For nearly a year, Warren High School (Downey, Calif.) coach Kevin Pearson has done pretty much all he can to spread the word about his sophomore quarterback Nicholaus Iamaleava Jr.
He has practically begged college coaches to take notice and peppered them with film. He coached a travel team that played in Bullhead City, Ariz., this past December, which served as a showcase opportunity for Iamaleava. UCLA, Arizona State, Florida State and others offered him based off of his play on the club circuit and other schools expressed interest.
But many programs shared the same message with Pearson, who coached Alabama quarterback Bryce Young for two years at Cathedral High School (Los Angeles) and also coached Hayden Rettig, a four-star quarterback who signed with LSU in the 2013 cycle.
“A lot of people kept telling me, ‘We want to see him play in a varsity game,’” Pearson said.
Iamaleava made his varsity debut on March 26 against Mayfair (Lakewood, Calif.), throwing for 351 yards and six touchdowns. A week later, he threw for 259 yards and four touchdowns against Paramount. Last Friday, he threw four more touchdowns in a win over Gahr (Cerritos, Calif.).
Through three games, Iamaleava has stuffed the stat sheet: 15 total touchdowns, 808 passing yards and just one interception. As for those colleges who were once hesitant?
“Now,” Pearson said, “they’re all coming around.”
Three weeks ago, Iamaleava was a relative unknown. On March 31, he debuted as the No. 67 overall player on 247Sports’ updated composite rankings for the 2023 recruiting cycle. Last Friday, he received an offer from Georgia. Three days later, USC, which has always been high on his list, followed suit. And on Wednesday, Oregon, a dream school, finally made its offer.