Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Arbor View High junior football player Keenen King isn’t your typical big guy on the line.
Yes, King is big — he’s 6-foot-5, 285 pounds and has the frame to continue growing.
But he’s also quick on his feet, becoming a Division I recruit because of his ability to get off the line of scrimmage and block downfield.
King was offered a scholarship last week by Arizona State, picking up the first of what should be numerous offers. He’s being recruited heavily by a handful of big-time programs, including Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, San Diego State and Utah.
Only a select few underclassmen receive offers prior to the offseason before their senior year. It’s reserved for the elite prospects, players who could potentially change the landscape of a college program.
The 16-year-old King still has two seasons remaining at Arbor View, meaning the sky is the limit on his potential.
“The 6-5, 285. That goes a far ways for kids. Some kids are lucky to be born that way,” Arbor View coach Dan Barnson said. “But on the flip side, he works hard. He competes in the weight room and field. It’s more than the (measurables). It’s the uncoachable stuff that sets him apart.”
King, an offensive tackle, says blocking in Arbor View’s double-wing offense has helped his development. Most of the Arbor View plays are misdirection runs.
“I can move my feet better (because of the offense). It makes me more mobile,” King said.
King isn’t the first Arbor View lineman to attract recruiters. Two years ago, tackle Elijah George signed with Oregon. And Malik Noshi, from the class of 2015, holds an offer from Northern Arizona. Noshi will combine with King to give Arbor View a dominating one-two punch up front.
“Noshi has taught me a lot. He’s a great teammate,” King said. “He cares more about the team than himself.”
King is still 18 months away from signing with a college. The process of being recruited and trying to decide where to play is just beginning.
King, the last of six children in his family, realizes he’s one of the lucky ones. He could become the first in his family to graduate college. And, of course, his schooling will be paid for.
“We’ll tell him to have fun with it,” Barnson said. “There are a lot of kids who would want to experience what’s going to happen to him over the next 18 months. ...Right out of the chute, you get a school like ASU to offer you a scholarship. It will be fun to see who comes a calling.”
King isn’t the first underclassman in the area to receive a scholarship offers. Bishop Gorman sophomore quarterback Tate Martell is verbally committed to Washington, Gorman sophomore defensive back Alex Perry has an Arizona State offer and Centennial 2017 defensive lineman Greg Rogers has been offered by Utah.