Story by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
College of the Canyons defensive lineman Aurion Peoples has committed to Arkansas State University, becoming the program's second player to do so this spring and continuing the recent trend of former Cougars turned Red Wolves.
Arkansas State University is an NCAA Division I program located in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The Red Wolves compete in the Sun Belt Conference.
Peoples played 10 games in 2019, racking up 18 total tackles, a sack and three tackles for loss as a sophomore interior defensive lineman. That effort help Canyons (9-3, 4-1) end its 2019 season with a co-conference championship and a trip to the SCFA Southern California Championship Game vs. eventual state champion Riverside City College.
In his freshman season at COC, Peoples finished with 19 total tackles, including 13 solo, in nine games. That year the Cougars' defense limited opponents to a state-best 9.5 points per game and surrendered just 10 touchdowns during the regular season. Canyons, which finished the regular season 10-0, held opponents to just 248.4 yards of offense per night in 2018, good for third in the state.
Standing at 6'3" and 290 pounds, Peoples came to Canyons after starring at Quartz Hill High School. He is the second Canyons player to sign with the Red Wolves this spring, joining offensive lineman Kideam Diouf who will also join Arkansas State for the 2020 season.
In fact, Peoples is the fourth former Cougar to join the Red Wolves since the 2017 season. Former COC all-conference defensive end Noel Iwuchukwu made his way to Jonesboro after his sophomore year in 2017. COC wide receiver Leroy Deshazor also committed to Arkansas State after strong seasons with the Cougars in 2017 and 2018.
Canyons (9-3, 4-1) ended its 2019 season in the SCFA Southern California Championship Game with a loss to eventual state champion Riverside City College.
Peoples is the latest in a growing list of players from the 2019 Cougars football team that have committed to four-year programs this spring. COC offensive lineman Azad Markosian (Austin Peay State University), outside linebacker Khalib Johns (Kent State University) and defensive end Benjamin Seymour (Montana State University) have each signed in recent weeks.
Throughout the winter and spring months a number of Cougars players have found new homes at four-year schools including offensive tackle Kilian Zierer (University of Auburn), center Jordan Palmer (Middle Tennessee State University), kicker Tanner Brown (University of Nevada Las Vegas), defensive tackle Jack Schultz (Abilene Christian University), linebacker Tyler Richardson (Wagner College), safety Tre Vallar (Wagner College), running back Cayden Dunn (Northwestern State University), defensive back Jauqine Vukobradovich (North Carolina Central University), quarterback Armani Edden (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa), wide receiver Alonzell Henderson (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa).
In all, more than 25 players have received and/or accepted offers from NCAA Division I programs, with that number continuing to grow.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
—Photo by Jeff Dahlia/COC Football