By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
With the Feb. 3 national letter of intent day approaching, high school football players are finishing their final visits and making verbal commitments. Just last week, Charter Oak High School running back and Tribune player of the year Adam Muema announced he’ll attend San Diego State. On Sunday, all-purpose Bishop Amat standout Darien Johnson, an All-Pac-5 Division first-team cornerback who returned five punts and three kickoffs for touchdowns, announced he’ll attend New Mexico State, where former UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker is head coach. (To continue, click thread)
“It was great; I went ahead and committed,” Johnson told ESPN. “I loved the visit and really liked everything about the school.
“They have a great coaching staff, and DeWayne Walker is a great guy and is going to build the program to be very good there.”
Chargers defensive back Brandon Golden gave a verbal commitment to Washington State last month, and linebacker Keith Smith appears to be leaning toward San Jose State after visiting the campus over the weekend.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker also has offers from Nevada, Air Force, Utah and UTEP, although San Jose State appears to have the inside track.
A.J. Powell, named the Miramonte League player of the year for Charter Oak, has an offer from New Hampshire but likely will sign with Portland State after visiting the school and receiving an offer over the weekend, Chargers coach Lou Farrar said.
Linebacker Leon Youngblood could give the Chargers five Division 1 signees. He’s considering Colorado State and UNLV and is hoping to have a decision finalized in the next week.
“We knew this was a special group of seniors,” Farrar said.
“You’re lucky if you get one or two guys to sign, but to have this many on visits and with so many offers on the table is a special thing for the players and our school.”
Huskies making trips
South Hills receiver Ify Umodu is visiting Portland State this weekend, but also could get an offer from San Jose State, San Gabriel Valley scouting consultant James Escarcega said.
Running back Jordan Canada, who didn’t play his senior season after transferring to South Hills from Duarte and being ruled ineligible by CIF-Southern Section officials because of an athletically motivated transfer, no longer has an offer to New Mexico State.
Canada is visiting Fresno State this weekend, however, in hopes of receiving an offer.
Cox going east
Corner Jerome Cox, who also left Duarte – for Baldwin Park – but was ruled ineligible to play his senior season because it was ruled an athletically motivated transfer, gave a verbal commitment to Eastern Michigan University, former Baldwin Park coach Wardell Crutchfield said.
“He’s a great kid,” Crutchfield said. “(Baldwin Park coach James) Heggins and I worked hard keeping his name out there and made a bunch of calls. It was great that Eastern Michigan took a look at him; they’re getting a hard-working, deserving kid.”