Santa Cruz’s Myles Reber, Franz Pohlmann sign with D-I football programs

Santa Cruz’s Myles Reber, Franz Pohlmann sign with D-I football programs

SANTA CRUZ — A pair of senior Santa Cruz High footballers, Myles Reber and Franz Pohlmann — both currently unranked and starless in the eyes of scouting authorities — have signed nationwide letters of intent to the Division I programs of the NCAA as Favorite Extras on Signing Day.

Reber, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound receiver and a defensive back, has committed to the Cal Golden Bears and will likely play either as a receiver or a safety. Pohlmann, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound tight and defensive end, signed on Wednesday to UC Davis, an FCS program, and will remain on the offensive side of the ball at the next level.

Santa Cruz High’s Myles Reber scored a bouncing touchdown against Pajaro Valley during the Santa Cruz County Jamboree at Cabrillo College on Aug. 19. The Grizzlies were flagged for pass interference on the play, but the Cardinals denied the penalty. (Raul Ebio – Sentinel of Santa Cruz)

“I’m super excited to go,” said Reber. “I want to compete and show them that all the stars (in the player rankings) don’t matter. I want to do the best I can.

The Cardinals (2-8, 1-5), one year out of their Pacific Coast Athletic League Mission Division title, were tied for fifth in the prestigious Gabilan Division in the fall. And while neither Reber nor Pohlmann boasted stunning stats, their flagship reels showed plenty of next-level promise. Both are three-year-old starters and both stand out from the track as well.

Reber did his best to make himself known and noticed. He attended Cal Junior Day in 2021 and also attended camps at Stanford and Sacramento State, as well as the Routes vs Coverage showcase at Foothill College.

“I had no stars and I wasn’t rated so I had to keep boring coaches,” said Reber, an all-PCAL second-team selection on both sides of the ball. He noted that he repeatedly emailed his seminal film he created on Hudl.

Santa Cruz High’s Myles Reber makes a leaping first-half catch as he is defended by Salinas’ Julian Arreola on September 30. (Donald Fukui – Santa Cruz Sentinel file)

Reber has a ringing endorsement from Cardinals coach Bassel Faltas.

“Myles is an absolutely incredible athlete,” he said. “He’s amazing at creating space and separation. It just makes it look easy, and it’s not. He is very explosive. Its future is certainly bright.

Cal reached out to Reber before his junior season and the parties stayed in touch. Reber, who holds a cumulative grade point average of 3.75, finally sent in his transcripts. Cal officials recently swung to Santa Cruz to see him run routes and catch the ball. Kaden Smith, a junior catcher for the Cardinals baseball team, served as his quarterback. Apparently they liked what they saw of Reber himself.

He also liked what he saw after touring the campus and the team.

“I love the faculty and staff,” he said. “It’s like a family up there.”

Reber finished sixth in the 100-meter final (11.66) at the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League Championships last spring.

Cal wants Reber to keep working and improving his speed. For this reason, he will spend his senior season on the baseball field and focus solely on athletics and explosive-focused workouts.

The Golden Bears went 4-8 last season, 2-7 in the Pac-12 Conference under head coach Justin Wilcox. They beat rival Stanford in the Big Game and suffered four touchdown losses to Notre Dame, Colorado, Washington and UCLA.

Cal’s recruiting class included two other PCAL athletes, redshirt sophomore tight end JT Byrne (6-5, 250), a former Carmel standout who transferred from Oregon State University, and Salinas senior receiver Nyziah Hunter (6-2, 200).

Santa Cruz High’s Franz Pohlmann tackles Scotts Valley quarterback Cole Leonard during the teams non-league football game August 26. (Raul Ebio – Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Pohlmann, who has also traveled to eastern Washington and the University of San Diego, has been to UC Davis three times in the past 10 days. It also communicated with Villanova University, Long Island University and the University of Nevada-Reno.

“I was lucky to have height,” he said. “So I worked hard to try to be as athletic as possible. But I didn’t think any of this was possible until maybe six months ago.

Pohlmann, who has a 4.2 average and plans to major in physiology or kinesiology, played right tackle as a sophomore and junior. He finished with less than 10 receptions that season in his first season at tight end.

“We struggled to find the ball for him,” Faltas said. “Offensively, we struggled a bit.

Pohlmann was impressed with what UC Davis had to offer. “They all have new facilities and a new stadium, and I also met the players,” he said.

Santa Cruz High’s Franz Pohlmann prepares for the pole trade of Myles Reber, and Nick Edmonds of Soquel awaits the trade of Chance Crossin in the 4×100 relay at the SCCAL Athletics Championships in Felton on May 7. (Raul Ebio – Santa Cruz Sentinel file)

Barely a finished product, Pohlmann will likely wear a red shirt for the Aggies next season. Trainers would love to see him add 25 pounds of muscle when all is said and done.

Pohlmann also competed in track and field last season and placed third in the 100m (11.43) and fourth in the 200m (23.71), both personal bests, at the SCCAL Championships. He also helped the Cardinals 4×400 relay team (3:43.24) to third place in the Finals.

“His potential is huge,” Faltas said. “He’s going to get bigger, stronger and faster.

“He moves well. He is fast. Two other great things about him are his work ethic and his commitment to the weight room. He does all the little things. He’s a great teammate, a coach’s dream and a terrific leader. We will miss him.

The Aggies went 6-5 overall in 2022, 5-3 in the Big Sky Conference, under head coach Dan Hawkins. Three of their losses — South Dakota State, Weber State and Sacramento State — were by one touchdown or less.

“They’re talking about making the next jump, so I’m excited about that,” said Pohlmann, a second-team defensive line pick in the PCAL Gavilan Division vote. “I will work hard and see what happens. I want to do the best I can, really.

Santa Cruz County had already signed three other players as JC mid-year transfers. College of San Mateo tight end Brendan Doyle (6-3, 245), a Monte Vista Christian School alumnus, has signed with the University of Memphis. Cabrillo College freshman offensive lineman Jack Bacon (6-6, 280), a former Santa Cruz, has signed with Stephen F. Austin State University. And San Jose City sophomore wide receiver Casey Collins (6-2, 205), a Scotts Valley alum, signed with the University of Nevada, Reno.

Cabrillo safety Zeke Thomas (6-4, 200), a former Soquel, has an offer from UCLA but has yet to sign. It also has offers from Missouri Valley College, Lincoln University, South Dakota School of Mines, and the University of Ottawa.

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