|Ricky McCoy (above) and Dejonte O'Neal (photos by Lorenzo J. Reyna/The Reedley Exponent|
Now, in a span of five days, both West Fresno athletes are moving on to the college level.
The Bullard Knight running back and Rough Riders' tight end made their college decisions during the week of March 29. McCoy committed to the University of Arizona on a football scholarship. O'Neal will walk on at Fresno State.
Cali Gold Mine discovered both prospects in January 2013 through a Purpose Field camp. O'Neal and McCoy then caught the attention of scouts and colleges by participating in Passing Down at Livermore and Elk Grove.
Here's CGM's take on how both men will fit in at their new homes:
O'NEAL: He's 5-foot-7, but his heart is the size of a 6-foot-5, 300-pound nose tackle. O'Neal should impress Bulldog fans with his breakaway speed, elusiveness, and more important, stamina. I didn't see one game where O'Neal checked himself out of a game. He'll fight for every yard. He's an ankle-breaker at running back who also has soft hands. Despite the Bulldogs being more passer friendly with their spread offense, O'Neal should fit right in. He could be a possible Robbie Rouse for the two-time Mountain West champions.
MCCOY: He's already built like a college football tight end at 6-foot-4, 245-pounds. He's considered a raw prospect because he's still learning tight end. But, McCoy is the guy you want in the red zone. He uses his size to his advantage. He'll win a jump ball battle plus overpower press and man coverage. He's improved his athleticism after playing basketball for Roosevelt, who nearly won a Central Section championship. Another strength is his soft hands. McCoy and 2014 Wildcats commit Darrell Cloy could be a scary tight end combination in the future.