This year, the football program at El Camino College Compton Center (Compton College) had eight players who committed to four-year institutions including South Utah University, Lincoln University, and Trinity Bible College.
Most of the students that are signed to universities have been with the Compton College football program for two years, according to offensive linemen coach Steven Mojarro.
“What we do as coaches to get them to the next level is that we promote them all over the country,” said Mojarro.
Mojarro sees transferring to a university more as an opportunity for academic advancement than an athletic opportunity.
“The coaches do help us get into classes,” said cornerback Abdul Castaneda. “They kinda set a good path for us to follow.”
The football program prides itself with promoting the importance of academics before the importance of athletics. They instill hope into their players by having former Compton College athletes visit and talk about their experience at a university.
“When our kids come in we motivate them by first showing them the academic side,” said Mojarro. “What we do is show them all the business cards and all the people that we’ve helped get out on scholarship.”
For signing day, athletic director Mendoza bought a press background and invited freshmen players and recruits to the ceremony.
Since players get only five years of eligibility, coaches would sometimes choose not to send students to division I schools because they might get less playing time. Students get into division I, division IAA, division II, division III and NAIA college after playing football with Compton college.
Lincoln University pursued linebacker Victor Williams because of his eye for the ball and aggressiveness. Williams recalled his talk with Lincoln head coach Mike Jones.
“We talked about just how he wanted me to come and be a leader on the team,” Williams said. “I just still feel like I got a lot to prove and I still got a lot of work to do.”
Williams currently is a Sociology major, he plans to change his major to criminal justice when he attends Lincoln.
“I really want to open a group home for boys, I really want to have my own business,” Williams said. “I love kids and I just love people.”
Castaneda signed with Western New Mexico and notes that he desires to be an engineer. The football program at Western New Mexico felt he would be a good fit because he likes covering and tackling.
“They told me that everything that they’re looking for I fit on corner,” Castaneda said.
El Camino Compton played against San Diego Mesa in their 24-7 victory, snapping their seven-year losing streak. Williams contributed to the defense with 6 solo tackles.
“That was very exciting and I’m glad I had a part of that,” Williams said. “I actually had 17 tackles that game, then a forced fumble and a pass break up.”