Nine Upland athletes to sign Feb. 6

The two-time defending champions in a Baseline League that produces the best football in the Inland Valley will graduate four to the college ranks on Feb. 6, National Signing Day. Upland High School’s class of 2013 also includes four soccer players and one baseball player, forming one of the largest groups of any one school in the area to receive athletic scholarships this year.

Nate Romine, QB – Air Force
James Johnson Jr., DB – Arizona State
Joe Mathis, DE – Washington
Delvin Batiste, DB – Undecided

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Had Rancho’s Goodman made trip to LSU, he ‘wouldn’t have committed yet’

Tahaan Goodman ended the suspense earlier than expected when the Rancho Cucamonga safety verbally committed to UCLA Wednesday. Goodman, who had more than 40 scholarship offers, was still considering nine schools as of last week and trying to squeeze in as many visits as possible before Feb. 6, National Signing Day.

He didn’t take a scheduled official visit to LSU last weekend when his travel materials weren’t delivered on time, opting instead to visit UCLA. Had he made the visit to LSU, Goodman imagines things could have gone differently.

“I think I wouldn’t have committed yet,” Goodman said. “I think I would have more to think about.”

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Rancho Cucamonga 4-star safety won’t take scheduled visit to LSU

Tahaan Godman, the top-ranked uncommitted safety in the country, won’t make his scheduled visit to LSU this weekend in what could have been a key recruiting trip with National Signing Day fast approaching.

The four-star recruit from Rancho Cucamonga High School spoke with LSU defensive backs coach Corey Raymond on Thursday about leaving for Baton Rouge, La., on Friday. But as of Friday afternoon,’s fourth-ranked safety in the nation hadn’t received the travel information to make the visit.

“I guess it’s too late to go now,” Goodman said. “Some of my friends are going to UCLA this weekend, so I was thinking about stopping by there.”

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Rancho’s Goodman has three weeks to sort through nine scholarship offers

With just three weeks before National Signing Day on Feb. 6, Rancho Cucamonga four-star safety Tahaan Goodman has some studying to do.

The No. 4 safety in the country, according to, has narrowed more than 40 scholarship offers to a list of nine. UCLA may be the frontrunner based on the fact that Goodman hasn’t felt drawn to any of the schools he has visited out of state and has had no contact with USC as of late.

The 6-foot-2, 185-pound  senior visited Oklahoma Jan. 11 and is visiting LSU this weekend.

“I’m open to going to a school out of the state, but I haven’t been to one yet that felt like it was somewhere I could live,” Goodman said. “(Oklahoma) wasn’t much different that a lot of schools I’ve seen. It wasn’t anything too special.”

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Upland DB Batiste looking for new school after SDSU offer was pulled

Upland senior football player Delvin Batiste is searching for a new college destination after San Diego State, to which he verbally committed in August, pulled its scholarship offer. The three-star cornerback was offered a scholarship by San Diego State in June but the Aztecs changed their plans in late December.

“I think one of San Diego State’s guys got hurt and they wanted somebody who could come in right away and contribute,” Upland football coach Tim Salter said. “Delvin got the vibe from them that they were going to go after a junior college guy instead of him.”

Since parting ways with San Diego State, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback has received interest from Boise State, San Jose State and Sacramento State, according to Salter.

Upland’s Mathis, Rancho duo to receive U.S. Army All-American jerseys

Joe Mathis will be the first of three area football players to formally receive his jersey for January’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. The Upland senior defensive end’s selection to one of the most prestigious high school all-star games in the country will be celebrated at 5:45 p.m. on Friday prior to the Highlanders’ 7 p.m. regular season finale at home against Etiwanda. Mathis is one of 90 players who will participate in the game to be televised on NBC at noon Jan. 5 from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

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Upland’s Powell can be glad he didn’t go to UCLA

There are two reasons Christian Powell never could have imagined his current set of circumstances.

The Upland High School graduate was not only verbally committed to UCLA days before signing his national letter of intent last February, he was committed to being a fullback. When Powell suits up for Saturday’s UCLA game in Boulder, Colo., it will be as a tailback for Colorado.

The 6-foot, 235-pound true freshman switched his commitment to Colorado in the 11th hour, but he has to be pleased with the way it played out. Powell not only has been converted to a tailback, he is the Buffaloes’ primary ball carrier. Used almost exclusively as a blocking back when he wasn’t playing defensive end at Upland, Powell erupted in his second collegiate game for 147 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries in a two-point loss to Sacramento State.
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Year in Texas made Summit safety cowboy strong

Playing high school football in Texas wasn’t the most intense part of Justin Strong’s sophomore year.

That distinction goes to the daily workouts with his brother, Dallas Cowboys linebacker Victor Butler.

“I would work out at school with the football team and then come home and do my brother’s workout with him,” Strong said. “It was hard, but it has stuck with me. I know what it’s like to work harder now.”

Strong returned to his native California prior to the 2011 season after one year in the Dallas suburb of Coppell and will begin his second season at Summit High School as one of the most feared safeties in the area.
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Three local recruits face toughest test today

Rancho Cucamonga High School defensive backs Chris Hawkins and Tahaan Goodman along with Upland defensive end Joe Mathis are among 150 of the nation’s top high school football players who were invited to The Opening, a high profile camp held at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. today through Sunday.

Hawkins,’s seventh-rated cornerback in the country, committed to USC April 1, but Goodman and Mathis are two of the top uncommitted recruits in Southern California. At The Opening, all three will face what is likely the highest level of competition they’ve seen to date. Of course, the trio of four-star prospects themselves represent some of the highest caliber competiton in the country.

Goodman is the top-ranked uncommitted safety in the country, according to The 6-foot-2, 184-pound senior has over 40 scholarship offers but hasn’t much begun to narrow his list. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Mathis is’s second-rated strong side defensive end in the country not yet verbally committed. With over 50 scholarship offers, Mathis is running out of schools to impress but the opposition at The Opening presents him the opportunity for his most imppressive performance of the summer.