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By Zach Cavanagh
As college football slowly gets back to a full schedule conference by conference, former San Clemente High School stars are making their way back to the collegiate gridiron and making impacts.
The Mountain West Conference finally got its COVID-delayed season underway over the weekend, and Boise State boasted a handful of former Tritons in its opening win.
Senior linebacker Riley Whimpey, a 2015 SCHS graduate, registered a sack and seven tackles as the Broncos dominated Utah State, 42-13. Whimpey was named a defensive captain for Boise State this season after being named All-Mountain West Second Team in 2019.
Redshirt junior Jack Sears, an early graduate at SCHS in December 2016, did not win the quarterback competition for the Broncos, but Sears still figured into the game plan against Utah State. The graduate transfer from USC completed 2 of 3 passes for 11 yards and carried the ball twice for 8 yards.
For now, Sears will remain the backup to sophomore starter Hank Bachmeier, whom Sears and the Tritons beat for the CIF-SS title at Murrieta Valley in 2016. Bachmeier completed 20 of 28 passes for 263 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score in the season-opening win.
Boise State has a third Triton on the roster in redshirt senior offensive lineman Donte Harrington, a 2016 SCHS graduate. Harrington, who redshirted his freshman season, did not get on the field against Utah State and is coming off missing the entire 2019 season due to a preseason injury.
Boise State’s opening win moved the Broncos into the AP Top 25 at No. 25. BSU follows up at Air Force on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 3 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
Elsewhere in the Rocky Mountain region, another Triton is following up the family legacy at Brigham Young University.
After serving his Mormon mission in Samoa, freshman tight end Isaac Rex is making himself known in his first full season at BYU. Rex, whose father Bryon was an All-American tight end at BYU, has improved and more involved in the Cougars offense with each passing week.
In six games, Rex has caught 12 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns, with bigger yardage totals each successive week. On Saturday, Oct. 24, Rex had his best game of the season with five receptions for 66 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-14 win over Texas State.
BYU has rolled over its competition in a 6-0 start on the way to a No. 11 ranking in the AP Top 25. BYU next hosts Western Kentucky on Saturday, Oct. 31.
Boise State and BYU clash in two weeks on the blue turf in Boise on Nov. 6 at 6:45 p.m. on FS1.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.