February 1, 2012
It will be another bumper crop of Folsom football signees today

In the last two years, no area program has sent more scholarship players to four-year football programs than Folsom.

Last year the Bulldogs, coming off their 14-1 CIF State Bowl championship season, saw six players sign on National Letter of Intent Day, including MaxPreps.com National Player of the Year Dano Graves, the Bulldogs' star quarterback, and tight end Marcus Hendricks, both with the Air Force Academy.

Also signing that day were wide receiver Tyler Trosin (Oregon State) and all-purpose star Jordan Richards (Stanford) to the Pac-12; linebacker Burton DeKoning to Nevada and offensive lineman Stephen Sippel to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

At 3:30 p.m. today, five more members of Bulldog Nation will participate in a signing ceremony in the school's library.

They are quarterback Tanner Trosin (Tyler's younger brother) and wide receiver Carson McMurtrey, who will sign with Cal Poly; wide receiver Doug Vernon, headed to Cornell; and linemen Jordan Alleva and YuvRaaj Madra, who will play for San Diego and Weber State, respectively.

It's another big haul for Folsom, joining Delta River League rival Pleasant Grove as the area's tops with five signees each, as of early today.

"That's awesome," Folsom coach Kris Richardson said upon hearing the news. "Obviously the last two years we've had a high number of talented players who also get it done in the classroom.

"To have players going to places like Cornell, Stanford and Air Force shows we have a pretty good student-athlete culture."

Richardson has been head coach seven seasons at Folsom but it took a few years to build a program and attract the attention of college recruiters.

Folsom was 26-15-1 his first four seasons and 36-6 last three.

He credits quarterback Carey Grossart (Northern Arizona), linebacker Ryan Rau (Portland State) and lineman Aaron Colldeweih (UC Davis) for getting the scholarship ball rolling in 2007.

Grossart, who passed for 2,745 yards and 16 touchdowns for Northern Arizona last fall, also was the first of four scholarship quarterbacks to emerge from Folsom's prolific spread offense.

David (Hawaii) and Dano Graves followed, with Tanner Trosin the latest to earn a scholarship.

Trosin shattered state passing and total offense records this season in leading Folsom back to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title game.

Despite that, Cal Poly was his only scholarship offer.

The knock: Trosin's 6-foot-1, 175-pound stature and being what some recruiters consider a "system" quarterback.

Cal Poly is an interesting choice for someone who passed for a state record 5,185 passing yards and 49 touchdowns. The Mustangs are a triple-option program, a run-oriented offense.

But Richardson thinks Cal Poly may be looking to diversify more in the wide-open Big Sky Conference.

"I think they see Tanner as someone who can have success in their system," Richardson said. "He's a 1,000-yard rusher who is tough and durable. I think being in the Big Sky, they want to be able to throw the ball a little bit more."

Richardson thinks Cal Poly also is getting a steal with the 6-3, 180-pound McMurtrey.

"He's a big-time receiver," Richardson said. "He was hit by the injury bug this season. The first part he had a hamstring issue, then he suffered a freak shoulder separation against Casa (Roble). He's a great route runner with deceptive speed. He's one of the best we've ever had."

He calls the 6-4, 190-pound Vernon an emerging talent and perfect for Cornell's spread attack. He had 52 catches for 721 yards and nine touchdowns.

"Doug really improved in catching the ball," Richardson said. "Cornell doesn't usually get those big-target, athletic wide receivers like Dougie, so they're excited."

Richardson says Madra, a lean and athletic 6-5, 255-pound tackle, is another late bloomer who joins an intriguing program at Weber State under new coach John L. Smith. Smith coached previously at Idaho, Utah State, Louisville and Michigan State.

"Weber State is getting a good one," Richardson said. "YV has long arms and when they get him up to 285 pounds or so, he's going to be a monster."

The 6-3, 275-pound Alleva was a two-way standout and team captain for the Bulldogs.
Richardson thinks his tenaciousness and physicality will be a huge plus for San Diego, a successful Division I-AA program.

"He was our tough guy," Richardson said. "He plays in the trenches like it's a fist fight in a phone booth. He's also a standout wrestler. So he's always attacking."

While this year's recruiting class wasn't as glamorous as last season's bunch, Richardson loved the way this group competed in finishing 11-3 and finishing second to Pleasant Grove in the Delta River and runners-up to Vacaville in the D-II section finals.

"We were picked to finish fourth in our own league," Richardson said. "People figured with the Tyler Trosins, Jordan Richards and Danos gone, we'd drop off the map."

"That motivated these guys. Now we've had three consecutive years of 11 or more wins, and not many football teams can match that."

Richardson thinks Folsom will continue to produce winning football. He said the freshmen went undefeated and the JVs were 7-3.

"We're solid top to bottom," Richardson said. "The kids have seen to that by doing the extra stuff, lots of time on their own in the weight room, with agility and speed work and the catching and throwing."



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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at jdavidson@sacbee.com or bpaterson@sacbee.com.

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