Hillsborough quarterback Tarean Austin, a three-year starter for the Terriers and one of the top passers in the bay area, will head west to play college ball.
Austin, the bay area's fourth-leading passer this past season, has given his college pledge to New Mexico.
He has recently narrowed down his college choices to New Mexico, FIU and Western Kentucky. He had also received offers from Iowa State, Michigan State, Purdue, UCF and USF. He had also received interest from Cincinnati late last week.
In the end, he chose the Lobos, which play in the Mountain West Conference. He made an official visit to New Mexico early last month.
"The main reason was I wanted to get away, get out of Florida a bit and see something new," Austin said of choosing New Mexico. "I liked everything about it. The mountains, the nice view."
The Lobos already have strong local ties. Former Hillsborough receiver Daryl Jones was a senior on this year's team and fullback Josh Fussell (Durant), offensive guard Mike Cannon (Durant) and running back A.J. Butler (St. Pete Catholic) are also on the Lobos roster.
Austin, a three-year starter, threw for 2,132 yards and 20 touchdowns and 6 interceptions last season. He said coaches have told him he will get the chance to compete for playing time early.
-- EDUARDO A. ENCINA (firstname.lastname@example.org)