SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- Before Max Browne left the field Friday night after a season-opening victory, the USC quarterback commit talked about his teammate and best friend, Nic Sblendorio.
The Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline quarterback has watched the 6-foot, 190-pound receiver -- one of his top targets -- make plays since he was a sophomore but, one game into his senior season, Sblendorio’s only offer is from Northern Colorado.
Browne doesn’t understand why college coaches haven’t seen what he watches every day in practice and on each Friday night.
“That’s a question I’ve been wondering for a long time,” Browne said. “He’s my best friend and this game was his tonight. He showed what he can do on both sides of the ball.”
Sblendorio knows college coaches pay close attention to the first few games of an athlete’s senior season. He did everything he could to make a name for himself during a 33-21 win over Bothell (Wash.).
He returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown. He ran a reverse into the end zone for a 5-yard score. He had an interception. He caught eight passes for 86 yards.
“It’s a big opportunity,” Sblendorio said. “I had a big role this week. I had to come out and do it. It’s huge. It’s good for colleges, for recruiting, they want to see that first couple games of your senior season.”
A physical receiver with good hands, Sblendorio runs precise routes, creating separation between defenders. He said he has heard from Washington State and Oregon State, but he isn’t getting much more than mail at this point.
It doesn’t make sense to Browne and it doesn’t make sense to Skyline coach Mat Taylor.
“Hopefully schools will come knocking soon,” Browne said.
For Sblendorio, though, he concentrates on what he can control.
“All I can do is worry about football, worry about my team,” he said. “That’s the only thing that matters. At the end of the day, it’s something I’ll look back on forever.”
He only needs one school to take a chance on him. He is confident, with a big senior season, it will happen.
“It will,” he said. “I believe it. You’ve got to believe it for it to happen. I’ve just got to keep making plays.”