Six Bishop Diego football players signed their National Letters of Intent to continue playing football at the collegiate level. | Credit: Carl Perry

Standout running back Qu’Ran Gossett has accepted a full scholarship to play football at the University of Texas at El Paso, and five of his Bishop Diego High teammates also signed national letters of intent Wednesday during a ceremony at the school gymnasium.

Pasefika Salatielu and Su’e Luamanu, a pair of hefty linemen, will head up Highway 101 to Cal Poly, while a trio of Cardinals — quarterback AJ Vele, lineman Toa Evagelia, and fullback/linebacker Nolan Fouvale — will attend Arizona Christian University.

Gossett had considered an offer to try out for the Cal Bears as a preferred walk-on, and he did not reveal his choice until he put a UTEP cap on his head. The offer of a full ride convinced him to go with the Miners.

“I’m more than excited,” said Gossett, who hopes to be “a better version of Aaron Jones,” a former UTEP running back who plays for the Green Bay Packers.

Gossett rushed for more than 2,100 yards and scored 32 touchdowns for the Cardinals last fall, when they finished third in the tough Marmonte League and posted a 9-4 overall record. The 5’11”, 205-pounder was named the league’s Most Valuable Offensive Player. He will join two former teammates who went to El Paso from Bishop last year — tight end Sam Mikaele and defensive lineman Logologo Va’a.

Cal Poly claimed Bishop’s top linemen this year. Salatielu (6’3″, 250 pounds) played both ways and was the Marmonte League’s Most Valuable Defensive Player. Luamanu (6′, 305 pounds) was a four-year starter in the defensive line.

Seven Bishop Diego seniors have signed National Letters of Intent this year, which represents 11 percent of the graduating class. | Credit: Courtesy

“They have good coaches,” Luamanu said of the Mustangs staff. Paul Wulff, who previously was a head coach at Eastern Washington and Washington State, was promoted from line coach to the head position at Cal Poly. He has assembled an array of prep recruits and transfers, including quarterback Sam Huard, a former five-star prospect from Washington.

Evagelia said he was attracted to Arizona Christian, an NAIA school in Glendale, Arizona, because it’s a small school like Bishop Diego. On the gridiron, the Firestorm packed a big punch, going 8-3 last year. ACU will be getting an anchor for its line in the 297-pound Evagelia, a quarterback who accounted for 19 TDs passing and running in Vele, and a versatile player in Fouvale.

Tom Crawford, Bishop’s head football coach and vice principal, noted that with the previous signing of soccer star Siena Urzua to play at Cal Poly, the seven Cardinals who have accepted athletic scholarships represent 11 percent of the graduating class.

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