BY JEFF EVANS, Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
David Born stands out when he enters a room, and he even stands out among his Bakersfield College teammates.
That's going to happen when you're 6-foot-8 and weigh 331 pounds.
Mt. SAC at BC
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Memorial Stadium
Records: Both teams 4-0
Rankings: Mt. SAC No. 1 in state and nation; BC No. 4 in state, No. 2 in Southern California and either No. 7 or No. 10 in two national polls.
Tailgate: Best 1950s tailgate
Radio: 1180 AM
Series: Mt. SAC leads 3-2
"That's legit. That's my true measurements," said Born, a freshman offensive tackle who has been one of the Renegades' most consistent linemen in the team's 4-0 start.
BC figures to have its toughest challenge of the season thus far when it hosts defending state champion Mount San Antonio College (4-0) in Memorial Stadium tonight. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Born said he gets his size from both sides of his family.
"My dad's side is big people. That's where I get my weight and my girth from," he said. "My mom's side is tall and lanky. An uncle on my mom's side is 6-8."
Born said he was in seventh grade when caught his father in size. Both of his parents are 6-1.
By his freshman year at West High, he was 6-5 and 300 pounds.
"I was a big kid," Born said. "The ongoing joke was when I was a baby, they'd take a gallon of milk and just put the bottle tip on it and let me drink the whole gallon."
Born played on the varsity at West from his sophomore through his senior seasons, and the Vikings had several outstanding teams those years.
"I blocked for Ryan Mathews (now with the Chargers) my entire sophomore year. It doesn't get any better than that," Born said.
Born said he was heavily recruited by major four-year colleges following his sophomore and junior seasons at West.
"I wanted to stay in California and go for USC or UCLA, the Pac-10," he said.
But that didn't happen.
"The recruiting my senior year didn't work out for me," Born said. "A couple of things fell through. Sac State ended up recruiting me pretty late in the process. That's the only offer I had."
Born spent a year at Sacramento State and was a redshirt player.
"I wasn't happy," he said. "I wasn't happy with how the recruiting process went. I wanted to land at a big school for college."
He decided to leave Sacramento and return to Bakersfield to join the Renegades.
"This gave me the opportunity to come back home and play BC football and try for a scholarship while doing it," Born said.
Born should have scholarship offers, according to Ken Chapman, BC's offensive line coach.
"Skill-wise, he's as good as anyone I've had in the four years I've been here," Chapman said. "He's very athletic for his size, he has a lot of determination and he works hard in the off-season. Those are all qualities you look for in a good offensive tackle."
Born is on target to earn his Associate of Arts degree by the end of this semester, which will make him eligible to transfer to a four-year university with three years of eligibility remaining. He also could opt to return to BC for a second season and then transfer.
"My main concern now is winning here and giving the most I can to my teammates," Born said. "I feel I'd be letting them down if I wasn't focused on that."
Tonight promises to be an exciting game because of Mount SAC's top ranking and status as a top-level junior college program.
"Coach talked to us and said, 'If you move on to play football, you don't know if you'll ever face No. 1 in the nation. If you go to a Division I school, you may never face a No. 1-ranked team.'
"Mount SAC is a great challenge. I have faith in the guys next to me. Coach (Jeff) Chudy said you're only as good as the guy next to you."