The other major reason was so Rueben Robinson could play his high school football at one of the top prep programs in the country, Hamilton High. That has proven to be a grand idea.
Robinson just completed his junior season, and the 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker is getting interest from some of the top programs in the country, including regular letters from Notre Dame. Robinson's teammate Gerell Robinson is high on the Irish coaching staff's wish list for the class of 2008.
"We saw that Hamilton had a good football program so we came out here for that," Robinson said, adding he would've went to Apple Valley High or possibly Mission Viejo if he'd a stayed out in California.
If that would've been the case, Hamilton would've been missing a key piece to their defense this past fall. Playing strong safety for a second straight season, Robinson racked up 101 tackles, picked off three passes and had three sacks. He will move to linebacker next year.
"He's just a good athlete," Hamilton head coach and Notre Dame graduate Steve Belles said. "He'll hit you. He has good wheels. He is one of those kids that is a never says die type of kid. He's going to be good for us next year once again."
Belles said that Oregon State and Washington State are real high on Robinson. He also mentioned that Colorado State, UNLV and quite a few schools on the west coast have inquired. Arizona State, Wake Forest, Stanford, Colorado, Boston College and Alabama have joined Notre Dame in flooding Robinson's mailbox.
"I was real excited to see that schools like that were showing interest," Robinson said. "I'm ready to go play for someone like that.
"At the top of list would probably be Notre Dame. That is one of my Dad's favorite teams. They have good tradition. Usually they're a winning program. They're a good academic school and I think they're coach is pretty good. And then, we're Christian and it's a religious school and they have good morals there. Some other schools I like are Alabama, Washington, Stanford and Boston College too."
Robinson has a 3.8 GPA, and reported a bench press of 280 pounds, a squat of 375 pounds, and a 40-yard dash time of 4.59 seconds. His brother Roger, who was allocated to the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe in 2006 and rushed for a league record 1,087 yards, trains him.
"He's been a big help," Robinson said. Roger played college ball at Northern Arizona, and became a free agent last March.
Belles said the first thing he noticed with Robinson when he took over the program two years ago, was his work ethic. A linebacker his whole life, Robinson has also always done what's best for the team. The last two years, that was play safety.
"Linebacker is my natural position," Robinson said. He also played tight end as a sophomore. "The coach told me they had two returning senior starters from the year before, and the other kid, they didn't want to put him at safety because they didn't think he could play the position."
Judging by the numbers, Robinson obviously could.
Robinson has been to football games at USC, UCLA, Arizona State, Utah and Northern Arizona. He and his family have yet to discuss any unofficial visits for this upcoming spring and summer. Robinson did say he will hit a Nike Combine in Phoenix in February, and another combine in California in March.
"I think it will go on how he does his senior year," Belles said of Robinson's college potential. "He had a good junior year, but I think this senior season will determine how he goes. Which that's how it should be."