Package deals, where a couple of friends or teammates talk about going to the same college, rarely happen. The reason is simple, when it comes down to it, most players will always end up doing what is best for them and often times, that will lead the players in to going in opposite directions. Well at San Leandro (Calif.), not only have two players on the team decided on the same college, but three Pirate players total are heading to the same WAC power.
San Leandro had a great season this past year finishing 12-1 with their lone loss coming to traditional powerhouse De La Salle, Concord 14-0 in the city championship game. The Pirates still finished No. 15 in the state and could have as many as five players sign with a Div I college.
Three players from the program have already made their decision and all three are headed to Fresno State. Damion Owens, a 5-11, 180 pound defensive back, Nico Herron, a 6-2, 225 pound linebacker and Jamel Hamler, a 6-1, 185 pound wide receiver all decided on the Bulldogs.
"All three are great players and very close with each other ," Pirate coach Brad Bowers said. "We went to Fresno State's team camp in the summer and they offered Damion and Jamel at the camp. Then early in the season, Nico went down there and they offered him too. The three of them had talked a lot about how fun it would be to play college ball together so they went down to watch a game in the middle of the season and all three committed to Coach Hill.
"All three players just really felt comfortable with Fresno State. Honestly, I wouldn't call this a package deal because even though they all talked about how fun it would be to play together, they all kind of made their decision separately and on their own. When they came together and started talking about what they wanted to do, all three decided on Fresno State but it wasn't because one of their teammates had decided on the school, it was what each of them wanted to do for themselves.
"All three players had big years for us. Damion is a shut down corner who had six picks for us and also 31 tackles. Teams really stayed away from him but with his size and ability, I think he's going to be a very good corner in college. Nico led our team in tackles with 82 which isn't a super high number but our guys didn't play much in the second half of games due to blowouts. Plus our defense as a whole was really strong and we had a lot of three and outs so Nico really didn't have a chance to put up huge numbers but he was still voted league defensive player of the year.
"Jamel had 51 catches for 803 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also returned two or three kickoffs for touchdowns and then teams just stopped kicking to him. He's an explosive player and was named all-league and should make some other post season honors list as well."