Last year the Colony Titans cruised to a CIF Southern Section Central Division championship. One would think that meant coach Steve Randall sent a lot of players on to Division I schools. Not so.
Colony (12-2), which won its last nine games of the season, didn’t have a single player that continued on to a high-profile school. Was it because they didn’t make the grade academically? Not at all.
They just had a lot of seniors that didn’t pass the old “eye test.” They were players that didn’t measure up to the physical stature the bigger schools are looking for.
That doesn’t mean Colony hasn’t sent players to major colleges. Samajie Grant has emerged as a key player at Arizona.
But the Titans have made their living off having blue-collar players that buy into their role and worked well into the framework of the team concept. Does it make the coach’s job more rewarding? Absolutely!
“It does kind of tell us that what we’re doing is working,” Randall said. “A lot of the teams we beat last year have those marquee players. So we’re doing something right.”
Randall passes much of the credit on to his senior quarterback Josh Thompson, who is quiet by nature, but leads by example. He’s one of those guys that fits into the “not passing the eye test” category.
He has thrown for 4,465 yards and 37 touchdowns with just nine interceptions in the last two years. Those numbers should garner a little bit of a look. But he’s one of those 5-foot-10 guys and that’s a bit small for a quarterback. Schools aren’t looking at the intangibles such as toughness and poise under pressure.
He injured his shoulder the next to last game of the regular season and was thought to be done for the season. He worked hard, came back and got a bit of playing time in the semifinal. Then led his team to the win in the title game.
Most of the interest Thompson has drawn thus far has been from Ivy League schools and he has the grades to get in.
“He has said about four words in three years here,” Randall joked. “But he doesn’t get rattled and our guys feed off that. They feel like he’s in control and they’re in control too. That showed a lot last year in the way he handled his injury.”
As far as other possible major college players, Randall says senior defensive back Khalil Dorsey and linebacker Devon Harper are the most likely candidates. But Dorsey, who was fifth in the state in the 100 hurdles during spring track season, is listed as 5-9, and Harper is just 6-0.
Time will tell. But colleges that aren’t snatching up some of these athletes are missing out.