The State Hornet

EDITORIAL: Next Sac State football coach needs local recruiting ties

One candidate, a Sac State alum, makes the most sense

American+River+College+football+head+coach+Jon+Osterhout+argues+with+the+referees+during+ARC%27s+20-17+defeat+of+City+College+of+San+Francisco+on+Sept.+26%2C+2015.+Osterhout+is+an+ideal+choice+to+replace+Sacramento+State%27s+former+head+coach+Jody+Sears.+
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EDITORIAL: Next Sac State football coach needs local recruiting ties

American River College football head coach Jon Osterhout argues with the referees during ARC's 20-17 defeat of City College of San Francisco on Sept. 26, 2015. Osterhout is an ideal choice to replace Sacramento State's former head coach Jody Sears.

American River College football head coach Jon Osterhout argues with the referees during ARC's 20-17 defeat of City College of San Francisco on Sept. 26, 2015. Osterhout is an ideal choice to replace Sacramento State's former head coach Jody Sears.

Photo courtesy of The American River Current

American River College football head coach Jon Osterhout argues with the referees during ARC's 20-17 defeat of City College of San Francisco on Sept. 26, 2015. Osterhout is an ideal choice to replace Sacramento State's former head coach Jody Sears.

Photo courtesy of The American River Current

Photo courtesy of The American River Current

American River College football head coach Jon Osterhout argues with the referees during ARC's 20-17 defeat of City College of San Francisco on Sept. 26, 2015. Osterhout is an ideal choice to replace Sacramento State's former head coach Jody Sears.

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It was the right decision to move on from former Sacramento State football head coach Jody Sears. But more important than moving on is moving forward, and Sac State needs to hire someone with local ties to replace Sears.

Sacramento has a wealth of high school talent all around it. Some decide to come to Sac State, and some don’t. It would be pretty hard to talk Folsom wide receiver Joe Ngata out of his commitment to Clemson, but when a top guy like defensive tackle PJ Johnson from Burbank here in Sacramento comes here out of high school, the team should do whatever it takes to keep him.

RELATED: 28 football players left Sac State after 2016 – here’s why

Johnson has proved he is an elite talent and he has his sights on the NFL. Johnson was at Sac State to begin his collegiate career, but due to differences with coaches, he transferred. Now, he is at the University of Arizona, a Pac-12 school where he has three sacks.

The team also lost linebacker Tyree Thompson, who now starts at UCLA, and defensive back Joey Banks, who now starts at the University of Buffalo. Banks had 40 tackles and an interception for a team that will be playing in the Dollar General Bowl later this month.

Recruiting to Sac State isn’t easy because the Hornets aren’t in the Football Bowl Subdivision of Division 1, but if athletic director Mark Orr can bring in a coaching staff that can find the diamonds in Sacramento that have a lot of growing to do, then the Hornets could develop those guys.

Defensive lineman George Obinna is a perfect example; he had played just one year of football before Sac State, and after being trained and built up, he had 8.5 sacks his junior year.

There are some rumored candidates for the position, and all expectations are that a new hire will be confirmed before 2019. But one seems to make the most sense out of the gate, and many online commenters agree.

The master of turning non-heralded recruits into guys with a ton of college offers seems to be American River College head coach Jon Osterhout. At ARC, he has sent players to UCLA, University of Minnesota, Kansas State University, University of Louisville and in 2018, he developed defensive lineman Caleb Tremblay into the No. 1 junior college player in California. Tremblay is now at the University of Southern California.

Osterhout was an All-American offensive lineman at Sac State in the late 90s and signed as an undrafted free agent with the Washington Redskins before embarking on a coaching career. He made stops at Sac State and the University of Nebraska before moving to the junior college ranks.

Sac State will never be able to compete with the nation’s elite programs when it comes to recruiting, but with Osterhout, they would have an edge because it’s proven that when you bring him a guy with raw talent who just needs some coaching, he has the patience and the skill to get the most out of their talent, while still being young for a coach and qualified to make the leap to university football.

So, as Sac State moves on from the Sears era, it’s time to look forward to a new era of Hornet football, one that includes Osterhout as the head coach.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “EDITORIAL: Next Sac State football coach needs local recruiting ties”

  1. LaMont on December 5th, 2018 10:03 pm

    Well you start at foothill high school with travon drummer wr over 100 yards recieving and multiple big plays on offense. Also a great nickle back who is not scared to stick his nose in the mix. Another will willie goebel, played RB/QB/WR one of the best athletes to come out of Sacramento this year. This kid has the most agility I have seen since berry sanders. These kids are gems. If you head up to redding west valley high school. They have a linebacker last name bailey that is a complete animal.. smart fast instinctive and will punish you. He plays both ways as LB/RB and made defensive player of the year. Who ever becomes the new head coach at sac state. If you need a recruiter I’m your man.

  2. Christian Kelly on December 10th, 2018 9:43 pm

    Jon Osterhout built American River College from the ground up. Keep in mind that almost every JC is under budgeted with low-ball sponsorships in order to keep the football program running. Coach O has made it very clear from the get go that his players and coaches follow him because he knows how to win and has an old-school perspective on getting the job done. I would say the most important factor is his knowledge on the local HS kids that keep getting plucked by the big D1 programs. There is so much talent in Sacramento and the bottom line is those kids need to play for their home school.

    This one is a no-brainer to me.. I played ball with Jon Osterhout back in 1998 and when I heard he was up for the job I was immediately drawn back to the Hornets. If Jon Osterhout was to be the head coach of Sac State I could guarantee you that they would be competitive within 12-months and playing for a national championship (D1) within 4-5-seasons.

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