Southview High School quarterback Austin Valdez used a Cougar connection to find out about the Bowling Green State University football team.
"I think the coaches there are great, and when I met the players I liked them a lot," Valdez said. "Shaun Joplin is from Southview and he talked to me about going to BG.
"I wanted a chance to play quarterback in Division I, and when Bowling Green offered me I wanted to take advantage of that."
Valdez, who will be a senior at Southview this fall, verbally committed to join the Falcons football team. He is expected to sign a national letter of intent with BG in February; NCAA rules prohibit the BGSU coaching staff from commenting on players until that letter of intent is signed.
Last season Valdez led the Cougars to a 9-2 record, a Northern Lakes League title, and a Division I playoff berth. An All-Northern Lakes League second round choice in 2011, Valdez completed 108-of-188 passes for 1,820 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Valdez also carried the ball 130 times for 513 yards, an average of 3.9 yards per carry.
Southview coach Jim Mayzes is a big fan of Valdez.
"He's a great kid, and he's a great athlete who has an incredible arm," Mayzes said of Valdez. "He loves the game of football.
"I had all three of his brothers -- Pacho, Bubba, and Chad -- and they were all tough linebackers on defense. Austin brings that spirit and toughness to offense."
Austin Valdez said he tries to temper that defensive spirit when he is at quarterback.
"All three of my brothers were leaders on defense," he said. "I try to lead as much as I can, but at quarterback you have to be composed."
Valdez said he has talked to Warren Ruggerio, BG's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, about what his role with the Falcons will be.
"Coach Ruggerio is a good guy, and we have talked about how complicated the quarterback position can be," Valdez said. "When I come to BG I am going to redshirt a year so I can get stronger and learn the offense, then compete for the job as a redshirt freshman."
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.