AGOSTINI: 20 from valley are playing in college

August 3, 2013 

    alternate textRon Agostini
    Title: Staff writer
    Coverage areas: Sports
    Bio: Ron Agostini has served as a sports reporter and columnist for The Bee for more than 35 years. His stories and columns have won state-wide, regional and national awards and he's a board director and past president of the California Golf Writers and Broadcasters Association. He's a graduate of Fresno State.
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Reading time, two minutes:

• Our portion of the valley will be represented by 20 Division I football players at preseason camps throughout the nation — a pretty good crop.

• The best of the bunch: Fresno State wide receiver-kick returner Isaiah Burse (Modesto Christian), Indiana quarterback Nate Sudfeld (Modesto Christian) and Fresno State defensive lineman Andy Jennings (Pitman).

• Burse has accounted for 12 touchdowns in his career with more on the way, thanks to QB Derek Carr. But at MC, Burse still is known as the conduit to a state small-schools title in 2009.

• Sudfeld threw seven touchdown passes as an IU freshman. That lifts him into a three-way fight for the QB job.

• Jennings was named to the All-Mountain West Conference second team last fall. One season left to show his stuff.

• Others to watch: Nevada center Matt Galas (Central Catholic), Fresno State offensive lineman Cody Wichmann (Mariposa County) and Buffalo defensive end Beau Bachtelle (Summerville, Modesto Junior College).

• Bachtelle receives the early exposure vs. Ohio Sate on Aug. 31.

• Troubled Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M) needs to separate himself from Johnny Football. Anger management therapy could be in order, too.

• New coach, zero experience at QB and the nation's third-toughest schedule — good luck, Cal Bears.

• About the 2012 high school stars: Downey's Aaron Zwahlen takes his two-year Mormon mission before he enrolls at Hawaii; Central Catholic running back Rey Vega checks in at Portland State; and CC running back Ray Lomas walks on at San Jose State.

• South Korea's Inbee Park pursues an historic fourth straight major title at the Women's British Open at St. Andrew's. Why does the sports world yawn?

• 49er's corner Chris Culliver is lost for the season (ACL tear). Nothing good has happened for him since his homophobic words pre-Super Bowl.

• Niner linebacker Patrick Willis incurred what was called a "slight fracture" of his hand. Well, is it fractured or not? Is that like being slightly bankrupt?

• The wave of injuries aside, the best news out of 49er camp is QB Colin Kaepernick (Pitman). On and off the field, he is the NFL's cutting-edge star.

• Kaepernick will throw to Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis and fill-in-the-blank.

• A free agent who has a chance in the wake of Aaron Hernandez's arrest: Patriots tight end Zach Sudfeld (Nate's brother).

• The non-waiver trading deadline turned out to be much ado about not so much.

• The inaction means the Giants can sign Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum and Javier Lopez during the offseason. Our hunch: Only one will be a Giant in 2014.

• Further hunch: The returner will be Pence.

• The one fact that will keep Giants' hearts warm during the offseason: Madison Bumgarner is barely 24.

• About Athletics Owner Lew Wolff and his assertion that "there is no Plan B" past a move to San Jose: Plan B should have been in place years ago.

• The only correct answer for the franchise and its loyal fans: Build the new park in Oakland. A gaining-momentum grass-roots move by fans this year proves the point.

• Mike Terpstra (ex-MJC and Cal State Stanislaus coach) has prepared for decades for his position on the Oklahoma City bench. He's more than ready.

• Brian Wilson's signing by the Dodgers shouldn't be traumatic to Giants fans — unless he closes to clinch LA's division title.

• Right now is one of the best times for college football. Why? The anticipation.

Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at or (209) 578-2302. Follow Ron via Twitter @modbeesports.

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