Soccer talent and good grades spell difference for students

Updated: October 16, 2007, 5:40 PM ET
By Mary Buckheit | ESPN.com

PORTERVILLE , Calif. -- On a soccer field surrounded by miles of sprawling farm land in California 's Central Valley, I ask 9-year-old Fabian Mendoza where he wants to go to college. "New Jersey!" Fabian says before racing back to his playmate and a soccer ball.

Fabian has never been outside California, but sight unseen, he wants to be just like his big brother, Noel, who is a sophomore almost 3,000 miles away at St. Peter's College in Jersey City, N.J.

The Sequoia ...

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