Keith McDonald, an all-league high school quarterback from Anaheim, Calif., told the Deseret News Monday that he will sign a national letter of intent next week to play for the University of Utah next season.
In other recruiting news, two players from the California junior college ranks also have said they will play football at Utah next year - Eddie Castillo, an offensive tackle from Chabot College, and Shawn Miller, a linebacker from El Camino College. Both players still must complete their Associate Arts degrees and won't be able to report to Utah until summer.McDonald, 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, led Esperanza High School to a 14-0 season and the CIF Southern Division III championship last fall. A three-year starter, he threw for some 1,500 yards as a senior.
"We're a run-oriented offense, so he didn't have a chance to throw a lot," said Esperanza coach Gary Meek. "We threw only 166 passes last year. But he is a prototype dropback passer. He's big and athletic and has a very strong arm. If he had played in a dropback offense, he would have thrown for more than 2,000 yards. He will be a big-time quarterback at Utah. They've (Ute coaches) been watching him for a year and a half."
McDonald, who led Esperanza's baseball team in home runs and runs batted in in each of the past two years, said he will play football and baseball at Utah.
"My coach thinks I'll get drafted (in baseball)," he said, "but I want to get my education first."
Castillo, who is 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, was a second-team all-league selection at Chabot last season.
"He's a real good player," said Chabot coach Pete Davis. "He was recruited by most of the West Coast schools, but a lot of them backed off because he's still got to get his AA and can't report for spring practice. But he has committed to Utah."
John Featherstone, the coach at El Camino, said much the same thing about Miller, a 6-foot, 235-pounder who earned first-team all-league honors last season despite missing three games with an injury.
"He has informed all of us that he's coming to Utah," said Featherstone. "But he's got to get his AA degree, and he's on line to do that by June. If he had been available to come up in January, everyone would have recruited him. He is a Mike Singletary-type inside linebacker. He is as fine a linebacker as we've ever had here. He's an absolutely vicious, hard-hitting player. He's great against the run, but he needs work against the pass, because he likes to hit so much."