Shortly after helping his team win the Arizona 5A State title, Covaughn Deboskie picked up offer number one from Navy. It was a start. The fact that he was being offered the chance to play college ball made Deboskie feel special. Since that time, the humble Covaughn has had the chance to feel pretty special over a dozen more times.
"I am not real sure how many offers I have. I think I have 17 or 18," said Covaughn. "I know I have offers from UCLA, Stanford, Michigan, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Florida and several more."
That several would include Arizona, Illinois, Mississippi State, Navy, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, TCU and Washington State.
The talented Deboskie has several other schools in pursuit of his signing day signature. Since coaches have been allowed to call, Covaughn has had several conversations about the possibilities of playing college football.
"Cal-Berkley, Mississippi State, Clemson, Florida, UCLA, USC, ASU, U of A, Oregon, Illinois, Nebraska, Army, Air Force, Texas Christian and some others have all called me," said Deboskie. "I have gotten a lot of calls."
Covaughn is flattered by the attention. The large number of schools that have shown interest is more than he ever expected.
"I guess I have been overwhelmed by the fact that college coaches actually want me," said Covaughn. "I thought I would get one or two offers, but I never thought it would get like this."
Covaughn has drawn some flattering comparisons and high praise from some folks who know a thing or two about running backs.
"A lot of coaches have compared me to Adrian Peterson," said Deboskie. "I talked to the Mississippi State coach, Coach Croom. He coached Ahman Green and Barry Sanders in the NFL. He told me that I looked better than both of them coming out of high school. I know some people will say he was just trying to hype me, but I think he really meant it. He is not trying to pressure me to commit there. He told me that even if I didn't go to Mississippi State that he knew I was going to be a great back in college and possibly in the NFL."
While the comparisons to other marquee backs are inevitable, Covaughn is looking to be part of a unit rather than a one man wrecking crew.
"I am looking for a team with a lot of unity," said Covaughn. "I want a team that plays hard together because those teams win a lot of games. I don't want to be on a team that is built around one player. When everyone starts up with all of the talk about this guy is an impact player and things like that, people get jealous."
Early playing time will be a factor in Deboskie's college decision.
"I may not go into a situation where I start, but I would like to get some playing time as a freshman," said Deboskie. "I want to be able to get some exposure as a freshman and get adjusted early."
The future business management major is also looking to help his younger brother Caleve garner some attention.
"My brother plays wide receiver," said Covaughn. "If I could find a school that would take both of us that would be a factor. He is going to be a junior this year. If everyone is focused on me this year then he should get open and be able to make some plays for us."
Besides possibly being the front end of a two for one deal, Covaughn has another huge leg up on his competition.
"I plan on graduating early, so I am going to have make my decision before the season or by mid season. I have to get it done then so I can get everything set to go to school in January," explained the talented running back.
Even though his college recruitment will likely conclude a couple of months before most other prospects, college coaches are not putting a lot of pressure on Covaughn.
"Everyone tells me to take my time and that really means something to me," said Deboskie. "It makes me realize that they really want me. If they are ready to just shut it down, it makes me think that they really don't want me."
Before Covaughn decides on a college he has some goals he expects to meet in this his final prep season.
"I don't even care about getting All-State running back or anything like that," said Deboskie. "I made a statement after we won state last year that we were going to win it again this year, so I plan on making good on that. I want us to go undefeated and win the state championship. Every state championship season we have lost at least one game and my sophomore year we went undefeated and then lost at state. I want our team to do both this year."
Deboskie will rack up some frequent flyer miles and lots of windshield time this summer as he gets a closer look at some of the schools recruiting him.
"I am going to Stanford for their junior day on Saturday," said Covaughn. "I am going to Michigan in June. In July my father and I are going to fly to Georgia Tech. From there we are going to visit Clemson and South Carolina. After that we are going to Florida for their Friday Night Lights camp."