November 30, 2007

Not your typical blue-chip recruit

Aside from Cherry Creek's Jack Elway, no prep football player in the state of Colorado played under a bigger microscope this season than Jon Major. The four-star linebacker from Parker (Colo.) Ponderosa certainly lived up to the hype.

In 10 games, Major racked up 151 tackles, 23 for a loss, eight sacks, 10 caused fumbles, six fumble recoveries, two interceptions, 18 quarterback hurries and 11 pass break ups. He also played situationally on offense and accounted for 218 yards and three touchdowns.

"I can't imagine anyone handling the attention and pressure better than Jon did," expressed Ponderosa head coach Randy Huff. "He was focused on what he had to do and what the team had to do, every single game. There was never a doubt in my mind that he was ready to play a game. And he performed extraordinarily well all season long.

"Some of his teammates might have had a little envy when some of these big time colleges came in. But let me go on the record and say that Jon worked hard to get to where he is. He has earned every bit of everything that he's got. He got it by hard work and intelligence."

Nowadays, most blue-chip prospects announce their commitment on television or at a press conference. Major decided to inform Rivals.com of his college decision via e-mail instead.

"I would say there were times when he was uncomfortable with all the attention he was receiving, specifically when some of those colleges that he wasn't really interested in came through," Coach Huff said. "It was hard for him to tell those schools that he wasn't interested. That is kind of the nature of the beast, though. Those recruiters don't want to trip out to Parker, Colorado, and hear that anyway.

"Jon actually tried to maintain relationships with those colleges and those recruiters because he tried to get those guys to recognize some of our other athletes. He had that as part of his plan. 'Okay, they are coming. I'm not necessarily interested but I want them to come because we have a couple players that are Division-1 players as well.' So he was trying to help those guys get a look."

With scholarship offers from more than 50 college programs on the table, Major slowly narrowed down his list. He ended up taking official visits to Colorado, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

And in mid-October, Major committed to the Colorado Buffaloes.

"I told him from day one that I thought CU was the place to go because I could go watch him," Coach Huff said with a laugh. "No, I just wanted him to be happy and we all wanted to see him play at the highest level he could, just like he always talked about. He wanted to play in front of a big crowd and he wanted to make sure the college had what he was interested in academically. But, yeah, we're extremely happy here in Parker that he is going to CU so we can watch him closely.

"The location might have given them a slight edge but Coach Hawk is what sold him on their program. Coach Hawk is a genuine human being and I think that is why Coach Hawk is getting the recruits he is getting. He is not buffaloing anybody. He is not trying to sell stories. He is not trying to sell anything. He is selling himself and he is wonderful. He is a great man."

The ceiling on Major's potential is high. Young for his grade, he won't turn 18 until next July.

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