SIGNS OF THINGS TO COME LOCALS READY FOR LETTER-OF-INTENT DAY.
Byline: Matthew Kredell Staff Writer
An area football recruiting class that falls just short of last year's stellar group will sign on the dotted line today, making its college dreams a reality.
National letter of intent day, the first day players can transfer their oral commitments to writing, could bring 11 local signatures to Pacific-10 Conference The Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10) is a college athletic conference which operates in the western United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I. Membership
Full members schools, three short of last year's total.
The biggest difference between this year's class and that of a year ago is the lack of a signature player, a five-star athlete who had his pick of any of the top football schools in the nation. Last year, it was receiver Steve Smith from Taft of Woodland Hills, who wound up at USC An abbreviation for U.S. Code. .
``(2002) was a great year for high school football in the area, with the All-Valley City championship,'' said Birmingham of Lake Balboa coach Ed Croson, who sent two players to Pac-10 schools last year and one more - Benny Ward to Washington State - this year.
``It was a special year. Hopefully, we'll have years like that again. I think the Valley is getting a lot better in football.''
This year's class is headlined by the three players who earned the chance to stay local: defensive end Jimmy Miller and receiver Michael Stuart Michael Stuart (born January 9, 1975 in New York City) is a salsa singer and actor of Puerto Rican descent. Early years
Stuart's parents emigrated from Puerto Rico and settled in New York City in the 1960s. Stuart received his primary and secondary education in there. of Westlake High, both of whom will sign with USC; and Chaminade of West Hills receiver/defensive back Marcus Everett, who will sign with UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX .
``I feel very honored to be able to go to UCLA,'' Everett said. ``I grew up liking both the local schools, and just wished I could one day play for one of them. That dream came true.''
Rudy Carpenter, the Daily News Offensive Player of the Year after leading Westlake to the Southern Section Div. IV title, will take his quarterbacking skills to Arizona State. Nine Westlake players have made oral commitments.
Daily News Player of the Year Sean Norton from Hart of Newhall isn't one of the players going to a traditional big-name football program, but that's just fine with him.
Judged too small by college standards, Norton will sign with Fresno State. He becomes the fifth consecutive Hart quarterback to commit to a Division I school and will see a familiar face at Fresno: Hart receiver Kevin Ciccone.
``People have always doubted me and questioned whether I'd make it this far,'' said Norton, who is 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds. ``It's nice to sit back and say, 'Hey, look what I did and how far I am now.' It just puts a smile on my face.''
David Carr (born July 21, 1979 in Bakersfield, California) is an American football quarterback in the National Football League. An accomplished alumnus of Fresno State, Carr entered the National Football League as the first overall pick of , a Fresno State product, was the first overall pick in the NFL draft The NFL Draft (officially the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting) is an annual sports draft in which National Football League (NFL) teams take turns, through seven rounds two years ago.
``It worked out perfectly,'' Norton said. ``Fresno State is the place I want to be. If all of a sudden USC or some big-named school came in and said they wanted me, I'd say no. I'm proud to be a Bulldog bulldog, breed of thick-set nonsporting dog developed in the British Isles many centuries ago. It stands from 13 to 15 in. (33–38.1 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 40 to 50 lb (18.1–22.7 kg). .''
Norton's Santa Clarita Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, rival, Nate Longshore Nate Longshore (born June 30, 1986 in Canyon Country, California, U.S.) is an American football quarterback for the California Golden Bears. Longshore was an Elite-11 quarterback in high school and a 4-star recruit rated by Rivals.com and Scout.com."How Far ... of Canyon, finally will get to make official the commitment he gave to California early in the fall. There, the linebacker-sized quarterback will have the opportunity to learn from coach Jeff Tedford Jeff Tedford (born November 2, 1961 in Lynwood, California) has been head coach of the California Golden Bears college football program since 2002. A first-time head coach, Tedford has won wide acclaim for turning the once-downtrodden Cal football program into a national power. , one of the most respected quarterback gurus in college football.
Eight area players will head east and play at Ivy League Ivy League
Group of eight universities in the northeastern U.S., high in academic and social prestige, that are members of an athletic conference for intercollegiate gridiron football dating to the 1870s. universities.
``Since I love football, I'd love to get a scholarship to a Division I school,'' said Agoura receiver Braden Lepisto, who is going to Pennsylvania. ``But what us Ivy League guys will get from our education and experience will be notches above what a Division I player will get at a big football school.''
There won't be any big last-minute commitments from the area today, but there could be some surprises. Chaminade offensive lineman Adam Speer is strongly considering decommitting from Oregon State and signing with Navy. His father, Bill, said Adam would sleep on it.
There were some late oral commits Tuesday. Adrian Aye-Darko, a defensive back from Chaminade, decided on Duke despite the possibility of grayshirting and postponing the start of his eligibility.
Steve Gatena, an offensive lineman, and Ryan Ruel, a safety, from Westlake will be teammates once again at Air Force. Calabasas defensive lineman Rick Harrison will play for former USC assistant Nick Holt Nick Holt (born October 15, 1962) is an American football coach, currently the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach of the USC Trojans. He was formerly the head coach of the University of Idaho Vandals. at Idaho.
Matthew Kredell, (818) 713-3607
4 photos, box
(1 -- 3 -- color) Westlake's Michael Stuart (above) and Jimmy Miller (far left) will sign today with USC, which is expected to grab the top recruiting class in the nation. Teammate Rudy Carpenter, who transferred to Westlake last season, will sign with Arizona State.
(4) Marcus Everett, who played at Chaminade, will sign with UCLA today. Everett played both receiver and defensive back.
Evan Yee/Staff Photographer