The last time we talked with Upland (Calif.) two way standout Devin Mahina, it was back in the summer and at the time, the athlete said he was basically down to two schools. Mahina said he does have two schools on top but two others have emerged and the tight end has set official visits to each of them.
Mahina, 6-6, 225 pounds plays both tight end and defensive end but said his preference for college is definitely tight end and that's where all the schools are recruiting him right now. On the season, Upland is 4-1 with the lone loss coming to San Clemente (Calif.), who is ranked No. 20 in the state.
"We had them too," Mahina said. "We were up 14-0 at halftime and ended up losing 21-14. We just didn't show up in the second half at all. It was so frustrating but we bounced back and are playing pretty well right now.
"I've been playing pretty well. We don't use the tight end a lot in our offense and plus it seems like in every game we play, there is always a linebacker and a safety shadowing me. That's fine though because it really opens up the field for our receivers and we've had some guys step up and make big plays for us. The same thing is happening on defense but I'm for whatever is best for the team and right now, it's working."
Mahina has nine catches for 112 yards and one touchdown on offense to go with 18 tackles and five sacks on defense. He also has blocked a punt, a field goal and recorded a safety.
On the recruiting front, BYU and UCLA have been leaders for some time for Mahina but Colorado and Oregon have since joined the mix.
"Originally, I wanted to keep it down to two but Oregon and Colorado just kept recruiting me so hard and did a really good job selling me on the program," Mahina said. "I'm going to visit Oregon (Nov. 17) and Colorado (Dec 8) and I'm looking forward to checking out both schools.
"I've been to UCLA and BYU a lot of times already but I'm going to take official visits to each as well. UCLA will be the first weekend of December, I think it's (Dec. 1). BYU is going to be (Jan. 12). I'm planning to go on a (Mormon) mission after high school but I haven't decided when I'll take it, I'll probably leave it up to the school I choose to let me know when they would like me to do it.
"UCLA has said they want me to sit out a semester (grey shirt) and then take the mission so when I come back, I'll have four years to play plus a red-shirt season. The other schools have said I could come in for a year and then leave after my freshman season. It doesn't really matter, that won't play a role in my decision.
"The things I'm looking at are the depth chart, education, comfort level and chance to win. I'm not afraid to compete but at the same time, I don't want to come back from my mission and have 20 tight ends in front of me. Academics are always a big deal. I'm still not sure what I'm going to major in, I'm looking at Sports Medicine or Economics.
"My comfort level is going to be a big thing as well. Being LDS, that's one of the things that I really like about BYU. It's the church school and I know I'm be comfortable with the players and coaches on the team. I would also like to play for a team that can compete for at least a conference title. It's definitely no fun losing and I think all four of my schools have winning programs and tradition so that won't be an issue.
"As for a leader, I really don't want to name one right now. I don't want the other schools feeling like they're out of it or anything and I really like all four of the schools I'm visiting. I'm just going to take all my trips and then will make my decision late in January."