Jasen Oden, a 2011 East High grad who attended North Carolina Tech Prep this past year, signed with Colorado State football Tuesday afternoon at the Delevan-Grider Community Center.
Wearing a Colorado State lanyard given to him on his official visit, as well as a green-and-gold Rams baseball cap, he signed a financial aid agreement with Colorado State for a full scholarship in front of family and friends at Delevan-Grider.
Oden said his trip to Colorado State went so well that he canceled scheduled visits with Illinois and Connecticut.
Oden headed to NC Tech in order to improve is standardized test score and make him eligible for NCAA Division I football. He headed there after former Sweet Home standout D.J. Nettles had attended NC Tech (Nettles signed with Bethune-Cookman after attending NC Tech, but a transcript glitch has him headed to a junior college this fall to help clear that up).
By the looks of its website, NC Tech has cranked out players to Division I.
Oden is believed to be the first football player from the Buffalo Public Schools to head to Division I since 2008 Grover Cleveland grad Steve Means headed to the University at Buffalo; the last major college signing from the former Harvard Cup schools was current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Mike Williams from Riverside (2006) to Syracuse.
Oden was a third-team All-Western New York selection at defensive back in 2010. He helped East to a 6-3 overall record and a 4-2 record in Class B Central, although the Panthers were ineligible for the postseason due to an administrative move that placed East, an A-sized school, in Class B. East impressed with a victory at Cheektowaga and were part of a very strong first season in Section VI for the Buffalo Public Schools.
Colorado State of the Mountain West Conference is entering its first season under coach Jim McElwain, who came to the Rams after four years as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Alabama, where he was part of two national titles. In the recruiting process, Oden dealt mainly with assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach Billy Napier, who came with McElwain from Alabama.
I'll have more in my Prep Talk column in Wednesday's paper.