Rose Bowl champion Ohio State landed two prized Southern California quarterbacks on Wednesday, the first day of the football signing period, and are in running for one of the nation's best receivers.
The Buckeyes signed much-traveled and heralded quarterback Austin Moherman of Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley High and quarterback David Priestly of Cypress Brethren Christian. Moherman, who attended three high schools in four years, passed for 1,705 yards and 12 touchdowns for Capistrano Valley last season. Priestly threw for 1,864 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Ohio State hopes to sign Ken-Yon Rambo, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior who set all the school receiving records at Long Beach Poly. Rambo will delay his decision for at least a week. USC is also in the running for Rambo, whose cousin, Gene Washington, was a four-time Pro Bowl receiver with the San Francisco 49ers.
"I've been discussing this with my father for about three years," Rambo said. "What's another week or month? I don't want to be pressured."
The signing period ends April 1, but most recruits made their intentions known early, with the exception of Rambo, who said he is not concerned about losing his offer to another recruit.
Ohio State was not the only school to come to California looking for quarterback help. Texas, Colorado and Washington did quite well.
But the most coveted recruit chose to stay in California.
Randy Fasani of Loomis High in Del Oro, considered the nation's No. 1 prospect by SuperPrep and PrepStar magazines, signed with Stanford. Camarillo quarterback Joe Borchard also accepted a scholarship to Stanford.
Leading the quarterback migration (with colleges listed in parentheses) are Temecula Valley High's Spencer Brinton (San Diego State), Anaheim Servite's Greg Cicero (Texas), Irvine's Jared Flint (Indiana), San Clemente's Chris Hayward (Nevada Las Vegas), Beverly Hills' Moacir Jones (Nevada), Burbank Burroughs' J.K. Scott (Washington), and Santa Ana Mater Dei's Nick Stremick (Oregon State).
Anaheim Esperanza quarterback David Parrish will sign a baseball scholarship with Michigan, but also will get a chance to compete for the football team.
While traditional football powers La Puente Bishop Amat, Servite, Capistrano Valley, Carson, Newhall Hart, Long Beach Poly and Mater Dei continue to churn out blue-chip prospects, Gardena Serra posted an impressive selection with at least four players earning Division I scholarships for the third consecutive year.
Cornerback Kris Richard (USC), receiver/defensive back Charles Nash Jr. (Arizona), offensive tackle Damion Tinsley (Stanford) and offensive tackle B.J. Long (New Mexico) received scholarships from the co-ed parochial school with 430 students. Defensive end Kevin Martin may accept a scholarship to Hawaii or attend Columbia or Penn. (Ivy League schools don't offer athletic scholarships.)
In addition to Ohio State, Colorado fared well locally, landing 10 California prospects, including running back Damion Barton (Corona Centennial), free safety Albus Brooks (Claremont), quarterback/defensive back Zimbalist Carter (Riverside Poly), defensive end Johnny Jackson (San Diego St. Augustine), linebacker Scott Nemeth (Aliso Niguel), center Mike Wambolt (Newhall Hart) and defensive back Nate Wright Jr. (San Diego Point Loma), whose father played with the Minnesota Vikings.
Other top Southland players to sign outside California include: Santa Ana Mater Dei High receiver David Castleton (Brigham Young), Sylmar linebacker Derrell Daniels (Washington), Carson tailback Patrick McCall (Michigan), Beverly Hills receiver Brandon Nash (Arizona), Newport Harbor receiver Danny Pulido (Oregon), La Palma Kennedy defensive back Garrett Sabol (Oregon), El Toro receiver Murle Sango (Villanova), Westchester defensive lineman Larry Tripplett (Washington), Servite offensive lineman Kurt Vollers (Notre Dame), Servite receiver Stephen Ward (Villanova) and Carson linebacker Jamaun Willis (Washington).
Staff writers Earl Gustkey, Paige Leech, Paul McLeod, John Ortega and correspondent Michael Itagaki contributed to this story.
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A look at some of the schools with which top football players in the Southland signed national letters of intent:
Player School P HT WT College Damion Barton Corona Cent. RB 5-11 180 Colorado John Bello R.Cucamonga OL 6-4 273 Oregon Joe Borchard Camarillo QB 6-4 195 Stanford Albus Brooks Claremont DB 6-1 185 Colorado Jomar Butler San Pedro DB 6-2 205 S.D. St. Greg Cicero Servite QB 6-4 190 Texas Art Gipson Jr. Fontana RB 6-0 225 Wash. Scott Jackson Peninsula OL 6-5 265 BYU Donte King Locke DB 5-10 180 Wisconsin Patrick McCall Carson RB 5-11 180 Michigan Brandon Manumaleuna Narbonne TE 6-1 260 Arizona Billy Newman Santa Marg. RB 5-10 180 Wash. St. David Priestley Brethren Christ. QB 6-4 200 Ohio St. Larry Tripplett Westchester DL 6-2 280 Wash. Kurt Vollers Servite OL 6-8 275 N.Dame