The Coast News Group
From left are Carlsbad High School senior football players Dylan Quinn, Cole Wright, head coach Thadd MacNeal, Jonathan Harrison and Kyle Vassu after signing their National Letters of Intent to play college football on Feb. 5 at CHS. Courtesy photo

Carlsbad quartet ink college football scholarships

CARLSBAD — Two will stay in sunny San Diego, one will hit the Smurf Turf and the other is heading to the Beehive State.

Coming off one of the more historic seasons in school history, four players from the Carlsbad High School football team inked their National Letters of Intent to play at the next level. During a ceremony on Feb. 5, seniors Jonathan Harrison, Cole Wright, Kyle Vassu and Dylan Quinn revealed where they will play in college.

Harrison and Quinn will stay locally at San Diego State University and the University of San Diego, respectively, while Wright will attend Boise State, famous for its blue turf field, and Vassu signed with BYU.

This season, though, the foursome was a force for the Lancers as CHS rolled through its regular season en route to a 10-2 record and a heartbreaking loss in the CIF Open Division title game to Helix.

Harrison, known as “Big Jon,” stands at 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds, led the offensive line to clear holes and hold up the pocket for an explosive offense. He transferred to CHS two years ago, but since then Harrison said he’s made significant progress in his strength, footwork and technique, which has now landed him a college scholarship. He expects to play right tackle.

SDSU, though, went through a coaching change in the offseason as longtime head coach Rocky Long left the Aztecs. Still, Harrison said the resignation didn’t affect his decision as he formed a closer relationship with new head coach Brady Hoke.

“I didn’t know Rocky too well,” he said. “It really didn’t affect me too much. It would’ve been nice to play under him, but things happen.”

Wright was recognized as the county’s top two-way player this season as a wide receiver and defensive back. He led the team in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns.

As for perennial Mountain West Conference power Boise State, Wright said the fit was natural during his visit. Even though he will suit up in a more frigid climate, the Broncos tradition of winning was more important.

“Compared to other Mountain West schools, I really liked the location,” Wright said. “I’m trying to hit the weights, gain weight and I’m doing track this year to hopefully get faster.”

Vassu, meanwhile, heads to Provo, Utah, following the footsteps of his parents. As members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, Vassu said BYU was always a possibility.

However, he knew it was the perfect fit during a summer football camp, where the outside linebacker dominated and was eventually offered a scholarship.

“I went to the camp and won MVP,” Vassu said. “I went to a game … and the atmosphere was crazy. They’re doing great things up there.”

Like Harrison, Quinn will remain close to home at USD of the Football Championship Subdivision, but suit at linebacker. He said USD was the second school to offer a scholarship, but the education, especially with the school’s highly ranked business program, sealed the deal.

The Toreros have dominated the Pioneer Football League in recent years and have earned four consecutive berths to the FCS playoffs.

Off the field, Quinn plans on majoring in business with a minor in education, as he acknowledged the great teachers throughout his life.

“They were with me since the beginning,” Quinn said. “Beside football, the education. USD’s education is second to none. I’ve had a lot of really good teachers in my life that have had a big impact on me, so I want to have that same impact on other people.”