QB, receivers make the right connections

Leanne Cave

Every football team has team leaders who are well respected and dynamic on the playing field. The Bakersfield College Renegades are no exception.

The four sophomore offensive starters that lead the BC passing attack are quarterback Thomas Peregrin, wide receivers Jonathan Nunez and Tajiddin Smith, and tight end Jeff Fielder.

They have definitely earned the respect of BC head coach Jeff Chudy.

“All four of these players are team leaders,” Chudy said. “They have great work ethic and they all work together to get the job done. They all have a strong will, determination and are goal oriented. All four will end up signing for four-year colleges, and all four are educational minded.”

Peregrin, 20, is from Bishop Manogue High School in Nevada. Peregrin has a GPA of 3.41 and hopes to major in business. Peregrin chose to play for BC because his high school coach Joe Sellers, who attended BC, suggested that it would be a good choice.

“I chose BC because my high school coach said it would be a really good learning experience and that I should come play for coach Chudy,” Peregrin said.

Peregrin is currently the state leader in passing yards with 1,485 for the 2005 season and has amassed 3,442 career yards.

“I am excited about the rest of the season,” Peregrin said. “If we come together and play like we know how, we can make it to the championship game.”

He credits his receivers with some of his success.

“These guys have been getting open and making the catches. If I make a bad throw they step up and make a great catch,” he said.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound sophomore quarterback says he hopes to play for the Oregon Ducks.

“I really want to go there and play,” he said. “My high school coach will help me in making the decision where I will go. He (Sellers) will be a big factor in helping me choose.”

Nunez, 20, attended Liberty High where he was a leading receiver for the Patriots.

Nunez says he has always had the dream of playing for a Division 1 school but felt BC was the right choice in preparing to get to that level.

“I am fortunate enough to live in a city where there is a great junior college program,” Nunez said. “Playing at the college level is a different experience, and there is a lot to learn. It’s really cool because everyone is here for the same reason you are. They can relate with you, and everyone believes in themselves and their teammates.”

The 6-3, 188-pound sophomore is undecided as far as where he would like to attend school.

“I know I want to go out of state,” he said. “I have already obtained my AA in Liberal Arts. As soon as football is over, I graduate.”

Nunez says that his father has been the biggest influence in his life because of his work ethic.

“He works harder than anybody I know,” Nunez said. “That’s what life is about is working hard.”

Chudy said Nunez is no stranger to that concept.

“He is a hard worker, and he is not going to let anyone stop him from what he wants to do or achieve,” Chudy said.

Smith, a 6-2, 170-pound sophomore receiver from Newark, N.J., leads the state junior college receivers in yards per catch. He has a 3.21 GPA.

“We’ve got great team players, and everybody plays hard,” said Smith, 22. “It’s got a great environment. It’s a good way to stay out of trouble.”

Smith said he came to BC because his coach in New Jersey had sent players out here before. Smith also wanted to get away from the neighborhoods in New Jersey.

Besides the receivers, Peregrin can throw to tight end Fielder, who is a 6-5, 260-pound sophomore. Fielder is from Salina, Okla., and decided to come to BC via the Internet.

“I got on the Internet and started reading about the tradition here at BC,” Fielder said. “That caught my eye. Everyone here has a never die attitude. We’re all family here. I think that has a lot to do with the success of BC and the program. Coming here was the best decision I ever made.”

Fielder, 21, has made some clutch catches for the BC offense, and his contribution is well appreciated by the players and coaches.

“Fielder as well as Peregrin are tough by nature,” Chudy said. “Both of these guys come to practice and work hard every day.”

He is majoring in liberal arts but undecided as to a four-year college.