Player Spotlight: Dan Skipper

It was Lewis Ralston who first discovered gold in the Rocky Mountain region circa 1850. College coaches still comb the Denver metropolitan area for golden talent and may have found it at Ralston Valley High School in Dan Skipper. At 6-foot-10, 280-pounds Skipper isn't too hard to spot on film and currently is up to eight Division 1 offers.

"My first offer came from Colorado," Dan Skipper said. "Vanderbilt was somewhere in the middle, either fourth or fifth, in mid-February. It came over the phone from Coach Rahne and Coach Hand, then I spoke with Coach Franklin. My most recent offer was from Wyoming. I also have offers from Colorado State, Duke, Arizona State, Utah, and Oregon State."

Skipper plays left tackle for the Ralston Valley Mustangs located in Arvada. So far he's only been to two campuses, but plans on doing more traveling later in the spring and summer.

"I'm not in any rush to make I decision," Skipper said. "I'm just enjoying being a junior in high school, so I'm playing it easy. I went to Oklahoma on an unofficial visit and to a Junior Day at Colorado. I played basketball and now I'm playing baseball, so I'm planning on taking more visits over the summer."

Skipper is intrigued with the Vanderbilt offer even though he lives roughly 1,000 miles away from Nashville. He wants to learn more about the Commodore program.

"I'm very open to Vanderbilt," he said. "I don't know a whole lot about it, but Coach Hand was telling me about how Nashville works and what a great place it is to live.

"Distance isn't going to play a factor in my decision. The school's academics would be my number one factor. I want to play football in a place with a great game day atmosphere with fans who love their team. Also, I want to play for a position coach who will best help me in advancing to the next level."

Skipper was named First Team All-Conference in 5A North Metro in 2011 for Ralston Valley. This was his second season as a starter. The Mustangs finished the season at 10-2.

"We fell short of the state championship, but we did make it to the semifinals," said Skipper. "I thought I played well, but have a lot of room to grow. I did a good playing at pad level which is big for a guy my size. I kept my temper under control and played aggressively between the whistles. We run a Double Wing offense so if you don't dig guys out you're going to be in trouble. I also cut down on making stupid penalties which should be a goal for everybody."

Skipper's older brother, Matt, is a junior first baseman/pitcher for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. Skipper plays first base and also a pitcher for the Mustangs baseball and was center on the basketball team. He reports a GPA of 3.9.

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