Even though Cameron Collins and Lewis Adeyemi missed playing time last season because of injuries, the Santa Monica High football stars remained on the radar screen of recruiters.
And when the national signing day arrived February 7, both players were ready to announce their choices.
Collins, a receiver and defensive back at Samohi, accepted a scholarship from Oregon State to play safety. Adeyemi, a running back who scored six touchdowns in a victory over Culver City, is going to Villanova.
A third Viking, fullback/linebacker David Naylor, is continuing to explore his options. Among them is Southern Oregon, a school he recently visited.
Collins suffered a hand injury. He missed four games and returned wearing a brace that prevented him from catching the ball. In a one-sided loss to Los Alamitos, his receiving skills were missed and the Vikings’ offense was limited. But he excelled on defense, making 17 tackles in one game despite the brace.
College scouts noticed and it became known Collins was being sought more than any other Viking. His academics were in order too, and Stanford was among the schools interested.
But Collins chose Oregon State, impressed by Coach Mike Reilly and his program, and the Viking star made a non-binding verbal commitment two months ago.
Players who make verbal commitments can still be recruited by other schools, but Collins’ decision was firm and he made it official on signing day.
One recruiting service observed that Collins has the size and athletic ability to play considerably as a freshman, citing his hard-hitting ability. And it didn’t hurt Oregon State’s chances that it defeated USC last season.
Adeyemi was involved in an off-season automobile accident, was cleared to play and was doing well but suffered a broken hand during a one-sided win over St. Monica. He couldn’t play, and with E.J. Woods transferring to Crespi High, Samohi’s once-superb running attack became non-existent. Although Adeyemi eventually returned, the Vikings failed to make the CIF playoffs.
Adeyemi gained 338 yards in an upset of Culver City, but his lack of exposure in playoff games probably hurt his chances with major college teams. However, he will be able to play on the Division 1-AA (smaller) level, and players in those programs are scouted by the NFL too. Villanova plays in the Big East Conference in basketball but not in football.
Adeyemi also excels as an outside linebacker.