REV’s Kylie Fitts excited to pick USC

From Staff Writer Ed Castro’s story earlier this week about REV football standout Kylie Fitts committing to USC

By Ed Castro Staff Writer
REDLANDS — Redlands East Valley football player Kylie Fitts had every intention of waiting a bit longer before deciding where he would play college football.
Then came Saturday when he spent the day at USC.
That was all it took as Fitts, a defensive lineman who has been sifting through NCAA Division 1 scholarship offers for the past several months, accepted an offer from USC on the Trojans’ final day of spring practices.

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Thomas speaks out on USC, Terrelle Pryor

Interesting tidbit from my interview Saturday with Terrell Thomas, the New York Giants cornerback who is an alum of Rancho Cucamonga High School and USC. Not sure if it will make the print story, but felt it was interesting enough to put on here.

Another thing that Thomas had to deal with in the offseason was the punishment given to his alma mater by the BCS. USC was stripped of its 2004 national championship by the BCS due to its use of Reggie Bush, the focal point of USC’s current probation.

Thomas was a sophomore on that team and considers that team to be championship regardless of what the BCS says.

“They can take away the trophy, erase our name from the record books, but people know who the champion was that year,” Thomas said. “We earned it on the field and I really don’t care what anyone has to say about it.”

Thomas also gave his opinion on the recent controversies surrounding college football, focusing on the Trojans and Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

“Everyone gets caught for it and it’s Ohio State’s time, just like it was our time before that and Alabama’s time before us,” Thomas said. “With the way the NCAA operates, I can see why guys can be tempted to sell their stuff, or take a handout.

“When I was at USC, we got a $1000 stipend per month. $725 of that goes to rent, which leaves you $275 for internet — you have to have internet to do homework and study — food, clothing, going out on a date, stuff like that. It’s very hard to live off $275 in a month, especially when the NCAA is making millions of dollars off you.”

Thomas feels scholarship athletes should be paid, but isn’t sure how to exactly go about it, though he has some ideas.

“It’s hard because how do you decide what to pay the football team compared to the soccer team?” Thomas said. “How can the smaller schools afford to pay their players as well as the bigger schools can?

“Maybe you could have something where a player gets a percentage of every jersey of theirs that is sold. A guy like Reggie Bush can get a percent of all of his jersey sales given to him with a check. Maybe wait until he leaves school to give him that check, but I think it’s a problem when guys make a school millions of dollars and don’t get a cent of that. That’s why these players go out and do stuff like Terrelle Pryor did.”

Pedroza switches to Utah

According to Rivals.com, Chino wide receiver Quinton Pedroza has switched his commitment to the University of Utah from Arizona State and has faxed in his letter of intent to the Utes. According to colleague Clay Fowler, Pedroza was mulling over a late offer from USC along with offers from Utah, where he visited two weekends ago, and Arizona State, which he committed to on Jan. 13 after a visit.

Either this blog or Fowler’s blog will have the latest.

Signing Day breakdown

Would have done this by yesterday, but a nasty cold threw me for a loss. I’m ready to go again though. With that, here’s a complete breakdown of local Division I FBS (I-A) and FCS (I-AA) signees.

By school
1. Redlands 4; 2 tie. Colony 3, Colton 3, Los Osos 3, Rancho Cucamonga 3, Redlands East Valley 3; 7 tie. Arroyo Valley 2, Don Lugo 2, Hesperia 2, Kaiser 2, Serrano 2, Upland 2; 13 tie. Aquinas 1, Cajon 1, Chaffey 1, Granite Hills 1, Miller 1, Sultana 1.

Redlands was the surprising winner in this category, as three Terriers – OL Justin Corrales (Bryant University), LB Cole Gridley (Valparaiso) and K/P Shaun McClain (Weber State) were able to parlay strong senior seasons into FCS scholarships. LB Jordan Thomas (San Diego State) was the only FBS scholarship to Redlands, but the Terriers get props for getting their successful kids scholarships.

The teams with three scholarship players are among the usual suspects when it comes to getting kids to Division I scholarships, as REV, Colton, Colony, Rancho Cucamonga and Los Osos have seen an army of players get to the next level recently. REV, Colton and Los Osos all sent their players to FBS school, with each having at least one kid sign with a Pac-10 school. Rancho also had a Pac-10 kid in TE Randall Telfer (USC), while Colony had a Big 12 kid in DB Jered Bell (Colorado).

No real shocks in the 2 and 1 scholarship crowd except maybe Serrano, which had two FBS kids. The Diamondbacks are known for doing more with less, so its no shock that they made a CIF final with two FBS seniors on the roster.

By college:
1. San Diego State 4. 2 tie. Fresno State 3, Oregon 3, USC 3; 5 tie. Montana State 2, Sacramento State 2, San Jose State 2, UNLV 2, Utah 2, UTEP 2; 11 tie. Army 1, Bryant 1, Colorado 1, Iowa State 1, Kansas State 1, Nevada 1, Portland State 1, Prairie View A&M 1, San Diego 1, UCLA 1, Valparaiso 1, Washington 1, Washington State 1, Weber State 1.

On the non-BCS level, San Diego State and Fresno State continue to do work in the county. When Aztecs coach Brady Hoke was hired last year, he told recruits that he was going to put an emphasis on Inland Empire athletes. He’s done exactly that, signing 3 SAL kids last year and four county kids this year in Thomas, Serrano DE Everett Beed, Hesperia WR Jay Waddell and Granite Hills TE Bryce Quigley. A fifth, Serrano RB Dionza Bradford, verbally committed to San Diego State before backing out and going with UNLV. So Hoke is getting things done.

Pat Hill has consistently brought local talent into the fold and this year is no different, with Los Osos WR Sean Alston, Arroyo Valley LB Ofa Fifita and Rancho Cucamonga QB Greg Watson all inking with the Bulldogs. Montana State also was a big player in the FCS ranks, getting guys with FBS interest in Don Lugo DB Steve Bethley and Miller RB David Dash.

As far as the Pac-10 goes, 2010 saw a reversal from 2009. Last year, it was UCLA and Oregon State that cleaned up, while this year saw their rivals have success. The Trojans, despite a coaching change, got Kaiser RB/DB Anthony Brown, Telfer and the county’s highest-ranked recruit, Don Lugo DT George Uko, to sign. Only an 11th-hour stunner by Kaiser LB Josh Shirley kept UCLA from being swept out of the county.

As for the Oregon schools, the Ducks got two extremely productive defensive players in Los Osos DE Tony Washington and Colton DB Derrick Malone and stole Colton K Alejandro Maldonado from Washington on the last weekend. Last year, it was Oregon State that did damage, with Freshman All-American OL Michael Philipp from Arroyo Valley being the crown jewel.

As far as out-of-region teams, I guess the big winner would be the Big 12 North. Colorado (Colony DB Jered Bell), Iowa State (Hesperia/Chaffey College TE Ricky Howard) and Kansas State (Sultana/Mt. SAC OL Manase Foketi) all signed area players while Nebraska courted several local players as well.