Off the fields and courts it’s been a busy week with differing opinions on the AIA’s approved high school year-round practice schedule for all sports beginning this summer, so I guess I’ll start there.
Let’s Wait and See
Everyone seems to think they know if the new rule will help or hurt student-athletes in the long run but to me, I say let’s give this a year…at least. It’s far too early to tell what the long-term impact of year-round practices will be but I do know one thing for certain, most coaches won’t feel the need or even be tempted to be around their players for 12 months and the same can be said for the teenagers they coach.
A few have already been pretty outspoken about their stance.
Year around practice…no need. You won’t see a Salpointe winter 7on7 team- You will see us in the playoffs though! Jan thru Apr…Wt room!
— Dennis Bene (@LancerFBcoach) March 5, 2017
My biggest concern with the new policy will be duel-sport athletes peeling back to one because there will be full-time access to the staffs on campus.
One of the state’s top two-sport athletes doesn’t see his routine being altered.
“I think my schedule won’t be really changed,” Pinnacle sophomore football and basketball standout Spencer Rattler said to Sports360AZ.com Wednesday morning. “During football [season] I’ll be practicing football with Pinnacle and my quarterback coach, during basketball [season] I’ll be practicing basketball with Pinnacle.”
In many ways these “year-round” practices already exist through loop holes like “paid” camps and other shortcuts where coaches can “work” with players, even when out of season.
First and Foremost
Happy for Perry quarterback Brock Purdy who got his first, well-deserved offer this week.
Extremely Blessed and excited to announce my first D1 offer from Northern Arizona University! Thank you coaches and God Bless! pic.twitter.com/6L5kOIcPHF
— Brock Purdy (@brockpurdy13) March 5, 2017
“It’s a blessing to get that first offer and feels great,” Purdy told Sports360AZ.com. “Knowing that a college trusts in me and believes that I have the talent to play [college] football.”
FAST FACT: Perry junior QB Brock Purdy, who was offered by NAU Sunday, had 5 or more TD passes SIX times in his 10 games last season.
— Gridiron Arizona (@gridironarizona) March 7, 2017
His production last season was off-the-charts as Purdy finished with over 4,000 total yards and a jaw-dropping 48 combined touchdowns, despite playing in only 10 games for the 11-2 Pumas. Expect even bigger things this fall as he hones in on one specific aspect this off-season.
“This spring I will work on getting faster,” he explained. “I feel like my [arm] strength is already good.”
Yep, you could say that.
The Trend Continues
It’s no secret the overall strength of the 2018 class is up front with several high-end Division I prospects on the offensive line. Feel free to add Horizon’s Isaiah Mursalat to that list.
“Isaiah’s size, length and quickness make him a great offensive lineman,” head coach Ty Wisdom said. “Guard is the position I see him playing at the next level.”
Already 6-foot-4 and 281 pounds, Mursalat has the size and athleticism of another recent Horizon star lineman, NAU’s Luke Rudolph.
New Nevada head coach and former ASU assistant Jay Norvell was the first to offer Mursalat late last month.
Pressing the Issue
Was good to see former Desert Vista standout and all-around good guy J.J. Dielman put in a solid performance of the NFL watchful eyes in Indianapolis last week.
Utah’s J.J. Dielman (Desert Vista) did 27 reps of 225 pounds at the NFL Combine. Reminder that he went to Utah weighing just over 230.
— AZ Varsity- Football (@AZHSFB) March 8, 2017
I enjoyed getting to know the Utah Ute, who has great NFL bloodlines, at Pac-12 Media Days last summer in Los Angeles. Although he missed five games last year due to a leg injury, he certainly has the athleticism, work ethic and smarts to play at the next level, most likely at center.
Dielman could break into the top four rounds of next month’s draft because of his skill set.