Ike Likes Iowa

San Gabriel Matador Isaac Valdez inks with Iowa Wesleyan.

(San Gabriel)- San Gabriel quarterback Isaac Valdez, a three year starter, signed a letter of intent Thursday to play football at Iowa Wesleyan University.

“This is a big dream I’ve had for a long time,” said Valdez surrounded by Matador coaches Keith Jones, Jude Oliva, and Donald Bernard.

“He’s done an awesome job,” said Jones. “He was all class on and off the field. Again, I give credit to Coach O (Jude Oliva), he’s the one that works to get these kids out.”

Valdez joins several other SG alums that have moved on to play college football. Players like Juan Magallon, Marco Mora, Alejandro Bobadilla, and Patrick Courtney.

“I’m very proud of him,” said Oliva. “I know this day was something he’s been looking forward to since he was in the sixth grade. He’s earned it and we’re gonna miss him.”

Earning it came in the form of starting 34 games at quarterback throwing 945 passes, completing 570 for 7,944-yards and 50 touchdowns.

“I wish he played defense,” said Bernard. “He’s a prime example of hard work. I’m very proud of him.”

Valdez complemented his passing by picking up 1,763-yards on the ground and 18 touchdowns. His combined offense totals come to 9,707-yards while accounting for 68 touchdowns.

“Isaac was more of a double threat than some of the other quarterbacks I’ve had here,” said Jones. “Frankie (Bernard) and Saile (Ramirez) were more pocket guys. Isaac would see something and make plays with his legs.”

Valdez gave consideration to other schools but settled on Iowa Wesleyan when they expressed how much they wanted him.

“I spoke to the coaches and they said they really wanted me,” Valdez said. “They said they have a really good team and needed a quarterback and wanted me.”

The chance to compete for a starting job right away was deciding factor, Valdez said. He also said he is very aware what it means to be leaving southern California and going to a state where he knows nobody.

Signing Day has become a tradition at SG durning the Jones era

“My parents were asking me if I was sure, and I said I was. It’s time to mature and become a man, to be responsible for myself. I’m also excited because there so many players from so many different places around the country.”

Valdez hopes to study either kinesiology or sociology, and hasn’t ruled out being a firefighter.

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