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Northridge Settles for One Signing

TIMES STAFF WRITER

On a day when major college football programs harvest a crop of recruits, only one letter of intent came in to Cal State Northridge.

But Coach Jim Fenwick, who hasn’t been on the job for a month yet, was neither surprised nor particularly disappointed.

“We haven’t put a lot of pressure on some kids because we got on them late,” Fenwick said. “To us, this day is not as critical as it will be next year, when we have a lot of people leaving and a full year to recruit guys.”

Fenwick and his staff sent out eight letters of intent Monday, and the only one to come back signed on Wednesday--the first day of the NCAA football signing period--was from Ryan Beckwith, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Canyon Springs High.

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Jerry Melikyan, a 6-2, 265-pound defensive lineman from Valley College, has also committed to Northridge, but he has not yet signed, precluding Fenwick from talking about him. Melikyan is a Granada Hills High graduate.

“I know people were expecting things to happen right away, and I would like that, too,” Fenwick said. “But first we need to see what we have to do to win in 1997.”

Northridge has already signed seven transfers who enrolled at the start of the semester and will be available for spring football, and another player who will join the team in the fall. They fill most of the pressing needs on a senior-dominated team with 18 returning starters.

Fenwick intentionally left himself a few scholarships for players he may find over the summer or to reward walk-ons or partial-scholarship players already in the program.

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“We’re still evaluating and getting a handle on guys every day,” Fenwick said.


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