Gerard Martinez

Chase Cota conquers the competition at The Opening Regional

Chase Cota will be back home in Oregon this July as his performance at The Opening L.A. earned him a spot at the Opening Finals in Beaverton (Ore.).

Medford (Ore.) four-star wide receiver Chase Cota showed once against Sunday that he is all about competition. 

Cota made his way Southern for another camp in Los Angeles, performing at the NIKE Regional Opening. Although NIKE holds a camp in Eugene (Ore.), Cota wanted to challenge himself against a higher level of competition. 

Saturday, Cota got a look at some potential competition when he took his third unofficial visit to USC. While he has taken visits to camp and just visit campus in the past, Saturday’s trip was an opportunity to watch the Rose Bowl Champs practice.  

“I wanted to see what kind of guys they had like me on the team,” said Cota. “I know in the 2017 class they also have two guys coming in who are really good and about my size. 

“I was also watching (Michael) Pittman, who was running good routes Saturday. I’d have to come in and compete for sure if I went to USC, but I liked what I saw. 

“There’s a lot of opportunity to play there because it looks like they’re a little short after they lost a couple guys this past year.”

Cota was one of more than 40 recruits on campus Saturday at USC. However, unlike most of those prospects, Cota got individual attention from the Trojans coaching staff. 

“It was cool seeing how they operate, and meeting up with Tee Martin and seeing how he interacts with his players was good to see,” said Cota. “He does a lot of things, like saving their legs with shorter routes in individual drills. Just small fundamentals that I liked.”

Seeing USC’s roster up close and judging the competition level for himself, the trip still had a positive sway in the Trojans favor.

“It probably got me interested in them more because I actually got to sit down and talk with the coaches quite a bit this trip,” said Cota. “They’re definitely one of my favorite schools, but I have no plans to commit soon. 

“I don’t have a top list, USC is definitely up there with the other schools I’ve seen on the West Coast. I like everything about SC. It’s a great school with a great campus and the football tradition for a receiver is about as good as you can get. 

“Every time I go to USC, I like it more.”

Cota will unofficially visit UCLA Monday. That will be his first trip to Westwood. 

Before playing safety in the NFL for eight years, Chase’s father, Chad, went to Oregon. Still living in Oregon, most college football fans assume Chase is leaning toward becoming a Duck as well.

“Yeah, I’ve heard people say that, but I don’t really talk about recruiting around my peers, so that’s not a factor,” said Cota. “There’s some in-state pressure from fans and stuff, but I don’t even think about it. 

“They can try to press me, but it doesn’t bother me. Oregon would be a great place to land at, but in the end, it’s whatever feels best for me. That’s why I’m taking these visits and trying to find the best fit for me.”

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