Prep football • University of Utah coaches took advantage of the chance to recruit the visiting players.
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Draper • The smack talk leading up to a high school football game even a big one usually can be quite tepid.
But the most high-profile player on Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) wasn't afraid of offering some bulletin-board material ahead of the team's game against Alta on Saturday night at the Xfinity Challenge at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Defensive end Alquadin Muhammad is one of the top-ranked players in the nation, sporting offers basically from anywhere he wants to go. And after studying tape of Alta, he was feeling confident as the team practiced Friday at Juan Diego.
"I should get a lot of one-on-one match-ups with the tackle," he said. "That's just what we like. I'm gonna eat him up and get sacks. We're gonna show everybody what Don Bosco defense is about."
At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Muhammad has the look of someone who can back up those words. His role will be all the more important because the Hawks pass so often: Quarterback Chipper Lucero has thrown for 1,711 yards this year, and three receivers have more than 400 yards.
Alta coach Bob Stephens said his offense was game planning specifically for Muhammad's rushing ability, although he wasn't about to reveal his strategy ahead of time.
"We've got a plan," he said. "You have to plan for that kid."
Utes recruiting some visitors
You can't underestimate the effect an out-of-state power could have on the recruiting angle, and Utah seems to be working its advantage.
St. John Bosco went to Rice-Eccles Stadium to practice Thursday, and several players said they enjoyed the trip. One or two had offers from the Utes before the trip, while some others still could get one down the road. Coach Jason Negro estimated earlier in the week that he has as many as a dozen future Division I players on his roster.
Utes coaches were talking to 5-11 junior Jaleel Wadood in particular, trying to see if the defensive back and running back would be interested in playing for his uncle, position coach Sharreiff Shah.
Wadood has a lot of thinking to do beforehand, and he has offers from Arizona State and Oregon State. But the trip to Rice-Eccles left an impression.
"I didn't know that they were so high on me," Wadood said. "It's pretty cool to hear it from the head guy."
Forfeits motivate Braves
St. John Bosco (Calif.) was in the headlines of the L.A. Times this week, but not in the way it would've hoped.
An ineligible player cost the Braves their first four victories, switching their record from 4-0 to 0-4. It means an uphill battle for the postseason when they return to play in the Trinity League. But the players said they were motivated to show that they'll still be a contender in California and Utah.
"It's been hard, and I think we were really emotional at first," USC-committed lineman Nico Farah said. "But it's something we've got to deal with. I think everybody feels good going into tomorrow."
Saturday, Rio Tinto Stadium
2 p.m. • Jordan (5-0) vs. St. John Bosco (0-4)
7 p.m. • Alta (5-1) vs. Don Bosco Prep (2-1)