Merced receiver Jarrett Sparks has been high on Cal’s list of targets this season, filling the need for a big receiver the Bears have been lacking for the past few seasons.
The 6-3/215 Sparks is a big target and has the ability to stretch the field or go across the middle in a way their current star receiving corps lack because of their size.
Consider that target filled with the commitment of Sparks.
“I’m really glad that Jarrett will be playing for Cal,” said Merced Head Coach Rob Scheidt. “I’ve known Jeff (Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford) for quite awhile, going back to his Fresno days. He’s a good man and they have a great program up there.
“I’ve had a chance to take my team up there to their camp for the past few years and they’ve got a good thing going there."
Scheidt spoke glowingly of Sparks’ game-changing ability.
“Jarrett has tremendous hands and great body control and he runs great routes,” said Scheidt. “He does things you really don’t see in a lot of high school players. He really blocks well downfield.to spring big plays. He’s moved around a lot for us, wherever we needed him, playing H-back, tight end. He ran the ball for us, punted for us and returned for us so he could do it all.
“Against (defending Southern Section CIF Champ) Crenshaw, he returned a kick for us for a touchdown for the game winning points. All those things are really things that separate him from the guys he’ll be competing with next year.
“He’s so big and strong and I think he’ll only get stronger and better.”
Sparks’ numbers in 2007 exemplified his coach’s testimonial as the big end averaged an incredible 22 yards per catch and a td every 3 receptions, accmumulating 934 yards and 14 tds on 42 catches as well as 2 more tds on returns, including the 80 yard game-winner vs. Crenshaw.
Sparks also averaged 37 yards a punt on the season as Merced ran through their competition undefeated until running into powerhouse St. Mary’s in the semi-finals, losing 41-29 in a bitter struggle to finish the season 11-1.
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