AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific football head coach Victor Santa Cruz has announced the addition of three transfers to the program who enrolled at the school this semester for classes which began last Monday, Jan. 7.
The Cougars landed 6-foot-7 offensive lineman Cody Clay from Fullerton College, along with 6-foot-4 dual-threat quarterback Dasmen Stewart from San Jose State University and 6-foot-1 defensive back Andre Myles from Riverside City College. All three are expected to participate in spring practice beginning in mid-March.
“This is an exciting time for our program, as we see the awareness grow in the state and national football community for what Azusa Pacific has to offer,” Santa Cruz said. “We’re seeing a caliber of student-athlete in our recruiting that signals an awakening is happening. Prospective athletes and their families are realizing the value of having more than just the great football experience we provide. The size of our university and the access to opportunities that Azusa Pacific provides by being located in one of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas has an appeal that goes beyond the football field.”
Clay is a 6-foot-7, 322-pound tackle entering his junior season after playing the past two years at Fullerton College, and he will compete for a spot on the Cougars’ offensive line, which lost three 2012 starters to graduation.
“Cody is indicative of the combination of athletic caliber and character that we pursue for this program,” Santa Cruz said. “We’re excited for the choice that he’s made to experience the ‘Building Champions While Pursuing Championships’ curriculum which we provide through our program.”
Clay was rated as a three-star offensive lineman by 247sports.com, and his college decision was reported by several recruiting agencies.
Stewart is a 6-foot-4, 217-pound quarterback who signed out of high school with San Jose State University, where he redshirted in 2009 and played for the Spartans in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He played in six games with two starts in his first two seasons of collegiate action, rushing for 111 yards and a TD while throwing for 158 yards in four games as a 2011 sophomore.
“Dasmen is a spread-option quarterback who can threaten you with his arm and his legs,” Santa Cruz said. “The quarterback position is critical for any program, so to have someone of his caliber come in and compete to help our team be successful is exciting to us.”
Myles joins the Cougars from Riverside City College, where the sophomore safety helped lead Riverside to a 9-2 season on a defense that surrendered 18.7 points per game. Myles registered 21 tackles in seven games of action, registering two sacks and a forced fumble.
“What captured my attention about Andre was both his physical presence on the football field as well as his academic prowess in the classroom,” Santa Cruz said. “He’s a 6-foot-1, 195-pound strong safety who upgrades our defense and can play the aggressive coverage and pressure packages we like to deploy.”
Azusa Pacific opens the 2013 season with a visit to Grand Valley State University, and a recent schedule shuffle has the Cougars opening Great Northwest Athletic Conference play on the road at Dixie State on Sept. 14, 2013. The home opener shifts to Sept. 21 against Humboldt State.