A trio of Santa Barbara City College football players signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday to play at NCAA Division I schools, including Truckee High alumnus Mitch Nelson.
Nelson, a safety and 2011 Truckee grad, committed to Southeast Missouri State. Teammates Delency Parham, a cornerback, will play for the University of Idaho, while tight end Tyson Heller signed with Portland State University. Wednesday marked the early signing day for college football.
"This is the first time we've had early signings in my seven years with the program," said Santa Barbara head coach Craig Moropoulos. "That's really rewarding because that means they're not only athletically capable, they're also academically sound. It's a credit to the guys and all the work they've done."
Nelson, a key member of Truckee's back-to-back state championship teams in 2009 and 2010, ranked seventh in Santa Barbara's American Pacific Conference with 73 tackles and three interceptions. He also averaged 16.4 yards on 13 punt returns and was voted MVP of the Vaqueros' special teams.
In his freshman year in 2011, Nelson was second in the conference and 10th in Southern Cal with 90 tackles.
Southeast Missouri is a member of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and plays in the Ohio Valley Conference.
A number of other Truckee grads joined Nelson at Santa Barbara City College, including Colin Christian for both seasons, and Morgan Nevin, Jackson Weed and Braden Waters this past season. The 2012 Santa Barbara roster also included two South Tahoe grads.