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SCCS star verbals to BYU

Keoshian is first D-1 commit in school history

Posted: May 20, 2009 9:37 p.m.
Updated: May 21, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Last fall, Collin Keoshian helped lead the Santa Clarita Christian football team to undiscovered country as the school won its first CIF championship.

After he graduates, the junior will again be making school history – as its first student to receive a Division I-A football scholarship.

Keoshian issued a verbal commitment to Brigham Young University two weeks ago, ending an interesting recruiting process that gives him the chance to move one step closer to the NFL.

“It’s pretty incredible,” Keoshian said of being the first Division I-A player in school history. “It’s been my goal and dream since ninth grade.”

Keoshian played running back and linebacker for the Cardinals, and this past season he rushed for 2,226 yards and 32 touchdowns. He also caught 20 balls for 370 yards and seven scores, and he registered 169 total tackles and eight interceptions for 270 return yards.

Brigham Young, meanwhile, has also seen a swell of success recently. The Cougars have compiled a 32-7 record over the past three seasons, including back-to-back Mountain West Conference championships in 2006 and 2007. They have also been to four straight Las Vegas bowls, going 2-2 in those games.

The Brigham Young coaching staff asked Keoshian what he preferred playing, and he feels he has a better chance of reaching the NFL as a linebacker.

Keoshian will have three extra teammates on the field in college as Santa Clarita Christian’s enrollment forces it to compete in CIF-Southern Section Division I 8-Man football. But he doesn’t think the adjustment will be a problem.

“I don’t think there’s any difference,” Keoshian said. “I know I can adjust well because I played Pop Warner for four years. It’s all the same hitting and running and everything.”

The process began earlier this year, when Keoshian’s father and the Santa Clarita Christian coaching staff put together a highlight film.

The film was sent to UCLA, but little response was received.

It was also posted on the Web site Youtube.com. A Brigham Young fan from Sacramento came across the video, and he immediately noticed Keoshian’s size (6-foot-2, 235 pounds) and natural athleticism.

The fan, who asked to remain anonymous, wanted to refer the video to the Brigham Young coaching staff and got in touch with Cardinals head coach Garrick Moss to ask his permission.

After receiving it, the fan sent the video to the staff through the Cougars’ site.

The staff didn’t take long to respond.

“The next day, I had a voicemail from one of their linebacker coaches,” Moss said. “He said he was very interested and we sent out some footage. They were really excited about Collin.”

Within a few days, the Brigham Young staff faxed an offer for a full-ride scholarship. Keoshian and his family deliberated and took a campus visit in early March.

Collin immediately fell in love with it.

“The academics are incredible,” he said. “The campus is great and the coaches have a passion for the players and the team and the whole program. I just feel that when I’m in college there, I’ll be taken care of.”

Even though Keoshian is not Mormon – the predominant faith at Brigham Young – the school has options for non-Mormons to attend, and Keoshian was attracted to the similar structure of student life.

“It’s one of the only colleges where there’s a high moral environment,” Keoshian said. “There’s no drinking or any trashy stuff like that on campus. I just really wanted to have my college set before my senior year of football.”

Keoshian plans to major in broadcast journalism at Brigham Young, and will make periodic visits to the campus during his senior year.

He won’t be the only local on the team, either. Former Canyon High standout J.J. Di Luigi is a running back with the Cougars, although Keoshian hasn’t had contact with Di Luigi during the recruitment process.

The end of that process has Moss excited for the future of Santa Clarita Christian’s best player.

“Collin is a natural leader,” Moss said. “When you’re talented, people look up to you, but he’s also a leader because of his character. He’ll do whatever it takes to win on the field. He’s very encouraging to younger guys.”

If the Cardinals have any luck, some of those younger players will follow Keoshian’s path, right into Division I-A college football.

jgulino@the-signal.com

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