Running out of time: High school football players chasing college scholarships

Running out of time: High school football players chasing college scholarships


Running out of time: High school football players chasing college scholarships


Perry's wide receiver Nate James (10) runs the ball in the second half at Hamilton High School on Friday, October 21, 2016.

Perry’s wide receiver Nate James (10) runs the ball in the second half at Hamilton High School on Friday, October 21, 2016.

It is getting down to the wire, and, for some, there are few opportunities left to gain free entry into college through football.

There are a few undecided high school seniors in Arizona who don’t have to worry about having a scholarship come Feb. 1, the beginning of the  signing period.

These guy will have colleges waiting:

Austin Jackson, Phoenix North Canyon, OL

He’s got the biggest list of suitors among Arizona’s prep crop. Arizona and Arizona State both want him badly. He is open to everyone, but it appears to be down to ASU, USC and Washington. He’s not tipping his hand, as he gets ready this week to play for the West in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.

Isaiah Pola-Mao, Phoenix Mountain Pointe, S

One of the greatest defenders in state history, he is among the country’s most-sought after players, who has ASU, Washington and USC high on his list. This is a player whom coach Norris Vaughan said he expects to some day see play on Sundays.

Odua Isibor, Phoenix St. Mary’s, DE

A very cerebral player, it wouldn’t be a shock if he goes Ivy and commits to Yale. But he’s a Pac-12 caliber player with plenty of options. He is putting basketball season on hold this week for the U.S. Army game.

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Kaelib Jarrell, Scottsdale Saguaro, S

He’s a hybrid defensive back who could play corner or safety. He’ll give major colleges one last glimpse on Saturday on NBC in the Army game, playing for the West.

Jax Wacaser, Saguaro, OL

He blew up at midseason maybe more than any senior in the state, gaining double-digit offers as a long, athletic offensive tackle with great feet, leverage and a non-stop motor. He is expected to commit soon.

COMMIT: Arizona high school football class of 2017 commitments

These guys have slipped through the cracks:

Stone Matthews, Saguaro, RB

Matthews put up more than 2,000 yards each of his final two seasons, but it wasn’t enough to get offers from Division I programs. He has some D.II offers, but Matthews, it appears, is headed to Mesa Community College, if a Division I school doesn’t come calling soon.

Kade Warner, Scottsdale Desert Mountain, WR

This honors student, the son of former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner turned himself into an All-Arizona receiver with improved speed, strength and toughness since a junior season in which he led the state with 96 catches. He has an offer from San Diego. Big schools such as Arizona State and Iowa like him as a preferred walk-on. He is hoping to make his biggest catch before the end of the month with a big program willing to give him a scholarship.

Andrew Nichols, Peoria Centennial, DE

He has every Ivy League school wanting him, but he could play for any major college in the country and have a huge impact. It’s an insult that this guy would be getting prefer walk-on opportunities from Pac-12 schools at this point.

Sean Seawards, Saguaro, OL

This guy had such a big season at Saguaro that coach Jason Mohns is confident his recruiting is “going to blow up late.” His future could be Pac-12, and not as a preferred walk-on.

Imani Lee, Chandler, DB

Lee was a difference maker when he came back after the early-season loss to Phoenix Mountain Pointe. He improved the secondary , tremendously and made big plays in the rematch, the 6A championship win against Mountain Pointe. But he hasn’t gotten any serious Division I suitors.

Parker Henley, Chandler, LB

Here is another tough-as-nails player from the state champs who possesses all of the intangibles that you would think would turn Division I coaches’ heads. He is a tackling machine.

Harold Colbert, Chandler, OL

He emerged as an All-Arizona offensive lineman on a team that averaged more than 50 points in its last 10 games, springing loose the likes of T.J. Green and Ryan Johnson and turning quarterback Jacob Conover into a CBS MaxPreps Sophomores All-American.

Kendon Walker, Chandler, DB

Coach Shaun Aguano also believes this guy can play Division I football, but he keeps waiting for something to come in after deflecting 11 passes and recording 58 tackles his senior season.

Chance Brewington, Chandler Hamilton, WR

This big, physical receiver has all the tools. He catches balls in traffic. But in the recruiting process, he is not catching any breaks from major colleges. He’s the real deal showing off his athleticism on the basketball court right now. For now, he has offers from UNLV, Idaho, Utah State, NAU and New Mexico.

Ladimor Hervey, Hamilton, LB

One of the surest tacklers, his size (6-feet-1 and 225 pounds) shouldn’t be a detriment.

Nate James, Gilbert Perry, WR

Only 5-10, 175, James is a dynamo with the ball in his hands. And he doesn’t hear footsteps crossing the middle. He catches it, and he’s gone. He deserves Division I offers, especially after showing improved grades.

Tavion Allen, Laveen Cesar Chavez, DB

Easily a high major college player, Allen has been catching up academically and should have schools lining up for one of the more versatile and dynamic athletes around.

C.J. Jarmon, Hamilton, WR

He will fill out his 6-4 frame, but he showed off tremendous speed and moves and hands this year to surely attract more D.I offers. Coach Steve Belles said Jarmon’s best offer for now is Eastern Washington.

Suggest human interest stories to Richard Obert at or 602-316-8827. Follow him at azc_obert.

Photo gallery: Arizona high school football 2017 commitments


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