Juarez has rare ability

Torrance (Calif.) North athlete Mique Juarez did it all in a limited amount of time against Redondo High School Friday night. The four-star junior may be rated as a linebacker, but not many linebackers can return kicks 95-yards for game winning scores.

TORRANCE, Calif. — North High School junior Mique Juarez is an athlete’s athlete.

Having played quarterback, linebacker, defensive end, running back and receiver. Oh yeah, and Juarez returns kicks too.

Friday night against Redondo High School, Juarez had a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown. Not bad considering the 6-foot-3, 220-pound all-purpose stand out cramped up a missed long stretches of the game.

“Every year, that’s just a normal injury I’ve been getting, is cramps,” said Juarez. “This year, one of the trainers was telling me I didn’t have enough salt in my diet because all I had been eating was bananas that day. I wasn’t balancing my diet. I was getting a lot of bad cramps this game.

“Thank God I came back in to take that kick return.”

Down a score, the 95-yard kick return ended up being the game winning touchdown.

“I was very surprised they kicked it to me,” said Juarez. “I was like ‘Oh, return!’ That’s what I’ve been doing all practice. Thank goodness to my blockers. Thank goodness.”

 Juarez’s athleticism has helped him land scholarship offers from USC, Cal, UCLA and San Diego State

His first scholarship offer came SDSU, which was quickly followed by a scholarship offer from USC at the Rising Stars Camp.

“After the camp was done, Coach (Steve) Sarkisian called me over and said, ‘Congratulations, I’m going to offer you a scholarship.’ I just had the biggest smile after he said that. I was like, ‘Wow, this is the best thing ever.

 “That school, honestly, I love it there. I’m very comfortable there. I love it. Everyone there is just great. The players, the helped me on everything I needed help on. I just love it. They spent time on all of the kids. They just had a good time and that’s it. I loved it.”

USC has talked to Juarez about playing quarterback and linebacker in college.

“Yeah, last year I was playing quarterback,” said Juarez. “This year, we changed up our offense and we’re just running I-formation.

“It really didn’t work in this game just because Redondo is a good running team. We just got to execute on it. We’ve got to work on it more because this is just a new playbook that we just threw in this year.”

With attention coming from schools all over the country, Juarez already has one college program has already discussed a potential official visit next year.

“I talked to OSU — Oklahoma State,” said Juarez. “They said I can't do visits yet because I’m still young and everything. They just have to give the process time, but want me to visit.

“I’ll do some summer camps too. Brian Stumpf from The Opening, he DM’d me on Twitter and talked to me about The Opening. We talked about the position I was playing. SC, they already gave me an invite to the 2015 camp (Rising Stars Camp).”

Juarez simply looks at the attention as a blessing and isn’t getting too worked up about college with another year of his high school to come.

“Just like my dad says, it’s very rare for a young athlete like me to be getting scholarships like this,” said Juarez. “Honestly, I just thank God and family for everything they did. All thanks to the talent that I have that God gave me.”

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