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Pack football kicks off with luncheon

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The CSU-Pueblo football program held a signing day luncheon on Thursday in the Occhiatto University Center Ballroom to announce their 2008 recruiting class.

Head coach John Wristen was on hand to announce and comment on most of the players, and introduced his coaching staff. Those coaches include Hunter Hughes, defensive coordinator, Wayne McGinn, offensive coordinator, Tom Miller, assistant head coach, Steve Sewell, running backs coach, Donnell Leomiti, defensive backs coach, Rich Lane, receivers coach, Dale Cresswell, linebackers coach, Roxy Burris, assistant offensive line coach and Gerald Cooper, graduate assistant, Craig Ward, student assistant.

Coach Wristen was very proud of his staff, and said he often challenged recruits to find a better coaching crew in the state of Colorado.

“I don’t care if it’s in Boulder, Fort Collins or Greeley, I challenge them to find a better staff,” he said.

Coach Wristen said he is a big believer in character, and according to him the best reflection of a student-athlete’s character is their GPA.

“We have over 20 recruits coming to school with a 3.5 GPA or higher,” Wristen said.

Not all the signees that were named at the luncheon will make the team, but there were a few with interesting stories.

Nick Thurmon is a 6-foot 3-inch, 235-pound quarterback transfer from Bowling Green University. Thurmon, a junior, attended high school in Detroit where he was named an all-city quarterback. He went to BGU to play baseball and football. While at Bowling Green his quarterback coach was the same one that had coached Wristen.

“(CSU-Pueblo Baseball) Coach Sanchez got in touch with this guy and we put a tag team on this recruiting thing. Not only is he going to play baseball, but he’s also going to play football,” Coach Wristen said. “I’m really excited about this kid.”

Fletcher Sergent is a 5-foot 10-inch, 240-pound, fullback transfer from Glendale Community College. The junior played his high school football at Fountain-Fort Carson in Fountain, Colo. While at GCC, Sergent was named an all-American honorable mention by the National Junior College Athletic Association, and was also a member of the NJCAA national championship football team.

“Fletcher’s goal was to go try out for the Colorado Crush. He decided he wasn’t going to do that, and he was going to come down here and play for us. Fletcher is an older guy who is very physically mature,” Wristen said.

Special teams are often an over-looked part of any football team, but the Pack signed a guy they think can really be a special player. Kyle Major is expected to do the kicking and punting for the squad. Major is a 6 foot 3 inch, 230-pound kicker, fresh out of Heritage High School in Littleton, Colo. He was named to Colorado’s 5A All-State team following his senior season, and was a three-time all-conference player. Major averaged 50 yards per punt and made 14 of his 15 field goal attempts.

“I tell you what Kyle is a division one guy!” Wristen excitedly said.

While an assistant coach at University of Colorado, Wristen was able to recruit Mason Crosby, a kicker who now kicks for the Green Bay Packers.

“I hate to compare guys, but Kyle is the same size and same build as Mason Crosby was. If he has same work ethic as Mason did then we might have a home run here,” Wristen said.

The ThunderWolves also unveiled the winning bid from the contest to decide the new uniforms. The winning entry was submitted by CSU-Pueblo student Eric Canuel, who beat out over 85 other contestants from around the country.