A middle blocker with a "four point forever" grade-point average, Spencer had taken trips to Princeton, USC and Stanford. This is interesting because his family has close ties to USC (father Greg actually played football for the Trojans and mother Mary Ann has long ties with the Trojan family) but Stanford has a very, very renowned engineering school.
Stanford let Spencer know just how much they want him. Stanford also just won the NCAA national championship. He will be joining Gus Ellis, a former CdM standout and starting middle blocker for the Stanford Cardinal last year.
CdM's Evan Dean has talked to me about attending Pepperdine ever since I first met him in the seventh grade. He has verbally committed to play at Pepperdine.
Evan has always enjoyed how classy coach Marv Dunphy is and what he teaches his players. A few weeks ago when Evan emailed to let me know that he had committed to Pepperdine, I was so excited because this was his dream school. He is one of the classiest young men that I have ever known and it is so great that he will realize his dream.
Newport Harbor's Cody Caldwell is headed to Loyola of Chicago. He took three official visits. As one of the top recruits in the nation, he visited Hawaii, Long Beach State and Loyola. He was looking at both his success in the academic world as well as his success in the game of volleyball.
Teammate Ian Sequeira, an excellent libero, has committed to UCLA. He wants to be an engineer and had limited his choices to UCSD, UCLA and Long Beach State. All of these schools are in need of a talented libero.
Ian will join former Harbor players Weston Dunlap, Kyle Caldwell and Jackson Carmack.
Rusty Sary of Newport Harbor has been recruited by UCLA.
How about Nick Curci, who is a soccer player and volleyball player at CdM? These are two extremely successful programs. Nick's father, John, rowed at Cal. His aunt, Sienna, was a standout setter for the Bears. Uncle Anthony was an All-American setter and captain for the UCLA men's team. Nick is looking at both schools and cannot go wrong with either.
I know how difficult this process is for all of these student-athletes. It looks like fun on the outside but the stress of being in the middle of it is tremendous.
CHARLIE BRANDE is a freelance columnist for The Daily Pilot. He is a former coach at Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar, as well as UC Irvine.