La Mirada High School fullback/tight end Tyler Perez became the sixth member of the Matadores football team to sign a national letter of intent, inking with Division II Western New Mexico University on Monday morning.
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LA MIRADA – There was no doubt that La Mirada High School senior Tyler Perez wanted to continue playing football past high school. The only real question for the three-year varsity player was where he would play next fall.
Perez settled that Monday morning when he signed his national letter of intent with Division II Western New Mexico University of Silver City, N.M.
The Mustangs compete in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
“I like what I’ve been told,” said Perez, who carries a 3.3 GPA. “The area seems really football crazy and I like the idea of playing in a small-town atmosphere.”
Perez, a fullback and tight end on the back-to-back Suburban League champions, looked destined to play at a local community college.
“My choices were between Fullerton and Cerritos,” Perez said. “I really wanted to play at the next level, whether that was at a university or junior college.”
According to Perez, Western New Mexico recently came into the picture.
“(Matadores) coach (Mike Moschetti) talked to Western New Mexico and their coaches about me and thought I could help their program,” Perez said. “That was only a week ago.
“They also gave me a phone call about two or three weeks ago and now I’m signing with them. It was fast.”
The signing developed so quickly that the 6-foot, 220-pound Perez has yet to visit his prospective campus, something he plans to do this weekend.
“I’m really looking forward to going out there and seeing what the school is like,” Perez said.
Perez said that although he had not been told by Western New Mexico coaches what his exact position would be, he expected to see action at either fullback or halfback.
“I’m working on my speed to be (a halfback) but I’m ready to go at fullback,” Perez said. “I’m not sure about playing time but I’m looking forward to getting ready.”
Perez’s roles have shifted in helping the Matadores reach the playoffs in each of the past three seasons.
Perez played on La Mirada’s offensive line his sophomore and junior seasons before moving to fullback and occasionally lining up at tight end last fall.
The La Mirada resident concluded his senior year by rushing the ball 15 times for 130 yards and one touchdown. He also caught 11 passes for 103 yards and two scores.
The Matadores’ rushing attack totaled 1,893 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Perez played a key role on the Matadores’ 2009 team, as La Mirada won 12 consecutive games and captured the CIF-Southern Section Southern Division championship.
“Winning that year and being a part of that team is indescribable. You had to be on that team to understand,” he said. “I hope I can have that kind of success at the next level.”