College of the Sequoias defensive backs coach Fred Zepeda is proud to have his entire secondary holding scholarship offers from Texas Tech. Two are already preparing to be Red Raiders, and there could be more.
Stormy Butler, a safety, and Darren Doston, a cornerback, made oral commitments Tuesday to Tech. Both played high school football in Florida and will be sophomores in 2012 at the junior college in Visalia, Calif. Zepeda, their position coach, said Butler is 5-foot-11, 188 pounds and Doston is 6-foot, 190.
“Darren’s got four different press techniques, and he’s a very good cover corner,” Zepeda said. “He’s a 4.5 runner, so he’s got some solid speed.
“Stormy’s a physical safety. I can put him in the box and also can put him on a No. 2 receiver, an inside receiver, because he can cover very well for a safety. Both kids are very smart. They have high football IQs.”
Zepeda said Doston has had scholarship offers from South Florida, Iowa State, Fresno State, Nevada, Hawaii, Utah State and Washington State, among others. He said Butler’s offer list includes Kansas, Fresno State, Utah State and Nevada.
The Sequoias contingent said Tech also has offered scholarships to Giants DBs Steve Nelson (6-1, 185), who is committed to his homestate Georgia, and Brandon Bagley (5-10, 155).
“I think three of us will probably wind up there (at Tech) — three out of the four,” Butler said. “I’m not sure if it’s going to be Brandon or Steve. They both want to take a visit. Our commitment was kind of influential to them.”
Zepeda and both pledges spoke highly of new Tech defensive backs coach John Lovett, who is recruiting them.
“Coach Lovett is doing a damn good job recruiting guys out here in California,” Zepeda said. “All my guys love coach Lovett a lot. Those two (Nelson and Bagley) want to wait and get a visit and check the campus out, but they and coach Lovett have a very good relationship, so it’s looking pretty good.”
All four of his DB recruits have three years to play two seasons once they transfer, Zepeda said, and plan to graduate and move on in December.
Butler said Lovett has twice worked out the Sequoias DB recruits in person.
“One thing I was really impressed about is he came to see us here,” Doston said. “So I thought, ‘Dang, he’s really interested in us.’ That really got me interested. We’ve got a chance to go in and play right away. I love it. Not a lot of people get that chance, so I pulled the trigger on that.”
Butler is a brother of Carolina Panthers cornerback Darius Butler, who played at Connecticut. Stormy Butler also signed with UConn, but said he could not get approval from the NCAA clearinghouse.
Stormy Butler said his NFL-player brother told him Tech will be a good place for him, and Stormy Butler finds the Big 12 appealing.
“I like the conference. They play against top-notch competition,” Butler said. “Coach Lovett’s telling me I have an opportunity to play right away. I want to go in and make a statement early playing against top-notch competition.”
Doston said he did not get a Division I scholarhip offer coming out of high school because of poor grades. He went to Dean College, a Massachusetts JC in 2010. He had to sit out the 2011 season because of issues related to the transfer, Sequoias head coach Robert Dougherty said.
“Both kids are just great, great players,” said Dougherty, whose team went 4-6 last season. “They’re big-time Division I kids. A lot of DI schools are on them, so it’s a good get for (Tech). I think they saw an opportunity to play soon.
Dougherty said both are versatile enough to play more than one position.
“I think that’s why Tech moved on them,” he said, “because they can play corner or safety both.”
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TEXAS TECH COMMITMENTS
The following players have made oral commitments to sign with Texas Tech. Oral commitments are non-binding.
Dylan Cantrell, 6-3, 202, IR, Whitehouse; Devin Lauderdale, 5-10, 170, WR, Bellaire; Stormy Butler, 5-11, 188, S, College of the Sequoias, Calif./Coral Springs, Fla., Charter HS; Jordan Sterns, 5-11, 192, S, Cibolo Steele; Will Barrow, 5-9, 165, CB, Dallas Skyline; Darren Doston, 6-0, 190, CB, College of the Sequoias, Calif./Daytona Beach, Fla., Seabreeze HS; Tavares Garner, 6-0, 170, CB, Manvel.