Palo Verde football players Daniel Godkin and Tyrone Blake took note of how well their elder teammates carried themselves last season.
While cornerbacks Torin Harris (Southern California) and Sidney Hodge (UNLV), linebacker Liloa Nobriga (Colorado) and running back Chaz Thomas (Minnesota Duluth) eventually signed with college programs, they did not allow the recruiting process to distract from their team focus.
It resulted in a 14-1 season and a dominant march to the Class 4A state championship game, which the Panthers lost to McQueen, 13-12.
“When everybody’s working, not worrying about college, it kept us focused on what we needed to do,” said Blake, a fullback and safety.
It’s an example Godkin and Blake, both seniors this season, plan to follow.
“I want to get that bitter taste out of my mouth, losing that one-point game to McQueen,” Godkin said.
Godkin, who will move from defensive end to middle linebacker, said he has scholarship offers from UNLV, UNR, Navy, Wyoming, Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.
Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Iowa, Stanford, USC and Utah also have shown interest.
“It’s not necessarily a bother. It’s more like a reward,” Godkin said of recruiting. “But at the same time, you’ve got to be humble about it and just go about your business on the field.”
Blake said he has offers from Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. UNLV, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and Washington State also are tracking him.
Palo Verde running back/defensive back Earnest Hall, a transfer from Del Sol, said UNLV, Arizona State, Colorado State, Florida, Louisiana State and UCLA have been in contact, though he has no offers yet.
“It’s going to be a great season,” Hall said. “We have a lot of new guys, me being one of them. We just have to keep working hard every day.”
Here are updates on other uncommitted players who will be seniors:
— Bishop Gorman defensive lineman Ian Bobak said he has offers from Fresno State and UNR. UNLV, Arizona, Arizona State, California and Washington have expressed interest.
— Green Valley kicker/punter Nolan Kohorst said he has offers from UNLV and Wyoming.
— Arbor View quarterback Austin Anderson said he has an offer from Southern Utah, with UNLV and UNR also showing interest.
RECENT DECISIONS — A flurry of graduated seniors committed late to junior colleges and various other small programs.
In boys basketball, signees include Agassi Prep guard DeShawn Battle (Northeastern College, Colo.), Bishop Gorman guard Kylel Coleman (San Jacinto Central College, Texas), Foothill forward Martin Earnest (Southwestern Oregon College), Legacy guard Terrell Evans (Yakima Valley College, Wash.), Palo Verde post Jamey Gream (Yakima Valley), Mojave post Kevin James (Southwestern Oregon) and Canyon Springs guard Terence Stanley (Southwestern Oregon). James also will compete in track.
In girls basketball, Foothill guard Desirae Ayala signed with Southeast College (Neb.).
In baseball, signees include Arbor View pitcher Josh Arnold (Olympic College, Wash.) and Shadow Ridge catcher Allan Butler (Tacoma College, Wash.).
In boys track, signees include Centennial’s Jonas Eldridge (Scottsdale College, Ariz.) and Western’s Corey Evans (Barton County College, Kan.) and Aaron Harris (Barton County).
In girls swimming, Foothill’s Caytie and Courtney Maddock signed with Indian River College (Fla.).
In wrestling, Cimarron-Memorial’s Travis DeGroat signed with Hastings College (Neb.).
In boys soccer, Pahrump Valley’s Daimon Nelson signed with Treasure Valley College (Ore.).
In girls soccer, Arbor View’s Rachael Davis signed with Treasure Valley.