Thursday, April 9, 2015

Shohfi puts on a show

J.P. Shohfi has tormented defenses under the lights at San Marino High School in Southern California. While he's drawn interest from Yale and Washington State, the Class of 2016 prospect is still searching for his first offer (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna)
On a team loaded with players holding scholarship offers from Florida State, Oregon, USC and other big time universities, J.P. Shohfi has been running through defensive backs with the hope he can stack the offers; just like his B2G teammates.

The underrated San Marino High School wide receiver hasn’t received his first scholarship pledge yet. But with the way he plays receiver, he has the look of a prospect who should be piling the scholarship offers - just like his more heralded B2G teammates.

While Shohfi may not have the star power compared to fellow B2G receivers Javon McKinley and Jack Jones (both hold a combined 36 offers), the 6’1”, 185 pound Shohfi creates the kind of plays that can get college coaches asking more about him.

At San Marino, Shohfi turns the short pass into a long distance touchdown run. He fools cornerbacks with his head fake and quick feet, giving him a cushion to make the catch and then gain extra yards. He’ll even sacrifice his body to swoop up the tough middle and sideline grabs.

He was the extra playmaker B2G needed for its title run at the Passing Down So Cal regional on March 29, with Shohfi hauling in the sideline and middle grabs. His performance against some of Southern California’s top athletes sent this message to colleges overlooking him:

“I may not be the tallest guy, but I run really good routes, I’ve got hands and I caught every ball that was thrown my way today,” Shohfi said.

Lately, Shohfi has been having conversations with Yale, adding “they’ve been talking to me a lot.” Outside of the celebrated Ivy League school, Washington State of the PAC-12 has reached out to him.

Still, Shohfi has been waiting patiently on offer No. 1.

“I haven’t been getting much (attention), but I’m still out here working,” Shohfi said.

He credits the practices at B2G for helping him improve on the football field.

“It’s insane and ridiculous. Every weekend, we come out here and you’re playing against these 4-star and 5-star guys,” Shohfi said. “It’s really cool because it’s the best competition you’ll get and I get to play against these talented defensive backs and receivers. Once I get back to my high school, it makes it a whole lot easier because I played against these top level athletes.”

One player he resembles is recent Stanford commit Trent Irwin, who not only was trying to earn his recognition on the recruiting trail, but was Shohfi’s B2G teammate last season.

“He was the guy I learned from and I was the guy coming up,” Shohfi said. “Trent was the guy I wanted to be like. He runs great routes, he has great hands and he improved the most. He has the skill sets I want as a receiver and that’s really helped me today plus the future as well.”

Before returning to B2G during the spring, he put up colossal numbers at San Marino last season: 82 catches, 1,821 yards and 25 touchdowns for a Titans team finishing 9-3 in 2014-15.

Shohfi is not only seeking his first scholarship pledge, he knows he and his teammates will have a bull’s-eye on their backs once they enter Fullerton College for Passing Down’s Best of the West championships on April 26.

“We always have a target on our back. People see us as that elite team,” Shohfi said. “We’re the ones people hate and who people want to beat. We have to come out and stay focused. We have the best athletes in the nation here, so we’ve got to keep working.”

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