The first day of Utah State’s first bye week of the season proved to be a rather fruitful one, especially on the recruiting front.

Two class of 2020 recruits pledged their commitment to USU’s football team Tuesday on Twitter. Former BYU commit Dahlin Mesake, an outside linebacker at national high school power Bishop Gorman (Nevada), announced his decision Tuesday morning, and Australian punter Stephen Kotsanlee later in the day.

Mesake is a highly touted athlete who was also recruited heavily by Mountain West programs UNLV and New Mexico. The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder has also received some interest from Power 5 Conference programs Notre Dame, Utah, Washington State, USC, Colorado and Purdue.

Mesake originally verbally committed to BYU in the summer of 2017, but announced in April of this year that he was reopening the recruiting process. The Aggies offered Mesake a scholarship in February, and he made an unofficial recruiting trip to USU.

“After a long recruiting process I’m happy to say it’s finally over!! Thank you to all those who have supported me, proud to announce I will be attending Utah State University,” Mesake posted on Twitter. “#GoAggies.”

Mesake, who was recruited by USU as a defensive end, has played in two games for Bishop Gorman this season. In the Gaels’ season-opening 40-7 drubbing of Orem, No. 15 recorded seven tackles, including 2.0 for a loss, and 1.5 sacks.

Unfortunately for Mesake, he was injured in the third quarter the following week in his team’s 31-19 road loss to St. Louis (Hawaii) on Aug. 30. A story that ran in Hawaii Prep World showed a picture of Mesake giving a thumbs up signal while being cartered off the field on a stretcher. He was accidently speared by a teammate, according to the story.

Mesake, a three-star recruit, did not play a week ago in Bishop Gorman’s 42-21 triumph over Bear Servite (Anaheim, California) High School. The Gaels will play another Utah team, Lone Peak, this weekend. Bishop Gorman, which is based in Las Vegas, has captured 10 straight state titles.

The ninth-rated class of 2020 recruit out of Nevada, according to, didn’t play high school football in 2018 because he was required to sit out after transferring from Liberty (Henderson, Nevada) High School. Mesake was selected as Liberty’s defensive MVP as a sophomore. The Patriots went 11-2 that season.

Kotsanlee was in Logan to watch the Aggies thump Stony Brook in their home opener. The 6-2, 205-pounder has been training at Prokick Australia, a company based out of Melbourne that helps Australian kickers and punters transition over to American football.

Prokick Australia also mentored former University of Utah consensus All-America punters Mitch Wishnowsky and Tom Hackett. Wishnowsky was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers and is currently the team’s starting punter. Hackett and Wishnowsky combined to win a trio of Ray Guy Awards in college.

“I am extremely excited to announce that I have been offered and have committed to Utah State University on a full scholarship to study and play football in 2020! ... To Coach Collins and Coach Andersen of USU, I can’t thank you enough for providing me with this unreal opportunity to wear Aggie blue and be part of such a solid team,” Kotsanlee posted on Twitter.

In his tweet, Kotsanlee also thanked Nathan Chapman and John A. Smith of Prokick Australia, and Dave Tuinavai of Conquest Athletic Performance, by name. Twitter: hjtrebek

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at or 435-792-7237.

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