Cal Poly

Nipomo High’s Britt commits to play at Cal Poly

Tribune photo by David Middlecamp: Nipomo High’s Kevin Britt catches a touchdown against Lompoc last season.
Tribune photo by David Middlecamp: Nipomo High’s Kevin Britt catches a touchdown against Lompoc last season.

Nipomo High receiver and defensive back Kevin Britt has verbally committed to play football at Cal Poly, he said Sunday.

This past season, the 6-foot-1, 160-pound Britt caught 53 passes for 893 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning all-CIF Southern Section Northwest Division, all-Los Padres League and all-San Luis Obispo County first-team honors.

Britt, who has 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash, also made 71 tackles as a defensive back, as Nipomo went 8-4, advancing to the divisional quarterfinals for the first time in school history. He made an official visit to Cal Poly with several other recruits this past weekend.

“I liked seeing how good they are in education,” said Britt, who plans on majoring in business. “That’s what got me. And just being with the other recruits, we all liked how we were treated, and we bonded together.”

His scholarship is 75 percent full, he said, and it could soon be bumped up to 100 percent. In the early stages of Cal Poly’s recruitment, Britt was being looked at more as a defensive back, but he said his position will ultimately be determined in camp.

“He can play at Cal Poly on either side of the ball,” Nipomo coach Russ Edwards said.

The Titans’ season came to an end at the hands of eventual CIF Division III state bowl champion Serra of Gardena, which finished ranked No. 9 in the state. In the 48-18 quarterfinal loss, Britt out-produced Cavaliers receiver Robert Woods,’s No. 6 recruit in the nation, who has committed to USC. Britt caught four passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns, compared to Woods’ two catches for 88 yards and one score. He also made five tackles to Woods’ two. That helped lead to several other Division I programs expressing interest in him, including Fresno State and San Diego State, but ultimately, he decided to stay close to home.

“I’ve just got the weight off my back,” Britt said of the recruiting process. “I feel good with my decision and I’m very excited about it.”

Britt started his varsity career at Nipomo as a sophomore, reeling in 18 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns. As a junior, despite battling recurring ankle injuries, he caught 27 passes for 389 yards and four scores en route to all-county second-team distinction, and was also a factor on defense (19 tackles, two interceptions and five pass break-ups) and special teams (six kickoffs returned for a 30.3-yard average, including a long of 88 yards).

In his junior year, Britt set an Elks San Luis Obispo County Track and Field Meet record by winning the 400-meter dash in 50.35 seconds (he has also been electronically timed at 49.28).

The Mustangs — two years removed from a banner, record-breaking season that culminated in a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) playoff berth — are coming off a 4-7 campaign that saw much of the team riddled with injuries. Britt is the second local product to announce his commitment to the Mustangs this offseason, joining St. Joseph running back and kick returner K.J. Cusack. At Cal Poly, Britt will be reunited with former Titans teammate Korben Boaz, a defensive lineman coming off his redshirt freshman season.

Britt, voted the Titans’ MVP this past season by players and coaches, is the third Nipomo product from this class to commit to play at the Division I level, joining fellow receiver and defensive back Akeem King (San Jose State) and linebacker Duane Hanna (Sacramento State). All three are expected to sign their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.

“They’re all guys who’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do their entire four years of school,” Edwards said. “We’ve been telling them the whole way, ‘You’ve got talent; if you work hard — if you do A, B, C and D — good things will happen for you.’ And good things are happening for these guys.”

Running back Eric Penningroth, meanwhile, has received interest from San Diego and Cornell, among others, while quarterback Josh Correia will continue his career at Monterey Peninsula College.

“With where we’re located,” Britt said of the largely rural community, “having that many guys from one team go to all those schools is really special.”