Scott Pagano might play in Hawaii where oftentimes talented players go unnoticed until later in the recruiting process but that isn't the case for the Honolulu Moanalua defensive tackle.
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Pagano has already landed offers from BYU, Cal, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, UCLA, Utah, Utah State, Washington and Wyoming and is hearing from many other programs.
Based on his junior highlight tape, more top teams could offer soon.
Article Continues Below
"He's the real deal," Moanalua coach Arnold Martinez said. "He has all the dimensions and he's in the classroom doing it the right way. He's a full qualifier, he will be, and he gets it done on the field. He has the right combination because he has the size and everything else.
"He's at his best when he gets that great leverage, uses that strike force and stays low. He's not just a big guy. When he was a freshman he was just bigger than every other kid. Now he's better because he can't just be bigger so he's using his technique with his size and he's had a really good growth spurt physically and mentally understanding the game during his junior season. That put him over the top."
All the early offers are especially impressive for Pagano, who registered 67 tackles and two fumble recoveries in his junior season. Coaches from across the country have been impressed by his film and Martinez said his star player is an imposing figure in person.
"A lot of guys come through and see him on their junior recruiting trips," Martinez said. "It's well-deserved. He's trying to do all the right things and do them the right way. I told him he could write his own ticket because he has a number of offers.
"I don't try to sway any of our guys but they ask me for advice all the time because we're close. I believe he's open to everybody and not locked in to stay in Hawaii. He comes from a military family so he has family all over the country. He's not locked into a geographical area.
"I'm trying to tell him and his family to enjoy the process but do your homework. It's not just a four-year decision. It's a decision for the rest of his life. They're sharp so they'll make a good decision. It's a good family. It's going to be interesting."
Martinez said Pagano is in the process of forming a top five but that is sometimes difficult with new offers arriving all the time. Florida has been a favorite but Pagano has not been hearing from the Gators yet.