The Mission Conference is perennially one of the toughest in the Junior College ranks as it sends several players to four-year schools each year. In the Conference's Central Division sits the Saddleback College Gauchos, which is currently 7 & 2 on the season, and ranked 21st in the country by JCFootball.com. Last week Saddleback beat Golden West College 62 to 13. One player from Saddleback who garners special attention this fall is tight end Jon Lyon.
Lyon is a player in demand as he blends size (6'6"/250 pounds) with speed (4.57 forty) to go along with a bench of 315. Lyon graduated from Carmel High School in Carmel, California in 2000. He chose not to attend a four-year school at the time because his offers were from the likes of Fresno State and Idaho, neither of which interested him. Instead he has been at Saddleback the last two seasons and now is getting major interest from top Division One powers. Currently he lists Washington, Florida, Tennessee, and USC as his favorites. He plans to take an official trip to all four schools before making a decision. Jon plans to trip to USC during the Notre Dame game weekend (11/29-12/01). He has already attended the USC/Auburn game in early September. He would like to make a decision before New Years, as he plans to enroll at his school of choice in January of 2003. He will be busy in the next month and a half as Saddleback still has one regular season game left plus a bowl game. Jon already has his AA degree, which he obtained last summer.
So far on the season, Lyon has around 30 catches for close to 500 yards and 3 touchdowns. The offense Saddleback runs is balanced, but has made Jon more of a priority this fall. Jon likes to model his game after Jeremy Shockey. He admits the JC route was the correct choice as he has been able to gain 40-50 pounds in the last two years which will make him much more ready for the D-1 game. He also played baseball in high school, but has no plans to play in college. On a side note, he is an avid bowler who has had scores as high as 257. He plans to major in Psychology.
In regards to USC, Coach Pola and Coach Chow have been in contact with Jon. Lyon really likes the offense that Coach Chow runs along with the tradition of SC football. He definitely sees himself as more of a pass-catching tight end, but does take allot of pride in his blocking too. He will have 2 years to play 2.