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Cousins Jacob Nunez and Ryan Morgan of Lompoc football officially sign with Arizona State

Nunez, Morgan signing
Lompoc teammates, Jacob Nunez and Ryan Morgan, sign National Letters of Intent to play for Arizona State, allowing the cousins to continue their playing their football careers together. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

LOMPOC, Calif. -- In front a huge gathering of family and friends Wednesday evening, Jacob Nunez and Ryan Morgan completed a lifelong dream.

During a ceremony inside the Lompoc Boys and Girls Club, the Lompoc football players each signed a National Letter of Intent with Arizona State.

"It means the world to me," said Morgan. "I have been dreaming about this since I was a little kid."

"It means a lot," Nunez said. "To come from a small town and do this at such a high level, it's uncommon for small town kids to make it out."

Wednesday marked the first of the brand new three-day early signing period for high school athletes.

While receiving a college scholarship is always a special occasion, this event was more emotional than most.

Nunez and Morgan are not only Lompoc teammates, they're also cousins, born to sisters just 16 hours apart.

"It's been an inseparable bond since we were little kids and seeing everything that's happening, it's everything that we could ask for," said Morgan.

The two have played together at the youth and high school levels, and now with their commitment to Arizona State, they'll continue their careers in college.

"It's a special opportunity for me and him because we've been talking about this since we were kids," said Nunez. "We always wanted to go to the same school and play football together and we've always been talking about it and it's kind of crazy. It hasn't sunk in yet."

Morgan is a Lompoc native and comes from an athletic family.

His mother is Claudia Terrones was a member of the 1991 St. Joseph state championship basketball team and was inducted in the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table earlier this year. After high school she later played basketball at Gonzaga and is currently the Lompoc High School athletic director.

His father Scott Morgan is former Lompoc star, who played both baseball and basketball also at Gonzaga and later played minor league baseball.

Nunez grew up in Nipomo and later moved to Lompoc for his high school years.

It means a lot, especially for people from Nipomo, Lompoc," said Nunez. "They are all my family, everybody. The whole community, I'm representing them and it just means a lot that we can come together for something like this."

Nunez has long been linked to the Sun Devils.

After receiving numerous college offers from several Pac-12 Conference teams, including USC, Utah, Washington State and Oregon State, the highly recruited star lineman verbally committed to play for ASU.

Morgan had a much different route signing with Arizona State.

The star tight end spent much of his junior season injured and received only two offers, Wyoming and UNLV.

Before his senior season started, he gave a verbal commitment to play for the Cowboys.

However, last month, Morgan received a surprise offer from Arizona State.

Along with his family, he made the difficult decision to decommit from Wyoming and join up with the Sun Devils.

"The decision was really tough on me," said Morgan. "The way I was raised, I was taught to stand by my word, so that was one of things I was really battling with, but ASU was the better option for me. I was going too have family there, it's closer to home and it's everything I wanted since I was a little kid. I did pros and cons with both and Arizona State just outweighed Wyoming.

Along with Nunez and Morgan, Arizona State Herm Edwards head coach inked a total of 13 recruits.

According to ESPN, the Sun Devils earned the 32nd best recruiting class in the nation.

"It's very exciting knowing that we have such a good class coming in and the players already there, we're so young, but we're so talented," said Nunez. We can do big things. Rose Bowls. We can get there. I know we can."

Nunez will graduate early from Lompoc and begin classes at Arizona State on Jan. 13.

With his early enrollment, Nunez will be able to participate in the Sun Devil's spring practice.

The two are the first Lompoc players to sign with a Pac-12 team since Ainuu Taua signed with UCLA in 2014.

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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.