The first day Kahi Neves showed up to Bingham football workouts, he brought a bit of an entourage.
Dave Peck had barely just met his new rising junior quarterback before he ran into an Oregon assistant who had floated into practice. He pointed out Neves from the sideline, and said the Ducks were close to offering him.
"He told me, 'You've got a good one here,'" Peck said.
The 16-year-old quarterback will, in all likelihood, serve as Bingham's backup passer this fall, but he's already exploded onto the recruiting scene in the last month, picking up offers from Utah and Hawaii last week and garnering interest from Oregon State, Oregon, Washington and Colorado among others. After standing out at Utah Elite Camp and All Poly Camp last week, he's doing camps at USC, UCLA and Colorado this week.
"It's been very shocking to me," Neves said. "I went to two or three camps and suddenly I'm getting looked at."
What folks have seen so far is an athletic passer with a cannon for an arm. Neves' dual-threat ability made him a standout player this summer after only a few weeks in Bingham's system. The defending state champion Miners won both the Ute Shoot and BYU team camp, with Neves taking a larger share of the reps as the camps went on.
But Peck is pretty firm in his decision to keep senior Kyle Gearig his starter this year. All he did last year was lead Bingham to an undefeated season while throwing 28 touchdowns. But that doesn't mean Neves won't see the field this season.
"We're already thinking of ways to get him on the field," Peck said. "There's no doubt Kyle is our guy, but Kahi is a great kid, and a great player. We're going to have to use him."
Neves will only be a junior, but he's already had a lot of stops in his career, which he said is a reflection of his father's work requirements. He started out at Cardinal Newman in Santa Rosa, Calif., then moved to Hawaii and played for Kaiser High. He initially thought he might play for Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas this fall, but when the family moved to Utah, they decided to bring him to Bingham.
Throughout the tumultuous series of moves, Neves said his parents have been a big part of his foundation. He sees the offers he's receiving as a big payoff for them.
"They've always been 100 percent supportive," he said. "I think they're very proud and relieved to see I've already got a few offers from these camps."
At 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Neves has prototypical size for a quarterback, and he says that's the position most colleges want him for. Utes assistant coach Kalani Sitake has been in touch with him, trying to get him to stay in his new home for a while.
The interest, so far, is mutual.
"I really love Utah for its offense," Neves said. "It's the kind of offense I like to play. Besides that, I think it's a great program and has a great coaching staff. It was fun playing up there."
Neves said he believes Bingham is his last stop for high school ball. And he's excited to have his feet planted.
"It's been terrific," he said. "I'm just learning the offense. The coaching staff has been nothing but a great help."
|1.||Utah teacher to stand trial on charges of sex with second boy|
|2.||In ninja gear and claiming to be polygamists, women invade Utah home|
|3.||Utah rally: Same-sex marriage would hurt children|
|4.||Utah football LIVE: Utah 26, Michigan 10, game suspended for lightning|
|5.||Utah same-sex marriage supporters decry use of child photos|
|6.||Utah football: Victory over Michigan could be big boost to Utes’ season|
|7.||Lawyer to ask feds to probe Utah police shooting of Darrien Hunt|
|8.||Letter: How low will same-sex marriage opponents go?|
|9.||BYU football: Virginia suddenly looms large for Cougars|
|10.||Utah suspect in cannibal case should have been behind bars|