Most senior high school football prospects have until signing day rolls around Feb. 2 to decide where they want to play in college.
For Liberty defensive end and tight end Sam Tai, decision time will have to come sooner.
Tai plans on graduating early from Liberty on Jan. 15 and enrolling at his school of choice in time to compete in spring practices.
Of his 14 scholarship offers, Tai said he is most considering Arkansas, Colorado, Fresno State, Idaho, UNLV and UNR.
“The process for me is a little sped up,” Tai said. “It feels good, but at the same time, it’s a little stressful because you have so many colleges calling you. It’s good to know that you have that future, but it gets tougher when you start slimming it down.”
Tai already has taken official visits to Colorado and Idaho. He originally was scheduled to visit Arkansas this weekend, but the trip was pushed back. Instead, Tai plans to make an unofficial visit to UNLV this weekend. He plans to use his three remaining official trips for Arkansas, Fresno State and UNR.
Arkansas is recruiting the 6-foot-4-inch, 245-pound Tai as a defensive end, Colorado as a tight end and UNLV as an “athlete” who could play anywhere.
“When (recruiters) meet him in person, he’s impressive physically,” Liberty coach Rich Muraco said. “He’s got great feet, and he’s real athletic for whichever position he’ll play.”
Tai sat out the Patriots’ first four games because of a hairline fracture in his left ankle but has recovered to post 13 tackles and three sacks since. Liberty (6-1, 5-0) hosts Foothill (8-0, 4-0) in a Southeast League showdown Friday.
“We’re like every team, trying to get to state,” Tai said. “I feel with the group of players we have, it’s possible for us.”
KLINE COMMITS — Rancho senior baseball player Kevin Kline committed last week to Southern Utah, which recruited him as a first baseman.
Kline is the fourth Rams senior to commit to a Division I program as the Nov. 10 signing day approaches. Pitchers Eric Holdren and Zak Qualls and infielder Brandon Pletsch have committed to UNLV.
“It’s exciting,” Rancho coach Tom Pletsch said. “I feel we have a great group of kids on and off the field, and it’s very fulfilling to see them get scholarships.”
SOCCER DECISIONS — Two senior girls soccer players who star on the club circuit for Neusport Football Club made recent oral commitments.
Northwest Tech student Tayler Alston picked Long Island, and Palo Verde’s Tatiana Pagan chose Evansville.
Also, Palo Verde boys soccer player Nick Robinson committed to St. Francis (Pa.).