Zone Read: Remembering, Giving Back

It’s a busy period on the spring football calendar with workouts now if full swing across the state but, more importantly, it’s a time to remember one of Arizona’s finest and his family during this incredibly difficult period of transition.

Bulldog Mentality 

By now most of you are aware of the unthinkable tragedy surrounding former Mesa Mountain View and ASU star Todd Heap. I applaud Queen Creek Bulldogs head coach Travis Schureman and their entire program for going the extra mile to support the Heap families’ #HugsForHolly program Wednesday out in the southeast Valley.

“We feel it is important to give back to the people who support us,” Schureman said to Sports360AZ.com. “When we saw what the Heap family was asking people to do, we decided we wanted to do our part to give back.”

In the prep coaching community there’s far to mentoring teenagers than what route to run, pitch to throw or screen to set. Thanks to you Coach Schureman and many others in Arizona for setting the right examples both on the field and, more importantly, in our community. 

Game of Inches

The recruiting game can be a cruel and cut-throat business for not only the coaches but prospect prospects, as well. Some of the state’s best players come with “flaws” which, in certain cases, have nothing to do with the players’ performance on the field or in the classroom.

Talented Perry High dual-threat quarterback Brock Purdy may be a victim of, well, genetics.

“I feel like my height is the main reason why I don’t get those big Division I offers,” Purdy said to Sports360AZ.com Wednesday morning. “My game speaks for itself. Height is obviously what the major programs look for in a quarterback but I know I have the ability and mindset to play at any program with what I have.”

The stats certainly don’t lie. Playing in arguably the most difficult section in Arizona, the 6-foot-1, 197-pound Purdy amassed 60 touchdowns and close to 6,000 yards the past two seasons with the Pumas.  

Did I mention he also has a 3.8 GPA?

Let’s hope the big college offers catch up with those big stats this summer.

Safety First

The Desert Vista Thunder and head coach Dan Hinds has produced a handful of college quarterbacks in recent years and it appears, from all indications, the next could be in place this fall.

There are other Division I quality athletes on both sides of the ball at DV, including junior free safety Caleb Humphrey, who at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds certainly looks the part. 

The transfer from Alabama had 59 tackles, four pass deflections and two forced fumbles last season.

According to Hinds, Humphrey’s transformation on the field is in many ways a direct result of his work in the weight room. The rangy athlete has put on 20 pounds of muscle since arriving on the Ahwatukee campus.

He recently got his first offer from Adams State but it certainly won’t be his last by the time the fall rolls around.

Southern Star

Down in Vail the Cienega Bobcats are coming off a 12-win season and appear well-positioned again this fall with returning star quarterback Jamarye Joiner, two-way standout Terrell Hayward and speedster Rodney Rodgers who figures to be a key piece in head coach Patrick Nugent’s scheme on both side of the ball in 2017.

“[Rodney] will be a two-way starter for us,” Nugent said to Sports360AZ.com. “Starting corner last year, rated one of the top guys in the state. Lockdown-type kid.”

For now, spring football is on hold for the 5-foot-10, 140-pounder because he’s off doing this.

The Bobcats held seven of their opponents last season to 17 points or less. 

You Never Know Who’s Watching

My advice to all high football players who are hoping to land offers is simple: don’t let up. Just because you’re not out at full contact practice in pads this spring doesn’t mean the colleges aren’t watching. I’ve already spotted coaches from Ohio State, Texas, ASU, NAU, Indiana, Hawaii and others making their way around the Valley in the last couple weeks.

If you don’t think an offer can happen simply from a spring evaluation, it can…as Sports360AZ.com Recruiting Expert Jason Jewell pointed out in this week’s Recruiting Roundup.

Congratulations to Saguaro wide receiver Seth Robinson.

#SagU is at it again.