Claudeson Pelon is well-traveled since leaving Apage Christian Academy in Orlando, Fla. in the Class of 2011. Unable to land major D-1 offers playing in Florida Class 1B, Pelon, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive lineman, first landed at Eastern Arizona College.
After a redshirt season in 2011, he received limited playing time in 2012 at EAC. Pelon decided to make one more move and is now at Mesa (Ariz.) Community College where he's turned heads in spring ball and has landed 12 D-1 offers. He spoke with KStateFans.com about his latest offer from the Wildcat coaching staff.
"The offers have started rolling in for me and it's hard to keep up with the coaches who I've talked to," said Pelon. "I know Kansas State offered me the last week of spring practice and we finished last Tuesday. I can't remember the coach's name, but he told me they were impressed with the way I come off the ball, how quickly I get inside, and that I can play either defensive tackle or defensive end.
"I was very excited to receive the offer. I know Kansas State has a great program that's been on the rise now for a couple of years. They keep getting better. It's really a good place to go play right now. They recruit a lot of JuCo players. I'd like to go see in the campus, but I'm probably not going to take any visit until the fall. I'm going to summer school and may do some training out in California."
Kansas State will have some major competition in landing Pelon now that his stock has skyrocketed. He holds additional offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Cal, FSU, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, USC, Utah, and Washington.
"So far, I don't have any favorites," he said on his 12 offers. "I want to play for a great coaching staff that can help me get to the next level. I may be there one year or I may be there two. Either way I want to get in the right schemes in the schools that's going to fit my style of play the best."
Pelon will have two seasons of eligibility remaining in two years after this coming season at Mesa CC. He said things probably wouldn't have worked out so well for him if he'd have gone straight to a D-1 program after high school.
"I've grown as a man at the JuCo level," Pelon said. "I've added 20 pounds to my frame, worked hard in the weight room, and matured into a great player. I've gotten the chance to show my talent to top D-1 coaches. I've had learned so much from the JuCo experience that I probably wouldn't have as a true freshman at a D-1 school."
Pelon said he made a highlight tape he posted on Hudl after only two weeks of spring practice at Mesa CC which resulted in his initial offers. Playing a full season with the Thunderbirds in 2013 there's no telling how many more highlights Pelon will be able to add or how many other offers he'll receive. He's certainly come a long way since his days in Florida Class 1B.