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Signing day: Agliolo is only football player to sign today


12:00 AM, Feb. 06, 2013 EST

Reed quarterback Mark Nowaczewski fumbles the ball as he's brought down by Spanish Springs' Vinny Agliolo (1) and Peter Riolo during a game last season. / Julie Dawes/Special to the RGJ File

In a sport with 22 players on the field at all times, it's difficult for one player to find the spotlight solely on himself for a day.

But Vinny Agliolo will have exactly that today.

The Spanish Springs linebacker is the region's only football player expected to participate in the ballyhooed national signing day, the first day of the spring signing period. Football players have until April 6 to sign a national letter of intent, but many sign on the first day of the NCAA-mandated period.

"That's kind of shocking; I thought there'd be more because there are a lot of good athletes in this area," said Agliolo, who will sign with Division II Colorado School of Mines. "It's kind of a big deal. It's another step in my life, and I'm looking forward to taking it and seeing what I can do with it."

Others from around Northern Nevada are expected to formally commit with other small colleges and universities in the coming weeks or months -- as they have in years past. But 2013 marks the region's fewest signing day signees in five years.

Seven players signed their letter of intent on the first day of the 2009 and 2010 periods. Three signed in 2011 and five signed last year.

"There really wasn't anyone who stood out this year, in my mind," Reed coach Ernie Howren said.

Howren wasn't alone in that opinion.

"Not this year," Spanish Springs coach Scott Hare said. "I usually get a lot of college coaches calling me and this year I didn't really have a place to direct them.

"We had a lot of talented kids but no one really fits that mold Division I college coaches are looking for. No one wants a 5-11, 165-pound guy."

Damonte Ranch running back Drew Smith, the RGJ's All-North player of the year, does not have any offers, Mustangs coach Shawn Dupris said.

Douglas running back and linebacker Conner Peterson, who set the school career rushing record, received early interest from Idaho, Nevada and San Diego but did not get a scholarship offer after he made it known he planned to take his Mormon mission after one year. Without an offer, Peterson will take his mission immediately after graduation.

Reed receiver Devin Gray took an official visit to Montana and will visit Redlands College this weekend but does not have an offer after he broke his collarbone in the Division I North semifinals. Teammate Drew Bryant, the area's top defensive player, does not have an offer after Nevada and San Diego State showed initial interest.

"This area just didn't have that 6-3 receiver or a running back with the size and speed like the Bishop Gorman kid (Nathan Starks, 6-1, 210)," Howren said. "That's what they're looking for now.

"We have a bunch of guys who could go to a (junior college) and get a full scholarship in 1-2 years. (Reed offensive lineman) Austin Corbett could get a big-time scholarship in one to two years, I have no doubt. But with just one year of varsity experience, colleges have seen enough from him at this point."

Both Howren and Hare pointed to former Reed linebacker Broc Westlake as an example of what can happen when student-athletes take the junior college route. Many area coaches thought Westlake was overlooked a year ago.

After a season at Sierra College, he signed with Idaho during the mid-year transfer period.

"Kids are going to have to prove they can play at the J.C. level, both in terms of size and speed, and then they'll get their chance," Hare said.

Carson linebacker Logan Krupp committed to Western Oregon on Tuesday, the same day Damonte's Tyrell Smith committed to Dakota State. Both are expected to sign in the next week.

Douglas kicker Conner Greth is committed to Montana Western.

"It's a good deal for Conner," said Tigers coach Ernie Monfiletto, who expressed surprise quarterback Michael Notling and receiver Dusty Fisher didn't solidify plans during the recruiting process. "We're still looking for someplace for Dusty to play. Boise State and Idaho mentioned walk-on possibilities. Hopefully something works out for Michael to play QB at the Division II level. I'm surprised he's not getting more attention."

 

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