football

Preston starting to get more attention

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Conner Preston is a name to remember because the Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra quarterback had a big-time junior season and could pick up a bunch of offers heading into his senior year.
Serra coach Scott Altenberg said Preston, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound prospect, has all the tools necessary to successfully run a team - brains, a strong arm and leadership abilities. He's a good one, Altenberg said, and college coaches have just started to take notice.
"We're the kind of offense that does a lot of stuff on the ball as far as we'll call a few plays and he has to get us into the right play," Altenberg said. "We do a lot of stuff that's quarterback-friendly but he's got to pick it out and get us in the right thing.
"One college was telling me, I won't say who it is because it's not flattering for them, I went over what we did offensively because they were trying to figure it out, and he said, 'Coach, we wouldn't even do that, we wouldn't give our quarterback that much freedom or input. There's no way. He'd screw it up.'"
Preston, with early offers from Toledo, Ohio and San Jose State, doesn't screw up often. In his junior season, he completed about 70 percent of his passes for 3,500 yards with 44 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Having five-star Robert Woods, top junior George Farmer and some other talented prospects at receiver helped but Preston, who transferred to Serra from Palisades High, showed he has some ability, too.
That's why Washington, Arizona and Oregon have picked up interest recently. Miami and Florida have been involved. Alabama has reached out a little bit. Preston, who holds a 4.3 grade-point average, attended junior days at UCLA and Southern Cal, too. Duke and some Ivy League schools are involved and SMU has been in close contact.
"My mom is from Dallas and I'm pretty close with the (SMU) coaches," Preston said.
"They said they wanted to offer me and they probably will. I always loved watching (coach June Jones) at Hawaii and my mom has favored SMU because she's from Dallas. I loved watching Colt Brennan and then when June Jones went to SMU it opened the door a little bit."
Washington and coach Steve Sarkisian have also aggressively been pursuing Preston, who said he plans to work out at an Elite 11 regional camp and the Los Angeles Nike Camp this spring. That exposure could help him even more with offers before his senior season starts.
"Sark is an L.A. guy and he has a little of that bias," Preston said. "He knows the area very well and he knows where to recruit and who to recruit. He also knows the coaches very well so that makes an easier connection. They're building a great program at Washington. It's a good school and a nice area. I'd definitely consider going there.
"He's one of those guys you can trust. At a big D1 program they're going to have a quarterback in every class. By the time I went there, (Jake) Locker would be graduating and Nick Montana is one of the only quarterbacks on the depth chart and I love to compete."
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