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College football: SCV’s Saturday spread

Local products will suit up for programs at all levels across the country in the 2010 season

Posted: August 23, 2010 9:58 p.m.
Updated: August 24, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Valencia graduate Brock Vereen will get a taste of Big Ten football this fall at Minnesota.

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Expansion has been a big topic in college football this offseason.

The Santa Clarita Valley’s presence in college football is expanding, too.

When the season kicks off in early September, local products will suit up for teams in the Pac-10 Conference, the Big Ten, the Mountain West, the Western Athletic Conference, the Sun Belt and the Ivy League, not to mention for several Football Championship Subdivision teams and NCAA Division II and III schools.

Valencia High graduate Shane Vereen and Hart High graduate Delano Howell are the two most visible players, as both will star for Pac-10 schools this season. Canyon High graduate J.J. DiLuigi could be in line for the starting running back spot at BYU.

But there are plenty of others, and not just from the Foothill League. At least five former College of the Canyons players are on Division I rosters, as well as several others in Division II. Former Santa Clarita Christian star Collin Keoshian has enrolled at BYU as well.

There are local products all over the place in college football. Here’s a look at them.

Jake Bernards, redshirt freshman, West Ranch, San Diego State
After redshirting last year, Bernards is listed as the third-string quarterback heading into the season for the NCAA Division I Aztecs.

Spencer Boring, freshman, West Ranch, Chapman University
The first-team All-Foothill League selection in 2009 will compete for a spot on Chapman’s offensive line.

Kenny Brown, redshirt sophomore, College of the Canyons, UNLV
Brown redshirted in 2009 and will battle for time at cornerback with the Rebels.

Hayo Carpenter, senior, College of the Canyons, University of Minnesota
The COC product played in 10 games last season and caught his first pass for the Gophers in a loss to Cal. With the departure of standout receiver Eric Decker, Carpenter could win a starting job out wide.

Demitri Diamond, sophomore, Hart, Colgate University
Diamond was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2009, only the second defensive player to win the honor. He started all 11 games and was the fifth-leading tackler on the FCS Raiders with 26 stops and will be one of the top defensive backs on the team this season.

J.J. DiLuigi, junior, Canyon, BYU
The Canyon High legend played in all 13 games for the Cougars last season, totaling 248 rushing yards and three touchdowns. With the departure of Harvey Unga, who withdrew from BYU last April after violating the school’s honor code, the door is open for DiLuigi to take the starting running back spot.

Ricky Drake, junior, Valencia/College of the Canyons, University of Nevada, Reno
Drake doesn’t get many chances to kick field goals in Nevada’s high-octane offense, but he hit 60-of-64 extra points last fall and is the team’s top kicker again this season.

Brian Fausett, freshman, Saugus, Oklahoma Panhandle State
The Saugus product will compete for playing time on the offensive line for the Division II Aggies.

Arron Fisher, junior, College of the Canyons, Texas A&M Kingsville
The former first-team All-Northern Conference cornerback will try to find a spot in the secondary for the Division II Javelinas.

Nick Gauthier, junior, Saugus, Eastern Washington
After starring at Saugus, Gauthier is now a backup for the Football Championship Subdivision Eagles. He played at Bakersfield College and redshirted in 2009 before 23-of-44 passes for 224 yards and no touchdowns in scrimmages this past spring.

Zack Gauthier, freshman, Saugus, Humboldt State
Gauthier will likely begin as a back-up quarterback for the Division II Jacks after an All-Foothill League season in 2009.

Ramsen Golpashin, junior, Saugus, University of Oregon
After playing in three games in 2009, Golpashin is the top backup at left guard heading into the 2010 season.

Michael Herrick, senior, Valencia, Northern Arizona University
California’s all-time prep passing leader is primed for a big senior season at NAU. Herrick completed 68.2 percent of his passes last season for 3,356 yards and 22 touchdowns for the FCS Lumberjacks. He’s on the preseason watch list for numerous awards and owns the school record for most passing yards in a single game with 574 against Eastern Washington last fall.

B.R. Holbrook, sophomore, Hart, University of New Mexico
Holbrook could be the starter this season for New Mexico after being the second-string quarterback last season. The Hart High graduate played in five games and completed 19-of-34 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown.

Jonathan Hollins, junior, College of the Canyons, University of Arizona
The COC product redshirted last season but is competing for one of the starting defensive tackle jobs for the Wildcats.

Jabari Howard, freshman, Valencia, UC Davis
The All-Foothill League and All-Santa Clarita Valley defensive back could see playing time in his first year for the FCS Aggies, although he might redshirt given a wealth of returners in the secondary.

Delano Howell, junior, Hart, Stanford University
After transitioning from running back to safety in 2009, Howell will lead a young secondary in 2010. The Hart graduate had 78 tackles, the most of any returning defender, and two interceptions while earning an All-Pac-10 honorable mention.

Shawn Johnson, junior, College of the Canyons, West Texas A&M

The COC product will compete for time on the offensive line for the Division II Buffalo.

Collin Keoshian, freshman, Santa Clarita Christian, BYU
The first student in SCCS history to receive an NCAA Division I football scholarship, Keoshian will likely see limited action during his first season at BYU or redshirt.

Patrick Larimore, redshirt sophomore, Hart, UCLA
Larimore enters the season as one of UCLA’s top reserve linebackers after appearing in 11 games as a freshman last fall. The Hart grad could see time on special teams as well.

Melqui Lemus, freshman, Saugus, Oklahoma Panhandle State
Lemus will compete for time as a defensive lineman for the Aggies.

Randy Lemus, junior, Canyon, West Liberty University

After sitting out the 2009 season with a training camp injury, Lemus will compete for a spot on the offensive line in 2010 for the Division II Hilltoppers.

Michael Lien, junior, Valencia, South Dakota State
The Valencia High product recorded 14 tackles as a sophomore and played in 11 games for the FCS Jackrabbits. He will compete for a linebacker spot this fall.

Nick Madia, senior, Canyon, West Liberty University
Madia started all 13 games at center in 2009 and was a first-team All-West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection.

Nolan O’Sullivan, freshman, Valencia, Navy
Because of his high GPA, O’Sullivan was able to bypass prep school and become a member of Navy’s football team right away. He will compete for a spot on the offensive line in the Naval Academy’s potent rushing attack, which finished fourth in the country in rushing yards per game last fall at 280.5.

Nick Peterson, senior, Canyon, St. Francis University

Peterson started all 11 games on the offensive line in 2009 and returns for his senior season in 2010 for the FCS Red Flash.

Alex Pettee, senior, Hart, University of Toledo
The Hart graduate could become the starter in a wide-open quarterback race for the Rockets. He played in four games last season and threw for 380 yards and one touchdown, completing 37-of-58 passes.

C.J. Reyes, freshman, Hart, Idaho State
After an excellent senior season at quarterback for Hart High, Reyes will be a kicker and punter this fall for the FCS Bengals.

Brock Vereen, University of Minnesota
The All-Foothill League and All-CIF-Southern Section Northern Division honoree could see time on special teams during his freshman season while battling for a job in the Gophers’ secondary.

Shane Vereen, junior, University of California, Berkeley
Vereen steps into the starting running back spot for the Golden Bears, whose rich tradition at that position includes former COC standout J.J. Arrington. The junior All-Pac-10 candidate led Cal in rushing last season with 952 yards and 12 touchdowns despite serving primarily as a backup. He started the last four games and racked up 566 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

A.J. Wallerstein, junior, Canyon, Air Force Academy
The Canyon High product will compete for a spot on the offensive line for Air Force, which finished third in the nation in rushing last season at 283.5 yards per game.

Robert Waterman, freshman, West Ranch, UNLV

The former Wildcat grayshirted after signing with UNLV in February of 2009 and will battle for playing time at offensive tackle this fall.

Shane Watterson, sophomore, Saugus, UNLV
Watterson played in six games last season and earned Academic All-Mountain West Conference honors as a freshman. This fall, he is listed as the No. 2 left tackle on the team.

Graham Wilbert, redshirt sophomore, Valencia, Florida Atlantic
The Valencia High product didn’t see any playing time last fall and will compete for a spot on the FAU roster as a quarterback.

Fred Winborn, senior, College of the Canyons, Texas A&M Kingsville
The running back earned first-team All-Lone Star Conference South Division honors as a junior in 2009, rushing for 1,295 yards and scoring 19 total touchdowns. He will again be the feature back in 2010.

Mario Wright, junior, Saugus/College of the Canyons, Glenville State College

The wide receiver will battle for playing time for the Division II Pioneers in West Virginia.

Dejuan Yates, redshirt junior, College of the Canyons, New Mexico State

Yates redshirted in 2009, his first season with the Division I Aggies, and will compete for playing time in 2010.

This list was compiled by The Signal. If you have information about other locals currently playing in college football,, please send an e-mail sportstalk@the-signal.com.

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