Granite Bay football star Hershberger commits to Nevada Reno

Valley Christian's Van Patten signs with Simpson
By: Bill Poindexter, Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Granite Bay High School senior defensive star Beau Hershberger gave a verbal commitment to new University of Nevada Reno football coach Brian Polian on Sunday morning.

Hershberger made his official visit to Reno last weekend “and really liked it,” his dad, Greg, wrote in an e-mail.

“They want Beau to rush and put pressure on the QB (and) said they believe he can play as a freshman because of his size and strength,” Greg Hershberger wrote.

Beau Hershberger was voted co-Lineman of the Year in the Sierra Foothill League this past season and anchored a defense that helped lead Granite Bay to its first CIF Division I state championship. He had 90 tackles, five sacks, seven hurries, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

“They’re getting a heck of a football player,” Granite Bay coach Ernie Cooper said, adding that Hershberger was “all over” the field in the State Bowl Game against Long Beach Poly in December. In his junior year, Hershberger had a 94-yard interception return for a touchdown against Del Oro.

“In the big games, he played big, so he has that little something you can’t coach. The bigger the game, the better he plays,” Cooper said. “He was playing against some collegiate-type kids on the Long Beach Poly team, and he was excelling in that game.”

Hershberger wanted to play linebacker this past season but played defensive end at the request of Cooper and the coaching staff because it made the Grizzlies better.

“We’re so dang proud of him for doing that for our ballclub,” Cooper said, adding that Hershberger also had the interest of Air Force, Navy, UC Davis, Weber State and “two or three others.”

Greg Hershberger said his son planned to cancel his remaining official visits.

VCA’s Van Patten signs — Valley Christian Academy senior outfielder Caleb Van Patten signed a national letter of intent with Simpson University in Redding.

Van Patten is the second Valley Christian baseball player to receive a scholarship this school year. Senior left-hander Jimmy Shaw signed with San Diego Christian University.

Valley Christian is the defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII champion and has won four titles in five years.