Charter Oak’s Fab Four of Muema, Smith, Golden and Powell make it a historical day at CO; Johnson, Umodu, Cox and Polonio moving on too

Above from left to right: A.J Powell (Portland State), Adam Muema (San Diego
State), Keith Smith (San Jose State) and Brandon Golden (Washington State)

By Fred J. Robledo Staff Writer
— After the autographs made it official on national letter of intent signing day Wednesday, the Charter Oak high school foursome of Keith Smith, A.J. Powell, Adam Muema and Brandon Golden talked glowingly about the anticipation of playing big-time college football. Smith, a 6-foot-2, 225 linebacker and cornerstone of a defense that helped the Chargers win their second consecutive CIF-SS Southeast Division title, is heading north to San Jose State. And guess what, San Jose State’s first game in late August is against defending BCS national champion Alabama in Tuscaloosa. (To continue, click thread).

“I really don’t want to red-shirt just to be in that atmosphere,” said Smith. “That was in my thought process all along, that we’ll be playing Alabama, that’s why you play division football, for the opportunity to be part of a game like that.
“Who knows though, if I don’t go, there will plenty of other big games down the line.”
Running back and Tribune player of the year Adam Muema, who set Charter Oak career records in rushing with 4,552 yards and 61 touchdowns, is headed to San Diego State, where he already has a 2012 game circled against San Jose State, where he will meet up with Smith.
“No mercy,” Muema joked. “We’re friends off the field but when we’re on the field it’s game time.”
Muema’s hoping to pick up where he left off in high school, knowing he’s following in the footsteps of the Aztecs’ famed alum, running back Marshall Faulk.
“I made my decision after the trip,” Muema said. “I had a good connection with the coaches and do look forward to chasing some of Marshall Faulk’s records.”
Powell, a corner/receiver, was arguably the Chargers’ best all-around athlete. He opted to sign with Portland State after flirting with Colorado partly because the Vikings want to use him at running back.
“That’s a new experience for me, and they have one of the best business programs in the country,” Powell said.
Although the recruiting process was long, Powell soaked in every minute of it.
“All four of us talk about it every day,” Powell said. “This was the biggest decision of our lives. As much as we love winning championships, this is better, because we get to do something with our lives.”
Defensive back Brandon Golden announced long ago that he would go to Washington State, but almost changed his mind at the last minute with Colorado pursuing him hard in the final weeks.
After making it official with Washington State on Wednesday, he too enjoyed the recruiting process, regardless of how stressful it was.
“It’s ironic because you hear a lot of people say they’re stressed out about being recruited,” Golden said. “But there are a lot of kids who would give anything to be in our position, so we’re extremely thankful. This doesn’t happen very often.”
In over 40 years at Charter Oak, football coach Lou Farrar said it was the first time the school had four signees on signing day.
Farrar’s parting words were don’t come back until you have a degree.
“The first thing you think of is how do you replace them, you’re not losing four players you’re losing eight starting spots, because they all played both ways.” Farrar said. “But all joking aside, this is what it’s about, that great feeling when you shake a proud parents hand. It’s going to make Saturday’s even better, this is why you spend all that money on satellite TV, to watch your kids at the next level.”
Bishop Amat celebrated its lone football signee on Wednesday with all-purpose standout and Pac-5 Division first-team honoree Darien Johnson signing with New Mexico State.
Johnson was a big part of the Lancers’ turnaround the past two years, helping them to a 17-6 overall record and Serra League co-title.
He returned three punts and kickoffs for touchdowns this past season.
“As a corner it’s a good opportunity to play in the Western Athletic Conference because of some of the high-powered offenses,” Johnson said. “I will probably be a return guy right away, and we will see how the rest goes.”
South Hills receiver Ify Umodu chose Northern Arizona University after weighing offers with San Jose State and Portland State.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is the third of his siblings to earn a division one scholarship. His oldest brother Tobi is a fullback at UCLA and Kebin is at Air Force Academy.
Damien offensive lineman Josh Polonio singed to play with Villanova, which just won an NCAA Football Championship Sub-Division title.
Baldwin Park high’s Jerone Cox officially sent his letter of intent to Eastern Michigan after signing in front of family and friends at Baldwin Park on Tuesday.

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  • jcaz

    Congratulations to all ! Make the SGV proud of you at the next level !

  • Trojan Man

    WOW . What accomplishments. There parents should ALL BE VERY PROUD !


  • I’m right, again.

    Congrats to Josh Polonio! A local Diamond Bar kid that made the right decision for him by going to Damien. We tried to get you to stay home and become a Brahma, but looking at the programs, you obviously made the right choice. Again, we are so proud of you. You’re a hell of a football player, a good student but an even better friend to my son. We’ll be thinking about you when I’m BBQ burgers in December outside wearing shorts…LOL


    This is wonderful, putting all the bickering to the side we can all come together and say that together the San Gabriel Valley community says thank you to all the young men that gave us the pleasure we all seek during football season. Its not easy getting ready for an upcoming football season and the hard work pays off in December and with scholarships. This goes out to all the kids reading the blogs hoping one day to be mentioned among the best the Valley has to offer. Remember one thing all these guys mentioned here needed to have good grades to move on to the next level, student athlete first so take care of grades and it will make it easier for a school to recruit you…

  • AMAT 73

    Great news and a hell of an accomplishment for these fine young men and the CO program. Good luck to them and I wish them much success in their future academic and football careers. Also great job and props to their parents on raising these fine young men.

  • mrlippy

    congrats to all our local kids who earned the right to play on saturdays, and get an education too! don’t take this lightly, as you guys are in for the toughest time of your young lives. it will not be easy, don’t expect it to be! but the rewards out way the sacrfice you will make. be proud of yourselves, your upbringing, and your parents too. your hard work has paid off, you just hit the lotto, now make the sgv proud, and never get outworked! good luck to all!

  • BigDog

    I’m right again
    Whats the big deal going to Damien?

  • To the victors comes the spoils!

    Much earned and deserving respect for each of these young men. Charter Oak you should be very proud of your athletes accomplishments on the field but more importantly them as students and their achievements off the field. Represent your family, program, and our Valley honorably. We look forward to watching you on Saturdays. Congratulations on achieving your goal and realizing a dream. Everyone wishes you good luck in your pursuit of even greater challenges now and opportunities ahead for you. Go get it!

  • Adam Haight

    Welcome to SDSU Mr. Muema. We are glad to have you as an Aztec. 1000yds. freshman year.

  • next year

    next year adam at running back for sdsu and chad young at full back two sgv guys playing good luck to adam in the future

  • Proud SGV football fan

    Congrats to all of these kids who are moving on in their lives and continuing their playing careers!

  • south hills sucks

    Ify Umodu is going to Northern Arizona? What ever happened to him being the best South Hills has ever had? Bogan, North, James, the entire coaching staff? His whole high school career he was babied through.

  • irep Sgv

    one word.

    good job boys good luck at the next level you have made everyone from the sgv proud!!!

  • MetungKP

    Welcome to San Diego State!

    We’ll see you in a few months.


  • Forever CO mom……

    Congratulations to our CO boys!!! What an amazing accomplishment these boys have worked so hard for. It has been an amazing four years watching these boys play…..set goals…. and achieved them today. Trina, Julie, you have raised such wonderful, respectful young men both on and off the field. Boys, remember to stay focused with your school work and take in what a “gift” this is that you have received. Can’t wait to watch you all on Saturdays…..I am sure we will be heading to San Diego, and to Portland a few times this next season šŸ™‚ to cheer my boys on. I love you both and you will never know how proud WE are of you!!!!

  • POLONIO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Poloniooooooooooooo !!!!!


    As polite and unassuming a kid as you would ever want to meet. All he did was work hard, keep his nose clean and bust his butt in school….and now look! Absolutely NO EGO!!!! God bless this kid…..couldn’t b happier!!!

    Sometimes…. the good guys win!


  • congratulation to the young men that have recieved these honors to move on in their careers, expecially to Darien Johnson who have excel in all areas of his career, he have grown so much over the years, he is a team player, that young men can look up to.I know he made a good decision to attend NMSU, like I stated before it not where you go ,it what you do when you get there, if they put God first, education second and football third, everything else will fall into place.

  • Joe Amat

    The part of the article that stood out most was AJ Powell mentioning the Business Program at Portland State. Keeping in mind that these guys are getting a free EDUCATION, congratulations to them – and to all students who will be getting their “big envelope” in the next couple months.

  • Bubba

    Young Mr. Muema:
    You will never regret a moment of being an Aztec. Beautiful city, top quality football facilities, walkable clean attractive campus, and the babes?
    Oh, my!
    Welcome aboard,

  • #1 Amat Fan

    Congradulations DJ! Now you are an Aggie, go and represent from the sgv. I’m going to enjoy watching you play on Saturdays rather it be on special teams or locking down top notch receivers. Keep God first, and everything else will fall in place. I was thinking more boys from Amat would have received division 1 offers! Do anyone know where, Kane, Cezares, Haynes, and Matt Johnson are going?

  • Potential

    How about giving the kid from workman a chance.
    Workmans QB got a one year provisional football scholarship.