Prep football standouts reveal their college choices

Signing day events held across county for top seniors

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 

Jonathan Warner made it to the big time with a Big Ten scholarship.

A senior from Camas, Warner signed his letter of intent to play football at Penn State at a signing ceremony Wednesday at the high school.

Signing Day

Local high school football players who signed letters of intent or made commitments to play college football:

Jonathan Warner, wr., Camas, Penn State

Kieran McDonagh, qb, Skyview, Portland State

Brandon Brody-Heim, lb, Union, Portland State

Ryan Johnson, dl, Mountain View, Montana

Kaben Humphrey-Butler, qb, Union, Central Washington

Gabe Rego, athlete, Union, Central Washington

Jesse Zalk, wr, Prairie, Central Washington

David Garlington, db, Skyview, Southern Oregon

Dylan Bratlie, ol, Skyview, Southern Oregon

Mo Morrison, db, Skyview, Wayne State (Neb.)

Jonah Koreski, dl, Skyview, Montana Tech

John Payne, db, Camas, Eastern Oregon

Kamari Brown, lb, Camas, Pima CC (Ariz.)

Cherno Sowe, ol, Heritage, Western Oregon

“Words cannot describe how excited and happy I am right now,” Warner said. “I don’t even know what to say.”

He was one of several football players from Southwest Washington to officially pick a college on Signing Day, 2012.

Rivals from Skyview and Union will join forces at Portland State.

A Mountain View standout is off to Big Sky country at Montana.

Two Union Titans are going to be Central Washington Wildcats.

Two Skyview players are heading to Southern Oregon.

The Columbian attended four signing ceremonies Wednesday.

At Camas, eight athletes, including three football players, were honored in front of a big crowd during the lunch hour.

Since he said yes to Penn State about 10 days ago, Warner has received texts and e-mail well-wishes from fans of the Nittany Lions.

“I’ve been getting a lot of (contact) from Pennsylvania. They’re making me feel very, very welcome,” said Warner, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound wide receiver.

He will always love Camas, too. He appreciated the ceremony at school.

“It’s cool having everyone here, to have this experience,” he said. “I told myself I was going to get here one day, that I was going to work for it. I’m here. It’s cool.”

Skyview quarterback Kieran McDonagh said yes to Portland State in a 7 a.m. event that also featured four of his teammates.

“It’s sort of a relief. It’s over. No more waiting,” said McDonagh, who wore a tie to his event because he had a debate later in the day during finals at Skyview. “It’s official now.”

Union linebacker Brandon Brody-Heim is heading across the river to PSU, as well. He also is thrilled to be done with recruiting.

“The process is so stressful,” Brody-Heim said. “It’s hard telling someone you’re not going to their school. I’m so happy it’s over. Can’t wait to be a Viking.”

At Mountain View, the room was packed for Ryan Johnson’s signing ceremony with Montana. Johnson, a defensive lineman, made his official visit to Missoula last weekend. He also went to a game last season.

“The atmosphere is wild, the football is great, and the education is even better,” Johnson said.

Coaches from his three sports with the Thunder -- football, basketball, and baseball -- were on hand, as well as dozens of his friends.

“It’s huge. To share this with all the people who have made me who I am is truly special,” Johnson said.

Union quarterback Kaben Humphrey-Butler and Union all-around athlete, position-to-be-determined-later Gabe Rego are off to Central Washington. So, too, is Prairie wide receiver Jesse Zalk.

“I actually didn’t plan on signing today,” Humphrey-Butler said. “Last night, I thought about it with my family. It’s a nice place to be, a nice college town.”

Rego, who does not know yet if he will play offense or defense, was excited about the entire atmosphere at Union, a ceremony with several athletes.

“When you’re little, you hear about people signing. ‘I want to be that guy.’ Now, it’s actually happening,” Rego said. “Then you want to get it out of the way and start preparing for college.”

The Columbian learned late in the day that Zalk also signed with Central.

Back at Skyview, David Garlington and Dylan Bratlie will remain teammates, off to Southern Oregon.

“They’re talking about what it takes to win a national championship,” said Garlington, a defensive back. “That is something I’d like to be a part of.”

Bratlie, an offensive lineman, said he is looking forward to blocking for former Skyview quarterback Austin Dodge. Bratlie played a few games as a sophomore, blocking for then senior Dodge.

Skyview defensive back Mo Morrison is proof that if you play well, someone will find you. He signed with Wayne State College of Nebraska. Coaches there were recruiting another player when they noticed Morrison.

Skyview defensive lineman Jonah Koreski is going to Montana Tech.

“It’s a culmination of hard work and good coaching, and it’s a dream come true for me,” he said.

At Camas, defensive back John Payne signed with the Eastern Oregon Mountaineers.

“This was my home the past four years,” he said of Camas. “Now, I’ll get a new home for the next four years. I’ll play my heart out and be a Mountie.”

The Papermakers also highlighted linebacker Kamari Brown, who is opting to go the junior college route. He is headed to Pima Community College in Arizona.

Over at Heritage, lineman Cherno Sowe was expected to sign with Western Oregon.

Coaches and athletic directors are asked to contact us with news of any more signings in the coming days. Send an e-mail to sports@columbian.com.