Arizona's No. 1 prospect has OSU offer

WIDELY CONSIDERED THE TOP overall prospect from the state of Arizona in the class of 2006, John Romero Jr. recently picked up an offer from Oregon State. The 6-5, 295-pounder from Tucson's Salpointe Catholic High now holds eight scholarship offers, with the Beavers looking to be one of the five schools who will be getting an official visit from the highly sought lineman.

Offers have been coming fast and furious for Romero Jr. this spring, a first team all-state and second team all-region selection as a junior.

"I have eight of them," said the very likeable Romero Jr. "From Oregon State, Utah, Arizona State, U of A, UTEP, Nevada Reno, University of Houston and San Diego State."

Nevada-Reno, based on their school of medicine plus the favorable impression he's gotten from the UNR coaches, is now his frontrunner over the two in-state schools. But Romero Jr. was quick to add everyone's tightly bunched on his list -- a list that could see plenty of movement the more familiar he gets with all the schools, including Oregon State.

"Those two schools -- Oregon State and Nevada Reno -- those are two schools I'll likely take visits to," said Romero Jr. "I know the most about the two in-state schools right now, so I'm looking forward to getting to know and visit the others."

Romero Jr. has not yet scheduled any of his five trips, with the official visits likely coming during his senior season. He has no plans to attend camps or combines, save for the one day camps at ASU and Arizona.

SCHOOLS ARE SPLIT right down the middle on where they see Romero Jr. lining up at the next level -- offensive or defensive line. He said Oregon State is recruiting him on offense and he doesn't really have a preference, playing anywhere the coaches think he could best contribute. But given the choice, Romero Jr. said his first love is defense.

"I like to hit people," he said with a laugh.

SALPOINTE CATHOLIC coach Dennis Bene said the steakeater really came into his own the latter half of his junior season. Romero Jr. has all the tools physically, but his mental maturity and work ethic have now begun to flourish as well, with Romero Jr. embracing a leadership role for the Lancers.

"He's a sub 5.0 forty guy," said Bene. "He's unbelievably athletic. And he's very, very physical. I think really the last month of the season he showed everyone what kind of player he's going to be. He really started dominating his position."

PLAYING A ROLE in the decision making process will be his parents, as will a good medicine or sports medicine program.

"What my parents think will be a factor, but not the biggest one, because its my decision," he said.

A position coach at the next level will also be an important consideration.

"Just a guy I can talk to," said Romero Jr. "Not just about football, but also about life. And then I'd also like him to be a hard (case)."

John Romero Jr. profile

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