Four Bulldogs signed their national letters of intent Wednesday afternoon at Turlock High, securing a home after high school for their athletic careers.
Patrick Green and Jevan Hogan were the first to put ink to paper as the two football players officially committed to play at Northern Arizona University and Chadron State College in Nebraska, respectively. Wednesday marked the first time during head coach James Peterson’s tenure that a pair of teammates were signed to colleges in the same year.
“We’re always trying to get these guys to the next level, that’s been my philosophy since I started as a head coach. And to have two guys from the same team, it’s outstanding, these guys worked hard,” Peterson said. “The whole thing at the next level is bigger, faster, and stronger — these guys are the epitome of that. With Patrick Green’s size and Jevan’s speed, they’re going to be successful at the next level.”
Green, who was rated by ESPN as the 45th best tight end in the nation prior to his senior year, had received a whirlwind of attention from college recruits. With offers from Sacramento State University, Menlo College, and Cal Lutheran University, among others, Green had originally verbally committed to play at Eastern Washington.
“When they first offered me I planned on redshirting there, so at first everything was fine,” Green said of the Swoops.
A change to the terms of the agreement on the school’s part forced Green’s hand, however, and led the Turlock tight end to agree to terms with Division I Northern Arizona.
“I decided to de-commit from there and open up my recruiting process and I’m very glad I did,” Green said. “I loved the coaches there, the program. I took a visit there last weekend and I loved everything about it.”
Now, with the recruitment process over, Green is freed up to focus entirely on football as he prepares to join the Lumberjacks and work his way up the depth chart.
“Right now, going in there, they plan on me being the number two tight end and having me work my way up and try to be number one there. But they have an All-American right now and he’s going to be a senior,” Green said. “But what I’m looking forward to the most is having all my education paid for. I think it’s my payment towards my parents for all the time and effort they’ve put into me.”
Hogan, who split time between running back and corner his senior year, was in talks with the likes of Southern Oregon University and UC Davis before he decided on Chadron, where he is expected to be an off-the-bat contributor as a defensive back.
“Since I started playing when I was 10 I always had the dream to play college football, so the fact that it’s coming through is real big for me. I’m excited; I’m ready to go do it,” Hogan said. “They said I could play defensive back, and that’s what I really wanted to go to college for.”
Hogan will join the Division II program with expectations to play immediately as he’s already been studying his future team’s defensive schemes.
“They said right when I get there its playing time, there’s no redshirting,” Hogan said. “I’m just going to go out there and work as hard as I can and we’ll see what happens after that.”
After Green and Hogan had finished signing their college contracts, it was Maria Fefilova’s and Morgan DeLay’s turn as they sealed their respective futures with the Women’s soccer teams of California State University, Monterey Bay and California State University, Stanislaus.
Fefilova fielded offers from California State University, Eastbay, Southern Oregon University, Chico State, and UC Davis before deciding to become an Otter, a decision eight months in the making.
“Out of all the schools, I fit in most with Monterey. The area is amazing, I love it, and I met the girls and I connected with them and I truly feel that’s my home,” Fefilova said.
Recruited to play defensive right back, Fefilova is expecting to receive immediate playing time.
DeLay, on the other hand, decided to stay at home and play for the Warriors after receiving interest from several out of state school in Colorado, Ohio, and Massachusetts.
“I used to go watch Stanislaus since I was five. Stanislaus wasn’t always the dream, but playing college ball was since I was little,” DeLay said. “I’m not a person to go away, I have a big family, so it was close to home and that’s where I wanted to go.”
DeLay is expected to line up at the outside forward position, but with significant depth at that position, she is likely to be given time to develop rather than play immediately.
“With the position I play there’s a lot of other people who play it who are older. So I’ll just learn and see how things go,” DeLay said.
Both girls will have a final season playing together before they become collegiate opponents, giving them time to both achieve remaining high school goals and to enjoy their final year together.
“It makes me proud that I could get this far and that all the work I do got me here,” DeLay said.
“Honestly, if anything, it’s motivating me to work even harder and accomplish the rest of my high school goals, like be named MVP,” Fefilova said.