In-State School Leads

Utah has produced some stellar linemen recently, including Mania Brown (signed with Nebraska, transferred to BYU), Haloti Ngata (Oregon), Jake Kuresa (BYU). This year looks to be a continuation of that trend as at least two in the Beehive State, Dallas Reynolds and Brian Soi of Provo Timpview, are receiving national attention from big name schools like Tennessee, Nebraska, Penn State, Stanford, Washington among others. But there's another who shouldn't be overlooked.

Jason Speredon, a 6-5, 270 pound two-way starter at Granger High in West Valley City, was a Student Sports Junior All-American last season when he didn't allow a sack all year and recorded 70 tackles and 13 sacks on defense. An intense, motor-always-running type, Speredon has the skills to play at practically any major program, but so far has apparently avoided the recruiting radar of practically everyone except for Oregon and the two instate powers, BYU and Utah.

It's not like he's struggling on the field (28 tackles and three sacks in his first three games) or in the classroom (3.3 accumulative GPA). The most likely reason is it's difficult to get a Mormon recruit away from BYU or Utah. However, don't tell that to Oregon coaches, who signed Ngata and QB/athlete Tarrell Richards in February and is making their presence felt in the state again this year.

Speredon admits, "I kinda feel like staying instate, if I had to sign tomorrow it'd maybe be BYU," but quickly adds, "I do want to take some trips to see if I'd change my mind. My parents and I are planning on taking some trips; we'd like to see Oregon, Penn State and Stanford if they'd be interested. I told the Oregon coaches that I'd take a trip." The big senior, who is being recruited primarily as an offensive tackle, says that the football aspect is half of what he'll factor into his college choice.

"What I need to do is decide what I want to do for an occupation," he explained. "I'm thinking of sports medicine or physical therapy, but a business degree carries a lot of weight today, too."

Wherever he goes, Speredon says schools must be willing to let him serve a church mission.

"I'll probably play a year, go on a mission and come back and red shirt," he states. "Or maybe vice versa, red shirt first and then play when I come back."

Missions are obviously allowed at BYU and Utah, two universities with large populations of Latter Day Saint students, although more and more colleges, including Oregon, Tennessee, and USC, for example, are also factoring in players going on Mormon missions, allowing a player like Speredon some more options.

That is if he gets the chance to prove himself to other potential suitors, who could be missing the boat on a player who ran a 5.21 in the 40 at the Colorado Nike Camp, did 25 reps of 185 pounds on the bench.

Speredon is currently ranked as the No. 4 offensive lineman in the West by

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