RECRUITING: Silverado trio gets noticed by D-I colleges


When Andy Ostolaza looks out at his defense, the Silverado football coach has reason to pinch himself and make sure it’s not all a dream.

That’s because he has three college prospects on the same unit who are each being heavily recruited by Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

“Getting one D-I guy, that’s a big bonus,” Ostolaza said. “But to have three guys, (one) on each level of the defense? When you have a USC coach and a Texas coach on the field at the same time (scouting), that’s probably not going to happen again.”

The headliner in the group, defensive end Keenan Graham, has narrowed his list to Wisconsin, Colorado, UCLA, Virginia Tech and Southern California. The 6-foot-3-inch senior has official visits lined up to Wisconsin on Oct. 11 and to Colorado on Oct. 18. He attended the Ohio State-USC game Saturday as an unofficial visit.

“I’m excited to go check out those colleges and see what they have to offer,” Graham said. “It’s very tough to wind it down. I’m happy with the visits that I have. Those schools recruited me the hardest. They showed that they wanted me. It will be a relief when it’s all over.”

Skyhawks linebacker T.J. Alofipo already has given an oral commitment to play at Hawaii.

He could be joined by Silverado cornerback Michael Wadsworth, who has offers from Hawaii and Arizona, Ostolaza said.

The trio has helped the Skyhawks to a 3-0 start in which they have held opponents to an average of just 6.3 points per game.

Graham and Alofipo each have three sacks, and Wadsworth already has picked off two passes.

“We feel like we have the best defense in the state,” Graham said. “We try to shut teams out. We’re looking to make a run this year, and I believe we can do it.”

Because of his abilities returning kicks and punts as well as playing some receiver and running back, Wadsworth might be the most complete player in the bunch, Ostolaza said.

“If it comes to being a football player, no one’s close to Mike Wadsworth because of everything he does for us,” Ostolaza said.

Graham has been difficult for opposing teams to game-plan for because of his speed off the edge, Ostolaza said.

“I can see where coaches have problems because you can’t replicate his speed during practice,” Ostolaza said.

The 6-2, 242-pound Alofipo has long intrigued scouts because he has “the body of a defensive lineman, but is fluid enough to be a linebacker,” Ostolaza said.

Ostolaza pointed to other seniors throughout the Las Vegas Valley this year who, along with his trio of recruits, make for one of the best recruiting years in recent memory.

Bishop Gorman defensive end Justin Chaisson already has committed to Oklahoma, and Palo Verde defensive back Torin Harris is headed to USC.

“This year, there’s gonna be some marquee guys,” Ostolaza said. “There are high-caliber players here that people miss out on.”