Prep Notes : Wandering QB Klein Picks Carson’s Helmet for Shrine
Quarterback Perry Klein, selected to the Shrine All-Star Football Classic two weeks ago as a replacement for injured David Henigan of Fountain Valley, smiled as he considered his options for Saturday’s game at the Rose Bowl.
Is he going to wear a helmet from Carson, Palisades or Santa Monica?
Those are the three high schools Klein attended during his well-traveled prep career, but he says he’ll be representing only one school when he takes the field for the Southern California All-Stars.
“I’m a Carson Colt,” he said. “Steve (Clarkson) told me I should wear a Palisades helmet in practice, but I don’t want to have anything to do with that.”
Clarkson, Klein’s coaching guru at Palisades and Carson, has continued to work with the young quarterback this summer. Klein said he regularly drives from his home in Malibu to Christ College in Irvine to attend a quarterback clinic run by Clarkson.
Others who have attended the workouts include Todd Marinovich of USC, Arizona State-bound David Walsh of Palos Verdes and former Banning and Oklahoma star Jamelle Holieway, who hopes to make a Canadian Football League team.
“I think I’m the best I’ve ever been,” said Klein, who passed for 1,337 yards, 17 touchdowns and set a Carson record by completing 90 of 125 attempts (72%) last season to help the Colts win the L.A. City 4-A title.
Klein said he has put on nearly 20 pounds since fall, going from 167 to 185, and is throwing the ball with more velocity. He is expected to split time at quarterback in the Shrine game with Curtis Conway of Hawthorne.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “The best part of the game is playing with all the great players.”
Klein will be reunited with one of his former Carson teammates in the Shrine game: offensive lineman Morris Unutoa. Colt running back Errol Sapp, the L.A. City 4-A Player of the Year, has decided not to play in the game.
Klein will report Aug. 10 to UC Berkeley where he hopes to get a chance to back up returning quarterback Troy Taylor.
“The Cal coaches want me to redshirt,” he said, “but I think I can come in and play.”
Conway insists he still hasn’t decided what college he will attend.
Conway’s plan to attend USC on scholarship fell through when he failed to score 700 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test in five attempts.
El Camino College Coach John Featherstone, based on his conversations with Conway, feels strongly that the speedy quarterback will enroll at El Camino as a part-time student and not play football this fall. But Conway says he won’t make a decision until after the Shrine game.
“It doesn’t matter what school I go to, as long as I’m taking transferable units,” he said. “School is school.”
Although he says USC is still his No. 1 choice, Conway said he is weighing offers from other major colleges that are willing to give him a scholarship without a passing score on the SAT. If he goes that route, he would sit out this season and have three years of eligibility.
If he attends a community college part time and does not compete in sports, he would retain four years of eligibility in the event he passes the SAT.
In the meantime, Conway says he wants to enjoy the experience of playing in the Shrine game.
“I’m just here to have fun,” he said. "(The coaches) know what I can do. I really don’t have anything to prove.”
St. Bernard wide receiver Jason Lucky is one of only two players on the Southern California All-Stars listed as undecided concerning college.
Actually, Lucky has decided. He will attend Ricks Junior College in Idaho, a feeder program for Brigham Young University.
Lucky hoped to gain a scholarship to BYU this year, but a Cougar coach said it was a combination of tough competition and marginal grades that put Lucky’s aspirations on hold.
“We looked at him long and hard,” said BYU defensive coordinator Dick Felt, the senior member of the Cougar staff with 23 years experience. “We had a tough decision. We were in a situation where we were going to take only two wide receivers. We ended up taking three, but it was pretty tough competition for those three spots. (Lucky) was in the running, but we didn’t have enough scholarships.
“He was a little marginal on grades. That was part of the consideration, along with the competition.”
Felt said incoming freshmen at BYU carry an average grade-point average of 3.4 but the school will work with athletes with lower GPAs.
Of Lucky, Felt said: “We’re certainly going to keep an eye on him.”
PREP NOTES--Eight recent South Bay graduates have been selected to play on an all-star baseball team that will represent the 213 area code in the California State Games on Aug. 16-19 in Lodi. The 213 Dodgers, coached by Otha Evans of Crenshaw High, includes pitcher-first baseman Victor Darensbourg of Westchester, pitcher-catcher Chico Limas of Banning, catchers Dale Johnson of San Pedro and Rob Lewis of Rolling Hills, outfielders Torrie Sweet of Serra and Shaun Carpenter of Rolling Hills, third baseman Rex Carroll of Gardena and second baseman Ken Alexander of Hawthorne. Six teams from California, all representing different area codes, will compete in the tournament.