Plenty of talent at Orange Lutheran

Orange Lutheran has been one of the top football programs in Southern California the past two years and this year, the Lancers' have two of the top prospects in the 2007 class in quarterback Aaron Corp, who committed to USC on May 3, and defensive/offensive lineman Michael Reardon.

We asked head coach Jim Kunau a number of questions about his top prospects and how the recruitng process is unfolding for them.

Scott Schrader: Tell us about Aaron Corp and what makes him so special.

Coach Kunau: Aaron is a high character leader with an outstanding work ethic, and it doesn't hurt that he's very talented. He's a very mobile and athletic quarterback who can stand in the pocket, and use his 6-4 height to his advantage, but he also has breakaway speed. He's not a huge scrambler, but we do run the option, so he's an aggressive runner. Even at his height, he's extremely fast and if he gets a glimmer, he's usually gone. We try and take advantage of that by putting the ball in his hands to let him make quite a few decisions in the run game.

Scott Schrader: What type of offense do you run at Orange Lutheran?

Coach Kunau: We're a pretty multiple offense. We're pretty balanced between running and throwing. When we do run the ball, we run a variety of options as our primary run plays. We've been fortunate to have such athletic quarterbacks over the last few years, including Aaron. So, Aaron is virtually a playmaker on every snap. If we're running the ball it's usually some type of option, then 40-50 percent of the time we're throwing the ball. It's a fun offense for a quarterback because he's big decision maker on every single play.

Scott Schrader: Aaron seems to be more of a quarterback who can run, not a running quarterback.

Coach Kunau: He has all the attributes of a classic, traditional quarterback. He has the height, good arm strength, he sees the field real well and he makes very good reads in the passing game. Aaron is real strong in the pocket and by that I mean, he's not really phased by what's going on around him and he able to keep his focus downfield.

Scott Schrader: Was Aaron surprised USC when USC offered and received a verbal commitment from Samson Szakacsy?

Coach Kunau: No, not at all. USC had told Aaron that they planned on taking two quarterbacks in this class, and wouldn't take a quarterback in the following class. We had discussed this a long time ago, that it wasn't going to be a factor if Aaron was the only quarterback taken. Wherever he goes, he knows he's going to have competition with four or five outstanding quarterbacks. Scott Schrader: It says a lot about Aaron and Samson that USC won't take a quarterback in its 2008 class.

Coach Kunau: I think it does demonstrate the confidence they have in Aaron and Samson.

Scott Schrader: Michael was recently quoted in an article from The Bootleg that he really wants an offer from USC.

Coach Kunau: I think like any kid, he'd be excited to have an offer from USC. I don't think an offer would necessarily mean he would absolutely go there. Michael's in a situation where he'll probably take a few trips in the fall. In his case we are fortunate to have a few Thursday games, which will make it fairly easy for him to take official visits on weekends. Right now, we're planning on Michael taking three or four trips in the fall. The list of schools he'll visit would probably include Arizona, Stanford and Nebraska. Michael has about 10 offers and I expect many more to come in the next two to three weeks, especially with the college coaches coming on campus to see him for the first time. He passes the eye test pretty well.

Scott Schrader: What position is Michael being recruited for?

Coach Kunau: Most of them are looking at him on the defensive side of the ball, but some for offense. It's been a little bit of a mix. The majority have offered him more as a defensive player, but some of them project him out as a tremendous offensive tackle or potentially tight end, but more as an offensive tackle. For example, USC and Arizona feel Michael would fit best in their systems as an offensive lineman, then you have schools like Stanford and Nebraska that see him more as a defensive player. So, it just depends on the particular staff that you talk to

Scott Schrader: Tell us about wide receiver Austin Pettis.

Coach Kunau: Austin Pettis is a young man who I think will, after the fall, will pop up on a lot of people's radar. He's on the list of a lot of schools right now. He had to miss all of last year with a kind of a bizarre knee problem, but that's been fixed and he'll be at full-speed by probably, June 1. I think he'll draw some attention because he's a special athlete. He's about 6-3, 185 and he's a very good wide receiver and defensive back. Austin could play either side of the ball in college.

Scott Schrader: Do you have any sophomores we should know about?

Coach Kunau: Well, we have an outstanding sophomore tight end named Blake Ayles. I think Blake is a very special talent. He's 6-4, 235 pounds and in track he runs the 200 meters in 23.4, which is pretty good for young man that size. I've been told by quite a few schools that come September 1, the first day a junior can officially be offered, he'll have quite a few offers coming his way. I'll be surprised if Blake isn't one of the top-five tight ends recruits in the country next year. He's just very special.

Scott Schrader: Those of us who cover southern California recruiting can never have too many of those guys.

Coach Kunau: Yeah, he'll definitely be someone to watch and he may be the best prospect of all of our guys, as far as the future goes.

Scott Schrader: Coach, thank you very much for calling us back and talking to us.

Coach Kunau: No problem, any time.


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