Recruiting Notebook: Summer Is Here.

The floodgates have opened. 

Players can now get on college campuses for visits, and plenty of satellite camps are happening around the country. 

This spring, I’ve been able to catch up with multiple players receiving recruiting interest for programs around the nation. 

Here are a few updates on a few guys catching they eye of college coaches.

Devon Grubbs – 2022 Desert Vista Running Back

The Desert Vista athlete saw a lot of action on both sides of the ball last year. In a six game season, he was the Thunder’s leading rusher and second on the team in tackles. Over two years, he’s tallied 116 carries, 671 yards and seven touchdowns. 

He currently holds offers from ASU, NAU, Arizona and Air Force. The in-state schools are recruiting him as a running back, and Air Force thinks he can bring versatility to the defense. He plans to visit Air Force and Tucson and will be camping at ASU and NAU this offseason. 

His older brother, Tyson Grubbs, is currently in Flagstaff at NAU. These two were quite the pairing in the backfield at Desert Vista, and big brother has given Devon advice on navigating a recruitment.

“What he’s told me is that I need a lot of communication with the colleges, and that’s something that I can’t sleep on,” Grubbs said. “That’s what I’ve been relying on. Just keeping a good connection with all the college coaches that I’ve been talking to me not shying away from some. That’s pretty much the biggest factor that I’ve been using.”

Duce Robinson – 2023 Pinnacle Tight End

Duce Robinsonn has quietly become one of the most recruited players in the country. He would much rather tweet about his teammates’ development than his individual offers, and he’s excited for the weapons on offense, including new starting quarterback Zach Wren.

“We had a really productive spring ball,” Robinson said. “We’ve got Zach as our quarterback now, and I’m super excited to have him back there throwing the ball to us.”

Robinson will be balancing football and baseball this summer, but will be traveling a good deal to check out campuses. It was reported he was one of many in-state 2023 targets to visit Arizona State last week.

“I’m definitely trying to get down South and to the Midwest,” Robinson said. “I’ve never really spent much time there, I’ve been to South before, but it’s so different there. I definitely want to see some schools down there. And then some schools throughout the Midwest and just all over the place in the Pac-12.”

Among some of the programs jumping out to Robinson’s lengthy offer sheet include Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, LSU, Washington, ASU and Notre Dame.

Angel Flores – 2022 Casa Grande Quarterback

This is one of the recruitments in the state that will be an interesting one to track. Flores has been a consistent playmaker for Casa Grande the past few years, throwing for 5,286 yards, 36 touchdowns, 19 interceptions in 31 games. On the ground, he’s rushed for 2,291 yards a 41 rushing scores. He’s had nine 100-yard rushing games in this career. It’s not just the on-field stats that are impressive. Flores boasts a 4.19 GPA as well. 

His stature and background remind me of Sabino quarterback Dru Dixon, who transitioned to a wide receiver at he University of Arizona. While Flores isn’t going to make a position change, his dual-threat domination at a smaller school was similar to what Dixon did in his prep career.

The Ivy League schools love him. He has offers from Columbia, Georgetown, NAU and Morgan State. 

Throw in limited exposure the last 18 months due to the pandemic, and Flores is looking to hit the road this offseason to get in front of college coaches. 

He was in Dallas this past weekend at SMU. He’ll be checking out Rice and Colorado and camping at UNLV as well. 

“(These camps) are super important just to get in front of coaches, show them what you got,” Flores said. “I think that’s what’s really going to really, like display, what I can be able to do overall.”

He takes pride in what his team has been able to accomplish at Casa Grande, and knows his exposure on the recruiting trail can lead to his teammates getting looks too. He wants college coaches to know what he could add to their quarterback room.

“What I can bring is definitely an attitude, the wind I hate to lose. So someone that’s real competitive and I would never give up a guy that’s relentless in everything.”

Wyatt Milkovic – 2023 Basha Linebacker

The Basha linebacker averaged 11 tackles per game in four appearances this year. After transferring from Hamilton as a freshman, Milkovic had to sit the first half of the season but was always around the football. 

Holding offers from New Mexico, NAU, Colorado and Iowa State helped the linebacker get off to a good start this spring. 

Most recently, he was offered by Cal, where he is close to a fellow Arizona Bear. 

“A good friend of mine that I trained with (former Desert Vista defensive lineman Brett Johnson), who’s actually, d-tackle over at Cal. So, you know, I was kind of texting a little bit. He was he was pretty stoked when I received the offer.”

Milkovic will be camping with Cal on June 27th, and has been getting the full rundown of the program from Johnson.

“He just loves the coaching staff,” Milkovic said. “He loves how they get on him every time he does something wrong, just to get it right. He’s learning to be a lot more accountable just because of these coaches, and that’s what I’m kind of excited to be part of.”

The linebacker will be another player who is well-traveled this summer, also checking out UNLV’s camp and seeing Nebraska and Texas Tech.

Miles Lockhart – 2024 Basha Defensive Back

Speaking of the Basha Bears, Miles Lockhart is one of a few players in the program getting heavily recruited in the 2023 & 2024 classes. The rising sophomore had a strong freshman season, and it’s even more impressive knowing he was playing defensive back for the first time. 

Now, he’s continuing to get his feet under him in preparation for his sophomore season. 

“I’ve gotten to focus a lot on my technique. My cousin, Zeke Robbins – he goes to Nevada – I’ve been training with him a lot. So it’s been fun. I’ve learned a lot from Coach Harper out here. He’s helping me so I feel like I’m going to be a ton better at corner this year, a lot more technically sound and everything.”

Lockhart’s latest offer comes from Colorado, who has been all over Basha recently, also extending offers to Milkovic, offensive lineman James Durand and quarterback Demond Williams Jr. Spearheading this Basha push has been Colorado defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin, father of Hamilton 2023 defensive back Cole Martin. That familiarity, among other factors, make it an interesting opportunity for Lockhart.

“It’s a good school,” Lockhart said. “I saw what they’re doing last year and it looks good. They’re trying to build something special. So you know, it’s worth worth taking a look at.”

James Durand – 2023 Basha offensive lineman

The 2023 Basha offensive lineman has already stepped up as a leader within these Bears offense. During the showcases Basha was a part of, Durand often took the bag first for his fellow linemen to go through first before wrapping up the rep. 

It’s a program he’s watched as a young varsity player and seeing his brother Jonothon go through.

“I’m just trying to make people better. That’s the goal,” Durand said. “We come out here every day. We grind, we sweat. It starts every morning. We just are getting better together and that’s that’s the goal every time we step out to to work.”

“I think already the culture we’re building as a program is going to be a hard to beat culture and just by aging, we’re just going to be a force to be reckoned with.”

Durand currently stands at 6-foot-5, 285 pounds and has a 3.9 GPA. He currently holds offers from New Mexico, NAU, Iowa State, Utah, Arizona, BYU and Colorado. 

It’s a process he got to watch his brother go through, who is currently at Yale.

“He just he always told me that, no matter how many offers you have, you got to be humble about it,” Durand said. “You have to be able to act in a way that you’re still getting your your classwork done. And and the priorities on the team you have right now.”

Dylan Roberts – 2023 Centennial Defensive Lineman

Roberts made an impact as a sophomore last year. He said he felt very fortunate he still had the opportunity work out during lockdown and continue to get bigger. That wasn’t the case for all of his teammates, and he felt it took them a little time to make up for lost time.

“It’s like we’re gonna hit you harder and faster than you ever expected, Roberts said. “I think that just made it hard for us. Because not everyone had the opportunity to get strong.”

The Coyotes hit their stride and made another Open Division tournament appearance. Roberts was the man in the middle for them. In nine games, Roberts notched 37 tackles, six tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. 

He hopes to keep his big frame at about 270 pounds to keep that perfect balance of speed and power. 

Roberts picked up a big first offer from Arizona. He said he was in “awe” of the opportunity and is well aware of the type of former players on the coaching staff.

“It’s great what they’re trying to do right now is get great in-state players,” Roberts said. “I’m totally on board with it. That’s super smart idea. We have great athletes in-state, and I feel like they’re going the right track but trying to rebuild.”

It should be a busy summer for Roberts, will be checking out multiple Pac-12 campuses including Cal, Washington among others.

KJ Miniefield – 2022 Desert Ridge Defensive Back

Desert Ridge returns a lot of athletes for Roy Lopez’s first year, and Kevin “KJ” Miniefield is certainly one of those. As a defensive back, the senior styles his game after Jalen Ramsey and Marcus Peters.

“I would say I’m a long guy, really long arms off the press. I can get my hands on receivers, physical, and I can come up with run whenever I need to. And I have the IQ for a college or the next level.”

Standing at 6-foot, 175-pounds, he currently holds offers from Air Force and Nevada. 

For Air Force, it’s been a full court press in his recruitment.

“They’re really good at recruiting. (Tight Ends Coach Jonathan Himebauch), we’ve have a really good relationship since the first day,” Miniefield said. “He’s really just reached out to me. Their whole coaching staff, I’m talking from my own line to corners coach.”

Nevada’s Riccardo Stewart has been leading the charge on Miniefield’s recruitment and is making a connection.

“He’s a great coach,” Miniefield said. “I’ve talked to him many times in the past. I know that they love recruiting Arizona, so I know that just having that background, it would be good for me coming in.”

Brendan Anderson – 2023 Mountain Ridge Quarterback

Mountain Ridge quarterback Brendan Anderson stepped in as the starter as a sophomore in 2020 and threw for a solid 1583 yards, 19 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.

It was impressive numbers for a starter with virutally no offseason. Now that he has a full preseason and a year of varsity experience under his belt, he’s looking to take the next steps in his development.

“Last year, we went in and we were just learning things as we were going,” Anderson said. “Now like we’re all connected really well and it’s cool.”

Anderson has prioritized his speed this offseason to help add a dimension to his game.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound quarterback likes to style his game after Matthew Stafford. He holds a 3.8 GPA and has an offer from Yale. That first opportunity made him focus on what he needs to do on the field and in the classroom

“I just have to keep my grades up,” Anderson said. “If I go there, and I succeed, then everything’s open for me after that.”