MARICOPA – Going through the college recruitment process is often a stressful time for high school seniors as they try to find a college and athletic program that is the best fit for them.

Sometimes plans change and that school and athletic program are not what a student-athlete expected, and they make the decision to go elsewhere.

Earlier this year, Steven Forester and Zion Morgan from the Maricopa Rams signed with Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota to continue playing football.

Following a change to the coaching staff at the Division III school, the two Rams decommitted and now plan to attend Oklahoma Panhandle State University, an NAIA school in Goodwell.

“I felt that it was best for me to make the move and be in a more organized program because I want to be great on the field and in the classroom, not only in the classroom,” Forester said. “I feel that both of those things, Oklahoma Panhandle will be able to attain from me.”

Forester played in six games for the Rams and recorded two catches for 34 yards. He also played at running back and had eight carries for 11 yards. Defensively, he had seven tackles.

Back when he was first deciding on a college, OPSU was not in the picture for Forester.

“I had a lot of other choices to go to, but (OPSU) had just entered the picture,” Forester said. “The recruiting process was very fast and there were no hold ups, I’m already done and I’m just ready to work.”

Forester added that he’s looking forward to meeting his new teammates and exploring the city. He intends to study sports management and already has plans of being a sports broadcaster for the other sports at OPSU.

“Sports has always been a passion in my life,” Forester said. “I always had a basketball or football in my hand when I was younger so it just felt that having a job I know (a lot about) would be best for me.”

Morgan was not available for comments about his decision, but according to Forester they briefly talked about their decision, and both felt that with the coaching changes at Crown College, it was best for them to find a different school to attend in the fall.

“We decided that (OPSU) was a great school for us,” Forester said. “We can learn a lot there. When the coach talked to us, he made us feel like we could come in and it would be like home.”

Former Maricopa head coach Brandon Harris previously told PinalCentral that Morgan has a great upside and potential to do big things.

“We have been best friends for a long time, we’ve known each other since sixth grade,” Forester said about Zion. “It’s been a long time coming, being able to grow up and go play college football together is something special. We’re going to cherish it and we’re going to push each other and make each other better.”

Morgan and Forester are not the only athletes from Pinal County who will attend OPSU in the fall. Malachi Rodriguez and Greg Rodriguez from Coolidge signed with the Aggies in May.

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Maria Vasquez is the Sports Editor for PinalCentral. She can be reached at mvasquez@pinalcentral.com.