It's a deep year for offensive linemen out West this year, both in blue chip talent at the top of the board as well as overall depth. One player we're excited to see at this weekend's NorCal NIKE Camp is borderline top 100 player Hamani Stevens.
Stevens, 6-4, 290 pounds is a talented player on both sides of the ball but projects best an offensive guard in college. The lineman has earned all-league honors on both sides of the ball since his sophomore year and earned all-state underclass honors last year as a defensive lineman.
"Everyone is recruiting me an offensive lineman,"? Stevens said. "I like defense but I think down the line, I have the most potential as an offensive lineman and that's where I want to play in college as well."
Stevens rarely is mentioned when talking about the state's top linemen but he's a special talent in our eyes. He's very strong and physical, plays through the whistle and has a mean streak to him. He plays with an edge to him and is the kind of guy you love to play with but hate to play against.
On the recruiting front, Stevens is up to eight scholarship offers and said he has four schools that stand out right now.
"BYU, UCLA, San Diego State, Oregon, Arizona State, Oregon State, Arizona and Colorado have all offered,â€? Stevens said. "I'm still waiting on USC to offer but I'm going to their rising senior camp and they also invited me to their elite 30 lineman camp, which I think is a camp for the top lineman on their list.
"Right now, I like UCLA, USC, Oregon and Arizona. UCLA has shown me a lot of love and I like the coaches there a lot. The new OL coach, Bob Connelly, is a nice guy and I went and watched their Spring game and just enjoy the atmosphere there.
"USC is a school that I've always liked and I always enjoy the energy that you feel being around the team. I was at the Trojan Huddle in the Coliseum and that was awesome. I got to go in to the locker room before the spring game and see the players get all fired up and crazy, it was a lot of fun and USC is just a great program.
"I've heard nothing but great things about Oregon and really want to check them out more. I've never been there before but everyone talks about the facilities and how nice they are. I've gone online and done a virtual tour and it looks like a great place.
"With Arizona, they were one of the first schools to offer me and have been recruiting me very hard. I'm close with the coaches there and that's another school I want to check out. I'm planning to take an unofficial visit this summer and will also check out ASU while I'm in Arizona.
"I'm also going to visit BYU in the summer. I'm LDS and that's the church school. I'm not planning to go on a mission after high school though. My older brother Tevita (UTEP) is on his mission right now in New York and he really loves it there. It's a personal choice though and right now, I'm just not planning on going on one.
"This weekend I'll be at the NIKE Camp at Stanford and I'm looking forward to that a lot. Then in the summer, I have those camps and visits and then I'll see about making a decision. I would like to make an early commitment but I'm not going to rush anything and will wait until I know for sure where the best place for me is."