Steven M. Sipple: Sanders enjoys other side of recruiting game

2014-06-15T23:35:00Z 2014-06-22T20:58:44Z Steven M. Sipple: Sanders enjoys other side of recruiting gameBy STEVEN M. SIPPLE / Lincoln Journal Star

Marvin Sanders seems to enjoy life on the other side of the recruiting game.

The 46-year-old former Nebraska secondary coach is in his second year as head coach at Los Angeles Loyola High School, an all-boys private school.

After two decades of college coaching, Sanders has a good idea what college coaches are looking for once they walk through Loyola's doors. This spring, from mid-April until late May, Sanders welcomed coaches from 50-plus programs, including Nebraska.

"Pretty much all of these coaches, they've done their homework," Sanders told me last week. "They know who they're interested in, so they get right to the point."

Nebraska is among many schools interested in Loyola defensive end Christian Rector, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior. Other than NU, Rector has received scholarship offers from USC, UCLA, Miami, California, Wisconsin and Arizona State, among others.

Rector has visited the Nebraska campus and the Huskers are "in the game, big-time" for Rector, Sanders said.

Sanders, a former NU defensive back, obviously has told Rector a thing or two about the Husker program.

"He talks very highly about them," the defensive end told our Brian Christopherson recently.

Loyola running back David Cooper, a 5-9, 190-pound senior, is getting some looks from college coaches, although not nearly as many as Rector (Nebraska hasn't offered Cooper). A backup last season, he has a 34-inch vertical leap and has run a 4.58 40.

"I think he's good enough to be a major factor at any Division I school," Sanders said.

Loyola started eight sophomores on varsity last season, which helps explain its 4-6 record. Sanders likes the talent among his younger players, which means he'll continue to see plenty of college coaches on his campus.

"My goal, as the head coach, is to understand that I can't fumble around with them," Sanders said. "They want transcripts, video, etc. I have to have it readily available."

Sanders said Nebraska assistants Ron Brown and Rich Fisher correspond with Loyola players. The Huskers, of course, will encounter stiff recruiting competition in the area.

The staffs at USC and UCLA "do a great job of corresponding with our kids -- those coaches don't take for granted the talent here in California," said Sanders, who recruited the state during his second go-round as a Husker assistant (2008-10) as well as during stints at Colorado State and USC.

Nebraska faces an uphill battle recruiting in Los Angeles, Sanders said, because prospects often will have six or seven instances of in-person contact with USC and UCLA before the start of their junior seasons. Loyola is a mile from USC, five from UCLA.

Bruin and Trojan coaches get to know players' parents, aunts, uncles, friends, grandparents, church groups, et al.

"That's a huge advantage," Sanders said.

Nebraska, however, has plucked some serious talent out of the Los Angeles area in recent years, including Terrell Newby, Johnny Stanton, Zaire Anderson, Daimion Stafford, Quincy Enunwa, Josh Mitchell, Eric Martin, Taylor Martinez and Cameron Meredith, to name a few.

Perhaps a few of Sanders' standouts will find their way to Lincoln.

"They can't stop raving about how good of a place it is," Sanders said of Rector and Cooper.

* Recruiting flashback: Enunwa, a sixth-round NFL Draft pick by the New York Jets last month, is an example of excellent recruiting by Nebraska.

A wide receiver from Rancho Verde High in Moreno Valley, Enunwa had attracted only two scholarship offers before committing to the Huskers in October 2009. Washington State was the other school to offer, although programs were beginning to show increased interest as Enunwa emerged during senior season.

He was a backup as a junior at Rancho Verde.

As a senior at Nebraska, the 6-2, 225-pound Enunwa established career highs with 51 receptions and 753 yards. He ran the 40 in the mid-4.4s at his pro day.

* Lincoln Christian tight end Jared Bubak raised eyebrows in a good way last week with his performance at NU's summer camp. The 6-4, 240-pound Bubak arguably is the state's top prospect in the class of 2016.

In addition to Nebraska, he's drawing interest from Arizona, Wyoming (Craig Bohl) and Tennessee. He attended a camp at Arizona earlier this summer, but says he can't see himself going to school there.

* Nobody asked, but I'd like to see Nebraska's Bo Pelini follow Penn State coach James Franklin's lead and coach at a few summer camps in the Southeast in the future. Go to the recruits instead of making them come to you. Such resourcefulness is why PSU is ranked third in the current Rivals team rankings.   

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