football

Arizona is first offer for Jelks

Jalen Jelks has broken the ol' recruiting seal.
With Sunday afternoon came his offer - an invitation from Arizona to play football on scholarship. The excitement level was there. So were the usual post-offer platitudes. Mostly, though, his is the worldview of player expecting more offers to follow.
All signs say he's not wrong. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end certainly has the frame. And playing his high school football at Phoenix's Desert Vista means he'll certainly have the exposure. The future doesn't change the now, though.
And for Jenks, the now is pretty darn good.
"It's great," Jelks said. "It's been a good day. I like the facilities. I really like Arizona. When the offer came in, I was excited."
Jelks attended a "big man competition" on Arizona's campus last summer, but the offer from the Wildcats didn't roll in until the staff had a chance to take a glance at his junior highlights. After that took place, the process moved quickly.
"I just got off the phone with coach [Charlie] Ragle, and he said that he gave my highlight tape to the defensive coordinator and the head coach," Jelks said. "They watched it and decided to offer me. He just said that they would love me and that I'm a perfect fit for them right now. He told me about the other guys he's recruited and where they are now."
His thoughts on Arizona aren't fully formulated just yet. Jelks admits that much. An Ohio native, Jelks moved to Phoenix as a kindergartener but doesn't have an emotional attachment to either in-state school. His will be the evaluation of a bystander.
That's not to say he hasn't noticed a change since he arrived in the Grand Canyon State years ago.
"The perception is better than it was a few years ago, to be honest" Jelks said. "Both school in Arizona. They keep stepping up and stepping up. They're getting better kids to stay here and stay close to home. I'm from Ohio, so home isn't really home yet, but being in the valley, with this weather, is really nice."
Jelks is also receiving early interest from Northern Arizona and Arizona State.
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