By Joe Davidson
A streak of sorts was broken at Granite Bay High School today, but there were no long faces to be found on the coaches.
Though no Grizzlies signed formal letters of intent on National Signing Day to play scholarship football, two players will play at the next level, coach Ernie Cooper said.
Matt Kasner, a powerful tight end, will be a preferred walk-on at Stanford. He's a scholar, a 4.0 student who had Ivy League interest, and he follows in the footsteps of former Rocklin rival Jackson Cummings last season when the tailback weighed Ivy League interest and walked on at Stanford with a chance to earn a scholarship.
Granite Bay all-purpose star Cory Brehm will be a preferred walk-on at Boise State to play safety. Cooper raved about Brehm's ability this past season to impact games on offense, defense and special teams.
A preferred walk-on means an athlete will have a roster spot and will have every chance to earn a scholarship with performance.
In Brehm's case, Boise State coach Chris Petersen, he of the Yuba City and UC Davis roots, stopped by the Granite Bay campus recently to talk up his program. Brehm was most impressed.
"I think Cory will really flourish there," Cooper said. "What Boise State does better than anyone else is find the niche guy and say, 'Yep, he fits perfect for us right here.'"
Cooper on Kasner, "He's very deserving. He's our first football kid to go to Stanford. He's such a smart kid, a great football player. It's a great opportunity for him."
Cooper said linebacker Andrew Wright remains undecided. He has garnered significant interest from Azusa Pacific.
All told, Granite Bay has had 26 full scholarship football players in the last 11 seasons. The first one was Chad Gardner, off the unbeaten 1999 Grizzlies team, who played linebacker at Colorado.
"Chad really opened the flood gates for us because every program was coming by to visit him and after that," Cooper said.
Next season, Granite Bay expects to have two scholarship players in quarterback Brendan Keeney and offensive lineman Gavin Andres.