BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
For Bakersfield College football players Brandon Sarabia and Mercy Maston, their attire Wednesday afternoon left no doubt where they will be continuing their football careers.
Sarabia, an offensive lineman who graduated from Garces, was wearing a burgundy T-shirt with "Texas State" printed across the front.
Maston, a cornerback who graduated from Bakersfield High, was wearing a Boise State baseball cap and a long-sleeved shirt with the Boise State colors of orange and white.
They were two of four players who signed their letters of intent Wednesday, the first day community college players could sign with 4-year programs.
Also signing, defensive end Keylon Hollis from Houston, who signed with Utah State; and John Oglesby, a linebacker who graduated from Highland, who signed with Missouri Western.
Linebacker Ozzy Sombo from Matthews, N.C., has given a verbal commitment to Charleston Southern, but his signing situation is not known. Tight end Mike Dunn, a West High graduate, said he plans on signing with Fresno State, but said Wednesday he needs to complete some academic requirements first and probably won't be able to officially commit to the Bulldogs until after he completes some summer school classes later this year.
Two starters from last fall's state championship team were eligible to leave BC in December and enrolled in their new schools and have begun working out with those football teams. They are quarterback Brian Burrell from Bakersfield High, who is at Fresno State; and defensive lineman Tanner Melson, who graduated from North High and is at Eastern New Mexico.
Dunn and Hollis were named to the JC Athletic Bureau's All-America team. Those two, along with Burrell and Maston, were named to the JC Athletic Bureau's All-Region IV team.
Maston was the first Renegade to commit to a four-year school. He announced in October that he would transfer to Boise State.
"They recruited me out of high school," said Maston. "I really like coach (Chris) Petersen. I like the blue turf they play on and Jimmy Lake, their defensive backs coach, called me every week."
Maston said he was also influenced by knowing two of Boise's secondary starters last season, Jamar Taylor and Jerrell Gavins, were seniors. "It's a good fit," Maston said.
Sarabia said he was convinced to choose Texas State after making a visit there.
"I did not expect to see what I saw," Sarabia said. "I was comfortable with the players and the coaches and it's a beautiful campus."
Sarabia said he plans on majoring in ag business. "And they have a real good ag-business major," he said.
Hollis, who led the National Northern Conference in sacks, said he chose Utah State over Arizona. He committed shortly after visiting Utah State.
"They stressed academics with me, so it wasn't stressful getting into school," Hollis said. "Getting my degree is the most important thing. Football, obviously, is really important, too."
Oglesby said he chose Missouri Western, an NCAA Division II program, after visiting that school.
"I got along with the group of guys," he said. "It was my first trip. When I was on campus, it felt like home. That sealed the deal. The coaches are good people, also."