As a head coach, it’s not everyday that a 6-5, 210 pound athlete shows up at your door step looking to come out for your team.
That is in fact that what has happened for Dana Zupke and the Pinnacle football program this spring.
Soon-to-be senior tight end and defensive end Josh Stedman has moved to Phoenix from New Albany, Ohio for his final year of high school and has instantly found a home with the Pinnacle football team.
“It’s been going great,” said Stedman. “I am really liking the team, I’m liking this offense, it’s completely different than the one I ran in Ohio and I am getting a lot more action. It’s a lot nicer and I’m just really excited to play this year.”
At New Albany High School which is not far from Columbus, Ohio, Stedman’s team ran the Wing-T offense which limited his chances to catch passes out of the tight end position. Pinnacle, with a steady trend of quarterbacks with great arms of late starting with Michael Sanders (signed with Idaho State from JUCO this winter), Brian Lewerke (signed with Michigan State) and now Noah Witsoe, like’s to spread the ball around.
Playing with his hand on the ground is still relatively new for Stedman. He came up as a wide receiver and line backer but after a big growth spirt, he has moved into needing to play tight end and defensive end or outside linebacker which adds to the versatility that he can possess on the field.
“I used to be a much smaller, skinnier person,” Stedman explained. “Then I just got bigger and had to change. I needed to get a lot stronger, I still do, and gain a lot more weight to be in my position.”
While in Ohio, Stedman was attracting attention from schools at the next level. In recruiting, Ohio to Arizona is a big change. Outside of the national powers that recruit all over the country, many schools that will recruit the Ohio area won’t make their way to Arizona. Going into his senior year, Stedman’s recruitment almost start all over with the schools that may now turn their attention onto him.
“I asked Coach Zupke to look up some schools and big them out and he’s been doing a great job,” stated Stedman. “He asked Boise State and a bunch of other great Tight End schools to come look at me. I’ve been talking to U of A, been talking to Boise State and I am excited to meet some more coaches.”
Stedman is a new face in this state is a player that could make a big impact in division I from both sides of the ball in the packed Division I that has been newly assembled in 2015.