SAN DIEGO — Whereas a year ago many of the San Diego area's top high school football prospects opted to stay at home for college, this year many opted to leave, and schools such as Arizona State, California, Utah State and Utah benefited.
On the first day high school seniors could sign letters of intent to attend colleges in 1987, big names such as Fallbrook quarterback Scott Barrick, Vista running back Tommy Booker and Lincoln wide receiver Patrick Rowe decided to stay in town and attend San Diego State.
This year, Darrin Wagner of Lincoln High, the Times' back of the year, opted for SDSU, but the rest of the big names were headed elsewhere when letters of intent were signed Wednesday.
Bob Brasher, the Times' lineman of the year from Point Loma, signed Wednesday night to attend Arizona State and leads a group of eight San Diego area players headed to five Pacific 10 Conference schools. Brasher, who played tight end and outside linebacker for Point Loma, probably will concentrate solely on linebacker at Arizona State.
Calfornia landed two players from La Jolla High, linebackers Brad Raulston and Brent Woodall, and one from Vista, safety Chris Cannon. Lincoln Kennedy, a defensive lineman from Morse, signed to attend Washington, and Bill Clem, a defensive lineman from Mira Mesa, will attend Washington State. Tyler Batson, a linebacker from Torrey Pines, signed with Stanford.
Israel Stanley, Brasher's teammate at Point Loma, is expected to sign with Arizona State, but ASU officials had not received confirmation of that as of Wednesday night.
Other than San Diego State, which landed six San Diego area players, the only Western Athletic Conference schools signing local talent were Utah, Hawaii and New Mexico.
Utah signed Chris Nottoli, a wide receiver from San Pasqual, and Calvin McGee, a linebacker from Lincoln. Freddie Stokes, who played quarterback for Lincoln, signed a letter of intent to attend Hawaii. David Lively, an offensive lineman from Sweetwater High, will attend New Mexico.
Pierre Jones, a running back from Sweetwater, has committed to Utah, but Sweetwater Coach Gene Alim said he is not expected to sign until he meets eligibility requirements.
Wagner, a first-team Times All-County running back, will be joined by the other member of that team, Morse's Larry Maxey, at San Diego State.