Contra Costa College football coach Alonzo Carter wasn't surprised his squad had nine players sign scholarships Wednesday.
"I'm actually disappointed. It should be more," said Carter, who completed his third season as Comets coach with a victory in the Living Breath Foundation Bowl in November. "My goal this year ... was to be in the 20s."
But nine is certainly a huge number of signees and is an example of the program's turnaround. Contra Costa has posted a winning record the past two seasons, including an 8-3 mark in 2012.
The Comets' most highly-recruited player from last season's squad was offensive lineman Desmond Harrison, who is headed to Texas. The 6-foot-8, 315-pound tackle was a three-star prospect according to rivals.com. He also considered Oklahoma, USC, Arizona State and North Carolina State before choosing the Longhorns. Harrison played his senior season of high school football and graduated from Oak Ridge Military Academy in North Carolina.
"It was really nice for me today to do this because I didn't get a chance to do this out of high school," Harrison said Wednesday. "I'm excited to go to Texas and play at that stage."
Two Comets signees with East Bay high school roots are quarterback Taylor Valdez (College Park) and offensive lineman Raushawnzai McCants (De Anza).
Valdez is headed to Western Oregon University and McCants is signing with Lane.
"I'm very happy because not many people from where I come make it to a four-year college," said McCants, who grew up in Richmond. "I want to show people that it could be done. I'm very excited right now. I almost broke down and started crying because I didn't think I could make it."
Other Contra Costa players who signed Wednesday include linebacker Eriquel Florence (Arizona State), defensive lineman Demetrius Cherry (Arizona State), offensive lineman Damien Parris (Houston), running back Rashad Hall (Utah State), wide receiver Ronald Butler (Utah State) and Mike Douglas (Shaw). Carter also said that he anticipates defensive end Aaron Norton-Buford, a Berkeley grad, signing a letter of intent probably by the end of this week.
"It's a release," said Butler about his feelings about signing a letter of intent. "When you finally sign that letter, it's a blessing."
Los Medanos has eight players who will be signing this month: wide receiver Terrance Polk (Hawaii), linebacker Rahdeese Alcutt (Bethune Cookman), Demoin Stroman (Ottawa Univ. in Kansas), wide receiver Terrance Brooks (Tiffin), running back Brian Thomas (Ottawa-Kansas), running back Devontae Anderson (Sterling), defensive back Darien Anderson (Montana Tech) and quarterback Mike Behr (Ottawa-Kansas).
"The guys have been working hard, and it's starting to pay off," Los Medanos coach Chris Shipe said.
Diablo Valley's February signings include running back CJ Best (Texas State), cornerback Damon Collins (UNLV), offensive lineman De'Ondre Wesley (BYU), linebacker Kyle Egan (Duquesne), running back Vince Ferrante (Cal Lutheran) and defensive lineman Kiti Kulu (Southwestern Oklahoma).
Laney's football signees on Wednesday included punter Jed Barnett (Oklahoma), quarterbacks Adam Robinson (Kentucky State) and Austin Kent (Southern Methodist University) and offensive lineman Viliami Haunga (Bacone College).
Chabot offensive lineman CJ Backlund signed with UNLV, and Gladiators tight end Kris Petersen signed with Texas State.