When it comes to recruiting, it's well documented that what a player does his junior season carries a lot more weight than how he performs as a senior. That really hurts a player like Orange Lutheran (Calif.) wide out Austin Pettis who missed his entire junior season due to injury and is now trying to make up for lost time.
There is no question, Pettis, 6-1, 175 pounds is one of the top athletes in Southern CA this year. Had he played his full junior season, we feel Pettis is one of those guys who would be sitting on close to double digit offers right now. As a sophomore, Pettis caught 24 ball for 411 yards and one score for the Lancers 13-1 CIF Div VI championship team. He also set a school record in the high jump going 6'4", which was the state's best jump for any sophomore back in 2004.
Big things were expected a year ago but Pettis had to undergo season ending knee surgery just four days before the Lancers season opener
"It was a weird injury and they had to actually insert four pins in to my knee," Pettis said. "I missed all of basketball and track too so it was tough for me. I'm back 100% this year and feeling really good about it. Unfortunately, I'm kind of below the radar a little but we've been playing well and I'm just hoping to get my name out there a little and get an opportunity to play somewhere in college."
Pettis is well on his way as he's off to a strong start for the 4-0 Lancers leading the team with 25 catches for 413 yards and four touchdowns including a seven catch, 161 yard, one touchdown performance last weekend in a dominant 47-17 win over a tough Valencia team.
"We play Los Alamitos this week and then we have a bye week," Pettis said. "What I would like to do is take the bye week to make a highlite tape of my first five games and then send it out to everyone. Right now, I've gotten calls from Colorado, Boise State, UNLV, Washington State and San Diego State and I just took a little unofficial visit to San Diego State last weekend to watch their game with Utah.
"I like all the schools recruiting me right now plus UCLA and Arizona. I've been to a couple of UCLA games and I like them a lot and I also took an unofficial visit in the Spring to Arizona and really enjoyed myself there. I like the Pac 10 a lot and I'm also looking for a strong with strong academics. Depth chart isn't really that important, I mean I want to play but I'm just looking for someone to give me a shot. It would be cool to double sport in college and do football and track but like I said, I'm just worried about going somewhere right now before I worry about how many sports I'll be playing."
Academically, Pettis is carrying a 3.3 GPA and scored a 1480 on the SAT. He said he plans to take it again because he knows he can do better.