|Wesley Preece has started to see his recruiting period pick up, as the Rocklin High tight end has been offered by one Big Sky school and has received interest from two Mountain West programs (photo by Lorenzo J. Reyna).|
College football programs are beginning to discover big 6-foot-6, 225-pound target Wesley Preece on the recruiting trail, as some mid major programs have taken the visit to Rocklin High School in the Sacramento region to chase down the tall, powerful tight end.
One school located 32 minutes south of RHS recently became the first scholarship pledge for Preece: Sacramento State of the Football Championship Subdivision. The Hornets made their offer to the Class of 2016 prospect during the week of April 20.
“They just called me up. It’s really exciting. I talked to my parents about it. It’s a great opportunity,” Preece said.
He adds that he came away impressed by the Hornet coaching staff.
“They’re really nice guys. I went over there to visit them awhile ago. I really like what they bring to the table and how they run their program,” Preece said.
Sacramento State isn’t the only school making an early run at Preece. He said Nevada and Utah State of the Mountain West Conference are both asking more about him.
On the football field, Preece is utilized in a multitude of ways for the Thunder. On some plays, he lines up in a three point stance, blows right past a defensive end, runs his passing route toward the middle of the field then uses his frame and muscle to pulverize defenders after the reception.
But in other schemes, Preece lines up over a defensive back at wide receiver and shows his swift feet. He fools a cornerback with where he’s going by stopping his feet, re-routing himself, get open by trekking up field, then stampede his way into the end zone.
He often likes to compare himself to two of the most dominating tight ends in the NFL right now: Rob Gronkowski of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and Jimmy Graham of the Seattle Seahawks.
“I like to see myself that way (as Rob Gronkowski). I love watching him and Jimmy Graham. I’m trying to be like them,” Preece said.
Last season, Preece caught 18 passes for 274 yards and scored six touchdowns in the Thunder’s pistol offense.
Even though he’s starting to gain recognition on the recruiting trail, Preece has hit his offseason training hard with the attitude of improving his craft. He travels from Rocklin to Sacramento to lift weights and condition inside Game Fit, a gym located north of the American River in Sacramento.
He’s also a key contributor to Game Fit’s 7on7 team, as he emerged as the team’s top possession target and red zone threat. Game Fit recently finished their season on April 26 as a qualifier in Passing Down’s Best of the West regional, which is a tournament that invites the top 16 teams in the West to Fullerton College as they compete for the state 7on7 title. Game Fit earned their bid to the regional after finishing in the top four of PD’s Cen Cal tournament on April 12.
“All the guys in there (at Game Fit) work hard. The intensity we bring in the gym is what we bring out here (at tournaments),” Preece said.
Preece shared some of the skills he’s looking to build on.
“I’m working on executing my routes. Run them as fast as possible so I can get open,” Preece said. “I’m also working on getting physical because you don’t want anyone bossing you around at the line.”
While Preece is starting to earn his offers and letters, he still thinks he’s a sleeper prospect in a talent heavy Sacramento region. But he adds that he’s staying patient with the process.
Said Preece: “I feel a little bit (underrated), but I feel like schools will start coming to see me a lot more soon.”