Joe Davidson

On National Signing Day, nearly 40 area football players make it official

Mister Harriel, the gifted two-way star from Antelope High School, smiles after signing his letter of intent to attend Sacramento State.
Mister Harriel, the gifted two-way star from Antelope High School, smiles after signing his letter of intent to attend Sacramento State. jdavidson@sacbee.com

National Signing Day was an event to celebrate a rarity: earning a scholarship.

High school athletes across the country signed their letters of intent and then hustled them off via faxes to their colleges.

Football dominated the activity with nearly 40 area players signing scholarship packages with Division I FBS or FCS schools and scores of others submitting paperwork to smaller colleges.

At Grant, it was a good day to report to the principal’s office for three Bee All-Metro players.

Offensive tackle Darrin Paulo signed with Utah and linebackers Carl Granderson and Chris Atteberry signed with Wyoming and Northern State University in South Dakota.

“Very proud of these kids, to have a chance to get an education, to play football,” Grant coach Mike Alberghini said. “To see these kids make it through, to get that opportunity, I’m excited for them.”

At Rocklin, cornerback Garrett Kauppila signed with Air Force, calling it a “dream come true.”

Kauppila’s senior season ended at the midpoint, when he injured his knee against top-ranked Folsom.

“I was completely down after I got hurt but my knee was the biggest blessing,” Kauppila said. “It really opened my eyes, made me realize that Air Force was the best place for me. Air Force stuck with me.”

In Roseville, Woodcreek had seven athletes sign, including two with Sacramento State: receiver Malcolm Thomas and lineman Brian Lee.

At Granite Bay, seven athletes signed, including defensive back/running back Tre Ball with Humboldt State, Brian Graber with Cal Poly (track) and Tamren Johnk with UC Davis (soccer). Bee All-Metro linebacker Cameron Smith, already enrolled at USC, signed with the Trojans.

In Elk Grove, Monterey Trail celebrated the signings of Sac-Joaquin Section rushing leader Trey Nahhas with Cal Poly and soccer star Tiara Webb with the University of San Francisco

At St. Francis, six soccer players signed: Katie Brown, SMU; Allie Carmickle, UC Davis; Izzy Chelini, Cal Lutheran; Anna Gregg, Colorado College; Madison Kimball, Loyoyla-Chicago; and Addie Wallace, Villanova.

Follow Joe Davidson on Twitter @SacBee_JoeD.

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