No doubt much of the talk regarding this weekend's Valor Christian versus Thunder Ridge 5A semifinal, has and will focus on the proximity based rivalry between these two Highlands Ranch High Schools. Also, ThunderRidge Head Coach Joe Johnson has not been shy accusing Valor in regard to recruiting. Further, two of the nation's top skill position athletes will be on the field as 2013 Valor QB Luke Del Rio and 2014 RB Christian McCaffrey play.
From a recruiting perspective the biggest story on the field will be the play of three national level 2014 offensive tackles. Over the past decade Colorado has placed numerous offensive linemen on DI rosters and the 2014 class looks to add to that streak with Valor Christian's Alec Ruth and Isaiah Holland as well as ThunderRidge's Sam Jones.
For Valor Christian, bookend tackles Alec Ruth and Isaiah Holland have spearheaded the multipronged Eagle attack working as run and pass blockers. Both Ruth and Holland are 6-5 and weigh in the 300 pound range. Last week, in quarter final win over Arapahoe, both Ruth and Holland looked good, with Holland showing surprising athleticism for a young man his size. Right now, Ruth and Holland are receiving DI attention
Jones, who plays tackle, is a very strong run blocker in an offense that averages over 300 yards rushing a game. The 6-5 270 pound Jones plays with good pad level and can get to blocks at the next level. Potentially Jones may be a guard in college. Currently, Jones is receiving mid major recruiting attention. Jones, who plays defensive tackle in limited situations for ThunderRidge, will get the chance to go head up against the Valor tackle duo.
At one level or another each of these players will play college ball. Of the trio Holland may have the largest upside, but expect recruiters from multiple BCS schools to take a hard look at all three.