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RECRUITING: Gorman point guard Loyd’s stock soars

Johnathan Loyd could have accepted a football scholarship to play defensive back at UNLV, but the Bishop Gorman senior declined the offer.

“My love’s not in football,” he said.

Loyd’s heart is set on basketball, where he is an even hotter commodity to college coaches and recruiters.

The 5-foot-9-inch point guard said he has basketball offers from Northwestern, Southern Methodist, Virginia, Texas Christian, Creighton and Oakland (Mich.).

Loyd plans to make an official visit to Northwestern this weekend and hopes to take at least two more trips. He visited Cal Poly and Northern Arizona in the fall but passed on the November signing period.

The strategy worked. His stock soared during a senior season in which he led the Gaels to a 30-2 record and the Class 4A state title Friday in Reno.

“Since I’ve been back it feels like I’ve been on the phone nonstop,” Loyd said. “It’s going to be hard to make a decision.”

Gorman coach Grant Rice said Loyd rose on the recruiting landscape as a senior because of his leadership and point guard skills.

Loyd averaged 13.3 points and 8.2 assists for the Gaels, who are ranked No. 13 nationally by USA Today.

“These days, most kids are combo guards,” Rice said. “He’s obviously a true point guard.”

Loyd said he has been able to rely on the advice of two older brothers who are currently sophomore guards at the Division I level.

Former Palo Verde star Michael Loyd Jr. plays at Brigham Young, and former Gorman standout Kevin Loyd is at Grambling State.

“I know they’ve been through it,” Johnathan Loyd said of recruiting. “I talk to them all the time.”

Johnathan Loyd also has received interest from UCLA and UNLV, though UNLV is among five schools still awaiting a decision from Findlay Prep senior point guard Cory Joseph.

RECENT DECISIONS — Recent football signees include Cimarron-Memorial running back Stephen Nixon (Eastern Arizona College), Desert Pines tight end Paul Bennett (Colorado School of Mines) and Tonopah kicker Denver Otteson (Montana Tech).

Palo Verde junior girls soccer player Lexa Green committed to Akron.

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