From left Clayton Granch, Kenny Potter and Patrick Scoggins with LBCC administrators at the school's first ever signing day press conference.
Long Beach City College hosted its first-ever signing day press conference today, as three Vikings players inked letters of intent to the universities at which they’ll continue their football careers next fall.
Quarterback Kenny Potter (San Jose State), offensive linemen Patrick Scoggins (Iowa State) and tight end Clayton Granch (New Mexico State) all finalized their mid-year transfers to Division 1 universities. All three sophomore players were selected to the Southern California Football Association All-Central League first team, with Scoggins receiving all-state honors at the guard position.
“We all appreciate winning, and they had a great season this year,” said Eloy Oakley, Superintendent-President at LBCC.“But we appreciate more when our student athletes go on and continue their education, continue their careers so it’s a great pleasure to see our fine young student athletes going off to great universities and we’re looking forward to them doing great things. Maybe they can start practicing their Heisman pose now.”
The three players were part of a special year at LBCC, one that saw the Vikings upset eventual State Champion Mt. San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) 41-38 in October and ended with a dominating performance in the Beach Bowl with LBCC defeating Golden West College 75-41. Potter, who suffered a broken arm in the victory over Mt. SAC, led the way with 381 yards passing and five total touchdowns in leading the Vikings to the Beach Bowl victory where they scored the most points in a bowl game in school history.
Second year head coach Brett Peabody said Potter, Granch and Scoggins are a special kind of competitor, one rarely seen at the community college level. The constant desire to want to improve and the intensity that they practiced with every day is something that Peabody said will vault them into greatness in the future, both on and off the field.
“What really separates these guys from a lot of players I’ve coached during my career is their work ethic, their desire and their commitment,” Peabody said. “We’re talking about in the classroom and then also in the field. I’ve never had three players on the same team that practiced with this intensity day in and day out.”
Despite missing time to allow his broken arm to heal, Potter, a two-time all-conference selection finished the season with over 2,100 all-purpose yards and 22 total touchdowns while running the Vikings’ read option offense.
“In terms of toughness and competitiveness, I haven’t had one like him,” Peabody said of his second-year quarterback. “He’s the best quarterback I’ve ever coached and I’ve had seven All-Americans in my junior college career. He is by far the best.”
All three players thanked their families and the college for supporting them and making sure they kept their grades up to keep them eligible to transfer but saved a special thank you for the coach Peabody, the man that recruited them to LBCC and gave them a chance when other programs did not.
“It’s always a risk taking the junior college route,” said Granch, who had never played the tight end position prior to enrolling at LBCC. “I did have some options out of high school but very small ones. He [Peabody] made me buy in and told me I’d be able to do something out of here. So I listened to him and took the chance.”
The 6-foot-3-inch Granch, who is now an all-conference tight end, isn’t the only member of the Vikings to undergo a transformation. When Scoggins arrived on campus after a brief stint at Sacramento State University, his grade point average was about as low as the chances Peabody gave him of playing for LBCC. Peabody said that recently he addressed the team and described how when Scoggins arrived he was “soft and flabby” and in his mind, probably wouldn’t touch the field. After two years of hard work in the classroom and in the weight room, Scoggins’ GPA is above 3.0 and he can bench press over 400 pounds and squat over 600 pounds.
“He is the epitome of hard work,” Peabody said.
Scoggins is expected to compete for a starting spot with the Cyclones during Spring camp.
“Schools have always said I’m too short or too this to go out and play for a big conference school and I just want to thank Coach Peabody for helping me pass through that,” Scoggins said.
Although this was the first signing day press conference put on by the school, Peabody said this group is the first of many young men who are expected to sign letters of intent to continue their football careers at 4-year universities in the near future.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these three young men for all they’ve done for this program,” Peabody said. “They’ve put us back on the map and they’re the guys that have set the tone for the future. What a great day for Viking football.”