Above, Cajon’s two Division I basketball players (so far) talk after signing their National Letters of Intent in the last week. Top, forward Kayla Washington after she signed with Washington State, and bottom, guard Tyla Turner talks after signing with Long Beach State.
Marcus Strong of Rialto Carter High School confirmed that he has verbally committed to play football at Washington State University.
Strong had offers from San Jose and PAC-12 rivals such as Oregon State and Washington but felt that the Cougars were the best fit for him.
“I think my speed can fit in very well with a good and upcoming program like Washington State,” Strong said. “I have a good connection with the coaching staff and that is what matters the most.”
Strong believes he still has a few things he wants to address as he prepares for the next step in his career.
“I have to put on some muscle and I have to build up some more speed to compete (against the best in the PAC-12),” he said. “But I those task will be easy for me.”
Cajon’s Kayla Washington
Cajon High senior basketball player Kayla Washington wanted to make her verbal commitment before the season began, but she was waiting for what she felt was the right offer.
On Sunday, she got it. And on Monday night, she made the commitment, giving a verbal commitment to Washington State.
“When I talked to them, their style of play, was just perfect for me,” she said. “Their coaching staff, I felt real comfortable with.”
Washington, a 6-foot forward who was The Sun’s Player of the Year last year after averaging 28.1 points and 16.1 rebounds per game for the Cowgirls, said the leading candidate until last weekend was Grand Canyon University, a school that recently became Division I.
She said one of the things she liked about Washington State is that they see her as a combination small forward/power forward while other schools wanted her to be a guard.
“They (Washington State) liked the way I play. Most wanted to change me into a guard,” she said. “And they (Washington State) told me they didn’t have a player like me on their team.”
Washington said her father told her that Cajon’s team during last weekend’s West Coast Premier Fall Showcase tournament at Chaffey College might be a good chance to get an offer. He was right, and Washington State offered her a scholarship after seeing her play for the first time.
“I was definitely discouraged (by the number of offers),” she said. “I felt like it was my last shot.”
Washington isn’t concerned that she’s leaving Southern California., and is in fact glad to leave the area, but at the same time, stay on the west coast.
“My family can still make some of the games, and 14 of the games are on TV,” she said.
Washington said she wants “to get in the best shape I’ve ever been in and keep working on my guard game.”
Washington, who said she had other offers that included Long Beach State, Weber State, Eastern Washington, George Washington, Seattle, Arkansas and Kansas State, plans to make a trip to Washington State in October and sign her National Letter of Intent during the early signing period in November.
San Bernardino High’s Alexander Mattison made a name for himself rushing for a county-leading 2,017 yards last season as a junior and continued to draw the eyes of college scouts at various offseason football camps.
While the Cardinals’ faithful can expect another solid performance from the running back as he conclude his high school career. It will be up to opposing defenses, especially from
the Mountain Valley League, to stand in his way and try to stop him.
But the elephant in the room is what will be next for Mattison following his senior year.
Mattison has several scholarship offers which include Pac-12 programs, according to head coach Jeff Imbriani, but it is not a guarantee that the running back will play in the conference.
The senior confirmed that Boise State, Washington and Arizona State are at the top of his list.
“Out of my offers right now those are the most communicative and interesting to me,” said Mattison.
He also mentioned Washington State as a program that completes his top four at the moment.
Quarterback Nate Meadors spoke after San Gorgonio’s CIF-SS Inland Division Playoff victory about his first official visit to Boise State and how he will fit in well with the program.
Meadors had 13 carries for 261 yards and four rushing touchdowns against Cajon High. He also went 6 of 14 passing for 122 yards and two passing touchdowns.