Aptos High’s record-setting running back Marcos Reyes verbally committed to play football at Chapman University, he informed this publication on Tuesday.
Reyes, the two-time Register-Pajaronian Football Player of the Year, made his decision after a recent string of visits to college football programs in Southern California.
Reyes, a 4.0 student, received walk-on offers from NCAA Division I San Diego State (FBS) and University of San Diego (FCS), but Chapman, an NCAA D-III program in Orange, was the total package.
Reyes said he was given plenty of financial aid for academics at Chapman — annual tuition for undergraduates is roughly $54,000.
“As soon as I got on the campus it felt right,” he said. “I was vibing with it — with everything about it.”
The 5-foot-8, 190-pound human bowling ball in the fall pieced together one of the best seasons in program history. Reyes broke at least 14 records, including the career marks for rushing yards (3,683), points (344), touchdowns (57) and rushing attempts (372). He also broke the records for most rushing yards (1,933), points (218) and touchdowns (36) in a single season as a senior and was named the Most Valuable Player in the Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan division.
He had the team accolades, too, as Aptos won a Central Coast Section Open Division III championship and earned the Santa Cruz County’s first-ever CIF Northern California bowl game berth.
Reyes was also a standout athlete for the school’s wrestling team in the winter. He finished third at the CCS Championships in his weight division and advanced to CIF State Championships.
Currently, he’s playing lacrosse.
Reyes said the coaches at Chapman recruited him to play running back for the Panthers, but said he was “ready to play wherever they want me to play.”
“I’ll play special teams, defense…I can do everything and anything they want me to do,” Reyes said. “I just want to play.”
Another big reason for his decision to attend Chapman.
“I don’t want to sit on the bench for two or three years,” Reyes said. “I want to be out there playing…I play football for fun. I wanted to focus on academics in college.”
Reyes plans to major in business.
“Playing at a D-III, I’ll have more time to take a bunch of classes and hopefully get a feel for everything,” he said. “I got a little taste of D-I on the visits, and I don’t think it was for me.”
Chapman went 5-4 last season under coach Bob Owens — three of the team’s four losses were by seven points or less. It was the program’s third straight winning season.