There's upside and then there's freakishly big upside. Pearland (Texas) offensive lineman Alan Pelc has not played a down of varsity football for the Oilers and one Conference USA school is betting on the come.
"Alan played on the junior varsity last season after transferring from basketball," Pearland coach Tony Heath said. "We wanted to get him as many reps as we could last season, so we didn't move him up to varsity. Let's just say his best football is three years down the road and he has tremendous upside - like a size 18 shoe."
The University of Houston saw Pelc's potential during the spring and rewarded him with an early offer. Other schools like UTEP, North Carolina, Northwestern and Texas A&M have showed interest, but none have stepped up with an offer.
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"I was actually very surprised with the offer, but I have taken Houston up on it and have committed to coach Art Briles," Pelc said. "It's a great opportunity for me and I really have had some good conversations with the coaches. I will probably end up redshirting my freshman year.
"It's everyone's dream to play football in college and I thought I'd end up at a junior college. I didn't think anyone would take a chance on me," he said.
Was it mentioned that Pelc is 6 feet 7, 300-pounds with years of basketball footwork?
"Alan goes to our church and we kept telling him to come out for football," Heath said. "He finally did as a junior and we had an assistant coach take him under his wing. Alan saw himself improving over the past year and his self-confidence just exploded. He has come out of his incubation period and is ready to play. He's worked overtime and has no fear."
Pelc's development will benefit an already talented team of Oilers. He will join David Webster (6-3, 270-pounds) on the offensive line and protect quarterback Michael Speciale (6-2, 220-pounds).
"David is getting some interest and will be a center at the next level," Heath said. "Mike could play linebacker at the next level. He has great size and is not afraid to stick his head into the mix. We have him at quarterback because he's just a winner."
On defense, Justan Vaughn (6-1, 180-pounds) patrols the secondary.
"He's a big cover corner and will play both ways for us," he said. "He doesn't hit like Quinton Moore, but he can cover better."
Vaughn has been offered by the likes of Illinois, Utah, UTEP, Houston and Northwestern to date.