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College football recruiting picks up for local juniors

Since 2017 when college football established an early signing period in December, taking the focus off the traditional signing day on the first Wednesday in February, the recruiting process has sped up considerably.

With most of this year’s class of recruits having committed, much of the focus for college coaches becomes scouting juniors.

Aug. 1 was the first day coaches could contact juniors by mail and Sept. 1 the first time they could call those players, and one local player already has committed. Liberty athlete Landon Bell said recently he would play at Washington.

“The biggest push recruiting-wise now happens in probably December of your junior year until about June with more and more guys committing early,” said Brandon Huffman, national recruiting editor for 247Sports. “In December when coaches used to go on the road to kind of lock up their class, now they’re using that to go watch underclassmen work out.

“It used to be the spring evaluation from junior to senior year was crucial. Now by that point, you already have an idea of which schools you’re taking official visits to.”

Bishop Gorman players are prominently listed on 247Sports’ ranking of top Nevada juniors, but so are a number of players from other schools, including from the north.

“I think it’s a trend,” Huffman said. “I think you’re going to see more and more players from Nevada in general start to be recruited because more people are moving out that way.”

The top-rated Nevada player of the 2024 class is Arbor View wide receiver David Washington. He already has received at least 20 scholarship offers with particularly strong interest from UCLA and Michigan State.

247Sports ranks Washington as the nation’s eighth-best receiver.

“But he seems to be pretty wide open at this point,” Huffman said. “He doesn’t seem to be in a rush, and because he’s so coveted, I anticipate him being a guy who’s going to see what those national offers consist of before he makes a decision.”

Big loss for Pines

Cornerback Isaiah Rubin, who is ranked by 247Sports as the second-best Nevada player of the 2024 class, withdrew from Desert Pines last week and moved to a high school football program in Long Beach, California.

The departure comes at a time when the Jaguars are playing high-level defense. Desert Pines (4-1) has allowed 14 points over its past four games.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the … I’m a loss for words as this point,” Jaguars coach Tico Rodriguez said. “The transfer portal is real.”

Salt Lake bound

Gorman senior edge rusher Jonah Leaea tweeted he committed to Utah. He also visited Arizona and California.

Leaea is rated in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the state’s 14th-best prospect and eighth by the site itself.

Decision coming

Desert Pines senior edge rusher Idgerinn Dean, rated by 247Sports as the state’s 13th-best prospect, said he is considering San Diego State, Fresno State, Washington and Washington State.

He said a decision likely will come before the end of the season.

“If I have to hold on, though, I will, and after the season come up with my best choice,” Dean said.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com with any recruiting information. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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