Zone Read: Recruiting As Hot As Arizona Summers

It’s crazy to think the Arizona high school football season is around 50 days away. With some schools being back in session in less than a month (what!?!?), maybe I shouldn’t be surprised after all.

It’s been a busy week around the state, especially on the recruiting front, so here we go.

May the (Air) Force Be With You

Saguaro’s Max Massingale became the latest Sabercat quarterback who will play in college. The Air Force commit follows Kare’ Lyles, who followed Luke Rubenzer, who followed Teddy Ruben, etc. 

Look for Massingale to thrive in Colorado Springs after finishing up next season at #SagU.

“The system they run is Tailor made for [his] skill-set,” Saguaro head coach Jason Mohns said to Sports360AZ.com. “The fact that they were his first offer went a long way with him. Above all though, it was an opportunity to get a one-of-a-kind education and set himself up for a very successful future.”

Speaking of successful futures, I hinted last week Spencer Rattler of Pinnacle liked what he saw. Tuesday he made it official

I cannot begin to tell you how smart it is for players to commit early, especially in the dead of summer when their mind is clear of school, sports, etc.

Speaking of Quarterbacks…

It’s time for Power 5 schools to stop sleeping on Perry’s Brock Purdy. There has been much made of his “smallish” frame and not being a “prototypical” quarterback at the next level but let’s take a moment and reflect back on his 2016.

197-306 (.644), 3,333 yards, 42 touchdowns, 11 interceptions.

He also ran for 842 yards and six scores.

To me, these numbers don’t even tell the whole story. I tend to focus more on the 11 wins (seven more than the previous year) and the fact it came in the toughest section in the state.

Let’s please stop with the excuses about why Purdy can’t/won’t play major college football. 

Lesson Learned

Recruiting is a cut-throat, at times difficult period for student-athletes. Coaches at elite programs will do just about anything within the rules (wink, wink) to woo a prospect into a commitment.

If you read this column or frequent our site you’re probably familiar with Tucson Salpointe’s super-skilled Matteo Mele who transitioned to a new position this spring and saw his recruiting take off in just a matter of days.

Next year he’s headed to Seattle as Chris Petersen strikes gold in Arizona once again.

What struck me most was what Salpointe head coach Dennis Bene said to me about Mele’s recruiting rollercoaster, which can be far from fun and games.

“I tell my players on recruiting trips it’s not all about facilities and uniforms, it’s about people and the program,” he explained. “Coach Petersen and the University of Washington are about as good as it gets. Matteo is very fortunate and very blessed to have this opportunity.”

The first line of his quote is pretty telling if you’re familiar with Mele’s Pac-12 offer list. 

More Huskies

It appears the Horizon Huskies football program is again well-stocked with ballers from the Rudolph family. Former standout offensive lineman Luke Rudolph is entering his second season for Jerome Souers up at NAU.

Middle brother Brett Rudolph led the Dawgs in tackles last season (74) as a junior, while forcing a pair of fumbles and intercepting a pass.

Now its youngest brother Jay’s turn to become an impact player under head coach Ty Wisdom. The sophomore is already 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and growing. Many near the program feel he isn’t even close to scratching the surface of the type of player he will become over the next three years in north Scottsdale. 

“The Horizon coaches think he has a future as a big-time tight end,” Luke said to Sports360AZ.com. “They’ve talked to me quite a bit about him. I think he could end up being the best out of three of us.”

That’s what I call brotherly love.

Sky(line) Is the Limit

If you’re looking for “the next big thing” in the east Valley check out Zach Kriens, who at 6-feet-1, 220 pounds is going to have a monster sophomore (yes, sophomore) season at Skyline.

He is a heat-seeking missile and tackling machine at middle linebacker and versatile enough to be effective out of the backfield, as well.

Getting Comfortable

Desert Vista senior quarterback Derek Kline seems to be adjusting well to life in the Valley. The 2018 prospect, whose family re-located to Arizona, has positioned himself well for a big year in Ahwatukee.

“Everything is going great,” he said to Sports360AZ.com. “I went to a bunch of camps in June. San Diego State, South Dakota State, Idaho, Memphis, Western Kentucky, Yale and Brown.”

Along the way he’s received some words of wisdom from his head coach Dan Hinds.

“He tells me, see the colleges I can see myself at not only for football but for school,” he explained to Sports360AZ.com. “Choosing a college isn’t a four-year decision, it’s a 40-year decision.”

Amen.