Things Heat Up for Wadood

Jaleel Wadood

Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco 2014 athlete Jaleel Wadood, who was one of the most impressive players in the Braves' 38-17 Friday night victory over Las Flores (Calif.) Tesoro, has the attention of a number of programs...

Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco passed their first test on the way to the state championship, defeating Las Flores (Calif.) Tesoro 38-17 in Friday night's playoff game.

Though Bosco has a handful of talented players on its' roster, 2014 athlete Jaleel Wadood made one of the night's biggest statements, impressing at both running back and corner.

"I'm feeling great," said Wadood after the win. "Tonight's win was a good one for this team. We were kind of shaky in the first half, but I talked with my defense in the locker room and we came together and did what we were supposed to do to come out with the win."

The 5-foot-11, 165-pound prospect had a few big plays on both offense and at punt returner, but really stood out on defense with his coverage, picking off quarterback Matt Adam and breaking up a number of passes throughout the night.

"I haven't had the chance to play much running back this year because I hurt my ankle, so to come back and have a good game on offense was big for me. My game on defense was good too. I kind of missed one tackle, but I made the others. Really, the highlight for me is always the win," he said.

Wadood still isn't sure, however, at what position he'll end up at on the field at the next level.

"It will all unfold once recruiting starts to pick up. We'll see," he said.

Though he received some recruiting attention-and early offers-over the summer, Wadood says he can see an improvement in his game over the past few months.

"I think I'm smarter on the field this season; my game is evolving. I'm just playing harder this year, too, and as the game goes on, you just get better at it. I like helping my team win," he said.

As he's continued to impress, recruiting has picked up; the junior currently holds three Pac-12 offers. Oregon State was the first program to extend the offer after Wadood displayed an impressive performance at the Beavers' camp. An offer from Arizona State shortly followed after the athlete put up a similar performance at the Sun Devils' camp, as well.

Mid-season, Wadood picked up his third offer from Colorado.

"I had been talking with Colorado a little bit and one day they decided to offer me. I was very happy; they're a great program. They are kind of shaky right now, but I think they'll get better. They are definitely a team to look at.

"I watch a lot of college football games, a lot of Pac-12 football. Oregon State is doing really well. I like the way that Coach [Mike] Riley is getting his guys together and they are winning all their games. I've been impressed by Arizona State, too," he said.

Aside from those three programs, Wadood is receiving interest from a number of schools around the country.

"I'm talking to Boise State, UCLA, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Georgia. It's a lot of schools. I would say UCLA is recruiting me the hardest," he said.

As they are local, UCLA is one program that Wadood has had the chance to visit.

"I'm definitely interested in the Bruins' program. I've been to two games at the Rose Bowl; they are another team that has surprised me this season. They are doing really well, winning a lot of games. I like what Coach [Jim] Mora is doing, I like how their defense looks, so we'll see," he said.

Going forward, the prospect doesn't have any set plans for visits, but is always open to the idea.

"I have no idea about visits or games. They just pop up. We'll see what happens next year. I know I'll want to take all of my visits," he said.

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