Football stars Brayden Zermeno ’21 and Zakhari Spears ’21 commit to colleges during summer break

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Over summer break, two varsity football players committed to play the next four years at stellar D-1 colleges. Quarterback Brayden Zermeno committed to Princeton University to play for coach Bob Surace, and cornerback Zakhari Spears committed to the University of Washington to play for coach Jimmy Lake. Both players hope to have a bright future but first need to focus on a crucial senior season.

Talking about his process in choosing Princeton, Zermeno said, “It really came down to University of Maryland and Princeton. Both places were great, but I loved everything about Princeton. The campus, coaches, and just the sense of family there.” 

He continued sharing that he cannot wait to play under quarterback coach Mark Rosenbaum, who produced former Cleveland Browns backup Kevin Davidson.

Zermeno, discussing his conversation with coach Rosenbaum, stated, “There’s always a chance of me starting; there’s not much seniority. Obviously, the best player at the end of the day is going to get the starting job, and we’re all competitors, but we’re teammates and brothers too.” 

However, Zermeno said he wanted to focus on his final season as a high school quarterback before worrying about college.

Zermeno said, “We’re looking really good. Last year I came a bit late, so I didn’t really have that cohesive bond yet with Vegas (Peter Vanis), Jacoby [Kelly], Jackson [Shea], and all the first-year guys. But there’s a reason they’re starters. This year they’ve just transformed into monsters, so we really can’t wait for our first game.”

Spears had a similar mindset when discussing his commitment to the University of Washington. 

Spears shared, “They’d been talking to me for a long time, so they were already on my radar as a school I was really hype about. I pretty much had my mind made up, I was just waiting for the offer.”

Spears noted why other schools didn’t fit his image of the next four years: “When I visited the schools, they were looking for a certain type of player, and I didn’t really match that type of player. Some schools were pressuring me to commit, but it really didn’t feel like home.”

He added, “The difference between UW and all the other schools is that they didn’t tell me to commit then and there. I remember they talked to me in November, and it was my first camp before junior year. I did terribly, it was my worst camp ever. But they saw me progress and get better and better, and they kept in touch. They didn’t just offer me just because other schools were. It felt more like a relationship and less like an offer, which may have been the deciding factor for me.”

This season, Spears hopes to shine at cornerback and safety with his solid secondary including Ceyair Wright, Jackson Shea, and Raman Enigbokan.

Both Spears and Zermeno hope to lead Loyola football to the CIF playoffs and end on a strong note before embarking on their college careers.

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