Estrus Crayton, the talented running back from Rancho Santiago College, signed with USC, it was announced Wednesday.
Crayton, from Santa Ana High School, was one of the top community college backs in the nation the past two seasons and was twice selected a J.C. Grid-Wire All-American.
Crayton set or tied 11 Mission Conference or Rancho Santiago records. He rushed for 2,452 yards in his career, the third-highest total in Orange County history. He also had 4,062 all-purpose yards, the third-highest state career total.
Crayton, along with Moorpark's Fred Bradly and Brett Salisbury, were chosen the tri-California offensive players of the year. Bradly signed with Arkansas and Salisbury with Oregon.
Crayton was one of 56 community college players from Orange County that signed with four-year schools. Orange Coast, which won the Mission Conference Central Division last season, heads the list with 16. Golden West and Fullerton each had 12 sign, and Saddleback and Rancho Santiago each had eight.
Riverside had 20 players sign, increasing the Central Division's total to 76. Included in Riverside's group was linebacker Sam Manu, who was was suspended for the final five games after punching an official in a game against Golden West. Manu is going to Utah.
The Pacific 10 signed nine local players, including Crayton. Mike Cook, a 6-5 wide receiver from Saddleback, signed with Stanford. Cook led local receivers with 50 catches for 653 yards and eight touchdowns.
Arizona State stocked up on offensive linemen, signing Craig Ritter and Chuck Underwood from Fullerton and Greg Thurston from OCC. Washington State signed two Golden West linebackers--Kevin Ashworth and Eric Thompson. Ashworth, a two-time all-conference selection, was a J.C. Grid-Wire All-American this season.
Fullerton linebacker Ward Van Pelt committed to UCLA and Hornet quarterback Eric Robinson is going to Oregon State.
The three most noticeable names not on the signing list were defensive lineman Ray Smith and offensive lineman Chris Hubbard of Golden West and linebacker Kevin Roberts of Orange Coast. Smith, the Mission Conference Central Division's defensive player of the year, had signed with Eastern Michigan but has been released from his letter because he didn't meet the college's academic requirements. He is enrolled in classes at Golden West, and has been told that if he achieves Eastern Michigan's requirements, he will return in the fall. Hubbard is attending classes at the University of Florida and is trying to make the team as a walk-on. Roberts, an all-conference linebacker, will attempt to be a walk-on at UCLA.
COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE SIGNINGS
Player Community College Pos. Hgt. Wgt. Greg Angelovic Orange Coast QB 6-1 190 Dwayne Armstrong Orange Coast DB 6-0 190 Kevin Ashworth Golden West LB 6-3 220 Jeff Bailey Saddleback QB 6-4 200 Chuckie Bibbs Fullerton DB 5-10 185 Chi Chi Biehn Saddleback RB 6-1 190 John Bloomquist Orange Coast DL 6-2 210 Mark Broccardo Saddleback TE 6-3 245 Brian Chodowski Rancho Santiago RB 5-10 180 Steve Calhoun Rancho Santiago QB 6-3 195 Michael Coe Saddleback DB 6-0 185 Mike Cook Saddleback WR 6-5 200 Scott Craig Orange Coast OL 6-4 290 Estrus Crayton Rancho Santiago RB 6-3 185 Rob Coons Fullerton TE 6-6 235 Chris Deuchar Orange Coast LB 6-3 225 Abe Elliott Fullerton OL 6-5 255 Tim Farnum Orange Coast DL 6-2 240 Vince Galaz Fullerton OL 6-3 235 Mike Gaines Saddleback LB 6-5 230 Jerry Gillespie Golden West OL 6-1 275 Ernie Goddard Orange Coast LB 6-0 220 Mike Graff Golden West RB 6-0 234 Lawrence Hatch Orange Coast DB 6-1 195 Danny Hooker Rancho Santiago WR 6-0 180 Brian Hunter Rancho Santiago OL 5-10 220 Toney Jenkins Saddleback WR 5-11 175 Dax Jordan Saddleback WR 5-10 175 John Kelley Orange Coast LB 6-3 228 Kevin Leon Fullerton P 5-11 215 Dain Mangnall Golden West DL 6-2 246 Jim Mansfield Golden West DL 6-0 238 Scott McMahon Rancho Santiago DB 6-1 195 Demetrious Moore Orange Coast DL 6-2 275 David Owens Fullerton WR 6-2 175 Mark Recktenwald Orange Coast RB 5-10 175 Patrick Reilly Orange Coast WR 5-10 179 Craig Ritter Fullerton OL 6-4 270 Jeff Robbins Golden West LB 6-3 220 Eric Robinson Fullerton QB 5-11 195 Matt Shackelford Fullerton DB 5-11 180 Bobby Sylvia Golden West DB 5-8 175 Alex Stowell Golden West LB 6-2 245 Greg Szuba Golden West DB 6-1 204 Jason Tarbart Golden West OL 6-1 265 Eric Thompson Golden West LB 6-2 228 Kevin Thomas Fullerton DB 6-1 175 Greg Thurston Orange Coast OL 6-5 275 George Tuioti Rancho Santiago TE 6-4 250 Chuck Underwood Fullerton OL 6-3 260 Frank Vaccaro Golden West RB 6-0 175 Richard Valenzuela Rancho Santiago LB 6-2 220 Ward Van Pelt Fullerton LB 6-1 210 Mike Wade Orange Coast PK 6-1 185 Jim Warren Orange Coast RB 6-2 228 Derek Whiddon Orange Coast TE 6-4 220