Carroll College football coach Mike Van Diest announced the signing of two transfers to the 2017 recruiting class on Tuesday.
The Saints added University of Montana transfer linebacker Alex Thomas and Citrus College transfer defensive back Jeremiah Vasquez. Both will begin school in January and participate in spring practice.
Thomas (6-foot-1, 222 pounds) was a disruptive force during his time at CMR, racking up 24 sacks, 28 tackles for loss, 15 quarterback hurries and four blocked field goals. He earned first team All-State status during his senior year and was an all-conference pick in both his junior and senior seasons.
He was selected for the East-West Shrine Game and the Badlands Bowl. He was also selected as a team captain by his teammates.
Outside of the football field, he also excelled in track and field where he was a two-time All-State honoree. He was a four-year letterman in track and lettered twice in football.
Thomas played in 14 games in two years at Montana. He was a high school teammate with Carroll tight end Eric Dawson.
"It has been a long road recruiting Alex. It was four years ago when he was at CMR, the University of Montana signed him but it didn't work out for him and he came back to us," Van Diest said. "He is going to fill a great void to fill in at the outside linebacker position that Jake Konen left with his graduation. He fits perfectly into our 3-4 scheme. He is just a football player and he loves to play the game. Just talking to him over the last few weeks has got me fired up about what he can bring to our defense."
Vasquez (5-11, 190) comes to Carroll after a productive career at Citrus College. He had 70 tackles, including three tackles for loss. He notched two interceptions and 11 pass breakups in 2016. During his final game against Allan Hancock, he had 22 tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.
He is a native of Spanaway, Washington, where he earned back-to-back second team All-South Puget League honors in his junior and senior seasons at Bethel High School. He was named his team's all-around MVP in his senior season.
During his junior year he earned defensive team MVP honors, and served as team captain for his final two years. Vasquez will immediately step in and compete for a starting job at cornerback after the graduation of Vince DiGiallonarndo and Ryan Gregory.
"We think we addressed our immediate need in the back end of our defense," Van Diest said. "We needed someone who can come in right away and bring leadership. He has played nickel, safety and corner. He has a lot of speed, great game awareness and he can tackle. I was impressed during our conversations in just his knowledge of the game and the cornerback position. He also comes from the state of Washington, so he is familiar with our program.
"We're excited about these guys joining the Carroll football family. They are players that we have identified from the start of the recruiting process that can be difference makers during their careers here at Carroll College. We are thrilled to get them here on campus and see what they can do."