Fooks finds a football home

SANTA FE SPRINGS - Former Santa Fe High School quarterback Dameron Fooks knows little about being a cowboy and less about the state of Oklahoma.

But the 18-year-old has a few years to figure out both after recently accepting a scholarship to play with Big 12 Conference power Oklahoma State.

"It was pretty exciting and I wasn't really expecting it," Fooks said. "I was just hoping I'd get some scouts to see me my sophomore year."

The former Norwalk resident finished a freshman campaign at Fullerton College in which he was converted to wide receiver and helped the Hornets to a 10-1 record and a National Division South Conference Championship.

Fullerton defeated San Diego Mesa, 26-0, in the quarterfinals of the Southern California playoffs before falling to state runner-up Mt. San Antonio, 34-27, in overtime in the semifinals.

Fooks was second on the team in receptions (20) and receiving yards (302) and led the Hornets with five touchdowns.

His biggest game may have taken place against Saddleback on Oct. 25, when he caught a game-winning, 9-yard touchdown pass with 1:02 remaining in the fourth quarter to lead the Hornets to a 24-21 win.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder had another big moment when he received a call from the Cowboys at a most unexpected time.

"I was actually in the shower when the phone rang," Fooks said. "I'm just happy that I jumped out and decided to pick it up."

Fooks said he had been preparing for his sophomore season at Fullerton when he garnered interest from Arizona State and Oklahoma State.

"I want to say it was around early May, maybe late April when I was contacted," Fooks said. "All of this kind of happened out of the blue."

He said his choice of Oklahoma State wasn't difficult.

"Arizona State had already offered all their scholarships and Oklahoma gave me a guarantee," Fooks said.

"But it wasn't just that. When I made a trip out to Oklahoma, the coaches really seemed to care and the facilities were top-notch."

Part of Fooks' surprise was because of his recent move to wide receiver.

"I had been a quarterback my whole life," he said. "My decision to go to wide receiver was really based on wanting to try something new."

Fooks threw for 635 yards on 44 passes in limited action his senior season while leading the Chiefs to the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.

"The interesting thing about the transition from quarterback to receiver is that it wasn't difficult," Fooks said. "I knew what a quarterback would be thinking when looking to pass.

"My whole quarterbacking experience was only a benefit."

The only area that concerns Fooks a bit is his new surroundings of Stillwater, Okla.

"I've grown up in California my whole life and I've been told that the culture is different and that it's really hot," Fooks said. "I guess that's something I'm going to have to get used to."

andrew.campa@sgvn.com

(562) 698-0955, Ext. 3061

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