Football Standouts Head Vista Murrieta Signing Class

Back row, from left: Alex Cha, Dakota Roberts, Ryan Hudkins, Jalen Russell, Kevin Atkins, Athletic Director Coley Candaele, Dwayne Johnson...

Back row, from left: Alex Cha, Dakota Roberts, Ryan Hudkins, Jalen Russell, Kevin Atkins, Athletic Director Coley Candaele, Dwayne Johnson, Kyle Williams, Jordan Testerman, Spencer Ramer.
Front row, from left: Kalin Sandow, Elise Benner, Michaela Reynolds.
Murrieta 24/7 photos by Doug Spoon

Vista Murrieta High School's standard of athletic excellence was evident again Wednesday when 12 seniors made their college scholarship commitments official.

Leading the way were six members of the Broncos football team that finished the season 12-2, advancing to the CIF West Valley Division championship game. As expected, wide receiver Kyle Williams signed with Arizona State, while defensive back Jalen Russell signed with the U.S. Naval Academy and defensive back Dwayne Johnson committed to San Diego State.

"I made my decision in October; I knew ASU was the place for me," said Williams, left in photo with Russell.

Williams made an emergency switch to quarterback his junior season, then returned to his normal duties this year, catching 53 passes for 849 yards and 7 touchdowns, rushing for 516 yards and 10 TDs, and returning several punts and kickoffs for touchdowns.

"As soon as I got on campus, it was almost like a love at first sight thing," he said. "Tempe is a great place and all the school offers, with a chance to go in and play right away, made it the place for me."

Williams admitted there's no guarantee he will play as a freshman, but he said he was encouraged by the coaching staff's assessment of him.

"It's all up to my work ethic," he said. "They'll probably use me as a receiver, more like an offensive weapon, not a quarterback because of my height (6 feet)."

Russell, a 6-foot, 180-pound DB who made 40 solo tackles last fall, said he was committed to the Naval Academy from the beginning.

"Setting myself up for life after football, as well as getting a good education," Russell explained. "I'll be able to compete for a spot. They have one spot open. I'll play probably some corner and possibly nickel back."

Defensive lineman Kevin Atkins (right, with Dwayne Johnson) committed to Fresno State. Delta State signed two Broncos -- lineman Dakota Roberts and linebacker Ryan Hudkins.

"This is flat-out a great day," said Coley Candaele, who recently gave up football coaching duties to focus on his new job as athletic director. "It's a day you dream about as kids from the first time you play sports to now."

The complete list of athletes who signed Wednesday:

Dwayne Johnson -- San Diego State, football
Jalen Russell -- Naval Academy, football
Kyle Williams -- Arizona State, football
Kevin Atkins -- Fresno State, football
Ryan Hudkins -- Delta State, football
Dakota Roberts -- Delta State, football
Spencer Ramer -- Dominican University, lacrosse
Kalin Sandow -- Montana State-Billings, soccer
Elise Benner -- Northern State University, soccer
Jordan Testerman -- Cornell, track and field
Michaela Reynolds -- Univ. of North Carolina-Pembroke, track
Alex Cha -- Claremont-McKenna, track

From left: Soccer player Elise Benner, track standout Michaela Reynolds and soccer player Kalin Sandow.



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