City College of San Francisco quarterback Jack Newman escapes pressure during the Golden State Bowl against Modesto on Dec. 1, 2018, at City College of San Francisco. (Eric Sun / Special to S.F. Examiner)

College Roundup: CCSF quarterback Jack Newman headed to Cal as preferred walk-on

City College of San Francisco football has long been a Division I football factory, and this year is no different. With running back DeShawn Collins signing with the Cal Golden Bears on Wednesday, there are several other Rams headed to Division I, including quarterback Jack Newman.

Newman, though, isn’t among the eight CCSF football players who signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday. He’ll join Collins in Berkeley, but as a walk-on.

“It was the situation, in terms of the quarterback room, and also the academic side of it, what the University has to offer, the coaching staff, the direction of the program,” Newman said.

A product of Sebastapol-Analy, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Newman turned down scholarship offers from Western Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and South Alabama for the opportunity to compete at Cal.

The Bears, who will play in the Cheez-It Bowl against TCU on Dec. 26 in Phoenix, Arizona, will be light in the quarterback department when they return to the field this spring. Fifth-year senior Chase Forrest has completed his eligibility, Brandon McIlwain is likely moving to a slot back role while also playing baseball, and 2017 starter Ross Bowers has decided to transfer, according to reports.

“It definitely seemed like a good place to go to compete and earn myself a job and get a bunch of W’s,” Newman said.

It’s a long way from his single, Division III offer coming out of high school, from Middlebury College in Vermont. This past weekend, Newman and Collins both visited the campus, and were blown away by the facilities.

“The opportunity came late,” Newman said. “They called me after the season, and I went on a visit there, toured the facilities and liked the coaching staff. I like what they have to offer, I like the direction of the program.”

The Honorable Mention 2018 GridironRR All-American was second in the state of California with 315.5 yards per game through the air, finishing with 3,468 on the year, to go along with 31 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions. He completed 61.1 percent of his passes this season, and averaged 10.0 yards per attempt, with a 167.6 passer efficiency rating. He also had a 3.5 grade point average.

Since he decided to take Cal’s walk-on offer, he’s been getting back out on the field and throwing, so he’ll be ready to go when he enrolls in time for spring practice.

“They said that they liked that I’m the type of guy who will go in there and play my game, regardless, and compete, and make the program better by competing and working hard,” Newman said. “Another influential factor was the fact that a teammate of mine (Collins), who’s a great player, is also going to the same school, and I’d have the opportunity to compete with him again. I’m excited to play with him again.”

Along with Collins, other Rams signing National Letters of intent on Wednesday included defensive end Simon Sandberg (Oregon State), defensive end Tavai Tuitasi (UNLV), offensive lineman Dominic Stellin-Splan (Cal Poly), defensive back Derrick Langford (Washington State), defensive back Isaiah Avery (Liberty University), linebacker Mike Bowe (New Mexico State) and punter Louis Hedley (Miami).

CCSF Men’s Basketball off to torrid start: After winning their fourth CCCAA championship in March, City College of San Francisco men’s basketball has gotten off to a hot start for 2018-19. The Rams finished the 2018 portion of their schedule with a 14-1 record, with their lone loss coming to Cabrillo College, 77-73, in the San Joaquin Delta Tournament on Sunday.

Led by Malcolm Johnson’s1 5.7 points per game and 43.3-percent shooting from beyond the arc, San Francisco leads the CCCAA in points per game with 92.1. The Rams are second in the CCCAA in assists per game (19.7), led by 5.07 per game (17th in the state) from sophomore Niamey Harris out of Mission High School.

San Francisco Dons WBB: Led by senior point guard Shannon Powell’s 22 points — her second 20-point performance in three games — the Dons blasted North Dakota State 75-41 in the Hatter Classic, hosted by Stetson.

Junior guard Nia Alexander added 15 points, while freshman forward Marta Galic (11) and forward Lucija Kostic (10) also scored in double figures.

The Dons out-rebounded the Bison 38-18, with Abby Rathbun pulling down seven in 27 minutes to lead all players.

San Francisco (4-6) has now won two of its last three games. Next up is West Coast Conference play, as the Dons host San Diego on Dec. 29 as part of a three-game homestand. San Francisco will host BYU at 3 p.m. on New Years Eve, and then face Santa Clara on Jan. 5 at 2 p.m.

San Francisco State WBB: Senior forward Jhaina Stephens became the first SF State women’s basketball player since Katie Batlin in 2014 to win the California Collegiate Athletic Association Player of the Week Award on Tuesday.

Stephens recorded her third double-double of the year after scoring a season-high 23 points and tying a career best with 17 rebounds with a season-high four steals against Cal State San Bernardino last Thursday, before going on to score 16 points and pull down 10 rebounds on Monday in a 69-60 win over Cal State East Bay.

Stephens currently ranks eighth in the CCAA with 13.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, and is also fourth with a .500 field goal percentage.

She and the rest of the Gators are back in action on January 3 at Cal State Dominguez Hills and look to extend their three-game win streak.

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