Posted by Bryan Fischer
CARSON, Calif. -- Fresno (Calif.) wide receiver Deontay Greenberry has drawn plenty of attention to himself over the years thanks to his offensive skills but late in the game Saturday - with his team's undefeated record and a state title on the line - his three best grabs might have been on the defensive side of the ball.
With Washington Union's offense slowed to a halt since the first quarter in the California Division III Championship game, Greenberry's fumble recovery, 4th quarter interception and onside kick recovery had just as much impact on the 21-16 final score than his early touchdown catch.
"I wasn't even supposed to play defense today because I had a minor shoulder injury," Greenberry said. "Coach just put me out there and I made some big plays. Defenses win the game and big ups to them."
The 6-foot-3, 187-pounder was naturally the focus of the opposing Campolindo defense for much of the day. He often had a safety over the top of him to prevent deep routes and was at the very least double teamed every time he was targeted. Despite all that, he established a new state-record with his 33rd touchdown catch of the season in the first quarter, soaring above two defensive backs to haul in a 26-yard beauty.
"That was my goal I set in the summer," he said. "I'm happy I achieved it. I wanted to break a state record."
Though the Notre Dame commit is in the Los Angeles area for the championship game, he will not be leaving with his team and will stay in the city as part of a last-minute official visit to USC.
"Tee (Shepard) said he was really interested in them so he wanted me to go out there and check it out," Greenberry said. "He graduated early and has one more trip left. He just wants to go out and take it."
A five-star cornerback also out of Fresno, Shepard sat out this season after transferring from Central East High to Washington Union but was in the stands to see his cousin, Greenberry, capture the title. Although it seems as though he is having second thoughts about the Irish, Greenberry was adamant that the two would be signing with the same school in February.
"Of course," Greenberry said. "No matter what."
Any doubts about going halfway across the country seem to lie only with Shepard. Greenberry has been very upfront with most of the programs that have offered him a scholarship that he will almost certainly be leaving California for school.
"Like I said at the beginning of my recruitment, I want to leave the state," he said. "That's where my mind is right now.
"It's not just Notre Dame, I just want to get away from home and experience new things. That's pretty much what I want to do."
Greenberry is still going to listen to what the Trojans and primary recruiter Clay Helton have to say during the visit a few miles from where he ended his high school career but he has given no indications that he will flip his commitment any time in the future.
"Right now I'm still solid to Notre Dame and that's where I'm at," Greenberry said. "Who knows (after the visit) but right now I'm solid."