Los Angeles doesn’t have an NFL team, but this year’s draft set for May 8-10 is going to generate excitement in Southern California, because a lot of former high school standouts could be selected.
Anthony Barr of Los Angeles Loyola, Marqise Lee of Gardena Serra, Troy Niklas of Anaheim Servite and De’Anthony Thomas of Crenshaw will have plenty of fans glued to their TVs and computers hoping to unleash a big scream when they are chosen.
Then there’s Robert Herron, a receiver from Dorsey who earned a college scholarship to Wyoming in the summer of 2010, just days before the start of fall practice.
The fact he got on a plane to Laramie and stayed all four years provides a clue to his commitment to fulfilling a dream.
“I feel blessed for the opportunity to be able to play the sport,” Herron said. “It’s a great town. There’s a lot of good people.”
He ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at the NFL combine last month. He had unofficial times of 4.25 and 4.29 at his school’s pro day last week. He wants the chance to play in the NFL.
Herron has overcome plenty. His father was in prison. An aunt took him in and helped raise him.
“I feel everybody has obstacles. You just have to deal with it and get over it,” he said.
In Wyoming, there were times it was so cold — minus-20 degrees with the windchill factor — that you wonder how Herron survived having been raised in sunny Southern California.
He’s 5 feet 9, 190 pounds. In the NFL, his size should be no problem, because if you have speed and good hands there’s a place for you. Herron has both. He can’t wait for draft day.
New track star
Just two weeks into the track and field season and there’s already a new sprinter creating buzz.
Curtis Godin, a senior at Santa Ana Mater Dei who was a baseball player until quitting the sport last year, set a school record with a time of 10.50 seconds in the 100 meters last week. He also ran 21.29 in the 200. Both times are the fastest in the state.
“I just kind of tired of it and looked at track and thought it would be fun,” Godin said of his former baseball experience. “I really didn’t know what track was. My friends knew I was fast. Still, to this day, people are asking me, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you were that fast.’”
By the time the state championships are held in June, who knows how fast Godin might be running.
“I hope and would like to think because I’m so new to the sport I can get faster and reach my goals,” he said.
Early baseball review
Top-ranked Studio City Harvard-Westlake (6-0) has already accomplished an important goal — finding a No. 2 pitcher. Michael Vokulich has thrown well in two games following ace Jack Flaherty. The Wolverines have also unveiled another outstanding sophomore in third baseman Cameron Deere, who’s eight for 13 hitting.
Junior catcher Chris Betts of Long Beach Wilson and senior first baseman Brock Lundquist of Fountain Valley each has three home runs. Another power hitter is Parker Joe Robinson of San Juan Capistrano JSerra, who has two home runs.
Freshman pitcher Tommy Palomera of Chatsworth has thrown 14 scoreless innings.
Junior pitcher Kyle Molnar of Aliso Niguel threw an eight-inning no-hitter Saturday against Los Alamitos, striking out 10 and walking none.