All eyes are on football recruiting on National Signing Day, and three Piedra Vista football players made their commitments official Wednesday.
Bryson Martinez, Kolt Munoz and Dylan Terry all signed National Letters of Intent to continue their playing career.
Munoz and Terry will continue playing together for Division II Fort Lewis College in Durango under new head coach John L. Smith, who came to Fort Lewis after coaching at Arkansas last season.
"It is cool to have the new coach, John L. Smith, at Fort Lewis," said Terry, who was a 4A first team all state defensive lineman in 2012. "Him being there helps the program immensely."
Smith has had major Division I success coaching Michigan State, Louisville and Utah State.
"I have talked to some of the coaches a bit and they say Smith brings a new attitude to the team," said Munoz. "He is already talking national championship. He doesn't want anything less. For us PV guys coming off a season where we felt a little shorted at state, winning a national championship would make it all feel better."
Terry said a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship is the Skyhawks' goal for the upcoming year.
Munoz transferred for his senior season to Piedra Vista from Volcano Vista in Albuquerque. Munoz and Terry were middle school friends, and now their friendship will carry on through college.
"I loved my year at PV. I knew (Terry) already, but the team felt like a family as soon as I got here," Munoz said. "That is how I feel going to Fort Lewis. It is another family."
Terry hopes to land a spot on the defensive line in the coming years while Munoz hopes to play linebacker where he was dangerous blitzing off the edge as a senior at PV.
"I love coming off the side. There is nothing better than getting a blind side hit on a quarterback," Munoz said.
Martinez, a first-team all state wide receiver, signed with Sierra College, a junior college located in Rocklin, Calif.
Sierra College has a reputation for sending players to Division I, and Martinez plans on being one of those guys.
"I visited some Division II schools such as Fort Lewis and CSU-Pueblo. I also had preferred walk on offers from LSU, Texas, Oregon and Memphis," Martinez said. "Really, the big thing it came down to was whether or not I wanted to go to a junior college and improve my stock a bit and get out to a Division I school after a year or two, or to take a walk on spot and try to play my way to a scholarship. I thought it was better to go to junior college because it was more affordable and I had a chance to start early. I won't get worse because I will definitely get playing time."
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a big influence on Martinez's decision.
"A lot of guys go to junior college just because they don't have Division I grades. Rodgers is a role model to me in a sense that he had no offers and nobody wanted him to play D1 ball," Martinez said. "He went to junior college and earned a D1 scholarship. He went to junior college for all the right reasons."
Martinez carried a 4.32 GPA the first semester of his senior year. He always had options for school, but it was in his senior season that he realized football could take him a lot further.
"I went to a lot of camps as a junior and won MVP for receivers all over the country. I went to Williamsburg, Va., I was ranked No. 1 as a receiver at the University of Texas camp and I was a top 15 prospect at the Oklahoma camp," Martinez said. "It gave me a glimpse, but I didn't have letters coming in or anything. This year, I started sending film out as quick as I could and I started getting phone calls. That is when it hit me that maybe I could take this thing to college, at least."
Martinez hasn't had to look far for a wide receiver to look up to. It wasn't that long ago that current Seattle Seahawk and Piedra Vista graduate Charly Martin went through the recruiting process before attending West Texas A&M.
"I talked to Charly a lot this summer when I worked his camp with him and ran routes with him. He is a positive role model because he did everything the right way," Martinez said. "He showed me you don't have to be the most talented but if you work you can be anything you want to be."
PV head coach Jared Howell said he believes Martinez can achieve everything Martin has.
"Martinez is better now than Charly was at this point," Howell said."Lightning can strike twice, and maybe great things can happen. It is all that work ethic and tenacity that will make you successful as a human being in this world."
Howell believes the high level of IQ all three players have will help carry them a long way in college.
"Munoz brings intangibles that you can't coach. He has great instincts. Terry is another smart guy who is willing to do the work," Howell said. "It really is a great feeling to watch these three guys, who have worked so hard on the field and in the class room, earn this opportunity."