Those who thought Cal State Northridge would have trouble replacing 6-7, 277-pound offensive tackle Lou Murino--in size, if not position--think again.
Northridge did just that--three times over--in its first batch of junior college recruits. Coach Bob Burt announced the signing of eight players Friday and expects about two dozen more during the next week.
Among the recruits signed are Scott Kain, a 6-5, 270-pound tackle from Santa Barbara City and Eric Bangs, a 6-5, 255-pound tackle from Ventura. Also in the fold is Greg Little, a 6-4, 265-pound guard from Glendale.
Northridge, which finished 7-4 and second in the Western Football Conference last fall, lost all but one starter--guard Dean Allman--on the offensive line when the season concluded. Center Brian Clark, guard Tony Palamara and Murino completed their eligibility. Guard James Richards transferred to Antelope Valley College.
Northridge also strengthened the tight end position, signing Rod Shinko (6-4, 235) from Chabot and Jeremy Jaklevick (6-3, 220) from Bakersfield.
Jaklevick will be coming home. A resident of Calabasas, Jaklevick played at Crespi as a high school junior, didn't play as a senior, then enrolled at Pierce, which soon after disbanded its program. He ended up at Bakersfield, where he caught 16 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown last season.
Northridge also took major strides toward restocking its secondary; cornerback Reggie Williams is the only returnee.
Signed are Willie James, a 5-11, 180-pound strong safety who had 3 interceptions and 73 tackles for Contra Costa; Clayton Bamberg, a 6-2, 205-pound cornerback who had 3 interceptions and 60 tackles for San Jose City; and David Benefield, a 6-4, 210-pound strong safety from Glendale.
Bill McDonald, a 6-2, 186-pound free safety from Shasta, also committed to Northridge. He was a second-team JC All-American.