COSTA MESA – It is common for athletes and coaches to have a relaxed and fun attitude toward the Orange County All-Star Football game. The two athletes who appear to be having the most fun on the South roster are defensive backs from University High: Darrius Outland and Jalen Robertson.
As the South goes through daily practices for the June 30 contest at Orange Coast College, Outland and Robertson make sure that nobody goes more than a few minutes without laughing. The duo challenges receivers during one-on-one drills and playfully taunts offensive coaches when they force an incomplete pass.
When Outland and Robertson were introduced to each other, they didn’t become instant friends. Robertson transferred to University from Inglewood High entering his junior year and Outland’s competitive spirit made him weary of Robertson.
“I saw him (Robertson) and I thought, ‘who is this boy over here trying to take my spot?’,” Outland recalled Thursday night. “The next day I introduced myself and after that we were like family.”
“It was competitive through that summer because we didn’t know who was going to star,” Robertson said. “We ended up both getting to start on different sides.”
Having them play on the same defense gave opposing quarterbacks headaches the past two seasons. Outland had a stellar junior season, intercepting three passes and making 40 tackles. He earned numerous scholarship offers, including one to Fresno State.
Robertson had 57 tackles this season along with four interceptions. He also returned 10 kickoffs for 259 yards and a touchdown.
Outland and Robertson are thrilled to be playing together one more time.
“It’s an honor because there are a lot of great athletes at University and me and Darius (Outland) get to show how good we are and how good University is,” Robertson said.
Having a friend on the field made Outland less nervous about playing in the game.
“Once I saw him (Robertson) walk on the field I was like,…