CASA GRANDE — A dozen Pinal County football players signed on the dotted line to play college football Wednesday, and there will be more in the coming days and weeks.
Wednesday, also known as National Signing Day, is the first day of a signing period for high school football players to accept college scholarships. However, there is also an early signing period in December, and many players sign during that window.
Here’s a breakdown of how Pinal schools fared on National Signing Day.
Players: OT Michael Flood, CB Marcus Brown
The lone 5A football program in the county, Maricopa had two players sign. At 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, Flood has prototypical size for a college offensive lineman. He was one of just two players in the county to go to an FBS program, as he signed with The University of Texas at El Paso. At UTEP, he will join former Maricopa star Jacob Cowing, who had a terrific freshman season at wide receiver in 2019.
Brown, listed at 5-8, 170, was a talented defensive back for the Rams. He had 15 tackles, an interception and four passes defended in his senior season. Brown is headed to Culver-Stockton College, an NAIA school in Canton, Missouri.
Players: CB Jahmier Haman
Casa Grande was going to have two players sign Wednesday, but running back Caden Robbins decided to take more time to mull over his offers. Haman has talent that screams high-level Division I player, but his grades came up short of qualifying for those offers.
Instead, Haman will go the junior college route, like many talented football players. With no major junior college football in Arizona — there is a Hohokam Junior College Athletic Conference with very limited resources — Haman signed with a JUCO in Southern California. He will attend College of the Desert in Palm Desert.
Players: LB Roberto Barrera, OT Omari Smith, DE Elijah Montijo
Despite a winless 2019 season, Vista Grande is sending three players to college. Like Haman, they are all going the junior college route. However, they’re going much farther away than Arizona’s next-door neighbor, California.
All three will play football at Mesabi Range College in Virginia, Minnesota. Barrera had the most interest in playing college football, and he was impressed upon his visit to the Mesabi Range campus in chilly December.
After Barrera’s positive experience, he set out to recruit his two teammates, as the three of them have a close bond. Smith could end up anywhere on the offensive line at Mesabi Range, and Montijo has played both defensive end and defensive tackle.
Players: LB Zach Langenbach
The Prospectors will send their top defensive player off to college, as Langenbach signed with Monmouth College, a Division III program in Monmouth, Illinois. Division III schools can’t offer athletic scholarships, so Langenbach signed an academic scholarship.
Langenbach was terrific for AJ, finishing his senior season with 68 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, two sacks, three interceptions and six passes defended.
Players: DE Regen Terry, RB Joshua Maignan
Terry was the biggest star of Pinal’s 2020 recruiting class, and one of the most celebrated recruits in county history. A three-star prospect, he signed with the University of Arizona. Terry also had offers from Utah, Nebraska, USC, Kansas State, Boise State, Boston College and others. The 6-4, 245-pound defensive end had 70 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss and four sacks.
Maignan was the lone bright spot on a Florence offense that struggled mightily. An electric runner, he finished with 1,636 yards and 17 rushing TDs. He is headed to Northern Arizona University, an FCS program in Flagstaff.
Players: K Ian Loggins, FB Sebastian Janik, CB Brayden Bernal
The Coyotes also had a trio of players sign. But two of their three players are staying in-state. Ottawa University in Surprise, which has recruited Arizona and Pinal County players heavily, signed Loggins and Bernal. Ottawa University is a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Loggins is one of the more accomplished kickers to come from a Pinal County program. He was 6 for 6 on field-goal attempts, with a long of 41 yards. He also hit 41 of 44 extra points. Bernal had 30 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and five passes defended.
Janik, meanwhile, is headed to Presentation College, an NAIA school in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He rushed for 210 yards and five touchdowns on 48 carries and added eight catches for 69 yards and a score as a senior.