Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 | 8:47 a.m.
2011 recruits expected to sign Wednesday
- Connor Afoa, LB, Foothill High, UNLV
- Tala Atimalala, DL, Desert Pines High, Army
- Malik Brown, RB, Canyon Springs High, Southern Utah
- Jalen Grimble, DL, Bishop Gorman High, Miami or UCLA
- Bennie Harris, DE, Silverado High, San Diego
- Ladale Jackson, ATH, Silverado High, Utah State
- Miles Killebrew, DB, Foothill High, Southern Utah
- Marquan Major, WR, Las Vegas High, Idaho
- Bryson Mook, DL, Bishop Gorman High, Northern Arizona
- Eric Noone, OL, Silverado High, San Diego
- A.C. Patterson, C, Bishop Gorman High, UTEP
- Don Pearson, WR, Faith Lutheran, Navy
- Togasii Peko, DB, Bishop Gorman High, Navy
- LaShaun Sims, DB, Agassi Prep, Southern Utah
- Sam Tai, DL, Liberty High, UCLA
- Brandon Wright, RB, Palo Verde High, San Diego State
- Evan Zeger, S, Bishop Gorman High, Washington
LaShaun Sims’ first year at Agassi Prep was also the public charter school’s first year with a football team.
It posted a 1-8 record in 2007 while playing 8-man football in the state’s 1A classification.
Three years later, however, Agassi has one of the top 2A classification teams in the state, winning the 2A Southern League title last fall in finishing at 9-3 overall.
Sims, a 6-foot, 175-pound safety, was a big reason for the success. Fittingly, he became the school’s first recipient of an athletic scholarship, inking Wednesday with Southern Utah of the Football Championship Subdivision on national signing day.
“He’s, in my opinion, the best free safety I’ve ever been around,” Agassi coach Colt Goodman said.
Sims knows adjusting from 2A football to the rigors of the college game will be easier said than done. He’ll likely red-shirt next year to add bulk to his lanky frame and become acclimated with a faster version of football.
“I think it will be big,” soft-spoken Sims said of the transition. He added that is was rewarding to be the first student at Agassi to receive an athletic scholarship.
Getting Sims to talk about himself is nearly as difficult as opposing wide receivers finding success against his coverage. He had four interceptions this fall.
“Southern Utah coach (Ed) Lamb called me on a Wednesday and (Sims) committed by Friday,” Goodman said. “He saw the same great things in LaShaun that I did. He’s an outstanding athlete and a ball hog. When the ball is in the air, it is his.”
Sims also received recruiting interest from Northern Arizona and New Mexico State. Southern Utah was his lone offer.
Having a player from the 2A classification reach the next level will help open the door for future small-school players, Goodman said.
“I have a lot of parents in this area who are talked to by 4A coaches, saying their son won’t get recruited at a 2A school,” the coach said. “Colleges are looking at the athlete, not who they play for, in deciding who they want to sign. Now I can tell the parents the proof is in the pudding.”
Sims is one of 17 — 11 Division I and six FCS — expected to sign Wednesday.