Cowboy Up: Former Centennial Star Ortiz Headed To Wyoming

photo credit: SI.com

Hollywood isn’t for everybody.

Add former Centennial Coyotes two-way star Jalen Ortiz to the list after he announced Wednesday he will continue his playing career in the Mountain West Conference.

Ortiz played the past two years on special teams and wide receiver under head coach Jim Mora at UCLA. He saw his most extensive action in the Bruins’ secondary against Texas last season.

“I fell in love with the campus and the coaching staff,” said via text message to Sports360AZ.com about Wyoming. “I love the direction and the program and am excited to be a part of it.”

The 5’11, 180-pounder was a three-star recruit by rivals.com and scout.com and rated as Arizona’s eighth-best prospect by another publication in 2013. Ortiz also lettered in track.

He is the second former Valley prep star to leave Westwood. Marcos de Niza’s Priest Willis also transferred earlier this month after spending two years with the UCLA. The former four-star recruit has yet to announce his future destination. The Bruins, thanks in part to former ASU offensive wizard now UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, have made the Phoenix area a primary recruiting target after Chandler High standouts Brett Hundley and Paul Perkins thrived in the Bruins scheme.

“It was difficult leaving my teammates and coaching staff at UCLA,” Ortiz explained. “It just came down to wanting a fresh start somewhere else.”

Both Ortiz and Willis will both have two years of eligibility after sitting out this fall.