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PREP NOTEPAD: Toliver rides fine senior year to UC Davis

01/29/2013, 9:06pm PST
By Christopher Hadorn

UC Davis took notice of Donnell Toliver's senior year, rewarding him with a football scholarship.

— Vista Murrieta offensive guard Donnell Toliver was a varsity starter for only his senior season, but he made it count.

Toliver blocked for a Broncos that went 13-1 and finished as the CIF Southern Section Inland Division runner-up, and he parlayed that opportunity this week into a Division I scholarship.

Toliver has committed to UC Davis, a Football Championship Subdivision program in the Big Sky Conference. Toliver was also drawn to the school’s academics, as Davis was recently ranked by US News and World Report as the No. 8 public institution in the country.

“I want to be a biologist, and they have a great biology program,” Toliver said.

Toliver, a team captain, paved the way at left guard for a Broncos offense that tallied 5,517 total yards. He was selected to the Riverside County All-Star squad and was a second-team selection on both the all-Southwestern League team and The Californian’s All-Valley team.

It was a nice ending to Toliver’s high school career after being set back by an injury as a junior in 2011.

“I was out for 6-7 weeks,” Toliver said. “I lost all my chances of getting a starting spot because they were already going with the offense. I had to sit back and learn, learn the offense and work hard. Over the summer, I just worked as hard as I could to earn my spot and I just ran with it. It really helped me get me to where I am now.”

Smith to RCC

Vista Murrieta linebacker Bryce Smith said Tuesday that he intends to continue his football career at Riverside Community College.

In the past, other Vista Murrieta linebackers such as Ryan Hofmeister (UCLA) and Eddie Lackey (Baylor) have played at RCC as a means to draw exposure to prominent college football programs.

Smith, an all-CIF selection and the MVP of the 2013 Inland Empire All-Star Classic, had offers from Sacred Heart (Conn.) and Western New Mexico.

“My parents and me talked about it,” Smith said. “It was my best opportunity to accomplish my goals throughout my life to play big-time college football. Try to earn a scholarship out of Riverside Community College.”

Other commitments

• Calvary Murrieta defensive end Brody Myers has committed to Minot State (N.D.), according to Calvary athletic director George Escalante. Escalante also announced that girls soccer player Kylee Nissen has verbally committed to Colorado Christian.

• Heritage athletic director David Drake confirmed Patriots third baseman Briana Contreras has accepted an offer to play softball at North Carolina Central.


CalHiSports.com honored three local football players on its all-state teams Tuesday. Vista Murrieta safety Su’a Cravens was selected to the first-team. Murrieta Valley safety Terin Solomon and Smith were named to the third-team.

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