Culver City Observer -

Four Centaurs Sign Football Scholarships

 

March 26, 2020

During the early signing period for NCAA football, Culver City High School had two outstanding athletes sign with Division 1 programs. Corner and slot receiver Khary Crump signed with the University of Arizona, and wide receiver and defensive back Chris Miller signed with Sacramento State. In the more recent late signing period, wide receiver Tanner Duve was offered a grant-in-aid to the University of Pennsylvania of the Ivy League, and offensive lineman Blake Kneebone was offered a scholarship to the Colorado School of Mines.

Crump had 59 tackles, 3 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, and 6 pass deflections. The All-Ocean League and All-CIF CB was offered scholarships to Oregon and Arizona in his sophomore year and also picked up offers from Utah State, BYU, and Oregon State, in his senior year but he committed to the Wildcats before the beginning of his senior year. Crump has a special affection for the team because he was the team's ballboy for several years when his dad, Khary, Sr., was one of the varsity defensive back coaches.

Khary Jr. ("KJ") was involved in Pop Warner football at an early age. His dad was his coach and mentor, and he taught him many of the skills he would later need to become a Division 1 football player. Khary was a tenacious one-one-one defender, certainly one of the best in Southern California. He took pride in manhandling receivers and imposing his will upon them any chance that he got.

The coaches he played against respected his toughness and determination in being a great defender. Once he learned to control his aggression he became a better and more mature defensive back. When asked why he chose Arizona, he said that he really loved the defensive backs coach there, Demetrius Martin, and felt that he would help him grow as a player with the NFL as his goal.

Wide receiver Chris Miller broke the all time reception record in Culver City football history this past season with 81 catches, while his 521 yards receiving and 24 touchdowns were also school records. His 81 catches broke the record of 77 held by Mason Mulvihill set in 2015. His 1521 yards broke the record of Antwon Moutra (UCLA/Montana) who caught passes for 1448 yards in 2007. He also broke the recent record of 18 touchdowns set by Kevin McGuire (Idaho) set last year.

He set the Culver City school record for touchdowns in a career at 41 which broke Kevin McGuire's record of 36. He also shattered the one game reception record that was originally set by Tom Fier in 1967 and later tied by 3 other Centaurs at 11 when he caught 19 passes in a game against Palos Verdes in '19. His 325 receiving yards in that game demolished the old school record set by Moutra in 2007 at 232, and his 6 touchdowns in that same game broke Jasiri Rodell's record of 4 set in 1994.

Wide receiver Tanner Duve decided to commit to the University of Pennsylvania. Since this is a grant-in-aid and not a scholarship (which is the Ivy League custom), he still has to finish well with his academics to make sure that he will qualify. The Ivy League became interested in him during his outstanding summer after he got a personal sprint trainer to improve his speed. They were further encouraged when he had a tremendous season which concluded with him being one of the leading pass receivers in Southern California catching 55 passes for 976 yards, a 17.7 yards per catch average, and 12 touchdowns.

When the Pennsylvania head coach came to visit him after the season, he remarked how "built" Tanner had become because of his weight training. Tanner said that when he stepped on the campus, he felt an immediate sense that this was where he wanted to be, and when he met the players, he felt a certain comraderie and brotherhood that reminded him of his relationships at Culver City.

Duve will be only the 4th Culver City player to attend an Ivy League school and play football there. Tanner was rewarded with his hard work this year by being named First Team All-Ocean League wide receiver and also being chosen for the Division 5 All-CIF team. He was also ranked the 48th best receiver in Southern California. When asked why he decided to go to Penn, he said, "I felt like it was the perfect fit for me to grow as an athlete, a student, and a person."

When asked how he thought he would do on the football team, he stated, "I'm optimistic about my next four years at Penn. From a football standpoint, I'm confident I can make an immediate impact for the team, and I believe my best football is still ahead of me."

Another Centaur who was being heavily recruited was offensive guard and defensive lineman, 6'4" 240, Blake Kneebone. Blake has a GPA and an SAT score that qualified him to pursue high academic institutions where he wants to major in physics and become a physicist. He was offered a partial football scholarship and academic money to D-2 powerhouse Colorado School of Mines.

He was also being pursued by Azusa Pacific and several D-3 schools, including MIT, Case Western, Kenyon, Pomona Pitzer, and Rhodes. Because of his high academic aptitude and desire for a great academic experience, his family did the initial groundwork in finding schools that offered both the academics and the football program he would like and in getting exposure and interest from most of these schools.

He narrowed it down to Colorado School of Mines and Pomona Pitzer. After making an official visit to Colorado School of the Mines, Blake was ready to commit, but he decided to wait for the decision from Pitzer so he could weigh all his opportunities side by side. In the end, he chose Colorado School of Mines and couldn't be happier. When asked why he decided to go to Colorado, he stated, "The people-I felt really connected to the football coaches from the beginning, and when I went there on my official visit, meeting the team bonded the deal."

I'll be able to apply my passion for physics and math in earning a BS and an MS in engineering physics in five years! I'm excited to get there and contribute on and off the field. I'll focus on learning the playbook, developing my body, and preparing for the next level of play. There is a great sense of pride I felt just being there. I am extremely fortunate to have found Colorado School of Mines and to becoming an Oredigger!!"

 

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