Locals make big plays in FBS over the weekend
Wisconsin linebacker Dallas Jeanty pushes Minnesota wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky (82) out of bounds on a reception Saturday in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 31-17. AP Photo/Andy Manis
By Signal Staff
Monday, November 28th, 2016

Santa Clarita Valley products made their presence felt in NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision games this weekend, and two of those players earned trips to conference championship games. Here’s a look at several SCV standouts:

Drew Wolitarsky (Canyon)

The Minnesota Golden Gophers wrapped up their regular season with a 31-17 loss to No. 6 Wisconsin on Saturday, but Wolitarsky continued his outstanding senior season when he led Minnesota with four catches for 76 yards and a first-quarter touchdown. In the second quarter, he somehow caught a 35-yard reception that he tipped to himself to set the Golden Gophers up for a crucial 3-yard touchdown by Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner.

The Golden Gophers named Wolitarsky the team’s best receiver at its annual team banquet Sunday. He played all 12 games this season and racked up a career-high 787 yards, 61 receptions and five touchdowns. Wolitarsky caught a pass in 24 straight games, the seventh-longest streak for games with at least one catch in school history. He also has 121 career catches, ninth all-time at Minnesota.

Leon Jacobs (Golden Valley)

Golden Valley grad and Wisconsin fullback/linebacker Leon Jacobs intercepted a pass intended for Wolitarsky with 6:26 left in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game. Wolitarsky ran an out route at Minnesota’s 28 yard line, but Leidner’s pass sailed high into Jacobs’ waiting arms at the 30-yard-line.

After Jacobs returned the ball 25 yards to the 5-yard line, Wisconsin was set up for its second fourth-quarter touchdown.

When asked whether he saw the ball or it fell into his arms, Jacobs said, according to uwbadgers.com, “A little bit of both. It was in my drop area and I just picked it off and ran with it.”

Jacobs, a redshirt junior, had five tackles, three of them solo tackles, during the game. He has 32 tackles this season, 22 of them of the solo variety, and the one interception. Jacobs began his career as an outside linebacker, but converted to inside linebacker in 2014. This spring he converted to a fullback, but does not have a rushing attempt or reception this season.

Wisconsin will play Penn State in the Big 10 Football Championship game at 5:17 p.m. Saturday on FOX.

Tedric Thompson (Valencia)

Thompson had two interceptions, one in the fourth quarter, to help No. 9 Colorado seal its 27-22 win over Utah on Saturday and send the Buffaloes to the Pac-12 Championship Football Game this Friday at 6 p.m. on FOX. The senior Valencia grad also broke up four passes and had four solo tackles.

“Nobody thought we’d be here, especially four years ago,” Thompson told the Associated Press.

On Monday, Thompson also earned his second Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award of the season. He’s played in 10 games and has 55 tackles, 40 of which are solo tackles, and seven interceptions this season.

Tim White (Hart)

Hart grad Tim White’s strong redshirt senior season at Arizona State continued Saturday in ASU’s 56-35 loss to Arizona with four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Only Frederick Gammage had more receiving yards for ASU in the game with 116.

White leads ASU with 713 receiving yards on the season and is second in receptions with 56. N’Keal Harry leads ASU with 58 receptions.

Cole Murphy (Valencia)

Somehow, in a game that featured 137 points combined, junior Syracuse kicker and Valencia grad Cole Murphy did not attempt any field goals in the Orange’s 76-61 loss to No. 25 Pittsburgh on Saturday. Murphy still got plenty of chances to kick as he went 7-for-9 on extra points. Murphy has gone 36-for-39 on extra points and 10-for-18 on field goals attempted this year for a career low field goal percentage of just 55.6 percent.

Despite Murphy’s struggles, Syracuse coach Dino Babers said he had faith in Murphy after the Orange’s 54-0 loss to Clemson on Nov. 5, according to Syracuse’s Daily Orange student newspaper.

“You say he’s struggling, I think he’s doing OK,” Babers said. “Cole is our kicker. We’ll stay with him until he gets it right.”

About the author

Signal Staff

Signal Staff

Wisconsin linebacker Dallas Jeanty pushes Minnesota wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky (82) out of bounds on a reception Saturday in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 31-17. AP Photo/Andy Manis

Locals make big plays in FBS over the weekend

Santa Clarita Valley products made their presence felt in NCAA Division 1 Football Bowl Subdivision games this weekend, and two of those players earned trips to conference championship games. Here’s a look at several SCV standouts:

Drew Wolitarsky (Canyon)

The Minnesota Golden Gophers wrapped up their regular season with a 31-17 loss to No. 6 Wisconsin on Saturday, but Wolitarsky continued his outstanding senior season when he led Minnesota with four catches for 76 yards and a first-quarter touchdown. In the second quarter, he somehow caught a 35-yard reception that he tipped to himself to set the Golden Gophers up for a crucial 3-yard touchdown by Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner.

The Golden Gophers named Wolitarsky the team’s best receiver at its annual team banquet Sunday. He played all 12 games this season and racked up a career-high 787 yards, 61 receptions and five touchdowns. Wolitarsky caught a pass in 24 straight games, the seventh-longest streak for games with at least one catch in school history. He also has 121 career catches, ninth all-time at Minnesota.

Leon Jacobs (Golden Valley)

Golden Valley grad and Wisconsin fullback/linebacker Leon Jacobs intercepted a pass intended for Wolitarsky with 6:26 left in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game. Wolitarsky ran an out route at Minnesota’s 28 yard line, but Leidner’s pass sailed high into Jacobs’ waiting arms at the 30-yard-line.

After Jacobs returned the ball 25 yards to the 5-yard line, Wisconsin was set up for its second fourth-quarter touchdown.

When asked whether he saw the ball or it fell into his arms, Jacobs said, according to uwbadgers.com, “A little bit of both. It was in my drop area and I just picked it off and ran with it.”

Jacobs, a redshirt junior, had five tackles, three of them solo tackles, during the game. He has 32 tackles this season, 22 of them of the solo variety, and the one interception. Jacobs began his career as an outside linebacker, but converted to inside linebacker in 2014. This spring he converted to a fullback, but does not have a rushing attempt or reception this season.

Wisconsin will play Penn State in the Big 10 Football Championship game at 5:17 p.m. Saturday on FOX.

Tedric Thompson (Valencia)

Thompson had two interceptions, one in the fourth quarter, to help No. 9 Colorado seal its 27-22 win over Utah on Saturday and send the Buffaloes to the Pac-12 Championship Football Game this Friday at 6 p.m. on FOX. The senior Valencia grad also broke up four passes and had four solo tackles.

“Nobody thought we’d be here, especially four years ago,” Thompson told the Associated Press.

On Monday, Thompson also earned his second Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week award of the season. He’s played in 10 games and has 55 tackles, 40 of which are solo tackles, and seven interceptions this season.

Tim White (Hart)

Hart grad Tim White’s strong redshirt senior season at Arizona State continued Saturday in ASU’s 56-35 loss to Arizona with four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Only Frederick Gammage had more receiving yards for ASU in the game with 116.

White leads ASU with 713 receiving yards on the season and is second in receptions with 56. N’Keal Harry leads ASU with 58 receptions.

Cole Murphy (Valencia)

Somehow, in a game that featured 137 points combined, junior Syracuse kicker and Valencia grad Cole Murphy did not attempt any field goals in the Orange’s 76-61 loss to No. 25 Pittsburgh on Saturday. Murphy still got plenty of chances to kick as he went 7-for-9 on extra points. Murphy has gone 36-for-39 on extra points and 10-for-18 on field goals attempted this year for a career low field goal percentage of just 55.6 percent.

Despite Murphy’s struggles, Syracuse coach Dino Babers said he had faith in Murphy after the Orange’s 54-0 loss to Clemson on Nov. 5, according to Syracuse’s Daily Orange student newspaper.

“You say he’s struggling, I think he’s doing OK,” Babers said. “Cole is our kicker. We’ll stay with him until he gets it right.”

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 19 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]