"Adam was a two-year starter for us and a very hard-nosed football player. He was a captain and leader on our defense and one of the best guys we've had here at FCC," said Rams head coach Tony Caviglia.
Wagner, 6-1, 220, was an All-Valley Conference selection in 2002. In his sophomore season, he compiled 30 unassisted tackles, 54 assisted, 7 tackles for losses and 5 quarterback sacks. He caused 4 fumbles and recovered 2. Wagner scored a touchdown as he recovered a fumble and ran it back 3 yards against Reedley on Nov. 23.
Gardner-Webb plays at the NCAA Division 1-AA level. The Bulldogs, 9-1 in 2002, won the Big South Conference title. G-W was ranked No. 15 by one major I-AA poll and No. 22 in another.
"Brandon was a reserve linebacker who did some great things and had enough plays on tape to impress people and get an offer. He is a big, physical and fast linebacker who persevered at FCC and got his degree. He'll do great things at MVC," said Caviglia.
Wheeler, 6-3, 240, and moving on to America's mid-section, played a support role for FCC. He totaled 12 unassisted tackles, assisted on 16, had 2 tackles for losses, one quarterback sack and 2 caused fumbles. MVC is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Playing in the Heart of America Athletic Conference, the MVC Vikings came off a 5-5 season to go 8-2 in 2002 under first-year coach Paul Troth, the NAIA's Schutt Sports Coach of the Year. The Vikings All-HAAC linebackers were seniors, so Wheeler is expected to help replace quality veterans.
These latest two FCC football signees bring to 21 the number of sophomores who have moved on to the four-year college level.
FCC posted a 9-2 record for the 2002 season. The Rams were ranked No. 5 in California's final JC Athletic Bureau poll and No. 11 in the national JC Grid-Wire poll.