Feb 6, 2013 7:47 PM by Andrew Masuda
Three San Luis Obispo High student-athletes signed national letters of intent on Wednesday at Holt Field Stadium. Football star Jack Ferguson and girls soccer star Brady Candaele are both headed to Cal Poly, while track and field star Connor Hall officially committed to Duke University.
The 6-2, 245 pound Ferguson has been a dominant defensive force since his sophomore season with the Tigers. He recorded 101 tackles as a sophomore on varsity. His junior year he tallied 152 total tackles, 5.5 sacks and returned an interceptions for a 26 yard touchdown. He followed that up with 110 total tackles, 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hurries his senior season for the Tigers.
Ferguson was named All-CIF and the Pac 7 League's Most Outstanding Defensive Back in 2011 and 2012.
Ferguson chose the Mustangs over offers from other Big Sky Conference teams in Weber State, Eastern Washington and UC Davis. He said his hometown school felt like the perfect fit."The atmopshere, the people there I just think it's a great program right now and hopefully I get to catch it on the upswing and ride it and just have a great time," said Ferguson, who owns a 4.2 grade point average, plans to major in business at Cal Poly.
The Mustangs are coming off an 9-3 season that included a share of the Big Sky title in their first season as part of the powerhouse conference. Cal Poly also earned a spot in the FCS playoffs for the third time in program history. After receiving a first round bye, the Mustangs lost in the second round 18-16 to eventual national runner-up Sam Houston State
Hall is coming off a school record junior season where he set a program record by clearing 16 feet. It marked a five foot improvement from his best jump the year before. Hall won a Pac 7 League title and became the first male pole vaulter in program history to capture a CIF-Southern Section title. Hall chose the Blue Devils after visiting programs like Dartmouth, Cal and Rice. "It feels incredible, I can't even put it into words. It feels like a dream come true basically. Duke is an amazing school. They have incredible athletics there," said Hall, who said he wanted to clear 17 feet and win a CIF State title his senior year.
The Duke men finished sixth at last year's Atlantic Coast Conference Outdoor Championships. Hall has not ruled out the possibility of becoming a decathlete in college. Duke decathlete Curtis Beach won the NCAA title last season.
Candaele is a four-year varsity girls soccer player for the Tigers. She has 13 goals and 4 assists so far this season for the Tigers, who are battling for a Pac 7 League title.
Brady joins a Mustang program coming off a 9-6-3 season and second place finish in the Big West Conference. "I have so much support here and people that expected so much of me. So to be able to stay here and pursue my career in soccer is really cool in my hometown," said Candaele, who listed scoring the game-winning goal in the CIF quarterfinals in 2010 as her best memory as a Tiger to date.
Afton Thulin was the last SLO soccer player to sign with Cal Poly when she inked a NLI in 2008.
Last November during the early signing period, the Tigers' Andrea Reynolds signed a letter of intent to play softball at UC Davis.
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