Athletes granted entrance
14 football players awarded scholarships
The Comets’ football team, under coach Alonzo Carter, will send 12 players to four-year colleges on full-ride and academic scholarships this fall. Carter plans to build on his success moving players on to the next level of play. George Morin / The Advocate
The Contra Costa College football program is dedicated to helping student-athletes transfer to four-year schools and receive scholarships to help them along the way.
This past season, football coach Alonzo Carter has seen more California native players transfer to D1 schools than the football program has ever seen in the four years he has been coach. Only two of Carter's scholarship transfers came from out-of-state this past season.
"We won't apologize for having a lot of out-of-state players in the past, but this year the emphasis is our local players," Carter said. "We have the most D1 signees in Northern California, hands down. That's a feather the program can put in its cap."
Over the course of Carter's coaching career at CCC, the football program has produced more than 30 student-athletes who have received scholarships to four-year schools.
The highest average GPA among football players of any of the years Carter has been coach is 2.9.
"I think we are going to top that this year," Carter said. "We have about 15 guys on the dean's list this season."
When Athletic Director John Wade hired Carter in 2010, he wrote a list of 10 priorities on which he wanted his players to focus. At the top of the list is "Graduate and Move on to four-year Universities." The last on the list is to become league champions.
Carter said that this year there were six mid-year transfers. These students already have enrolled at four-year schools in and outside of California. They are quarterback Malik Watson, defensive backs Dominique Harrison and Antoine Pickett Jr., linebackers Darnell Dailey and Trayvon Brooks and fullback Keir Abrams.
The other players signed with schools on the second transfer deadline on Feb. 6.
Watson is the only player on the list who does not play a defensive or offensive line position.
He said he felt ill-prepared by the coaching he received at his high school, but he traveled to Idaho State on a football scholarship right out of Pittsburg High. He quickly returned to the Bay Area and joined the CCC program.
"It's the little things," Watson said. "The coaches pay attention to the details and are very good at emphasizing preparation and communication."
He said the coaching staff is the reason why CCC has become known for producing athletes who can compete on the next level.
"That's why this is the JC (junior college) to come to," he said.
Carter said, "We are a very detailed machine right out of the high school level."
In the football coaches office on the second floor of the Gym Annex Building there is a thick black three-ring binder on a desk containing business cards from hundreds of different D1 college scouts that Carter has compiled during his coaching career.
"When freshman players join the team I bring them up here and ask them what is your dream school," he said. He then opens the binder and tells them that their dream can become a reality if they can dedicate themselves to success in the classroom and on the field.
Watson's dream was to go to San Jose State, he said. He is currently enrolled there on a full scholarship after his time in the football program at CCC.
Defensive back Antoine Pickett Jr. was also scouted as a senior at De La Salle High School in Concord.
"I didn't like the football program at Sacramento State," he said. "I feel like I'm more ready now than I was when I was 17 years old coming out of high school onto the D1 bench."
Pickett was accepted with a scholarship to Florida A&M. He said the football program at Florida A&M has an atmosphere that reminds him of CCC's.
"Coach taught me to become responsible as a man and to be held accountable for my actions," he said. "I'm an out-of-state player from Richmond in Florida trying my best to represent my Contra Costa family, and my family at home."
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