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Wildcat verbals with SDSU

Jake Bernards becomes first West Ranch football player to get athletic scholarship

Posted: January 29, 2009 10:22 p.m.
Updated: January 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Jake Bernards runs the ball Nov. 8 for the West Ranch football team. Jake Bernards runs the ball Nov. 8 for the West Ranch football team.
Jake Bernards runs the ball Nov. 8 for the West Ranch football team.
In Jake Bernards, San Diego State sees untapped potential.

That’s why the school offered him a scholarship.

The West Ranch senior quarterback accepted the scholarship offer from San Diego State Monday.

Other schools were looking at him, including Washington and UC Davis, Bernards said, but he said San Diego State was the perfect fit.

It wasn’t so much Bernards’ football numbers that the Aztecs were intrigued by as much as his size.

The 6-foot-5-inch, 205-pound signal caller said he understands that people might second guess his getting a scholarship to a Bowl Subdivision school because of his football numbers and the fact that West Ranch finished 2-8 last season.

“I know what I can do,” he said. “Throughout the year, I did show what I was capable of.”

Bernards, a three-year starter for the Wildcats, completed 52 percent of his passes for 1,694 yards 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2008.

“You always don’t want to go out on a 2-8 season,” Bernards said. “Everyone has an opinion. I think I’ll be able to show them once I get in the program and do well that I was the right choice.”

San Diego State recently hired Brady Hoke as head coach.

Hoke led Ball State to a 12-1 record in 2008.

San Diego State also hired former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Sipe as its quarterbacks coach Jan. 18.

Bernards said it was Sipe who recruited him to San Diego State, which finished 2-10 in 2008.

Redshirt freshman Ryan Lindley was the Aztecs’ starter this past season.

Bernards, also a three-year varsity first baseman on West Ranch’s baseball team, said he will play the sport this season, but give it up once he reaches college.

As to what he will bring San Diego State, Bernards said: “I think I will be able to show the knowledge of the game. I know and what to do. I’ll also be able to show leadership.”

Bernards is the first football player in West Ranch history to receive an athletic scholarship.


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