ESPN 300 defensive tackle Victory Vaka announced on Monday he will be skipping his senior season to enroll early at Texas A&M in January due to modifications to the California high school season brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Vaka, the No. 293-ranked prospect overall out of Westlake High School in Westlake Village, California, has been committed to the Aggies since May, and reacted almost immediately to the schedule modifications.
The California Interscholastic Federation released a statement Monday saying education-based athletics for the 2020-2021 school year will begin with a modified season, anticipating it won't begin for most sports until December or January.
"We are continuously monitoring the directives and guidelines released from the Governor's Office, the California Department of Education, the California Department of Public Health, and local county health departments and agencies as these directives and guidelines are followed by our member schools/school districts with student health and safety at the forefront," the release said.
The CIF did not specify the start dates for the regular season for each sport, as that will be determined by each CIF section throughout the state. It did, however, release dates specifying the last day for section playoffs in each sport, saying football's last day for section playoffs is April 10, 2021, and the last day for regional and state championships is April 17, 2021.
Vaka's decision to enroll early means his high school team will be without one of its best players for the upcoming season, and if other California prospects follow suit, it could have a big impact throughout the state.
There are 28 ESPN 300 prospects in the state of California in the 2021 class and 37 ranked as four-stars. That includes five-star defensive end Korey Foreman, the No. 3-ranked prospect overall, as well as three quarterbacks ranked in the top 50 with Jake Garcia, Miller Moss and Tyler Buchner.
Moss and Garcia had already planned on enrolling early at USC. Buchner is likely to do the same at Notre Dame. Foreman hasn't made his college decision yet, but will also enroll early.