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College football signings: The push pays off

Locals sign on to continue playing career in college

Posted: May 1, 2010 11:28 p.m.
Updated: May 2, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Some might look deep into the well and say it's dried up.
Others will keep searching for water.

Some local football players have persevered and found something at the bottom of that well.

A handful of kids have signed on late to play college football for a four-year school, most notably two Foothill League quarterbacks - Hart's C.J. Reyes and Saugus' Zack Gauthier.

Reyes is headed to Idaho State and Gauthier will play at Humboldt State.

Hart's quarterback won't be playing quarterback though, as he was grabbed to be the team's punter.

"It was tough for first couple of months," Reyes said of recruiting immediately after football season ended. "I didn't get anything back. I sent at least 100 schools (information). ... I was getting discouraged, but my brother (former Hart defensive back Adam Reyes) told me, ‘You're not going to get much back. Keep doing it every day. That's how you're going to get someone to look at you.'"

Reyes, was an All-CIF-Southern Section Northern Division selection as a utility player. He passed for 2,731 yards, was the Indians' place kicker and averaged 39.8 yards per punt.

But after the season, the 5-foot-8-inch multi-faceted football player received interest for his kicking prowess only. He was told by Idaho State coaches to keep throwing, though.

Gauthier, said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn, drew some interest because of his ability to run from the quarterback position.

"I think they saw his ability to move," Bornn said. "From an athletic standpoint, he was our leading rusher. When he was able to get protection, he was able to make good throws and he's a student of the game. He's coachable."

Bornn said Gauthier did a lot of his own legwork, sending out DVDs of his highlights to schools. Yet Bornn did some work for his players, as well.

The coach said he had his potential college football players fill out an info sheet and he forwarded it on to 400 different four-year college football programs.

There were a couple of bites.

From that, defensive tackle Melqui Lemus and offensive tackle Brian Fausett are receiving partial scholarships to play at NCAA Division II Oklahoma Panhandle State.

Valencia and West Ranch also had some bites.

Vikings linebacker Rocky Maldonado will be playing at Occidental and defensive lineman Darrol Mitchell is going to play at Cal Lutheran.

Valencia head coach Larry Muir said it was their academic accomplishments that made them more attractive.

"The more you do academically, the more opportunity you allow yourself to have. That's a testament to those kids," Muir said.

West Ranch has three players who have signed on late to play at the next level.

Center Spencer Boring will play at Chapman University, defensive back Branden Pistone will play at Cal Lutheran and running back Zak Snell is going to the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

College of the Canyons has had five players recently latch onto four-year programs.

Quarterback Eric Brown is headed to Texas Southern University, wide receiver Mario Wright has signed with Glenville State College, running back Anthony Johnson is going to Campbell University, linebacker Marc Sweet will join Mitchell and Pistone at Cal Lutheran and 2008 Cougar offensive lineman Shawn Johnson will play for West Texas A&M University next season.

"This is a constant reminder that things never really seem what they are," said College of the Canyons head coach Garett Tujague. "You can't be discouraged. You've got to keep swinging the hammer until the big rocks become little rocks."

Tujague said openings tend to happen late because of changes within a program.

Newly hired coaches might come in and clean house or kids might decide to transfer, creating vacancies.

Other schools need to fill numbers. And sometimes kids who were reaching for the stars have to understand that a big-time college football program is out of reach.

"There (are kids) thinking USC or UCLA are going to call," Tujague said. "The reality hits."


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