After a visit to West Point last weekend, Etiwanda quarterback Angel Santiago verbally committed on Tuesday to Army, the only of the three schools that offered him a scholarship to play quarterback.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior received offers from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to play cornerback and Division I-AA Idaho State to play wide receiver. With the option to remain a quarterback at a Division-I program, Santiago said the decision was not a difficult one.
“I know that I’m not your protypical 6-2, 6-3 quarterback,” he said. “But I knew somebody that runs the spread or the triple option would give me a shot.”
Army’s option offense appears an ideal fit for the mobile Santiago, who rushed for 917 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior in addition to passing for 2,459 yards and 18 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. In his three years as the starting quarterback, Santiago accounted for 84 touchdowns and nearly 9,000 yards of total offense.
He needed more than just gaudy statistics to warrant an offer from Army. In addition to his 3.5 grade-point average, Army required a letter of recommendation from his congressman, among others. It just so happens that Rep. Joe Baca is a family friend through business dealings with Santiago’s father, an elected official himself.
“It was kind of hectic,” Santiago said of the application process. “But once I sat down with them and they explained that to graduate from West Point, the degree holds a lot it itself, it all seemed to make sense.”