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RECRUITING: Liberty receiver savors first college offer

In a football season sure to be highlighted by offensive and defensive linemen, Liberty junior Ethan Dedeaux stands out as one of Southern Nevada’s top returning playmakers.

The 5-foot-9-inch, 175-pound wide receiver, though, says he’s only getting started.

Dedeaux, who received his first recruiting offer June 13 from Northern Arizona, is one of several Southern Nevada players garnering national attention this offseason.

Along with his teammate quarterback Kenyon Oblad, who received an offer from Brigham Young, Dedeaux became the first Liberty player in coach Rich Muraco’s 12-year career to receive an offer before the start of his junior season.

“It means a lot to me,” Dedeaux said. “Liberty is a great school, and they’ve had a lot of great players before me. I’m honored to be one of the first guys. …

“It was amazing (to get the first offer). It was humbling. I didn’t think they were going to offer me. But then it got serious and it really hit me.”

Dedeaux, a first-team all-state wide receiver last season as a sophomore, helped the Patriots to their fifth consecutive region title and an apperance in the Division I state semifinals against Bishop Gorman.

Despite always playing on both sides of the ball, he led Liberty in scoring and was the team’s biggest offensive threat, finishing with 42 receptions, 872 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had two rushing scores, two kickoff returns and a punt return to go with his shut-down play at defensive back.

Still, the numbers haven’t resulted in a mailbox full of offers. Yet.

“A lot of times with Division I offers — especially when the kids are young — it’s often based on their size and the tangible things they can measure,” Muraco said. “Ethan is a bit on the shorter side. But anybody that’s seen him play on the field understands what a talent he is. Once more schools get to see him compete, it’s going to make his stock rise even more.

“I think he’s a major Division I guy.”

Dedeaux, one of four sophomores to make the all-state first team, has participated in a variety of football camps this offseason to help improve his recruiting options.

Muraco said it’s only a matter of time before the powerhouse schools start offering.

“Ethan is a coach’s dream,” he said. “He lives, breathes and sleeps football. He’s always at practice. He’s a good practice player. He doesn’t just rely on his talent. He works hard in the weight room, goes to camps and really puts the work and the effort in to be the best.”

Dedeaux also is receiving interest from Arizona State, BYU, San Diego State, Stanford, UNLV, UNR and Southern California.

Though the big-name schools are showing interest, Dedeaux says he’s still intrigued with UNLV but hasn’t received a formal offer.

“I don’t think Tony (Sanchez) realizes I would stay here and play,” he said. “He’s making the program a lot better. They’re playing Michigan. I think there would be a high chance I’d play (if offered). … I’ve lived here for so many years, so it would be nice.”

■ OTHER RECRUITING NEWS — Senior linemen Donovan Outlaw (Coronado), Jaron Caldwell (Gorman) and Julio Garcia (Gorman) have orally committed to UNLV. … Gorman junior quarterback Tate Martell has received several offers, most notably from Alabama, Michigan and USC. … Centennial junior defensive tackle Greg Rogers has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, UNLV and Utah. … Arbor View senior lineman Keenen King has been offered scholarships from Arizona State, Oregon State and Utah State. … Moapa Valley senior wide receiver R.J. Hubert has offers from Northern Arizona, UNR and Weber State. … Gorman junior wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey has offers from Arizona State, USC and Washington. … Gorman junior running back Biaggio Ali-Walsh, a grandson of Muhammad Ali, has offers from Louisville and UNLV. … Desert Pines senior guard Samuel Poutasi has an offer from UNLV. … Gorman senior linebacker Ikem Okeke has offers from UNLV and UNR. … Gorman junior defensive tackle Haskell Garrett has offers from UCLA, UNLV, USC and Washington. … Desert Pines senior defensive end Anthony Smith has offers from Colorado, Colorado State, San Diego State, UNR and UNLV. … Arbor View senior linebacker Bishop Jones has offers from UNLV and Weber State.

Contact reporter Ashton Ferguson at aferguson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0430. Follow him on Twitter: @af_ferguson.

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