Three Nevada Union High School football players will be signing the appropriate paperwork early Wednesday morning as they prepare for the next chapter of their student-athlete lives.
They are: defensive back Josiah Paye to Stanford, fullback Connor Keith to San Diego State and center Alec Sarner to the University of San Diego.
Paye is the next Paye to go to Stanford, following brother John and sister Kate, both exceptional athletes on The Farm in their day. Paye started at quarterback for NU as a junior and then made plays as a senior leader in the secondary as a senior, all while maintaining the sort of grade-point average that makes most people nod in envy, at 4.5.
"He's a remarkable student, a three-sport guy, always straight A's," NU coach Dave Humphers said.
Sarner was the rock on the offensive line, a scholar who can snap out of shot gun or under center. San Diego has been a longtime Division I-AA power.
"He's very sharp, very intelligent, strong, great feet - he'll be tremendous at San Diego," Humphers said.
Keith is the epitome of guts and sheer will. He was a 1,000-yard rusher his junior season before going down in Week 9 with a blown knee. He rehabbed the knee, got bigger, stronger, and was off to a super start in 2011 when he damaged his other knee. That's back-to-back ACL injuries, but he never wavered - and neither did San Diego State.
"The perseverance that kid has shown by mentally fighting through season-ending injuries - amazing," Humphers said. "He continued to work hard in the classroom, as an athlete. Really happy for him. San Diego State coaches say he might be able to play as a true freshman."
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Bee photo of Paye (top) by Bryan Patrick, Keith by Brian Baer