Isn’t it amazing how football season is not for close to five months, spring evaluation period isn’t even for a month yet there is enough noteworthy news conducive for a column?
News came down on Wednesday night that Chandler High School Quarterback Bryce Perkins had committed to Arizona State. A very good get for Todd Graham and company. We knew Perkins had athleticism, but I was blown away by how much of a competitor he is.
What stands out to me is this is now the fourth commitment made in the 2015 class and like I said, we are still one month away from spring evaluation period. For those scoring at home, Perkins’ commitment to ASU the most recent of the 2015 class coming after Campo Verde DT Finton Connelly and Desert Ridge running back Taren Morrison to U of A and Horizon OT Jake Grant to Utah.
There are a couple of factors that I see being the case with this that my friend and colleague Jason Jewell and I have discussed.
The first, college coaches are able to get in contact with prospects earlier and earlier. A lot of young kids have had enough time to form opinions about a coaching staff and program before their senior year rolls around. Look at Bob Stoops and Oklahoma going and offering Saguaro freshman Kayden Lyles this past winter.
The second, the internet. Because of bozo’s like me and other web reporters out there, a player gets an offer from a major college and instantly he will receive multiple phone calls from reporters. I am sure you could ask Kyle Allen or another big player from the 2014 class that their biggest reason behind wanted to commit early after jumping to lock a spot with a great program, is avoiding the constant contact from the media. Kids will think it is cool to receive offers and get attention at first but after a few more come in, they get over it and want to make their decision and move on.
Do not expect this flurry of commitments from players in the 2015 class to stop before their senior year begins this fall. I expect the top Arizona prospect in this class, Christian Kirk, to announce before the end of the summer. He is up to around 34 offers now and has already announced that he is going to be graduating high school early to enroll in school and partake in spring practice at the next level. Kyle Allen and Jalen Brown are currently doing that with Texas A&M and Oregon.
One would think that Kirk would want to have his decision made on where he is headed at the next level well before he graduates early. So stay tuned for that coming down within the next three or four months.
Finally, I received a note from former Cardinals and NFL special teams coach Gary Zauner about a great opportunity for local high school special teams players coming up. He will be holding a kicking camp from April 25-27 at Paradise Valley High School. Zauner has incredible experience having trained and consulted over 100
NFL kicking specialists, including 22 Pro Bowlers in his coaching career.
We don’t hear enough about opportunities for kickers and punters here in the valley very often and this opportunity is a good one. Zauner most recently has worked with Dave Zastudil of the Cardinals at the pro level, former ASU punter Josh Hubner and then Ben Sweet from Pinnacle High School who is now heading to NAU next fall.
Call (623) 879-8800 for more information and make sure to ask for ‘Coach Zauner’ rate.