COC football trio may be on way to major D1 programs

By Mason Nesbitt

Last update: Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

College of the Canyons wide receiver Marquise Brown said earlier this season he came to COC from Florida, in part, because of the success of Cougar-turned-Arizona State star Tim White.

Now Brown can follow White to ASU. Or he could go to the University of Oregon. Or the University of Nebraska. Or Tennessee.

The list of scholarship offers grows by the day. So, too, does Brown’s stat line. He’s currently ninth in the state in all-purpose yards per game at 139.7.

He’s been a dynamic force on a COC team (2-4) limping into National Division, Northern Conference play, but he isn’t the only Cougar drawing major NCAA Division 1 interest.

Nose guard Sione Taufahema and offensive tackle Tyler Bjorklund, a Valencia High grad, have both received Pac-12 looks, according to coach Ted Iacenda.

Bjorklund announced on Twitter earlier this month he’d received an offer from Oregon State.

College of the Canyons defensive linemen Dorian Gerald (99) and Sione Taufahema (94) pass rush against Grossmont College on Oct. 1. John Bogna/COC Sports Information.
College of the Canyons defensive linemen Dorian Gerald (99) and Sione Taufahema (94) pass rush against Grossmont College on Oct. 1. John Bogna/COC Sports Information.

Taufahema has received interest from the Mountain West Conference (Hawaii offered him, according to 247sports.com), and although no Pac-12 school has pulled the trigger on an offer, Iacenda is confident one will.

“That’s going to change,” he said.

What Iacenda doesn’t expect to change is the deluge of offers that appear on Brown’s Twitter timeline.

“Blessed To Receive An Offer To The Oregon Ducks. All Glory To God,” Brown tweeted on Oct. 13.

One day later: “Blessed To Receive An Offer From the Missouri Tigers.”

Maybe the most important post came back on Oct. 10.

“Officially a full qualifier. Out in December,” Brown wrote.

Qualifier status means Brown can transfer after this semester and be immediately eligible.

That may be at ASU, Cal Berkeley, Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State, Missouri, Nebraska, Southern Mississippi, Texas Christian, Tennessee, Tulane, Washington State, West Virginia or Oregon, all of which have offered him, according to 247sports.com.

“I’ve been watching Oregon as a kid. The way they used De’Anthony Thomas, I feel like they could use me in that same way,” Brown told The Oregonian recently. “I could play outside receiver, slot receiver or even line up in the backfield, or you could put me in motion.”

Brown (5 feet, 11 inches and 170 pounds) has hauled in 27 passes for 474 yards and seven touchdowns in his first six games at COC. He went for a score on his first kick return of the season and is averaging 34 yards per return since.

The 6-3, 320-pound Taufahema has recorded 13 tackles and a sack as the anchor of a talented defensive line. Bjorklund (6-5, 290) headlines an offensive line that has improved as the season has gone on. He’d be next in a line of COC offensive linemen to move on to a power-five conference school.

COC sent Linwood Foy to the University Louisville after the 2015 season and Egidio DellaRipa to Vanderbilt after the ’14 campaign.

The Cougars (0-1 in conference) play a National Division, Northern Conference game at Moorpark College on Saturday.

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COC football trio may be on way to major D1 programs

COC receiver Marquise Brown, right, hauls in a touchdown pass in the third quarter against Ventura College last week. Tom Cruze/For The Signal

College of the Canyons wide receiver Marquise Brown said earlier this season he came to COC from Florida, in part, because of the success of Cougar-turned-Arizona State star Tim White.

Now Brown can follow White to ASU. Or he could go to the University of Oregon. Or the University of Nebraska. Or Tennessee.

The list of scholarship offers grows by the day. So, too, does Brown’s stat line. He’s currently ninth in the state in all-purpose yards per game at 139.7.

He’s been a dynamic force on a COC team (2-4) limping into National Division, Northern Conference play, but he isn’t the only Cougar drawing major NCAA Division 1 interest.

Nose guard Sione Taufahema and offensive tackle Tyler Bjorklund, a Valencia High grad, have both received Pac-12 looks, according to coach Ted Iacenda.

Bjorklund announced on Twitter earlier this month he’d received an offer from Oregon State.

College of the Canyons defensive linemen Dorian Gerald (99) and Sione Taufahema (94) pass rush against Grossmont College on Oct. 1. John Bogna/COC Sports Information.
College of the Canyons defensive linemen Dorian Gerald (99) and Sione Taufahema (94) pass rush against Grossmont College on Oct. 1. John Bogna/COC Sports Information.

Taufahema has received interest from the Mountain West Conference (Hawaii offered him, according to 247sports.com), and although no Pac-12 school has pulled the trigger on an offer, Iacenda is confident one will.

“That’s going to change,” he said.

What Iacenda doesn’t expect to change is the deluge of offers that appear on Brown’s Twitter timeline.

“Blessed To Receive An Offer To The Oregon Ducks. All Glory To God,” Brown tweeted on Oct. 13.

One day later: “Blessed To Receive An Offer From the Missouri Tigers.”

Maybe the most important post came back on Oct. 10.

“Officially a full qualifier. Out in December,” Brown wrote.

Qualifier status means Brown can transfer after this semester and be immediately eligible.

That may be at ASU, Cal Berkeley, Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State, Missouri, Nebraska, Southern Mississippi, Texas Christian, Tennessee, Tulane, Washington State, West Virginia or Oregon, all of which have offered him, according to 247sports.com.

“I’ve been watching Oregon as a kid. The way they used De’Anthony Thomas, I feel like they could use me in that same way,” Brown told The Oregonian recently. “I could play outside receiver, slot receiver or even line up in the backfield, or you could put me in motion.”

Brown (5 feet, 11 inches and 170 pounds) has hauled in 27 passes for 474 yards and seven touchdowns in his first six games at COC. He went for a score on his first kick return of the season and is averaging 34 yards per return since.

The 6-3, 320-pound Taufahema has recorded 13 tackles and a sack as the anchor of a talented defensive line. Bjorklund (6-5, 290) headlines an offensive line that has improved as the season has gone on. He’d be next in a line of COC offensive linemen to move on to a power-five conference school.

COC sent Linwood Foy to the University Louisville after the 2015 season and Egidio DellaRipa to Vanderbilt after the ’14 campaign.

The Cougars (0-1 in conference) play a National Division, Northern Conference game at Moorpark College on Saturday.