Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 | 2:05 a.m.
Ronnie Stanley has been to a few of these celebrations. Next year, it will be his turn to be the center of attention.
Stanley, a two-sport athlete at Bishop Gorman High, was in the crowd last week at the school’s gym for a national signing day ceremony to honor the Gaels’ athletes who earlier in the day signed letters of intent.
The 6-foot-7, 285-pound Stanley watched as football teammate Jalen Grimble celebrated signing with Miami, ending a near two-year process that was a perfect example of the trials and tribulations of being a highly sought-after recruit.
Now, it is Stanley’s turn to go through the process.
The offensive tackle already has seven scholarship offers from some of the nation’s top programs — Arizona, Arkansas, Cal, Nebraska, UCLA, USC and Utah. He’s one of several from the Las Vegas Valley who will be college-commitments next February.
“I look at it as a blessing to be in this situation,” said Stanley, who also starts on Gorman’s basketball team. “I’m going to take it day-to-day and not get caught up in all of the hype or have a big ego.”
The Gorman football program has sent 14 players to college programs in the last two years. Watching teammates being recruited and hearing their stories of the process is a valuable tool, he said.
Grimble, for instance, received his first offer when he was just 15 years old. He wound up with nearly 20 schools recruiting him before verbally committing to Southern California last spring. Then, last month, he wound up switching his commitment to Miami.
Going against Grimble the past two years in practice also has its benefits.
“Competing against Jalen Grimble and Alex Turner (Stanford) in practice makes the games seem that much easier,” said Stanley, a mainstay on the offensive line of Gorman’s back-to-back state championship teams.
Only the top-tier prospects receive offers before or during the fall of their junior year — another sign of the interest Stanley has nationally. He isn’t the lone player from Gorman who will receive interest from recruiters.
Running back Shaquille Powell already has an offer from Northern Arizona, while schools such as Arizona State, UCLA and USC have shown interest. Powell has combined to rush for 2,837 yards and 46 touchdowns the past two years.
Also, offensive lineman Ron Scoggins (6-foot-4, 300-pounds) is also being recruited by major schools, while defensive back Mark Phillpi, linebacker/tight end Zach Hutchins and lineman Nick Strehlow should get looks.
At Desert Pines, offensive lineman Jeremiah Poutasi already has an offer from Idaho and has several other schools, such as Oregon State and Arizona State, requesting information. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound tackle has the size for the next level but says he needs to work on his quickness — his 40-yard dash time is 5.3 seconds.
“If he can knock that down to 5.1 (seconds), the sky is the limit,” Desert Pines coach Paul Bennett said. “If you look at his (game) tape, his footwork isn’t bad. And he’s strong.”
Desert Pines’ Northeast Division rivals, Las Vegas High, has two who appear destined for Division I football. Six-foot-4, 205-pound quarterback Hassan Henderson has the build and athleticism for the next level but might not end up playing under center. Also, running back Farrell Victor, who will be a four-year varsity performer, is undersized at 5-foot-8, 170-pounds but will also likely find a Division I home. The same can be said for Silverado tight end Josh Curtis, who caught 33 passes for 498 yards and eight touchdowns last fall.
At Palo Verde, defensive lineman Dillon Chaisson is widely considered a Division I prospect, while running back Jonathan Maxwell and defensive back Jerrol Garcia-Williams could be recruited. Also, Desert Oasis defender Kyle Henry, who has more than 200 career tackles, continues to add to his 6-foot, 190-pound frame and should draw interest.
Arbor View's defensive back Steve Burns is under the radar but could be recruited. The 6-foot, 185-pounder was one of Arbor View’s top players last year as it advanced to the Sunset Regional semifinals, playing several position on both sides of the ball.
“He’s going to be a steal for someone,” Arbor View coach Dan Barnson said.