The Linebacker Train Rolls On

This week the San Jose State coaching staff extended offers to a pair of local linebackers who attend the same school and are best friends. That is in addition to at least two earlier offers to players from Southern California at the same position. Inside Sparta spoke this week with one of the earliest recipients of an SJSU offer.

The offers extended by San Jose State this week to Bellarmine standouts Joseph Gigantino and Brad Kuh added to the pledges already in play for Southern California stars Christian Tago and Nolan Peralta of Elisnore High School in Wildomar, Calif. Inside Sparta recently spoke with Peralta about his offer along with the other schools that are courting him.

"I have an offer from Fresno State at tight end; one from UC Davis at tight end and linebacker; and then one from San Jose State at linebacker," Peralta said. "I really don't have a preference (on which position). I play both and I like playing both."

The Spartans were the first to offer, Peralta said, back in the spring. However, he's in no rush to make a decision.

"I really haven't put a lot of thought into it right now so no school stands out or is a favorite," he said. "I'm going to wait until my seasons over to take my official visits, then decide."

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound standout did mention that he's taken unofficial visits to Stanford, Fresno State, and UC Davis. Most of the schools showing interest in Peralta's talents are in California, there is one out of state program looking to lure him out of the region.

"Harvard has offered me their version of a scholarship," he said. "They want me to come play tight end for them."

Ivy League schools don't offer traditional grant-in-aids that other Football Bowl Subdivision schools provide. Their version of athletic scholarships are based on a student's need, calculated against the income of a student-athlete's parents.

One of the things Peralta is looking for in a school as far as the athletics portions is concerned is the big-time college atmosphere.

"I like the big stadiums and the crowds," he said. "I want to play at the highest level and get the full experience."

He added that a good academic environment was also important but that he wasn't sure yet what he will focus on regarding a major.

Peralta has a very close relationship with the head coach at Elsinore. As a matter of fact he has known him his entire life.

"My dad is our football coach," he said. "It was kinda funny at first because people thought I might get special treatment, but I proved myself on the field as a sophomore by getting All-League playing both sides of the ball, so there's no more of that. But it's pretty cool for me to play for my dad."

The Tigers are off to a 5-1 start, 1-0 in league play. Peralta is averaging 12.5 tackles-per-game on defense and 13 yards a catch on offense.

Don Hoekwater is the Publisher of Inside Sparta. You are welcome to contact Don with any questions or suggestions at

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