Culver Football Players Eye College Scholarships

Larry Weiner and Greg Goodyear


Former Centaur football star Deon Young, a three-year starter and one of the better defensive tackles in Southern California signed a recent scholarship offer to Wake Forest of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Young had an outstanding career at Culver City High where he played in 2010, 2011 (CIF Finalist team) and 2012.

Young was one of the standouts at the Nike combine in the spring of 2012 when he went up against some of the best offensive linemen in Southern California. He is the only defensive tackle in Culver City football history who was a two-time all-CIF selection in his junior and senior years.

Young, 6’1 265 lbs. as a junior, was very lightly recruited after his junior year. Coach Goodyear advised him to put on 20 to 30 pounds of muscle so that he could put himself into the weight class that most Division 1 programs are looking for.

Northern Arizona’s defensive line coach was impressed with Young’s ability and they decided to offer him a full scholarship. He had a great trip to Northern Arizona and was impressed by the facilities, the coaching staff and the surrounding community. He also liked that Northern is located in a higher elevation so it is quite a bit cooler and has four seasons of weather.

Deon red-shirted his freshman year. For the next three seasons he was a stalwart on the defensive line. The coaching staff really liked his work ethic and his academic progress.

Young had a solid 2.8 GPA and was one of a few football players to graduate in four years.

So Young decided to take advantage of the NCAA rule which states that one can transfer to any other school without penalty and play immediately to complete a fourth season of eligibility if they enter a Masters program. Young wants to be a police or correctional officer and he will most likely do his masters degree in criminology.

Deon consulted his parents and his coaches because he could have done his masters at Northern Arizona. Since he felt he had a better shot at the NFL by playing at a big time Division 1A level, he knew he must take a leap of faith and try to fulfill his dream because the scouts always judge a player more favorably if he plays against a higher level of competition.

N.A.U. defensive line coach Travis Baker desperately wanted Deon to stay at Northern Arizona for his final season of eligibility. He tried to convince Deon to stay because he knew what a quality player and a fine young man he was. But despite his attempts to dissuade him, Deon decided to make the change.

When asked why he decided to leave Northern Nevada he said, “I was graduating and decided to take my talents to a bigger level, to someone who would pay for my masters.”

When asked why he decided to choose Wake Forest, Deon emphatically stated, “the coaching staff was genuine and sincere and showed that they cared about their players outside of football, it’s a beautiful campus and it’s Atlantic Coast Conference Football, which is one of the highest levels in college football.”

Asked what the coaches can do for him at Wake Forest, Deon replied, “Coach Cohen (D-line coach) has produced at least one NFL D-Lineman for the last five years and hopefully scouts will be able to see my skills and help me get to the next level.”

A few weeks ago Culver City Junior cornerback and wide receiver Alex Smith took an unofficial trip to Wisconsin of the Big 10 Conference. Wisconsin had recently sent scouts out to see him perform in spring practice and they were impressed by his skill set, his intelligence and his speaking skills. They decided to offer him a scholarship and Smith and his mother decided to go check out the campus and the coaching staff.

Smith and his mother were impressed with the tremendous facilities, the small town atmosphere, the location of the campus on the lake and the overall football program. Wisconsin has solidified itself in the last 15 to 20 years as one of the top 25 college football programs in America.

After football season, ended Smith decided to play baseball and made the varsity team. As a sophomore Smith was on the JV baseball team and also ran track to help improve his speed for both football and baseball.

That improvement was one of the main reasons why coaches were impressed when his football highlight tape showed him running back a combination of five kickoffs and punts for touchdowns. Smith was hoping to get some PAC 12 offers but for some unknown reason they did not materialize.

However, he did receive numerous offers including from schools: Army, Navy, Boston College, Idaho and Fordham. Smith’s offer at Wisconsin is only verbal so he plans to take trips to Boston College and Army in the fall to compare these other schools to Wisconsin.

When Smith was asked why he liked Wisconsin he said, “it is the best school academically and athletically for me.” “The real estate program was Number two in the nation which is going to be my major. As far as athletically, they have a reputation of putting guys in the NFL, and it is the Big 10 and they always go to bowl games.”

He plans to visit Boston College and Army because they told him they still want to recruit him and he wants to protect himself in case something happens to the coach at Wisconsin who made the verbal offer.

Culver City High has another great receiver who is getting several scholarship offers from D1A schools. 6’1’ wide receiver Charles Ross, who has velcro hands and runs precise routes, has been offered scholarships to San Diego State, San Jose State, University of New Mexico, Hawaii and recently D1AA Montana State.

Ross has been contacted by several PAC 12 schools including Colorado, Oregon State and Washington State, and he was told that if he improves his grades this semester and made up a few classes that they would go ahead and offer him. Ross recently did in fact have over a 3.0 this past semester and made up three classes to improve his GPA. Hopefully, these PAC 12 programs will make him an offer soon or in the fall.


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