By SCOTT W. COLEMAN, Four Points News
Big crowds are getting to be a regular occurrence at Vandegrift High School on National Signing Day.
A pair of nationally-ranked recruits brought the television cameras and even more attention to the school last week. With offers from Air Force and Rice on the table for months, senior wide receiver Paxton Segina’s visit to Palo Alto, California last month made all the difference.
Segina’s official visit took place fairly late in the recruiting process, but Stanford quarterbacks/wide receivers coach Tavita Pritchard said that when the standout receiver visited the campus and met with coaches and players, “that’s when things really solidified, both in his brain and ours, that he was just a perfect fit for Stanford.”
Having identified Stanford early on as a school he was interested in, Segina kept a relationship open throughout his senior season, which ended prematurely with a head injury in the final week of the regular season. While he watched his teammates reach the state quarterfinals from the press box and the sidelines, Segina was never far removed from the action or the emotion of his senior year while still keeping his eye on the chance to play football for a national championship contender.
As Pritchard said, “Here’s a guy who really set his mind to what he wanted, and here he is… he’s the consummate Stanford guy in that regard.”
Segina wasn’t the only high-profile signing last Wednesday. His longtime teammate Travis Brannan, who brought home AP Class 5A Offensive Player of the Year honors in his junior year, became Vandegrift’s all-time leading rusher in 2015 with his second 2,000-plus yard season.
Brannan had interest from a number of schools, regionally and nationally, but was able to stop his search a while back. Brannan also knew where he wanted to play, and had an offer from the U.S. Naval Academy early in his recruiting process. The senior spent his final season in high school bulldozing opponents on his way to 2,692 rushing yards and 39 rushing TDs with the knowledge that he had the offer that really mattered.
He also had offers from Army, Rice and Texas State, in addition to an offer from Montana State… something that might not seem to be as prized as the others on the list. However, another former Vandegrift standout — quarterback Dakota Prukop — earned his degree from Montana State early and had offers to transfer to both Alabama and Oregon to take over behind center for two of college football’s most prominent programs. He chose Oregon and will compete for the starting quarterback job for the Ducks this spring.
Several other Vandegrift seniors also joined in the celebration, earning scholarship offers to their choice of schools to continue their academic and athletic careers at the next level.
Garrison Spring will play football at Lamar University. Lauren Holtzclaw will play soccer at the University of Houston and her teammate Kylie Sharp signed with Ouachita Baptist University.
From the Viper boys soccer team, Sam Drablos will attend the University of Chicago, Curran Kelly will attend the University of Texas at Dallas, and Austin Morrow will attend the University of Tampa.