College football coaches will go to great lengths and far-away places to land high school recruits. But Brian Fogarty, the University of San Diego coach, needed only to walk across the street to get three key players from University of San Diego High School.
On Friday nights, he would watch them through his office window as USDHS played its home games at USD’s Torero Stadium.
The three--Virgil Enriquez, David Nottoli and Ken Zampese--are now seniors. This afternoon at 1:30, they will be playing their final home game when the Toreros (4-3) face UC Santa Barbara (4-4) in their homecoming.
“They’ve all been real big contributors to our team,” Fogarty said. “When they came in, our program was struggling. Now we are a legitimate Division III football team. They, along with all (13) seniors, have really contributed to our progress.
“Virgil and Ken have started for us since their sophomore years. And Dave, since his return (from preseason knee surgery), has been one of our most productive players.”
Enriquez, a tailback, Nottoli, a tight end, and Zampese, a receiver, have been good friends since high school. Nottoli and Zampese go back to their grade school years at St. Therese in Del Cerro. Enriquez attended Holy Family in Linda Vista.
They all came to USD with another USDHS graduate, Anthony Crivello, and the Dons’ coach, Dan Ritter, who became a line coach. Crivello didn’t stick, and Ritter has since moved on to Indiana State, where he is the defensive coordinator. But the other three have made an impact at USD.
All are business administration majors with grade-point averages hovering around 3.0. Nottoli will graduate in December, Enriquez and Zampese in May.
Enriquez is USD’s second-leading rusher with 236 yards and has 7 receptions for 61 yards. He has scored 2 touchdowns and provides some speed to offset the power running of fullback Todd Jackson (496 yards).
Zampese--son of Ernie Zampese, the former Charger offensive coordinator now with the Rams--is the second-leading receiver with 8 catches for 81 yards. He also returns punts and kicks and runs the ball in the Toreros’ wing-T offense.
Nottoli (6-feet 2-inches, 225 pounds) has 5 catches for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns, including a 69-yarder last week in USD’s 31-21 victory over La Verne. Fogarty likes the combination of his size and speed.
“He’s an excellent blocker, and he gives us a deep threat down the middle,” Fogarty said.
Fogarty will need all the weapons he can muster today. UCSB is big and physical, and while it is a Division III team, USD is its only Division III opponent.
UCSB also will be looking for revenge. The Toreros defeated them, 7-0, last year in Isla Vista on a rainy day when quarterback Brendan Murphy scored on an option keeper in the first quarter.