Recruiting: UL adding two California-juco quarterbacks
The Ragin’ Cajuns appear to have addressed their recruiting needs at quarterback.
It’s been learned UL has secured commitments from two California junior-college QBs, Beau Kalbacher and Jaiave Magalei.
Magalei told The Daily Advertiser in a telephone interview Friday night that he has pledged to the Cajuns, and Kalbacher did the same via direct Twitter message Saturday afternoon.
Kalbacher also told the Advertiser he already is enrolled at UL; he’ll be on hand for spring practice.
At Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California, Kalbacher was 208-of-360 (57.8 percent) last season while throwing for 2,475 yards and 19 touchdowns with 13 interceptions over 11 games.
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He passed for more 7,000 career yards and 72 total touchdowns at Austin High in Texas, and originally signed with NCAA Division II-member West Texas A&M coming out of high school in 2016.
Magalei isn’t on campus yet, but he expects to be after completing a junior-college course next month.
Magalei said he committed after returning home Thursday following a recruiting trip to UL that began last Tuesday.
Earlier Thursday, Magalei tweeted that he was “Blessed To Receive An Offer From The University Of Louisiana Lafayette.”
He passed for 1,811 yards and 19 touchdowns (147-of-231; 63.6 percent) in 2017 for Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, where he earned all-conference honors.
A knee injury and subsequent surgery, however, prompted him to sit for all of 2018. He expects to be ready for spring drills at UL in a non-contact capacity, and to be ready for full contact in the fall.
According to NorthwestPrepReport.com, Magalei threw for 2,587 yards and 27 touchdowns while also running for 384 yards and 10 TDs as a senior at Lakes High in Lakewood, Washington.
Magalei said he received NAIA offers, but he had none from other FBS programs at the time he committed to sign with UL.
According to Rivals.com, the pro-style Kalbacher also had offers from NCAA FCS-members Murray State and Moorhead State.
It wasn’t clear over the weekend which recruiting class their scholarships will count toward for UL, which heads into next month with a few still available.
But Magalei, if he signs as expected, and Kalbacher will be among four new Cajun quarterbacks heading into the 2019 season.
UL also signed Texas high school product Clifton McDowell and New Orleans-area high school product Chandler Fields in December.
Both formalized their pledges to the Cajuns during the NCAA’s early signing period, prior to National Signing Day on Feb. 6.
McDowell already is on campus as an early high school graduate, and Fields will arrive after graduating.
UL also returns last season’s backup, Levi Lewis. But it loses senior starter Andre Nunez, another juco transfer, to expired eligibility.
A third UL juco-quarterback recruit, Jonah Johnson, told the Advertiser last Thursday that he’d been “talking to Louisiana very heavily,” but that — at least of Thursday afternoon — the Cajuns had not offered him.
Johnson threw for 1,635 yards and 18 touchdowns over 10 games as a freshman last season at Fresno City College in California.
UL has been shopping for juco quarterbacks for a while, and thought it had landed one in December before losing him to an SEC program.
Juco-product Stetson Bennett reportedly had committed to the Cajuns last month, but he signed instead with Georgia, where he began his college career as a walk-on.
Highly regarded juco quarterback Messiah deWeaver, meanwhile, committed a few days ago to Conference USA-member Old Dominion.
DeWeaver was recent UL receiver signee Kalem Reddix’s QB at East Mississippi Community College.
In other UL-related recruiting developments this month:
►Through a post on Instagram shared via Twitter on Friday night, former Arizona State running back/linebacker Nick Ralston indicated he has committed to the Cajuns.
According to 247Sports.com/SunDevilSource, Ralston — a 4.0 student who’ll come to UL as a graduate transfer — made a brief move from running back to middle linebacker last year before returning the Sun Devils’ offense as a blocking fullback and H-back.
The product of Argyle High in Texas ran 32 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns in 2016, but just he had just four rushes in 2017 — when UL head coach Billy Napier was Arizona State’s offensive coordinator — and one last year.
It wasn't immediately clear what position Ralston plans to play at UL.
►The Cajuns made a recent offer to Iowa Western Community College’s Morris Joseph Jr., a former Texas-San Antonio defensive lineman who also has picked up offers this month from Texas State and New Mexico and others late last year from Hawaii, Louisiana Tech and Eastern Michigan.
Joseph visited New Mexico over the weekend.
The Cajuns recently made preferred walk-on offers to Austin Wehrlin, an offensive lineman from Holy Cross School in New Orleans, and St. Helena defensive lineman Alex Self.
►Pineville High athlete Ben West, who recently announced preferred walk-on offers from UL and Louisiana Tech, was planning to visit service academies including West Point before deciding where he’ll go next.
►Earlier this month the Cajuns offered multiple Class of 2020 recruits, including Helen Cox High defensive back Donovan Johnson, who also picked up subsequent offers from UL Monroe, Utah State and South Alabama and one from West Virginia in December; fellow Helen Cox defensive back Rae’Kwon Starks, who also was offered by ULM last week; and Edna Karr High cornerback/receiver Jamie Vance, who holds recent offers including ones from Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Southern Mississippi, SMU, Arkansas, Virginia and Mississippi State, plus a new one Saturday from Memphis.
►UL this month also put out the first offer received by Lucas Coley, a Class of 2021 quarterback from Converse Judson High, located near San Antonio, Texas.