Football talent can be found anywhere – just ask the coaching staff at the University of Arizona.
In Jackson County, there sits Central Point, a town of approximately 1,700 people in Southern Oregon. There are beauty salons, restaurants and a martial arts dojo – but that’s about it.
Nothing as prominent as a movie theatre or bowling alley – you can find those establishments five miles away in Medford.
So what brought Wildcats coaches to this small town? At first, it was Crater High School’s R.J. Morgan, a safety-turned-linebacker.
Then they also found one of Oregon’s top defensive recruits: Derrick Turituri, a linebacker.
“He’s one of the best all-around athletes in the state,” Crater coach John Beck said of Turituri. “R.J. was already committed when (Arizona) gave Derrick an offer.”
The last time a player from Crater was given a NCAA Division I offer was in 2011 when Portland State signed Turituri’s brother, Tyler, a defensive back.
Heading into last summer, Derrick was uncertain where he wanted to go. Oregon State had also offered a scholarship, but Morgan got in his ear, and talked up how the two could team up in Tucson.
“It helped him decide,” Beck said.
Now two Comets are landing in Arizona.
PREDICTED CAREER PATH
Myles Jack, a Bellevue High linebacker and U.S. Army All-American, predicted he would play in the NFL at an early age.
“I was in fourth grade when I told my teacher ... I wanted to be in the NFL,” he said. “My teacher went and printed out the whole statistics about what the chances were to becoming an NFL player.
“I got into an argument with my teacher that I was going to be in the NFL.”
This incident has become a point of motivation – and with his commitment to UCLA, Jack is one step closer to proving this teacher – and a bunch of statistics – wrong.
LIUFAU MAY BE A STEAL
Many believe Bellarmine Prep quarterback Sefo Liufau’s best days are ahead.
Liufau led the Lions to the school’s first appearance in a state championship game (matched up with Skyline quarterback Max Browne), and reaffirmed his oral commitment to Colorado in December after having a phone conversation with new coach Mike MacIntyre – about non-football matters.
Liufau took his official visit to Colorado on Jan. 18-19.
NATIVE OF SAMOA
Portland State picked up a raw prospect in Desmond Thompson, out of Kennedy Catholic in Burien.
Born in Motootua, Samoa, Thompson’s family moved to Washington seeking a better education for Thompson. What he found was football.
With just two years of football under his belt, the lean 6-foot-7, 310-pound linemen is looking to wreak havoc for the Vikings.
A coaching change in Nevada prompted Newport quarterback Isaac Dotson to change his commitment to Washington State ... Boise State continued to secure Idaho’s top talent with commitments from linebacker Joey Martarano (Fruitland High School), tight end Alec Dhaenens (Fruitland) and offensive lineman Eli McCullough (Rocky Mountain) ... Alaska’s top recruit for 2013 is offensive lineman Kerian Kuiper of West High School, who committed to Colorado State-Pueblo over Western Illinois. At 6-6, 290 pounds, Kuiper is projected to be a tackle.Kevin Manning: 253-597-8680