Idaho eyes Cali defensive end

COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES will tell you if you're going to be weak in any area on defense, don't be weak up front -- because it affects everything else the opponents will do against you at every other position. One defensive line prospect in the Idaho orbit, out of Chino Hills, Calif., is a versatile, athletic end with a 4.6 time in the 40 and a nose for the football.

While most have talked to Tracy Pugh (6.3, 240, 4.6) about playing d-end in college, others have mentioned his athleticism could have him figured in elsewhere.

"Some have given me the option if I want to stand up, some have said I could probably play end of course, and some schools even said I could play some offensive line...and then even some d-tackle probably," said Pugh.

In the mix of the schools showing Pugh interest, is Idaho.

"They called me, and they're sending me things in the mail," said Pugh.

The personable Pugh has not yet landed his first scholarship offer but interest is climbing -- schools have told him they're close to offering. UNLV, San Diego State, Oregon, Army and Fresno State are among those who have called since Sept. 1, when college coaches were allowed to initiate a phone call to prospects.

"It's pretty even (on contact). They're all mostly saying they'll probably offer me...if I play decent this season," said Pugh.

Tape of Pugh's first two games was to go out to schools late this week, including some who have not been contacting him as often as those listed above.

ANOTHER SCHOOL coming on of late is Colorado.

"I haven't really scheduled anything (unofficially or officially) but Oregon has asked me to come down, so I want to go check out Oregon, and I also want to go check out Colorado. They talked about offering me.

"And then I'd go see whoever else wants me to come out and check out their school," said Pugh.

Pugh said he thinks his best position at the next level would be on defense but it's not a big consideration.

"I would like to stay on the defensive side of the ball, but I don't really care," he said.

LOCATION AND comfort factor level will factor into his decision, with Pugh saying he'd prefer to stay "out West."

"I think the most important thing to me is location and then the team -- location as in where I'd feel comfortable. I wouldn't mind going far away but I would also like to stay kind of close," he said.

Much will be determined on who might offer after schools receive his tape and/or if schools over the course of the year take in some of his games in person on Friday nights.

Through his first two games, Pugh is already on a swift defensive pace. He estimated he's had appx. 20 tackles, along with 2-3 sacks in week two. His junior season, he was named second team all league on defense.

Pugh said he has no leaders at this stage of the recruiting game.

"Right now it's just wide open," he said.

Tracy Pugh profile

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