Over 60 football players with ties to the Santa Clarita Valley continued their careers at the collegiate or pro levels this season.
It was a solid-year all around football-wise for the valley, with Valencia and Golden Valley reaching the title game in their respective CIF-Southern Section divisions as well.
A new wave of players will be hitting the collegiate ranks next season. Hart’s JT Shrout has already signed his National Letter of Intent to play at Tennessee and wide receiver Desean Holmes (Florida Atlantic), defensive back Bobby Brown (San Jose State) and punter Travis Reiner (Indiana State) of College of the Canyons have signed their NLIs as well.
Here’s a look at how SCV alumni fared at their respective levels this season.
Rhett Almond, Junior, K, BYU (Hart)
Almond hit 13 of 19 field goals this season while knocking in 22 of 23 point after touchdowns. His 61 points were a team-high for a BYU team that finished 4-9.
Darius Anthony, Freshman, LB, Whittier (Golden Valley)
Anthony was third on the Poets with 41 tackles and had a team-high 2 ½ tackles for a loss. He also recorded a pass breakup while playing in all eight of the team’s games.
Amir Bishop, Freshman, WR, La Verne (Saugus)
Bishop didn’t log a catch in his first year at La Verne.
Tyler Bjorklund, Junior, OL, Colorado State (Valencia, COC)
Bjorklund appeared in 10 games and made three starts this year on Colorado State’s offensive line. The Rams ranked 10th in the country with 501.0 yards per game. They also allowed just 0.67 sacks per game, which was third-best in the country.
Gary Bojorquez, Freshman, DB, La Verne (Saugus)
Bojorquez recorded a tackle and played in three games in his first season with the Leopards.
Marquise Brown, Sophomore, WR, Oklahoma (College of the Canyons)
Brown had a breakout season with the Sooners, recording a team-high 981 yards receiving. He was second on the team with 49 catches and third with six touchdown catches. Brown was named an All-Big 12 honorable mention, voted on by the league’s coaches. He’ll get a shot at breaking 1,000 yards receiving, as No. 2 Oklahoma takes on No. 3 Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl.
Triston Brown, Senior, DB, South Dakota School of Mines (COC)
Brown played in all 11 of the team’s games and was fifth on the team with 53 tackles and second with eight pass breakups. He also recorded an interception, 1 ½ tackles for a loss and forced a fumble.
Israel Cabrera, Sophomore, DB, San Diego State (Canyon)
Cabrera played in 13 games for the Aztecs, recording 10 tackles.
Liam Cabrera, Sophomore, WR, San Diego State (Canyon)
Cabrera played in eight games, serving mostly on special teams, and recorded one tackle.
Alec Chadwick, Junior, K, Houston Baptist (Valencia, COC)
Chadwick hit 8 of 16 field goals, with a long of 58 yards, which was the longest of NCAA Division 1 kickers this season at the time (Nov. 11).
Jacob Chobanian, Junior, TE, Chapman (Hart)
Chobanian appeared in one game and hauled in one pass this season, which happened to be a 3-yard touchdown.
Caleb Clarke, Sophomore, DB, Brown (Golden Valley)
Clarke didn’t appear in a game during his sophomore campaign.
Egidio DellaRipa, Redshirt-Junior, OL, Vanderbilt (West Ranch, COC)
Dellaripa closed out the season with eight consecutive starts on Vanderbilt’s offensive line and also worked on conversion units for its special teams. Vanderbilt allowed 19 sacks this season, 13 less than last season.
Caleb Durst, Senior, WR, Chapman (Trinity Classical Academy)
Durst appeared in one game and logged one catch in his final season with the Panthers
Wyatt Eget, Freshman, QB, Whittier (West Ranch)
Eget played in one game and attempted one pass in his first year with the Poets.
Miles Fallin, Freshman, QB, Kansas, Canyon
Fallin didn’t appear in a game during his freshman campaign.
Wes Fitzpatrick, Junior, WR, College of Idaho (Hart, COC)
Fitzpatrick had 24 catches for 342 yards and two touchdowns, playing in all 11 of the team’s games.
Linwood Foy, Redshirt-Junior, OL, Louisville (COC)
Foy has played in five of the team’s 12 games, with the Cardinals taking part in TaxSlayer Bowl against Mississippi State on Dec. 30.
Chase Garcia, Freshman, RB, Montana State University-Northern (Hart)
Garcia redshirted his freshman season.
Trent Irwin, Junior, WR, Stanford (Hart)
Irwin was second on Stanford with 40 catches and 444 yards receiving. He also had two touchdown catches. He was selected to the All-Pac 12 Academic Team. The Cardinal play TCU in the Valero Alamo Bowl next Thursday.
Patrick Isacsson, Senior, DB, Nichols College (Canyon)
Isacsson played in six games in his final season with the Bison, recording four tackles
Leon Jacobs, Senior, LB, Wisconsin (Golden Valley)
Jacobs has started all 13 of the Badgers’ games this season and is third on the team with 55 tackles. He’s also recorded 8 ½ tackles for a loss, 3 ½ sacks and recovered a fumble for his first collegiate touchdown. Wisconsin plays Miami on Dec. 30 in the Capital One Orange Bowl.
Tyler Kalinski, Freshman, DB, Lewis and Clark College (Santa Clarita Christian School)
Kalinski appeared in nine games and recorded an interception and 27 tackles, including one for a loss.
Andrew Karatepeyan, Freshman, DE, South Dakota School of Mines (COC)
Karatepeyan was tied for second on the team with six tackles for a loss and also had a sack. He appeared in 11 games and had 36 total tackles.
Jae Kinney, Freshman, DL, Claremont (Saugus)
Kinney appeared in three games and had one tackle, which was for a loss.
Davis Koppenhaver, Redshirt-Junior, TE, Duke (Hart)
Koppenhaver is tied for the team lead with three touchdown catches. He caught 13 passes for 119 yards and has appeared in all 12 of the Blue Devils’ game this season. Duke plays Northern Illinois in the Quick Lane Bowl on Tuesday.
Patch Kulp, Senior, LB, Whitworth, (Trinity)
Kulp led the Pirates with 76 tackles while also recording an interception, a tackle for a loss and half of a sack.
LJ Mealancon, Senior, DL, Cal Poly SLO (COC)
Mealancon appeared in 11 games and had 2 ½ sacks to go with two forced fumbles, 7 ½ tackles and 30 total tackles.
Jesus Mota, Junior, OL, Central Missouri (COC)
Mota appeared in one game this season.
Jacob Moss, WR, Freshman, Morehead State (SCCS)
Moss didn’t appear in a game during his freshman season.
Cole Murphy, K, Senior, Syracuse (Valencia)
Murphy finished out his career with the Orange with a total of 59 made fields goals — most in school history. He’s also third on the school’s all-time scoring list with 295 points. He hit 20 of 27 fields goals this year and was named to the All-ACC third team. He was also a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s top kicker.
Will Pretty, Senior, DL, Northern Michigan (COC)
Pretty played in three games and recorded one tackle this season .
Blake Porter, Senior, OL, Northern Arizona (Hart)
Porter appeared in all 12 of the team’s games this season at offensive line.
Alex Rassool, Redshirt-Junior, TE, UCLA (West Ranch)
Rassool didn’t appear in a game this season for the Bruins.
Jake Sammut, Junior, LS, UT-El Paso (COC)
Sammut appeared in all 12 of the team’s games and was named an All-Conference USA honorable mention. He also recorded four tackles.
AJ Stanley, Freshman, DB, Southern Utah (Hart)
Stanley appeared in one game during his freshman campaign.
CJ Stokes, Freshman, DB, University of San Diego (Hart)
Stokes recorded one tackle during his freshman season.
Sione Taufahema, Junior, DT, Arizona (COC)
Taufahema didn’t appear in a game during his first season with the Wildcats.
Garrett Updegraft, Senior, LB, Kansas Wesleyan (COC)
Updegraft led Kansas Wesleyan with 120 tackles and three forced fumbles. He also recorded 9 ½ tackles for a loss, one sack and blocked a kick.
Brady White, Redshirt-Sophomore, QB, Arizona State (Hart)
White appeared in Arizona State’s loss to San Diego State on Sept. 9 but didn’t attempt a pass.
Chase White, Senior, WR, Wheaton College (Hart)
White appeared in only eight of the team’s 10 games due to injury but caught 22 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns. He finished his career with 75 catches for 979 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Jay Jay Wilson, Junior, TE/LB, Arizona State (Valencia)
Wilson shifted to linebacker midseason and finished with 34 tackles (four for a loss), two sacks and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown. He also had one catch for 16 yards.
Connor Wingenroth, Junior, WR, Colgate (Hart)
Wingenroth didn’t log a catch this season after catching two passes for 16 yards as a sophomore.