Saturday’s Lions All Star Classic is the last high school football game for four local players, but all four are getting right into the 2014 college football season this spring and summer.
Tracy High football coach Matt Shrout said that the Class of 2014 has the most NCAA-bound players he has seen come out of the school.
Tracy High defensive end George Obinna will attend Sacramento State University, which plays in NCAA Division I, on an athletic scholarship. He has already attended spring training camp. Linebacker Chaz Briggs is headed to Eastern New Mexico University, an NCAA Division II school, also on an athletic scholarship.
Kimball High graduate Gaige Allen, a running back and their teammate in the Lions All Star Classic, has a football scholarship waiting for him at an NCAA Division II school, Azusa Pacific College near Los Angeles.
Four more recent Tracy High graduates, including Lions All Star Clayton Fegett, the Bulldogs’ center, are matriculating at NCAA Division III schools, which don’t offer athletic scholarships.
Fegett plans to play at Cal Lutheran University in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Quarterback Damon Stroup and wide receiver-defensive back Luke Pulliam expect to play together at Luther College in Iowa, and running back-linebacker Eric Hawkins will go to Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore.
“They were all recruited by multiple colleges,” Shrout said. “It was interesting going through the process of all of these schools contacting me about these players.”
He said the scouts first asked for transcripts to see if the players could meet their colleges’ academic standards. Then they talked to coaches about the work ethic and personality of each player, often before talking to the players or their parents. He added that scouts might stick around for a practice or a game, but sometimes they stayed just long enough to meet the coaches and players.
“Those Division I guys, they literally fly in just to look at somebody, just to put their eyes on them. And then they get in their airplane and fly back,” Shrout said.
The recruiting process for the Class of 2015 is well underway. Some incoming seniors — running back Nate Jones and lineman Nate Brown in particular — have already gained the attention of NCAA Division I schools. Both have had multiple offers before even beginning the 2014 season.
“It will be exciting to see where those two guys go,” Shrout said.
Contact Bob Brownne at email@example.com or 830-4227.