Cal Poly Football Notes: Another Signee; Honors for Kuperman, Mohamed

Cal Poly Football Notes: Another Signee; Honors for Kuperman, Mohamed

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly has added another transfer to its roster of midyear signees while two Mustang seniors were honored over the holidays.

The new signee is offensive lineman Apefai Taifane from West Hills College in Coalinga.

Cal Poly senior fullback Jared Mohamed was named to Phil Steele's 2017 Postseason All-Big Sky Conference First Team.

And senior center Joey Kuperman has been named to the Select Group for the College Gridiron Showcase and Symposium, scheduled for Jan. 6-10 in Addison, Texas.

Taifane signed during the Midyear Community College Transfer Period, which opened Dec. 20 and ends Jan. 15. High School recruits were allowed to sign during a first-ever early signing period Dec. 20-22. The Regular Signing Period opens February 7 and ends April 1.

As a sophomore under head coach Justin Berna at West Hills College, Taifane (pictured at left) earned all-state honors and was named to the All-America Community College first team. After seeing limited action in 2016 as a freshman tight end, Taifane, 6-3 and 290 pounds, was converted by Berna to help an inexperienced offensive line.

He started every game (mostly at center) for the 6-3 Falcons, and played all five positions up front. Taifane, who has compiled a 4.00 grade-point average, was honored with the West Hills Community College Commitment to Excellence Award by his teammates and he was named to the All-Golden Coast League first team.

Taifane, from Amanave, American Samoa, is a graduate of Leone High School in Pago Pago, where he played football for the Lions. Also recruited by Sacramento State, UC Davis and Portland State, Taifane chose Cal Poly because "I feel like this is the right fit for me. The education is top notch and the coaching staff is supportive. Having family nearby is another huge factor that makes my decision 100 percent the best for me."

• Mohamed (pictured at top of page), a third-team All-American by STATS FCS, is Cal Poly's lone selection by Phil Steele on the first, second and third teams. He became Cal Poly's 21st 1,000-yard rusher with 1,172 yards during the 2017 season. Mohamed was named the team's most valuable player and offensive most valuable player at a team banquet last month.

Mohamed (6-0, 227, Brawley, Calif./Brawley HS) recorded seven 100-yard games this season, tied for No. 4 on the single-season chart, and eight for his career, tied for No. 7. He scored four touchdowns -- two each against UC Davis and Portland State -- finished No. 1 in the Big Sky in rushing, established a career high with 194 yards in the win over Portland State and was named to the All-Big Sky Conference first team.

Mohamed is No. 10 on Cal Poly's all-time list for rushing yards in a season and accumulated 933 of his yards in eight Big Sky games, averaging 116.6 yards per conference contest. Cal Poly has produced at least one 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last seven seasons.

• Kuperman (pictured at right), a first-team All-Big Sky selection in 2016 and an honorable mention this past fall, was named most valuable offensive lineman of the team last month. Kuperman is a graduate of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego.

The College Gridiron Showcase and Symposium utilizes a format of a showcase and controlled scrimmage rather than a game reliant on playing time and play calling. "No other premiere college football all-star event gives participants as many quality opportunities to display their talent,' a release from CGS states.

The College Gridiron Showcase and Symposium is being held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the fourth straight year.

Draft-eligible players across all college football divisions were selected by a panel of football experts. Players come in for five days and four nights to be evaluated by professional football league scouts. The players receive professional coaching, mentoring, life coaching and seminars that will benefit them as they move forward in their professional lives in or out of football.

Since 2015, 273 CGS participants have had an opportunity to extend their careers through the NFL draft, free agency, rookies camp invitations and tryouts (including 105 from the 2017 CGS), with several others being drafted or signed to play in the CFL. Over 110 NFL scouts and executives representing 30 teams attended the 2017 event in Bedford, Texas. Over 40 CGS players are currently on NFL rosters.