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Lompoc High's Sheldon Canley Jr. picks up San Diego State offer

Lompoc High's Sheldon Canley Jr. picks up San Diego State offer

Sheldon Canley Jr., the young running back at Lompoc High, announced two more offers last week.

The 2022 standout said San Diego State and Colorado State offered him scholarships to play football. That makes it four MWC offers for the young Brave. Nevada and San Jose State have also offered the all-purpose running back.

Canley Jr. also holds an offer from William & Mary, an FCS program.

Of course, SJSU is where Sheldon Canley, Sr. starred after graduating from Lompoc High. Canley Jr. picked up the San Jose State offer in September.

The lightning quick back has had to deal with the postponement and possible cancellation of his entire junior season as the state of California has not played high school football this school year. 

The third Canley sibling to play at Lompoc, joining brothers and former Braves Dallas and D'Artagnan, lit up opposing defenses as a sophomore in 2019. 

He carried the ball 83 times for 808 yards and 14 touchdowns.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that Canley was ready to go at the varsity level as a sophomore. His father played for Big Blue in the '80s before playing at Hancock and San Jose State, ultimately entering the NFL in 1991.

Canley Sr. also played on the varsity level at LHS his sophomore season before graduating in 1986 after he was named the Northern League MVP as a senior in 1985. Canley Sr. played two seasons at Hancock College and two more at San Jose State, where he set more than a dozen school records.

Canley Sr. was eventually selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1991 NFL Draft and also signed with the New York Jets and Denver Broncos. 

Canley Jr. was clearly the most explosive every-down-back in the area last fall, showing off his breakaway ability time after time. Once Canley finds a running lane, even if it's just a seam, he makes defenses pay with his speed. He has 4.50-or-under 40-yard dash type of burners. 

But he also shows great vision for a youngster and does not shy away from contact. Just look at his TD run against San Marcos last year, where he was wrapped up, broke free and scored from 40 yards out. (He had 12 carries for 272 yards and four scores in that game).

Canley had three long runs in 2019, scoring on runs of 62, 60 and 57 yards. 

Canley has also built up a reputation as a no nonsense player with Lompoc coach Andrew Jones.

"Sheldon doesn’t say much. He is strictly business, humble and loves football," Jones said last year. "There’s obviously a football pedigree in his family and I believe last year he was just scratching the surface."

San Diego State went 4-4 last year, going 4-2 against Mountain West Conference opponents. The Aztecs are coached by Brady Hoke. Jeff Horton serves as the running backs coach and is the associate head coach.

The Aztec program has consistently produced top-tier running backs. Rashaad Penny topped 3,600 career rushing yards and was a first-round NFL draft pick in 2018. Donnel Pumphrey set the NCAA all-time career rushing record with 6,405 career yards before being drafted in 2017.

Colorado State is coached by Steve Addazio, who took over the Rams program in 2019. Addazio has tallied 57 wins over his nine-year coaching career which included stints at Temple (2011-12) and Boston College (2013-19).

Brian White is Colorado State's running backs coach. White has also coached at Boston College.

The Rams went 1-3 in 2020, playing a pandemic-marred campaign that saw four games canceled for various reasons. The most recent winning season for Colorado State came in 2017, when the Rams went 7-6, a record that included a win over Pac-12 opponent Oregon State. They play at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins at an elevation of 5,003 feet.

Lompoc has a long tradition of producing top running back talent with Toa Taua starting for Nevada, Lavon Coleman topping 2,000 career yards at Washington and of course NFL players Canley Sr. and Napoleon Kaufman, who starred at Washington and in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders after graduating from Lompoc in 1991. 

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