Lakewood’s James Feutz, one of the top sophomore golfers in the country, said he did not plan to choose a college so soon.
But he did Saturday night – giving UNLV an oral commitment.
If you think this is sudden, it is and it isn’t. Anyone who knows the 16-year-old who just completed his sophomore season at Bellarmine Prep, he’s been researching the recruiting process since the eighth grade – or when the University of Washington and Oregon started to show interest in him.
This spring, Feutz – the Class 4A boys champion – narrowed his list to five schools: UW, Oregon, Texas A&M, UCLA and UNLV.
He ruled out Oregon because of climate, and UW and UCLA because of the academic rigors. I’m not sure how much Texas A&M was in the picture, but since he’s visited Las Vegas twice, it was safe to say the Runnin’ Rebels became No. 1 sometime before the school season ended.
He visited there a final time in mid-May. On Saturday, UNLV assistant Daron Dorsey called with a scholarship offer, and the Feutz family crunched some numbers, and agreed it was fair – and most importantly, the right place to go.
“A couple of guys from here have gone there now – Ryan and (Olympia’s) Andres Gonzales, too,” Feutz said. “My best friend, (Bainbridge Island’s) Carl Johnson, is going there to play. That was a big tug for me. We get to play college golf together.”
Feutz’s early signing period, which will bind the oral decision, is in November of 2011 – the fall of his senior year.
Feutz is out of action right now with a fractured middle finger in his right hand – suffered in a physical-education class in early June. He will not have surgery, instead rehabilitating the injury. He will try and play golf again Aug. 1 – and qualify for the U.S. Amateur two days later.