Feb. 7, 2002
BERKELEY, Calif. - Marcus O'Keith, a 2001 pre-season All-America running back for Narbonne High School in Southern California, has signed a national letter-of-intent to play football at the University of California, Golden Bears' head coach Jeff Tedford announced this morning.
With his commitment to Cal, Tedford's first recruiting class now features 20 student-athletes. O'Keith, who rushed for more than 3,300 yards and 35 touchdowns during his career at Harbor City's Narbonne High, is the third player with All-America credentials to sign with the Bears this year. Wide receiver David Gray (Oakland's McClymonds High) joined O'Keith on SuperPrep magazine's pre-season All-America team, while defensive end Monte Parson (Los Angeles Harbor Community College) was named to JC Gridwire's All-America first team.
"We are ecstatic that Marcus has chosen to attend California," said Tedford. "He is a blue-chip running back who will have a major impact on our football program. Not only does he appreciate the value of a Cal education, but he's the type of young man who has the character and determination necessary to help us turn around our program."
Called "one of the best running backs in the state" by SuperPrep magazine, the explosive O'Keith has been clocked at 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash and boasts a 37-inch vertical jump. The 6-1, 190-pound tailback gained more than 1,600 yards as an All-League star his junior year, then topped the 1,000-yard rushing plateau as a senior despite a nagging knee injury.
Among his many honors, O'Keith was named All-West Region by Prep Star magazine and second team "Best in the West" by the Long Beach Press Telegram. He was also rated the No. 10 running back on the West Coast by PacWestFootball.com and played in the CaliFlorida Bowl III with the California All-Star team.
O'Keith is the younger brother of Latasha O'Keith, a sophomore starting guard for the California women's basketball team.