- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
By now, most college coaches and recruiting fans know about tight end Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada), the 6-foot-4, 230-pound super recruit with offers from Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC and Vanderbilt, among many others. But if there is anyone who could overshadow Luatua on the field next season, it might be teammate, and fellow 2014 prospect Dallis Todd, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound wide receiver.
Todd originally was a member of the 2013 class, but he recently was granted an additional year of high school eligibility, which will benefit Todd in a big way. Due to circumstances beyond his control, Todd didn't begin high school until May of his freshman year. By the time his senior year hit and colleges began recruiting him, it would have been impossible for him to qualify academically at a four-year school. But his circumstance and age -- Todd turned 17 in late November -- led to the CIF granting him an extra year, which Todd could use to become one of the state's top receivers.
"I talked to some coaches last season, but ever since they found out I'm getting an extra year, a lot of schools are talking like they are really interested," Todd said. "Last week I talked to Notre Dame, Ohio State, Cal, Washington and UCLA."
That's what a junior year consisting of 72 receptions for 1,041 yards and 10 touchdowns will get you as a 6-foot-5 receiver. Of course, plenty of praise from your head coach doesn't hurt, either.
"Dallis is going to be a national recruit," La Mirada head coach Mike Moschetti said. "He reminds me of Randy Moss. He's so big, athletic and fast."
Moschetti said Todd's highlight film should be released soon, and they plan to send it to just about every school in the country. Todd said every coach that has visited La Mirada during the past few weeks has requested his film.
"It pumps me up knowing that college coaches are taking their time to come out and visit me," he said. "It's a good feeling."
Todd is also pumped up by competing with and against Luatua. The two combined for more than 1,600 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns last year. He and Luatua push each other to better themselves on the field during every practice.
"People compare us to Marqise [Lee] and Robert [Woods]," Todd said of USC's talented pass-catching duo. "We're always bumping heads and messing with each other, telling him that I'm getting more catches and touchdowns."
This past season, Todd said he wanted to "double and triple" his reception and receiving yards numbers from his junior, now sophomore, season.
"My mindset was staying focused and doing what I'm supposed to do academically and in the weight room," Todd said. "I was working hard all offseason, and I'm at it again now."
Doubling his production next season might seem like a stretch, but it's probably unwise to assume anything is out of the reach of the lengthy receiver.
The additional year won't simply allow Todd to exchange what likely would have been a path to junior college for a likely scholarship to a big-time program. Because he put so much effort into catching up academically, Todd is on pace to graduate in December of next year and will be able to enroll early in college.
"I'm not really thinking a lot about it," he said. "I just know this whole situation is going to turn out well."
It could turn out even better for one school, as Todd and Luatua have entertained the idea of playing together at the next level. Todd says the two discuss the recruiting process quite a bit at this point.
"We talk to each other every day about colleges," Todd said. "We try to feed off each other with what colleges we're looking at, and we talk about what colleges we like. We're talking about ending up at the same college, but I'm not the one to say what's going to happen."
Todd said he grew up watching UCLA and USC, but while he has attended a USC game and practice, the Trojans staff hasn't been in contact with him recently. He said he doesn't have a favorite college football team, but he took notice of Notre Dame, Ohio State and UCLA, among others, this year.
"I'll be looking at location, the type of coaches, what type of football program and academics the school has," Todd said of the recruiting process. "I've been thinking about doing sports medicine, but I haven't really gotten into a lot of research about it. I just want things to fall in place how they will. I'm not trying to rush things."
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