National signing day: Lineman joins San Diego St.

Tucson High's Rosales among more than 50 here to play in college
2013-02-07T00:00:00Z 2013-02-07T07:29:09Z National signing day: Lineman joins San Diego St.Daniel Gaona Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 07, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Antonio Rosales belongs to three Native American tribes: Tohono O'odham, Yaqui and Oglala Sioux.

Now he's an Aztec, too.

Rosales, a 6-foot-4-inch, 270-pound offensive lineman from Tucson High, signed his letter of intent to play for San Diego State. He is the first Badger in more than a decade to earn an FBS football scholarship.

"It's amazing, words can't explain," a choked-up Rosales said.

He was one of four football players in Southern Arizona who signed to play at the FBS level on Wednesday, national signing day. Overall, more than 50 local athletes signed to play collegiately.

Even though Rosales had verbally committed to the Aztecs late last summer, making it official alongside Utah-bound volleyball player Carly Trueman drew tears from Scout.com's eighth-ranked lineman in Arizona.

"It's overwhelming," Rosales said. "All the hard work I put in paid off and I just feel honored. I never thought I could do it, but I made it happen."

Justin Argraves is entering his third year as Tucson's football coach. Rosales is his first player to earn a FBS scholarship.

"He's one of those fun guys to coach because you know you're going to get everything out of him," said Argraves, who requested a San Diego State shirt and hat from Rosales.

At Salpointe, the Lancers had six football players heading to four-year programs and, according to coach Dennis Bene, they combined to earn over $1 million in scholarships.

Leading the pack were Travis Fister and Carlos Carroll who both signed to play at Southern Methodist University, an FBS school.

Salpointe also had three girls volleyball players sign to four-year schools, including Emily Christensen and Haley Howell.

At Ironwood Ridge, quarterback Tyler Williams took the spotlight as he signed to play for Air Force just days after making a verbal commitment on a visit.

"I'm glad it's over with. I feel comfortable about my decision," said Williams, who plans on majoring in law and minoring in political science.

Three of his teammates signed to play college football at some level, while Jake Matthews was among five baseball players heading to Pima College.

Girls soccer star Madi Kinzer (Oklahoma) and girls tennis state champion Marissa Baca (Northern Colorado) were the other Division I signees for the Nighthawks.

At Catalina Foothills, four soccer players signed their letters of intent including Jack Ferguson, who signed with Cornell.

"It's basically a dream come true for me," Ferguson said. "I get to play Division I soccer and get to go to a great school."

Staff reporters Jason Harris and Chuck Constantino contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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