 15 high school recruits who signed their National Letter of Intent (NLI) with San Diego State on Wednesday. The list is split by which side of the ball the players are listed on. More information on the 11 transfers will come at a later date. 

*denotes players who confirmed early enrollment in January 2024

OFFENSE

Will Cianfrini signing day artwork (Credit: Twitter @AztecFB)

*QB Danny O’Neil – 6-0, 185 from Cathedral High (Indianapolis, IN)

The 3-star QB and Elite 11 finalist followed head coach Sean Lewis to SDSU. The former Colorado commit built a strong relationship with Lewis during his recruitment and felt strongly about wanting to play under Lewis at his next stop instead. O’Neil owns Cathedral’s passing records in yards, touchdowns, completions, and attempts and is rated the 40th-best QB in his class. 

*RB Anthony McMillian Jr – 6-0, 225 from Mater Dei Catholic High (Chula Vista, CA)

The 3-star back pledged his commitment to SDSU in the summer and held firm despite the coaching change. McMillian will graduate high school this month and enroll early for the January semester at SDSU. Ranked as one of the top five players in San Diego County by 247Sports, McMillian rushed for 2,551 yards and 29 touchdowns in high school, winning back-to-back Division 2-AA state championships in his sophomore and junior years.

RB Cincere Rhaney – 5-10, 200 from Junipero Serra High (Los Angeles, CA)

The three-star back flipped his commitment from San Jose State to the Aztecs today before signing his NLI. Rhaney rushed for 1,883 yards and 23 touchdowns in his senior year and was named Mission League MVP. He is ranked the 57th RB and 59th overall player in CA by 247Sports. 

WR Will Cianfrini – 6-4, 180 from Carlsbad High (Galveston, TX)

In his one season at Carlsbad, Cianfrini shined on the big San Diego football stage, catching 24 passes for 425 yards and five touchdowns from Alabama commit Julian Sayin on the way to the Open Division Semifinals. The 3-star recruit wowed top QBs with his exceptional hands this past summer during the Elite 11 finals competition, and his athleticism shows by his high-flying dunking abilities on the basketball court. 

WR Ben Scolari – 6-3, 185 from Bishop Manogue High (Reno, NV)

Cincere Rhaney signing day artwork. (Credit: Twitter @AztecFB)

The former Nevada commit took an official visit to SDSU this past weekend and pledged his commitment. The Northern Nevada 5A-II MVP caught 54 passes for 1,143 yards and 18 touchdowns on the way to a state title in his senior year. Scolari caught nine passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns in the title game. He will finish out his school’s basketball season in the winter before graduating and enrolling at SDSU during the summer.

TE Arthur Ban – 6-5, 205 from Evergreen High (Vancouver, WA)

The 3-star tight end played a hybrid role, predominantly flexed out in the slot as a receiver. While he committed to SDSU under the old coaching staff, his skill set seems more primed to excel in new head coach Sean Lewis’ spread offense. Ban, a First Team All-League selection, is rated the 2nd best TE in Washington by 247Sports.

TE Ryan Wolfer – 6-5, 230 from Liberty High (Peoria, AZ)

The 3-star player was a First Team All State and First Team All Region selection along with being named the BJ Media Tight End of the Year in his first year playing the position after converting from the offensive line as a senior. He caught 34 passes for 536 yards and three touchdowns this past season.

OL Kai Holec – 6-8, 300 from O’Dea High (Seattle, WA)

One of two signings from the state of Washington, Holec is a mammoth lineman who has the size and strength to step in right away if needed at either tackle spot. The 3-star recruit is ranked the 75th best OT in the country by 247Sports, making a big leap in play from his junior to senior year. Holec earned First Team All-Metro selection in his final two years in high school. 

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DEFENSE

Ryan Gaea signing day artwork. (Credit: Twitter @AztecFB)

DL Kodi Cornelius – 6-1, 290 from Casa Grande High (Petaluma, CA)

The 3-star lineman collected 157 tackles, 25 TFLs, and 20.5 sacks in high school while also blocking three kicks. He played in only five games as a senior but was still able to rack up 11.5 sacks in a short time. 

DE Ryan Gaea – 6-4, 220 from St. Mary’s High (Stockton, CA)

One of two former Nevada commits in this signing class (Scolari), the 3-star end committed to the Aztecs after taking an official visit recently. The switch to a 4 man front defense under DC Eric Schmidt opened up the Aztecs as a fit for the NorCal edge rusher who was named the 2023 Tri-City Athletic League Defensive Lineman of the Year. In his final two high school seasons, he collected 92 tackles. 

LB Danny Niu – 6-0. 220 from Serra High (East Palo Alto, CA)

Initially committed as an athlete, Niu is listed as a LB on signing day. The 3-star backer continues the pipeline from Serra to SDSU that has grown in the past three years despite two of those signings transferring out of SDSU in 2023. He was named the 2023 West Catholic Athletic League Linebacker of the Year and Get Sports Focus co-Defensive Player of the Year. In his high school career, he totaled 93 tackles, 11 TFLs, and four sacks. 

*CB Isaiah Buxton – 6-0, 165 from Mater Dei Catholic High (San Diego, CA)

The Aztecs swooped in after the local star and top-five San Diego-ranked player decommitted from Arizona recently. Returning CBs coach Demetrius Sumler continued the rapport he developed with Buxton, while keeping a defense that plays five DBs at once, along with the departures of all four CBs who started the

Danny Niu signing day art work. (Credit: Twitter @AztecFB)

past two seasons, opens up immediate playing time opportunities. Buxton continues the dream of playing with McMillian, his good friend and high school teammate, at the next level as an early enrollee as well. Buxton won back-to-back Division 2-AA state championships in his sophomore and junior years and totaled 88 tackles and ten interceptions in his high school career.  

*CB Tayten Beyer – 5-11, 170 from Centennial High (Corona, CA)

The 3-star corner shut down opposing wide receivers regularly while at Centennial High, totaling 68 tackles, seven pass deflections, and four interceptions. Beyer was also the 2023 Big West Specialist of the Year and participated in Track and Field. 

DB Prince Williams – 6-2, 175 from Oaks Christian High (Westlake Village, CA) 

The 3-star defensive back won the 2023 Marmonte League Defensive Back of the Year award as a senior while helping lead the team to the league title. Williams can play anywhere in the secondary, which is likely why he is listed as a DB instead of specifically a CB or S. He is fast but also packs a punch when asked to defend against the run in the box.   

DB Jason Mitchell – 6-3, 185 from St. John Bosco High (Los Angeles, CA)

The only 4-star rated player in this signing class (so far), Mitchell visited SDSU this past weekend and was ready to commit immediately. Mitchell is super-versatile and can play all over the secondary in the new 4-2-5 defense. Mitchell played at Serra High in Gardena before transferring to St. John Bosco for his senior year, where he only received limited playing time due to injuries and a loaded secondary. He tallied 28 tackles and three pass breakups as a senior. Mitchell is ranked as the 42nd-best player in California by 247Sports.

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