Story and photo by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
After a year-long recruiting battle that attracted scholarship offers from more than 25 of the top football programs in the nation, College of the Canyons sophomore Dorian Gerald, the No. 1 ranked JUCO defensive end prospect in the nation, has signed a National Letter of Intent with the University of Arkansas.
Arkansas is an NCAA Division I program located in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks compete in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Western Division, and will welcome new head coach Chad Morris into the fold for the 2018 season.
Gerald, who hails from Florence, South Carolina, had also been considering University of Florida, Texas A&M University, University of Mississippi and University of Louisville among his top schools.
"One of the main reasons I chose the University of Arkansas, (is because) it's bigger than football, it's real people over there," said Gerald via social media after officially announcing his decision. "Proud to be a Razorback.
"I picked a school with coaches that believed and had similar morals (as me), that could help better me as a man just as well as a player, (that knew my goals and could help me attain them, family orientated, (and) could ensure me that I'd graduate," Gerald went on to explain on his Twitter account.
"I can't promise a lot of things, but I do promise to give my all to the University of Arkansas," he said via Twitter.
Gerald finished his two-year Cougar career with totals of 96 tackles, 22 sacks, 43 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries across 21 games.
A two-time All-SCFA National Division, Northern League First Team honoree, Gerald also earned 2016 Region III All-California Community College Football Team honors as a freshman.
His 10 sacks as a sophomore led the conference and ranked sixth in the Southern California Football Association (SCFA). He also led the conference in sacks as a freshman, with 12.
With Gerald lining up along side fellow COC all-conference defensive end Noel Iwuchukwu and a talented rotation of freshman defensive lineman, the Cougars boasted one of the most fearsome defensive fronts in the state. Iwuchukwu recently committed to Arkansas State University.
Canyons recorded an overall record of 9-2 and 4-1 mark in conference play to trail Northern League champion Ventura College. The Cougars won seven of their final eight games, including a 28-16 victory over Mt. San Antonio College in the Western State Bowl.