He's back in the Lone Star State for his senior season of football and Copperas Cove (Tex.) offensive lineman J.P. Urquidez remains one of the state's top tackle prospects.
The 6-foot-6, 305-pound prospect, who played his junior season at Hyattsville (Maryland) Dematha Catholic, says he believes his game improved during his year on the East Coast.
“I learned that there are some big high school programs all around the country, those highly ranked powerhouses. It was a great experience and we won a championship up there and finished as a nationally ranked team. I learned a lot of good things from great coaches.
Urquidez at LSU camp.
“I think both my athleticism and physicality improved. I think I had a pretty solid junior year and I’m just working in the off-season to get better. I’m really just working on getting bigger, faster, and stronger, doing footwork and getting my hips more explosive and getting my knees to bend a little bit better, more naturally,” he said.
Urquidez has rejoined a talented Bulldawgs team and is eager to make an impact this fall.
“The coaches were really excited to have me back on the line. It’s been great to be back. The team has been really helpful with the move. It’s fun to be with my friends again and the coaches have all been really supportive. I’m looking forward to leading the team and help us have another winning season,” he said.
Plenty of colleges have taken notice of the athlete, whose offer list sits well in the double-digits. Urquidez has had the opportunity to take in a few college campuses and will continue to explore his options over the next couple of months.
“I’ve been to Junior Days at Baylor and Oklahoma, I’ll be at the Texas Junior Day on the 28th, and I’m going to try to get to California and visit UCLA some time in the spring or summer. I’ll definitely get up there,” he said.
"I haven’t set a date, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be committed by spring ball."
Urquidez's main recruiter for the Bruins is offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, and the athlete says that the Pac-12 offer was one that brought special excitement.
“I think UCLA was a really big one for me; I was really happy about that. Me and my friend, Terrance Davis at Dematha, always wanted to get that offer,” he said.
With so many schools vying for his talents, what is the athlete looking for in choosing a college program?
“Being comfortable with the coaches, playing time, depth, and really, just if I can see myself there for four years," he said.
Surrounded by options, Urquidez says he's looking forward to bringing his recruitment to a close sooner rather than later.
Urquidez camping at Texas.“I’m getting really close to narrowing it down. I’ll probably be committed before spring ball. I just want to knock it out. I’ve seen a lot of the schools that are giving me an opportunity to play for them. I haven’t set a date, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be committed by spring ball,” he said.