SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Seventeen football players, including Arroyo Grande High lineman Stephen Field and Paso Robles High running back/safety Vince Freitas, have signed national letters of intent to attend Cal Poly. The announcement Wednesday was made by Cal Poly director of athletics John McCutcheon and Mustang head football coach Rich Ellerson.
The group of recruits includes a balanced mixture of positions -- three running backs, four linemen, three linebackers, a tight end and a pair of defensive backs. Some of the recruits played on both sides of the line and all are seniors in high school.
In alphabetical order, the recruits are:
John Ausmus, RB/LB, 6-0, 210, Anaheim Hills, CA (Orange Lutheran HS)
As a senior at Orange Lutheran High under head coach Jim Kunau, Ausmus rushed for 1,075 yards on 120 carries, caught 13 passes for 436 yards and scored 15 touchdowns. His career statistics on offense include 344 carries for 2,983 yards (8.7 yards per carry), 44 receptions for 481 yards and 38 touchdowns. On defense, he holds school records for career and single-season unassisted tackles. He had 199 solo stops and 97 assisted tackles in his four-year prep career, including 13 sacks. Ausmus earned all-CIF-Southern Section honors as a sophomore and senior and was first-team all-Empire League three times. A team captain the last two seasons, he was offensive MVP of the Empire League as a senior and defensive MVP of the league as a sophomore.
Ramses Bardon, WR, 6-6, 210, Altadena, CA (Flintridge Prep HS)
As a senior under head coach Marty Konrad at Flintridge Prep in La Canada Flintridge, Bardon caught 41 passes for 915 yards and 14 touchdowns, leading the Rebels (12-1) to the CIF-Southern Section Division XIII title. Bardon earned All-Prep League, All-CIF-Southern Section and All-Area
(Pasadena-Glendale) honors. Bardon, a free safety with the Rebels as well, also played basketball at Flintridge Prep.
Ernie Cooper, QB/DB, 6-1, 175, Whittier, CA (La Serna HS)
Under head coach Ken LaVigne at La Serna High, Cooper passed for 3,327 yards and 26 touchdowns in his three-year varsity career, throwing 26 touchdowns. He completed 212 of 462 career passes (45.9 percent). As a senior, Cooper also rushed for 763 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 8.6 yards per carry. And he played on defense as a free safety as well, recording 76 tackles, recovering four fumbles and intercepting seven passes in two years. Twice he earned first-team All-Del Rio League honors as well as first-team All-Area. He also earned a pair of second-team All-CIF-Southern Section Division VII honors and twice was team captain.
Favi Diaz, WR, 6-3, 185, La Jolla, CA (La Jolla HS)
Playing for head coach Dave Ponsford at La Jolla High, Diaz caught 105 passes for 1,843 yards and 25 touchdowns in his prep career. As a senior, Diaz caught 36 passes for 901 yards and 13 touchdowns. His 25.7 yards per catch was the highest in San Diego County in the 2003 season. Diaz was a three-year varsity starter and earned first-team All-Western League honors three times in addition to earning all-league honors in track and field as a triple jumper, reaching the CIF-San Diego Section semifinals with a best mark of 41 feet. Twice he received San Diego Union-Tribune All-Academic first-team honors. Diaz has been invited to play in the Alex Spanos North vs. South All-Star football game in June.
Art Drumwright, TE/LB, 6-3, 230, Rancho Cucamonga, CA (Rancho Cucamonga HS)
As a linebacker for head coach Chris VanDuin at Rancho Cucamonga High, Drumwright notched 78 tackles, including four sacks, and intercepted a pass with three fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles, scoring three touchdowns on defense in his senior season. As a tight end, he caught 18 passes for 230 yards and four touchdowns. Drumwright twice earned first-team All-Baseline League honors.
Stephen Field, OL/DL, 6-1, 270, Arroyo Grande, CA (Arroyo Grande HS)
Under head coach Jon Huss at Arroyo Grande High, Field led the Eagles to a Pac-5 championship and was named most valuable player of the Pac-5 last fall as a two-way lineman. He was a first-team all-league selection as a junior offensive lineman and twice earned All-San Luis Obispo County honors. He also earned a spot on the All-CIF-Southern Section Division IV team and was a team captain and the Eaglesı MVP in 2003.
Vince Freitas, RB/Safety, 6-3, 205, Paso Robles, CA (Paso Robles HS)
Freitas enjoyed a banner 2003 season with 1,448 rushing yards (172 carries, 8.4 average per carry) and 15 touchdowns under head coach Rich Schimke at Paso Robles High. Freitas also had an interception as a safety on defense. He earned first-team All-Pac-5 and All-San Luis Obispo County honors as a senior and was an honorable mention all-league choice as a junior. He also was an All-CIF-Southern Section Division IV selection as a senior. Freitas scored 123 points as a senior and 271 career points for the Bearcats His junior-year statistics include 532 yards rushing and 30 catches for 343 yards, scoring a total of 14 touchdowns.
Gene Grant, CB, 6-0, 185, Huntington Beach, CA (Servite HS)
As a senior under head coach Larry Toner at Servite High in Anaheim, Grant recorded 70 tackles, forced three fumbles, recovered a pair of fumbles, intercepted two passes and had three pass breakups. He set a school record by allowing just 61 yards passing in man coverage for the year. Grant was a first-team All-Serra League defensive back and Servite High's player of the year. He has been invited to play in the Orange County North/South All-Star and Shrine games later this year.
Phillip Halpern, K, 6-0, 150, San Diego, CA (La Jolla HS)
Halpern, who played for Dave Ponsford at La Jolla High, set the school record for points scored by a kicker as a junior and kicked several field goals over 40 yards, including game-winning kicks of 47 and 48 yards. The Vikings finished 7-4-1 last fall, reaching the second round of the CIF-San Diego Section playoffs. Halpern earned first-team All-Western League honors and was nominated for all-state honors. He was ranked as a "top recruit" at the Chris Sailer National Kicking Combine. Halpern also is a soccer player, participated in the Olympic Development Program and was a member of two state championship teams as well as a pair pf regional championship teams with the La Jolla Nomads Soccer Club. He was a three-year varsity starter in soccer at La Jolla High.
Frederick Hives II, RB, 5-10, 205, Vallejo, CA (St. Mary's College HS)
Hives rushed for 1,455 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior under Jay Lawson at Saint Mary's College High, averaging 7.0 yards per carry. He also rushed for 974 yards and a dozen touchdowns as a junior. Twice he earned All-Bay Shore Athletic League honors and he was a two-time CIF-North Coast Section Scholastic Award winner and a National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Award honoree.
Richard James, OL/DE, 6-5, 270, Simi Valley, CA (Simi Valley HS)
James recorded six sacks as a defensive end under head coach Carl Zierhut at Simi Valley High. As an offensive tackle, he blocked for a running back who netted 1,600 yards in 10 games. James was named Marmonte League Lineman of the Year and earned All-Ventura County honors as well as Los Angeles Times All-Region and All-CIF-Southern Section Division IV honors.
Patrick Koligian, DL, 6-3, 220, Fresno, CA (Central HS)
Koligian earned first-team all-league honors as a defensive end as a senior under head coach Wayne Koligian at Central High. He was a team captain and named the teamıs most valuable lineman. Koligian also has the team's highest grade-point average at 4.07 and is the senior class valedictorian.
James Noble, RB, 5-6, 160, Barstow, CA (Barstow HS)
Under head coach Dan Smith at Barstow High, Noble rushed for 2,616 yards and 28 touchdowns in his senior season, leading the Aztecs to a 7-5 record. He led the state in rushing, averaging 8.3 yards per carry and 218 yards per game. Noble cracked the 200-yard mark eight times, including a career-best 348 yards and five touchdowns against Granite Hills. He was named MVP of the Desert Sky League, earned All-San Bernardino County honors and was named Red Zone Old Spice Player of the Year. An All-CIF-Southern Section Division VIII first-team selection, Noble now holds all Barstow High rushing records.
Mike Porter, Center, 6-2, 260, La Habra Heights, CA (La Habra HS)
Snapping the ball for two seasons under head coach Frank Mazzotta at La Habra High, Porter twice earned All-Freeway League honors and was named the league's lineman of the year last fall. Twice he earned All-CIF-Southern Section Division IX honors and Porter also was a first-team All-Area selection in 2002 and a first-team choice last fall. Porter helped La Habra capture Freeway League and CIF-Southern Section Division IX championships in both 2002 and 2003.
Mark Restelli, LB, 6-2, 190, Trabuco Canyon, CA (Santa Margarita HS)
Under head coach Mike Jacot at Santa Margarita High, Restelli recorded 71 tackles (29 solo) as a strong safety with two forced fumbles, three interceptions and a team-leading eight pass breakups. He also was a wide receiver, catching nine passes for 144 yards and a touchdown with a long of 67 yards. Restelli earned first-team All-Serra League honors as a defensive back. His team awards in 2003 include hitman of the year and a four-time player of the game award. As a junior he was named varsity rookie of the year and a three-time player of the game honoree. The Eaglesı defensive secondary gave up just three passing touchdowns in the last two seasons with Restelli in the backfield.
Tre'Dale Tolver, WR, 5-9, 165, San Diego, CA (Mira Mesa HS)
As a senior under head coach Gary Blevins at Mira Mesa High, Tolver caught 40 passes and scored 11 touchdowns. Tolver also returned punts and kickoffs for the Marauders, returning a kickoff 95 yards for one score and a punt 56 yards for another. He had that punt return and a 53-yard touchdown catch in the same game. Tolver was a second-team All-Eastern League selection. His older brother, JR Tolver, was a wide receiver at San Diego State.
Garrett Tuggle, LB, 6-1, 215, Pleasanton, CA (Foothill HS)
Tuggle scored a touchdown on a 100-yard interception return against Skyline and ran 39 yards for another score on a fumblerooskie play against Monte Vista as a senior at Foothill High under head coach Matt Sweeney. A three-year varsity starter, Tuggle earned first-team All-East Bay Athletic League honors on offense and defense as a junior and senior. He was an All-CIF-North Coast Section first-team linebacker and second-team offensive lineman in 2003 in addition to earning first-team All-Contra Costa Times honors as a linebacker. On defense, Tuggle recorded 44 career sacks and over 300 career tackles.