Last summer, Casey Dakin attended a football camp at Sacramento State and began to build a strong relationship with the Hornets coaching staff.
There were other schools, but Dakin remained loyal to Sacramento State with their relationship reaching a peak Sunday when the Templeton High senior lineman gave a verbal commitment to play for the Hornets after an official weekend visit.
Dakin is the second Templeton standout athlete to commit to a college. Oklahoma State-bound runner Savannah Camacho is the other, and the two will hold a public signing at their high school Wednesday afternoon for National Signing Day.
“I think it’s great,” Templeton football coach Dan Loney said. “It shows the type of athletes that come through Templeton. It’s a small school but we have athletes who can contribute to the school as well as at the college level.”
Other colleges were interested in the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Dakin, including the University of San Diego, where his mom, Kelly, graduated. He also took an unofficial visit to Montana, but Dakin knew Sacramento State was always at the top of the list.
“It was Sacramento State from beginning to end,” said Dakin’s father, Pete. “He liked the coaches, the facilities and they have a good business school, too, and that’s what he’s going to pursue.”
Dakin, who was unavailable for comment Monday, traveled to Sacramento in the fall, when he caught a Hornets home football game with his dad.
And then he went there again last weekend on an official visit, which ended with a verbal commitment to the Hornets, who play in the Big Sky Conference — Cal Poly’s new home in the fall.
As a senior, Dakin helped the Eagles to their second consecutive appearance in the CIF-Southern Section Northwest Division semifinals.
His efforts earned numerous postseason accolades, including winning the Los Padres League’s lineman of the year award and earning spots on The Tribune’s all-county defensive first team and the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Medium Schools offensive first team.