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FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Holiday cheer brought in form of college commitments for area gridiron stars

Birmingham Brother Rice's Jason Alessi committed to Yale this week. (Oakland Press file photo)

Eat your heart out, Santa.

A half dozen of Oakland County’s top prep football players stuffed their Christmas stocking with a college commitment these past few days.

The Big Ten, the Mid-American Conference and the Ivy League were all represented in the early holiday gift-giving.

In terms of the FBS, Birmingham Detroit Country Day quarterback Tyler Wiegers committed to Iowa, Birmingham Brother Rice wide receiver Corey Lacanaria committed to Ball State and Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes offensive lineman Brandon Keen committed to Central Michigan.

Out of the Ivy League, Brother Rice safety Jason Alessi committed to Yale and his teammate, star defensive lineman Alberto Sandoval and Stoney Creek athlete Sean Scullen both committed to Cornell.

“Attending and playing football at an Ivy League school is something I’ve always strived for and to know that’s now in my future is incredibly gratifying,” Sandoval said.

His future college running buddy with the Big Red echoed those sentiments.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled,” Scullen said. “To get the chance to receive a first-class education and play for an exciting and enthusiastic coaching staff is just amazing. I’m very lucky.”

Wiegers, who was the county’s most prolific passer last season as a junior, had originally committed to Rutgers back in the summer, but had vacated the pledge in early November.

He threw for over 2,000 yards as both a junior and a senior, leading Country Day to repeat district titles and a trip into the Division 4 state championship game in 2012.

Lacanaria still eclipsed the 1,000-yard marker receiving while missing three games with an injury. There weren't many wide outs as reliable on key situations than Lacanaria, who will leave Brother Rice with numerous records in tow.

Alessi is a rare athletic specimen and will go down as one of Brother Rice's all-time greats. He's one of the best placekickers in state history and was as masterful in the secondary and on special teams return as humanly possible. His miraculous 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the closing seconds won the Warriors its' 2012 state title.

During his time high school, he can boast all-Catholic League honors in three different sports (football, lacrosse and basketball) and all-state accolades in two (football and lacrosse)

Initially, Alessi had committed to play lacrosse in the Big Ten at the University of Michigan.

Sandoval topped the season tackle-tally this past fall for the Warriors, recording 76 wrap-ups and six sacks.

The Brother Rice trio ended their high school careers by winning a third straight state crown at Ford Field on Thanksgiving weekend.

Scullen, a diverse talent that can play quarterback, wide receiver or safety, spearheaded a program turn-around at Stoney Creek in his three years as a starter for the Cougars.

Keen transferred into the county gridiron ranks for his senior year in August, - after three seasons playing up near Flint at Lake Fenton -, and helped take WOLL to a Catholic League title.

Last Updated: 12/22/2013 6:28:40 PM EST

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