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YouTube Video Propels Santa Clarita Christian Player to Division I School
November, 2009 - Issue #61
Collin Keoshian
Collin Keoshian
A four-and-a-half minute highlight video, posted on YouTube, of Santa Clarita Christian School senior football player Collin Keoshian was intended for the eyes of friends and family. Think of it as a "Hey Grandma, look at what I've been doing in school" video. It turned out to be so much more.

How did the linebacker and tailback, who attends a school so small it has to play 8-on-8 games instead of the traditional 11-on-11 and on a field 80 yards in length instead of the usual 100, get the attention of BYU, a nationally-ranked Division I college football team?

How did the kid who was told that he was crazy for not transferring to a bigger school where he'd get the opportunity to be noticed by major college programs still get the scholarship he dreamed of?

A fan found the video and passed it along to the BYU coaching staff. That's how.

The video's opening play is Keoshian, in his role as the Cardinals running back, hurdling the body of an oncoming defender and, without stumbling and without breaking stride for even a moment, charging ahead for a breakaway touchdown.

The video shows juke moves, stiff arms and spin moves. It shows passing touchdowns, receiving touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and it shows plenty of defense. It shows a young man in a football uniform who makes just about every tackle he executes look like a professional wrestler applying a finishing move. On one play, Keoshian lifts a runner clear off the ground, the player's feet clearing the turf, and drives him back into the field.

Having never seen Keoshian play in person, and maybe even more notably, having never seen Keoshian play in an 11-man football odds game, BYU offered him a scholarship. Keoshian will be SCCS's first-ever Division I football player.

"I thought I was going to spend the whole summer sending out videos and going to camps trying to get my name out there," Keoshian says. "I never thought it'd be this easy. Someone showed them the video and that was it. I can't believe how it all worked out."

The fact that the senior has a college-ready body at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds didn't hurt. Keoshian is already bigger than all but one linebacker on BYU's current roster and blends his size with impressive speed, running 40 yards in fewer than 4.6 seconds.

"They love his athleticism for his size," says Cardinals head coach Garrick Moss. "They've gotten a chance to see how he plays against their other recruits when he went there for a mini camp and he showed that he can play with these guys. The same things he does for us in 8-man, he can do those things anywhere. I know BYU is very excited."

The Cardinals are plenty excited about having Keoshian for another year, themselves.

The senior, who will likely play middle linebacker at the college level when he gets to BYU, starts at outside linebacker and tailback for the Cardinals. Keoshian has broken or will break just about every rushing, scoring and tackling record in his school's history.

At linebacker, Keoshian is among the state's leaders in tackles every year. On the offensive end, Keoshian has run for more than 2,000 yards in two straight years, two years ago as a sophomore recording 2,253 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns in 11 games.

Last year, he ran for 2,226 yards and 32 touchdowns, saving his best performance for the Cardinals' CIF-Southern Section Division I 8-Man championship game win over Faith Baptist. Keoshian led SCCS to the victory with 283 rushing yards and five touchdowns - in one game.

"He'll run people over, jump over them, stiff arm them - whatever it takes to move forward," Moss says. "Obviously it's pretty great to have him back there. Even when the defense blows the play up, he's going to get positive yards out of it every single time."

He was named the CIF-Southern Section Division I 8-Man Player of the Year. Keoshian's only goal now is leading the team to a second straight championship. Of course, if he comes up short, his legacy at Santa Clarita Christian is more than secure.

"People told me I'd need to switch schools to make it but I knew that if the Lord wanted me to play football, colleges would find me," Keoshian says. "I wanted so bad to be the first one from my school to play in Division I and show people that you can play for a Christian school and still get noticed. If you have the ability to play, they will find you."
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