BUTTE VALLEY — A group of 11 Butte College Football Team signings have wrapped up the majority of Butte College Football Team’s signing class following the 2021-22 season.
There were 23 players from last year’s team who signed their national letters of intent to pursue their athletic and academic careers at four-year colleges, and Roadrunners coach Robby Snelling said Thursday that number could reach 26 by the end of the summer.
Four Roadrunners signed Division I scholarships at a ceremony held at Butte College on May 25, two players signed D-II scholarships and one committed to an NAIA school. Two other people who weren’t in attendance on May 25 enrolled in DI schools, in addition to a D-II and an NAIA.
Defensive back Jamal McMurrin will continue at DI Missouri State University, offensive lineman Ryan Dierksen will travel to Southern California to play at DI San Diego State, offensive lineman Charles Rutledge will play for DI Western Illinois University and offensive line Sebastian Sias will head north to play for DI Portland State University.
Oroville High School alumnus Troy White has signed with D-II Roosevelt University Chicago to play tight end, defensive back Zach McIntyre will head to D-II Minnesota State University Mankato, and long snapper Jesus Pacheco has signed with NAIA Arizona Christian University.
Not in attendance Wednesday, but those included in the signing class were Steven Bryant, who will play defensive line at DI Weber State University, defensive back Tizell Lewis who will play for DI University of Northern Colorado, running back Sahin Ozgur who goes to NAIA school Midland University and tight end Steele Roring who will go to D-II Pittsburg State University.
Roring is heading to Pittsburg State University after previously committing to DI University of Nevada Reno, but ID eligibility issues forced him back to the transfer portal before move to D-II State University of Pittsburgh.
Several players present on Wednesday explained why they chose the schools and reflected on their time at Butte.
Sias said choosing his future school was not an easy decision, but he settled in Portland State because of its proximity to the West Coast. Sias lived in Alaska and is originally from Arizona, so staying on the West Coast was important to him. He looked to bigger schools in the South, but loved the energy of the city of Portland and the fact that “my family gets to come and watch me do what I do.”
Sias thanked the coaching staff for their time and spoke about the impact they had on him.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that I really am a better man, and being around these coaches is what I’ve learned the most,” Sias said. “It’s how to be a better man, as far as my community is concerned and as far as myself are concerned. I learned a lot of maturity and I needed it. I’m very lucky to have these coaches to help me to do this.
Defensive lineman Rutledge had no offers at the end of the 2021-22 season, and once he received an offer from Western Illinois after liking his tape he sent, he jumped on the l ‘opportunity.
“I really grabbed a good character from their coaches and all that. I really felt like what they were saying was authentic and that was the place that wanted me the most,” Rutledge said. “So I thought why would I get an offer and want more, so that was basically it. I got my offer and it’s time to prove myself.
Rutledge said he would bring a hard-hitting mentality to Western Illinois. The coaches who recruited him said they needed guys to “move the rock and pound the rock”. The coaches told him that’s their slogan there, and he told them that’s what the Roadrunners do, so he thinks that’s perfect.
As for what he learned most during his time at Butte College, Rutledge talked about responsibility.
“It’s important to be a 24/7 football player, whether you’re on campus or in town.”
Pacheco heads to an NAIA school in Arizona and took the time to thank Indianapolis Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez, a Butte College and Hamilton High School alumnus, for the work the two have done over the past three months.
Snelling randomly called Pacheco and said Sanchez was in town and needed a snapper. Pacheco got up early to go to class, left class early and went to practice with Sanchez.
“He gave me so much advice, he told me if you needed a video sent to the coaches, do what you had to do and he personally invited me to train with him,” Pacheco said. “He was a big help to me and it was good…He gave me advice like put your foot down, never stop even if the odds are against you.”
Snelling thanked all of his lads and showed his appreciation, remaining he can’t wait to see what they will do at the next level and beyond once football is over.
McIntire said he was looking forward to the opportunity each of his teammates worked for, but reflected on his time at Butte and why the seven players signed together in a ceremony.
“When you go to college, most of the time you focus on yourself and go. Today, none of us wanted to sign alone,” McIntyre said. “We wanted to sign together because it’s a family. Seeing yourself succeed is everything.