Upland (Calif.) athlete Gianni Olivas is a prospect in the 2010 class to keep an eye on and he's…
Focus 2010: Upland ATH Gianni Olivas
Upland (Calif.) has been a fertile recruiting ground in the class of 2009, with Josh Nunes and Osahon Irabor already committing to Tennessee and Arizona State respectively and both Taj Johnson and Davion Fleming boasting offers. But the Highlanders wont only be making noise this year, with Gianni Olivas, a 2010 prospect, one to watch next year. Olivas originally started out at Bishop Amat in La Puente but came to Upland at the end of his freshman year and eventually started as a sophomore at linebacker, a rare occurrence on the typically senior-laden Upland squads. He eventually was named second team all-Baseline League as a sophomore, finishing one tackle away from being the leading tackler for Upland. Often compared to current San Diego Charger and former Alta Loma star Eric Weddle, Olivas likely projects to safety in college. "I have coached high school football for a lot of years, and Gianni is one of the very few sophomore's that I have coached that can play at a great level for a young underclassman," said Upland coach Tim Salter. Olivas attended the Los Angeles UnderArmour/Scout.com Combine in May, and was thrilled with the experience. "To be invited to a showcase camp of this nature, like the one put on by UnderArmour and Scout.com at the Home Depot Center was a great honor for me after my sophomore season. This was my first major showcase camp and it I very much enjoyed it. To be part of a camp where there was a lot of 4 and 5 star players with a lot of offers was awesome. I enjoy competition and there was a lot out there that day. I was put with the linebackers and the older players pushed me to the limit. At next year's Scout.com Combine, I will move with the secondary players because that is where I will mostly play in college. The way the camp was structured it made me a better player at my position leading into my Oregon camps the following week. The experience I learned at the Underamour/Scout.com Camp will help me next year of what to expect after my junior season." Olivas then went on to Oregon and Oregon State's camp, and enjoyed those experiences too. "Walking into Oregon State's stadium was exciting! It showed me how hard work and dedication will lead me to the future that I want. I enjoyed the experience of being in a college environment, and being trained by college coaches. Coach Hayward showed me a lot at my position. The stadium was state-of-the-art and a remarkable atmosphere." The visit to Eugene was just as exciting. "The Nike Camp was another showcase that I attended at the University of Oregon. When entering the facilities at Oregon, I was amazed to see how high tech all of there training equipment was, and when I saw there locker room. I was totally blown away. Eugene has great weather and the people around the city were real friendly and die hard ducks fans. I felt all my hard work will be worth it come my senior year to experience being part of something special like it is here at Oregon. The coaches from both universities were very inspirational and taught me a lot of techniques that i will use during this season. "It was fun being around elite athletes who share the same desire to be the best." The Ducks and Beavers both have a place in Olivas' top five, along with Boise State, Arizona and Florida. Upland recruiting coordinator Mike Esquivel had this to say about Olivas: "Words can‘t describe the work ethic, the desire, and the dedication that Gianni Olivas brings to the game of football for a sophomore. Gianni is a leader more by actions than words on and off the field. His academic excellence is very strong . He is a gifted athlete that is well liked and well respected by his peers and coaches in the community. Being part of the Upland Football program for the past nine years as a former player and currently a coach, Gianni's commitment to get better at multiple positions is unmatched by any other player that I have ever been associated with at his position. He is the type of player that every football program would love to have. He has a great opportunity to emerge as one of the top football players in the west coast, and nationally when it's all said and done!"
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