Local college notes: Sac State QB Garrett Safron is a player to watch next season

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 11, 2014 - 6:24 pm

Sacramento State incoming senior Garrett Safron was one of 36 Football Championship Subdivision quarterbacks to be named to the College Football Performance Awards watch list for 2014.

Safron earned second-team All-Big Sky Conference honors last season after setting school single-season records with 294 completions, 460 attempts, 3,289 yards and 27 touchdown passes. He also rushed for 492 yards and seven touchdowns and finished with a school-record 3,781 all-purpose yards.

The Santa Monica native enters this season ranked second in the Sac State record book with 6,223 career yards, 900 attempts and 564 completions. Safron owns Sac State’s record for touchdown passes with 52 and his .627 completion percentage also ranks first.

Bright outlook for Aggies – The UC Davis men’s basketball team finished at the bottom of the Big West Conference after its bigs took a beating in a league that featured 7-foot-6 shot blocker Mamadou Ndiaye of UC Irvine and 6-7, 275-pound Alan Williams of UC Santa Barbara, the NCAA’s No. 2 Division I rebounder.

J.T. Adenrele, a 6-7 junior forward, went down with a knee injury before the season began. Then 6-9 Josh Ritchart was lost to a stress fracture in December after making a strong start to what was supposed to be his breakout senior year.

With only a handful of games remaining, 6-8 junior forward Iggy Nujic quit the team as the Aggies stumbled to a 9-22 finish.

But the inside game should be improved for the Aggies next season, even amid reports that 6-8 junior Clint Bozner is switching from basketball to football. Adenrele and Ritchart are expected to return and 6-8 underclassmen Justin Dueck and Georgi Funtarov gained more experience last season than coach Jim Les anticipated.

The Aggies will also include 6-11 forward-center Neal Monson. After serving a two-year Mormon mission, Monson played last season at Salt Lake Community College, where he averaged 14.4 points and 8.4 rebounds and blocked 36 shots.

Other newcomers include City College of San Francisco transfer Josh Fox (via UC Riverside), a 6-6 junior forward, and Ohio high school standout Isaiah Walton, a 6-3 guard.

Another Hornet drafted – Sac State junior pitcher Alex Palsha, drafted in the 27th round by the New York Mets last week, is one of the growing list of players who have had Tommy John surgery.

Palsha had surgery on his right elbow while at San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, and he said he came back with a stronger, more durable arm.

In his first season with the Hornets, Palsha broke Sac State’s season records for appearances (37) and ERA (1.82) in helping the Hornets win the Western Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles while advancing to the NCAA Division I playoffs for the first time.

“At this point, I feel my arm is stronger than ever,” Palsha said. “I feel I benefited from Tommy John. I don’t get as much soreness or swelling in my elbow anymore.”

Palsha had a 6-1 record with four saves and 57 strikeouts in 591/3 innings.

He was the second Sac State player taken in the draft. Junior first baseman Rhys Hoskins was selected in the fifth round by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.

Read more articles by Bill Paterson

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