NCF On The Trail: Cade Apsay

Pac-12 2014 recruiting scenarios 

October, 8, 2013

This week's list offers a look through the Pac-12 at the potential best-case and worst-case scenarios that the 2014 recruiting cycle could bring for various programs. While a few of the best-case scenarios might be close to within reach for some programs, many of the worst-case scenarios would take a special brand of bad luck.

Best-case scenario: Arizona doesn't hold onto all of its 24 verbal commits, but keeps all of its priority recruits in the fold. In exchange for some of the decommitments, the Wildcats are rewarded with a big splash from either ESPN 300 prospect John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) or Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure). A strong finish to the season also helps Arizona clean up in its home state, landing commitments from offensive linemen Natrell Curtis (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe), Andrew Mike (Tucson, Ariz./Sabino), Layth Friekh (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) and junior college defensive lineman Claudeson Pelon (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa College).

Pac-12 recruiting mailbag

August, 23, 2013
Friday means a trip to the mailbag to answer questions you sent in about Pac-12 recruiting. The mailbag will run every Friday, so be sure to send in your questions via Twitter (@EMcKinneyESPN) or email ( And good luck to your teams as the high school and college seasons kick off.

@notbartholomew: Thoughts on Cade Aspay? Also, thoughts on MacIntyre's '14 class 2 date. not rated highly but seems to have some solid kids.

Erik McKinney: I really like Cade Apsay (Canyon Country, Calif./Canyon) as a quarterback and as a person. He is definitely a Pac-12 quarterback and should put up some impressive statistics during his senior season. I don't think he will be seen as being as big of a get as Sefo Liufau from the 2013 class, but if the quarterback recruiting stays on this trajectory for head coach Mike MacIntyre, Colorado is going to be just fine at the position.

As for the rest of the class, I think Colorado is doing what it needs to do with what it has right now. I like that it's defense-heavy, as the top five commitments play on that side of the ball. Linebacker Rick Gamboa (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) is a very nice addition. The message MacIntyre and the staff are delivering is hitting recruits, but it will be about taking a step forward on the field this season.

It's a tough spot he was put in, trying to dig out of the bottom of a deep conference, but so far it seems he's doing a very good job of targeting and getting players who can add to the program now, as well as those who can develop for the future.

@SoCalSunDevil: Is Texas or California more important to recruit from, esp for my #ASU program?

EM: Is it cheating to say both?

I'd go with California, simply because any player Arizona State takes out of California likely means one less player the Sun devils will have to face in conference play. But if Arizona State is going to challenge for conference and national titles, it can't sit home and only recruit in state. And once the Sun Devils start crossing borders, California and Texas are the two no-brainer states to hit.

It's important for Arizona State to have a presence in both states, but I believe it will always find more success in California, due to proximity and the recruits' familiarity with the program/conference.

@UTSportsAction1: Have some of the western states recruits caught up to California recruits?

EM: The short answer is no, but the longer answer might depend more on what you're asking.

The other West states are not likely to catch up to California in terms of producing talent, simply because of population size and the overall number of recruits produced. Of the California recruits ranked No. 90 through 98, seven already are committed to Pac-12 programs. No other state in the region will come close to that kind of depth.

If you're asking whether, say, the top five players in each West state could compete with California's top five, then -- depending on the year -- the answer would be yes.

Bishard "Budda" Baker (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue), Dalton Schultz (South Jordan, Utah/Bingham), Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) and Connor Humphreys (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic) absolutely could play with the top players in California, and many of them have shown it this spring and summer.

Four linemen from Hawaii are in the 2015 ESPN 300, and Arizona will be talked about more and more as one of the blossoming talent-producing states in the country.

But even with talent spread throughout the region, there's a reason all the Pac-12 coaches fought to play at least one game in Southern California every year. The depth of talent in that state, and specifically that area, is unmatched by any other in the region.
While all recruits have the same opportunity to make an impact after signing day, that’s not always the case in the days and months leading up to it. Some verbal commitments are bigger than others, whether it’s from a top target on the board, a nationally prominent standout who can shine a spotlight on the program or a local legend that continues a pipeline.

This week, we take a look through the Pac-12 at the most important verbal commitments in each class.

ATH Cameron Denson (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic)
6-1, 175

ESPN 300 rank: 147

Denson hits every requirement for this list. He was the first commitment in Arizona’s 2014 class, the top-rated player in the class and a local standout that Rich Rodriguez had to have if he was going to build momentum for 2014.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Cali QB Cade Apsay picks Buffaloes

June, 19, 2013
Colorado landed a commitment Tuesday from quarterback Cade Apsay (Canyon County, Calif./Canyon), the Daily Camera reports.

Arizona, Eastern Washington, New Mexico and Northern Colorado also extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-1, 179-pound prospect. Boise State showed interest.

Apsay received congratulations from his high school offensive coordinator, Alex Reinwald, in Tweet:


Last fall, he was named league offensive player of the year after throwing for 3,333 yards, 33 touchdowns and 14 interceptions and rushing for 341 yards and 15 more scores.

Colorado has four verbals for the Class of 2014.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The penultimate Elite 11 Regional brought some of the West region’s top quarterbacks out to the San Francisco 49ers practice facility on Friday evening. Though no quarterback earned MVP honors or walked away with an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals, RecruitingNation learned plenty about those in attendance.

A Milford man no more

Until Friday evening, ESPN 150 quarterback Keller Chryst (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto) had been neither seen nor heard this spring in as large a setting as the Elite 11 provided. Chryst doesn’t participate in 7-on-7 tournaments and spends even less time speaking with the media, so Friday provided Chryst with an opportunity to make a statement, and he delivered. Though the 6-foot-4, 225-pound quarterback wasn’t completely pleased with his day, it was easy to see why several top programs have made him a priority in this class. Chryst was one of eight quarterbacks selected to compete in the final pressure-cooker drill and said after the camp that Alabama, Pittsburgh, Stanford and USC are the four schools he is focused on at the present, though he has no plans for which summer camps he will attend or when he will make a final decision.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

QB Apsay preps for big senior season 

April, 25, 2013
Canyon Country (Calif.) Canyon made news last fall thanks in large part to senior wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky, who set California state records for career receptions and receiving yards. But Wolitarsky's senior season, which included 89 receptions for 1,275 yards and 14 touchdowns, wouldn't have been possible without quarterback Cade Apsay throwing the ball all over the field.

Apsay, the junior signal-caller, finished the season throwing for 3,333 yards and 39 touchdowns. He also rushed for 341 yards and 15 scores in a breakout year.

The 6-foot-2, 176-pound quarterback will be asked to shoulder the load again this season and lead a revamped receiving corps that will be without Wolitarsky and Brenden Stach.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider