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Desi commits to Air Force

Saugus quarterback verbally commits to Falcons

Posted: January 19, 2009 9:32 p.m.
Updated: January 20, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Saugus quarterback Desi Rodriguez has verbally committed to play at Air Force.

 
Saugus quarterback Desi Rodriguez verbally committed to the Air Force Academy earlier this month following a home visit from Falcons defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter.

"The education is like an Ivy League school, and I get to play football in Division I. You can't beat that," Rodriguez said.

Air Force went 8-5 overall this season and 5-3 in the Mountain West Conference, finishing the year with a berth in the Armed Forces Bowl, their second such appearance in the last two years.

In two seasons, head coach Troy Calhoun has led the team to a 17-9 record and brings with him 17 years of coaching experience throughout the college ranks and in the National Football League as an assistant with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans.

"I'm excited because (Calhoun) has been in the pros and he knows what he is doing," Rodriguez said. "I really think that coach has the program going in the right direction and I'm excited to be a part of it."

Rodriguez has his work cut out for him as he will have to compete for the starting job with incumbent quarterback Tim Jefferson, who amassed a 5-2 record at the helm of the offense.

Jefferson was named the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year by the Sporting News back in December.

But before Rodriguez gets a crack at the field, he must first complete basic training at the end of June, then spend a year in the Air Force's prep school, which will serve as his redshirt year.

Rodriguez is looking forward to the experience.

"When you are a little kid you always pretend you are in the jungle somewhere. Now I may get to do that," Rodriguez said.

Air Force expressed its initial interest a year ago.

"They were always high on me," Rodriguez said. "They've offered me since I was a junior. They always thought that I had potential, and I proved it this year."

The program's quarterback position has been a running one and Rodriguez fits that mold.

Rodriguez finished his senior season as the Foothill League, CIF-Southern Section Northern Division and team player of the year after passing for 1,655 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions while rushing for another 1,783 yards and 20 touchdowns.

According to Scout.com, Rodriguez was also offered by Army, Cal Poly and Portland State as a two-star recruit.

Noting that he "always had a hunch" that he would play for Air Force, the style of offense, quality of coaching staff and level of education were all contributing factors in he college selection.

But it was also the chance to serve in the military that excited the Centurion.

"It is great to serve the country," Rodriguez said. "It is going to be a great experience. Not many people get a chance to do what I get to do."


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