West Valley senior Logan Gonzalez signs his National Letter of Intent Wednesday in front of Eagles head coach Greg Grandell (right). Gonzalez will play football for Rocky Mountain College in Montana. (Photo courtesy of Susan Pierce)
COTTONWOOD – Logan Gonzalez didn’t consider himself a college football prospect before his senior year.
“I figured I would just start working coming out of high school, it wasn’t even a thing,” Gonzalez said.
His laid back personality fit with his position at offensive tackle. But the 6-foot-2, 260-pound Gonzalez didn’t really come into form until he switched to defense, West Valley head football coach Greg Grandell said.
That was when his stock skyrocketed.
Six months later and Gonzalez signed his National Letter of Intent Wednesday to play football for Rocky Mountain College, an NAIA program in Billings, Mont.
“He wasn’t really impactful as a junior and he got injured and was out of position,” Grandell said. “Everything pointed to him being an offensive guy, he’s not aggressive off the field. But he did what coach Jim Vert asked him to do and did it every week.
“He’s a big dude now and he’s going to be a big man. He has a ton of upside, a great recruit that will grow into the position because he’s still raw.”
Gonzalez anchored a defensive line that got things started for the Eagles in the trenches, leading the way to a Northern Section Division III championship and a perfect Northern Athletic League slate. He was disruptive as an interior lineman, often using his will and passion for the game to overpower opponents and attack the ball carrier.
The senior was a first team All-Shasta County and second team All-Northern Section selection while earning all-NAL honors. He finished the season with 68 tackles, nine for a loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and three fumbles recovered.
Not bad for a guy trying to find his position.
Gonzalez considered staying close to home to play football after his successful senior year, looking into playing for Southern Oregon University and Shasta College. But when he visited Rocky Mountain, he felt at home. It wasn’t because of the campus or how successful the program is. The players and their dedication to one another as a unit embodied the same atmosphere he lived through as an Eagle.
“The type of bond the players had is what what had this year that brought us to where we are, to win football games and rings,” Gonzalez said. “I think they have the same potential.”
Gonzalez plans on majoring in aviation and hopes of being a pilot.