The Year In College Football

USCs Stars Vs. UCLAs Bars

Courtesy USCCongrats, senior high school football players, on your recently concluded season! We're sure many of you watched UCLA get humiliated 24-21, by the Wyoming Cowboys in the Dec. 24 Las Vegas Bowl, and you plan to watch USC battle the Oklahoma Sooners for the national championship Jan. 4 at the Orange Bowl. But before you sign that letter of intent, consider this: while local high school football stars who attended USC won accolades and national championships the past five years, Orange County Bruins earned convictions and punting duties! Believe it or not? Here are six recent cases:

THE TROJANS

MATT LEINART

In high school Overcame a career-threatening shoulder injury during his sophomore year at Mater Dei High School to guide the Monarchs to the 2000 CIF Southern Section Division I co-championship.

In college Sat behind Carson Palmer for two years, then helped the Trojans claim part of the college-football national championship last season. This year, he won the Heisman, the second Mater Dei quarterback to do so after John Huarte (Notre Dame) in 1964.

MATT GROOTEGOED

In high school Played quarterback, running back and safety on three CIF championship squads at Mater Dei; was a 1999 Parade magazine All-American his senior year.

In college Overcame a nasty bout with mononucleosis his freshman year and nagging injuries throughout his collegiate career to emerge as a perennial Butkus Award finalist; was an All-American linebacker this year.

CARSON PALMER

In high school: As quarterback for Santa Margarita High, led the Eagles to the CIF Division V title in 1996 and 1997.

In college Capped off a rocky USC career by leading the Trojans to a 10-2 record in 2002, winning the Heisman Trophy in the process.


Bad-News Bruin
Courtesy UCLA

THE BRUINS

ASI FAOA

In high school Named The Orange County Register's 1999 Male High School Athlete of the Year.

In college Charged with a felony in 2000 after punching a guy at a fraternity party and leaving him with permanent brain damage. Faoa is now a sumo wrestler.

DESHAUN FOSTER

In high schoolBroke numerous CIF rushing records as a running back for the Tustin High Tillers; rushed for 377 yards and six touchdowns in 55-42 loss to the Palmer-led Santa Margarita in the 1997 CIF Southern Section Division V title game, a game many consider the greatest high school football contest in Orange County history.

In college UCLA officials ended Foster's illustrious career in 2001 after he admitted to driving a borrowed SUV in violation of NCAA rules. This followed a 1999 conviction for possessing marijuana.

CHRIS KLUWE

In high school USA Today All-American in 1999 as a punter for Los Alamitos High.

In collegeOften-used punter for the Bruins, which means the Bruins offense doesn't do shit.

 
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