Deserted in the Desert?

College of the Desert is unquestionably off the beaten path for D1 and 1AA four-year recruiters. It's not all that surprising, however, since the team finished 0-10 and hasn't placed a guy with a D1 school in a while. Forget those facts, though! Head Coach Fred Fimbres, who just finished his first year at Desert after eight seasons on the Cerritos staff, says at least two of his guys are being overlooked.

Desert struggled mightily this year, partly due to the low numbers. Fimbres continually shuffled guys around during the season and the quarterback position was a problem. The number one receiver, Shavargo Hayes (Ft. Valley State or Florida A&M), ended up the signal caller following injuries to Danny Armstrong (SDSU bounceback) and the number two QB.

Despite the challenges, Fimbres remains upbeat as he begins to build a complete program at COD. He points to bright spots, such as freshman free safety Jonathan Laster who led the conference with 9 interceptions. And freshman defensive end Kevin Hardiman who recorded 17 1/2 sacks.

Before focusing all his energy on the future, Fimbres is working to get several guys placed.

Top two prospects:

Josh Lealofi (6-3, 255)
Barstow, Calif.

Leolofi played out of position all season according to Fimbres. "He just needs to be put in one position and player there. He's coachable, smart, and can really run...a selfless guy. Plus he's a predictor," said Fimbres. "Josh made All-Conference despite having never played ILB before. He would excel at defensive end."

Paul Roberson (6-3, 225)
Las Vegas, Nevada

Roberson is another overlooked COD athlete. "He should be an OLB or strong safety. This year he recorded nine sacks as an undersized defensive end for us," said Fimbres. He's raw but possesses the physical tools to play at the next level.


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