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Valencia senior Gabriel Perez has committed to play football for Boise State, where he is expected to be used a defensive end/linebacker.

Valencia's Perez thinks he's found right fit

OCVARSITY.COM

Gabriel Perez is one of 11 children, so he knows the challenges of life in a large family.

There's the general volume at home.

"It's kind of loud," he said. "My two youngest sisters are twins. They're 1 1/2."

And there's the occasional wayward elbow during meals.

"Sometimes," he said with a smile.

The Valencia senior also knows the benefits of being from a large family. He has learned responsibility.

"I baby-sit and the other thing I do is I just help one of my younger brothers (Isaac) with homework," Perez said.

Perez also gets the job done on the football field.

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Updated commitment list for O.C.'s top recruits

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Despite missing four games this past season with an injury, the Boise State commit showed his strong instincts and playmaking skills as a defensive end/outside linebacker.

He contained the edge, disrupted quarterbacks and racked up tackles.

Perez sprained his knee in the Tigers' Empire League opener against Kennedy. He missed the next two games, returned for two games but was out for Valencia's two CIF Southwest Division playoff games.

At 6-foot-4½, 220 pounds, Perez appears to be a good fit for Boise State.

The Broncos' defense features a hybrid, defensive end/outside linebacker position similar to the one Perez filled at Valencia as a sophomore.

Valencia assistant coach Jason Gray said Boise State has Perez slated for the same position that Shea McClellin played for the Broncos before being drafted in the first round by Chicago in last year's NFL draft.

"I think at Boise, he'll be playing (as a) down (lineman) a lot," Gray said of Perez.

Boise State was the first college to offer Perez, extending the invitation in April.

Perez also collected Pac-12 offers from Utah and Colorado along with Utah State, Nevada, Colorado State, Montana State and Army.

He said the main reason he picked Boise State was the team's "family atmosphere," something with which he's familiar.

"I'd say the family atmosphere was the (No. 1 reason) and how close everyone was," said Perez, whose brother, Omar, also played football at Valencia and will be a sophomore at Santa Ana College in the fall.

Perez also is successful in the class room and track and field.

He holds an overall 3.3 grade-point average and is an excellent thrower in track.

"Gabriel has always done exactly the right thing," Gray said. "Gabriel is a special athlete, obviously, but he's also got a pretty uncommon maturity and focus for a kid."

For Perez, those are skills he polishes at home.

NEW COMMITS

The county's newest committed players are Tustin linebacker Ed Tandy (Cal), Woodbridge offensive lineman David Patterson (Fresno State) and Cypress running back Jake Brito (Cal Poly SLO).

DUARTE WATCH

Mater Dei wide receiver Thomas Duarte (6-3, 235), who committed earlier this month to UCLA, is expected to visit USC this weekend, Monarchs coach Bruce Rollinson confirmed Friday.

Duarte listed the Trojans as one of his finalists, along with UCLA, Oregon, Washington and Notre Dame, before he announced his commitment to the Bruins at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Jan. 4.

ROAD WARRIORS

Tustin defensive tackle David Maka, the county's top uncommitted recruit, is at Kentucky this weekend. ...

Villa Park defensive end Lenny Cowans (6-3, 255) made an official trip to FSC contender South Dakota State last week, Spartans coach Dusan Ancich reports. ...

El Toro defensive back Alec Shoffeitt (5-11, 180) visited Division II Azusa Pacific this weekend.

MORE ALL-STAR GAMES

Mission Viejo defensive lineman Garrett Marino, an Arizona State commit, and Laguna Beach athlete Drake Martinez are among the players expected to play in Monday's The Canyon-Coast Classic at 12:30 p.m. at Riverside City College.

The game pits players from California against peers from Arizona. The California roster also includes Mater Dei linebacker J.C. Genova, Cypress defensive end Jayson Jolly, Marina lineman Izak Faoa, Mission Viejo wide receiver Frank Schnicker and Edison lineman Jeremiah Frost.

On Saturday, the county also will have players in the Polynesian All-American Classic at 1 p.m. at La Mirada. Senior running backs Nate Tago (Tesoro), Tavi Jimmerson (Orange Lutheran) and Tala Teaupa (Newport Harbor) are listed on the roster.

WEBB UPDATE

Santa Ana College wide receiver and former Register offensive player of the year Josh Webb (Garden Grove High) has offers from Colorado State, Nevada, Utah State and UNLV, Dons coach Geoff Jones reports.

Santa Ana College cornerback Davion Orphey (Edison) and linebacker Marc Millan (Mission Viejo) have signed with Utah and Idaho, respectively, Jones said.

ST. MARGARET'S GRAD TO SEC

Santa Ana College is sending a former St. Margaret's player to the Southeastern Conference. Tight end Woody Quinn (6-6, 245) has committed to Tennessee, Jones said in an e-mail.

Quinn played just one season of football at St. Margaret's before graduating in 2010. He was a standout volleyball player in high school and played volleyball at Pepperdine and Cal Baptist before arriving at Santa Ana, Jones said.

Contact the writer: dalbano@ocregister.com


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