Casey Roddick of St. Bonaventure (Ventura) emerged as the latest Seraph player to land an offer from a distinguished university, as the 6-foot-4, 330-pound Class of 2017 prospect received his first football scholarship offer from the University of Oregon on Thursday, Dec. 17.
Roddick had been hearing from some big time universities like Miami, Norte Dame, USC, UCLA and Florida State. But the Ducks jumped into the Roddick sweepstakes early.
“It truly feels amazing and kind of a load off my shoulders to land my first NCAA Division I offer, especially from such a prestigious school like Oregon,” Roddick said.
Seraph players landing a PAC-12 offer is nothing new on the Telegraph Rd. campus. Past players Ricky Town, Bryce Dixon, Zach Green, Troy Hill and Whitney Lewis have all been targeted by PAC-12 universities on the recruiting trail.
Roddick - who helped clear running lanes for Chuck Wick, Darius Vines and the Seraph rushing attack this past year - said he spoke with Ducks offensive line coach Steve Greatwood and described his conversation as a “nice talk with him.”
Roddick also raved about the Ducks’ innovative read option offense that has taken the college football world by storm in the last few years.
“Oregon’s offensive is electric and efficient. It's one of the fastest and greatest offenses known around and many schools can try and model it, but Oregon is truly one of a kind,” Roddick said.
Roddick added that he doesn’t plan to commit early. He gave thanks to his head coach, who has been proactive with getting Roddick’s name in front of college coaches.
“This all wouldn't have happened without the help from coach (Adam) Guerra,” Roddick said. “He has helped me step by step to achieve and succeed all of these accomplishments.”
MOUNTAIN WEST SCHOOL WANTS DINUBA STAR TO WALK-ON
The first phone call Dinuba’s Isaac Leppke received after his Dec. 15 basketball game against Orosi came from the University of Wyoming.
It was to inform him that he’s been offered a walk-on spot to play quarterback for the Cowboys.
Leppke, who starred at quarterback and later wide receiver in two years with the Emperors varsity team, announced his pledge from the Mountain West program on Dec. 17 via social media.
While Leppke has received offers from the University of San Diego and St. Francis (Illinois) for football, the Cowboys are considered his biggest offer yet, since it’s his first pledge from a Football Bowl Subdivision school. Leppke spoke about his reaction following his phone call.
“I was very excited because this is an FBS Division I school, which has been my dream growing up,” Leppke said. “Quarterback is the route I want to go and when Coach (Brent) Vigen told me he wanted me as a QB, it gave me the chills. He knows I have a lot of potential to come once I put on some muscle.”
Wyoming has followed Leppke for some time. The Cowboys were among many college football teams that sent coaches to Dinuba to watch Leppke throw during the NCAA Spring Evaluation Period.
Wyoming currently has one former Central Valley star on the quarterback depth chart: Josh Allen, who starred at Firebaugh High and Reedley College.
Leppke is confident that his skills can allow him to mesh with the Mountain West talent if he accepts Wyoming’s opportunity.
“With my athleticism, I know I'll do big things at the college level,” Leppke said. “I am very relieved to see my recruitment picking up. God is blessing me with many opportunities and it feels great.”
CAMARILLO’S TOP TACKLER LANDS TWO OFFERS
As the victories continue to pile up for Camarillo High football, so has the scholarship offers for some of the Scorpion players, as running back Isaiah Otis (Black Hills State) and Collin Kirksey (Black Hills State and Henderson State) have become recent recipients of scholarship pledges.
On Dec. 17, the Scorps’ leading tackler Brett Herron joined Camarillo’s offer list, as the senior landed pledges from Avila University and Northwestern College of the NAIA realm.
“I always looked forward to a day when one (offer) came. And it's awesome it came at a time like this,” Herron said. “The recruiting process has really picked up for all of the Scorps because of the success we have been getting. I love the fact that more and more guys on my team are getting offers because most of our starters on our team all deserve offers. There is not one starter that isn't ready to play at the next level.”
In 15 games, the 6-foot-0, 210-pound Herron has 145 tackles and is averaging an astonishing 21 stops per game for the undefeated Scorpions, who will battle for the state championship against Del Oro-Loomis on Dec. 18 at Sacramento State University’s Hornet Stadium.
While he now holds two offers, Herron said he won’t rush on his decision.
“I am not going to commit just yet. I’m going to wait and see what happens with the recruiting process,” Herron said.
“ACTION” JACKSON LANDS FIRST OFFER
After accumulating 1,631 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns in his senior year, Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) running back Gil’Scott Jackson II looked like a prospect who increased his chances of landing some late offers.
Sure enough, Idaho State emerged as pledge No. 1, as the Bengals came through for Jackson II during the weekend of Dec. 11.
“It feels great to know that a lot of stress has been relived, and I am so thankful to Idaho State for giving me an opportunity,” Jackson II said. “The conversation (with the coaches) were very friendly and they seem to really want me to consider their school heavily, which I am.”
Jackson said he wants to visit the campus and get a feel for the environment at the Football Championship Subdivision school before he decides to make a decision.