Temecula Chaparral High has been churning out yards on the ground this season, fast approaching 2,000 yards after seven games.
The Pumas have had seven individual 100-plus-yard rushing performances. Quarterback Brock White has a pair of outings with more than 200 yards. Hunter Roddy also had a 200-plus-yard night. Chaparral has averaged nearly 275 yards as a team while running for 23 touchdowns.
But it all starts up front with the Pumas’ offensive line, which has been anchored by 6-foot-3, 320-pound junior Elia Migao at left tackle. Migao protects White’s blindside when he drops back to pass and has been a mauler helping to open up holes for White, Roddy and Matthew Majel, who leads the team in rushing.
Chaparral has produced a Division I signee in all but one year since 2007 with offensive linemen being their most notable export. Four Chaparral linemen have signed with Pac-12 programs. Migao is hoping to follow mentors Steven Jones and Justin Dedich as well as Mason Walter and Trevor Fox before them.
In Jones’ and Dedich’s senior year, they led Chaparral to its first winning season in four years. They cleared the way for an offense that ran for more than 200 yards per game and became top 250 national prospects along the way, signing with Oregon and USC, respectively.
Migao was a freshman on the team and watched how they handled themselves on the field and in recruiting. He now has some similar options with early scholarship offers from Arizona State, Brigham Young, Nebraska, Oregon and Washington. He’s also been communicating with USC and a handful of other schools.
“I kind of modeled [my approach to recruiting] after how they chose their schools,” Migao said of Dedich and Jones. “I’ve picked their brains when I see them from time to time. They really give me good ... great advice actually. Really showed me a bigger picture of how things go. I thought it’s as simple as just choosing a school you want, but you know, there’s more to it. And I’m happy that they took me under their wing for that.”
Migao’s first scholarship offer came from Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal in January. Migao was unprepared.
“I was blown away. I almost fainted,” Migao said. “Oh, it was a surreal feeling, you know. Cristobal came up to me and started talking to me. I didn’t know if it was real. I never really thought that it’d ever, ever work out for me.”
Migao didn’t anticipate football helping pay for his education.
“I thought I had to do it off of academics, but I found out that I’m just so blessed with my body and just my skill in football that it kind of took me there,” he said. “I got really lucky with my frame. Genetics really kicked in and I got really lucky.”
Migao is seriously considering the Ducks. He is “really fond of them, especially hearing from Steve how he likes it over there.” He also likes the Trojans because of the information he’s received from Dedich. They have yet to extend a scholarship, but Migao called USC his dream offer.
“We’ve based our program off of USC and I like how we run,” Migao said. “Their core values and their atmosphere is just really interesting to me. I really love it over there.”
The three-star prospect, projected to play offensive guard in college, said he’ll take time in the offseason taking unofficial visits to several schools. He expects that to help lead him in the right direction. He’ll get to gauge each coaching staff’s interest and see each school’s academic plan.
“I’m kind of going to base it off academics and school. Like the football will come second, but I want to get a higher education. That’s my main focus. Other than that, I’m just looking at my options,” Migao said. “This process is really, really amazing. I wish, you know, everyone could experience this kind of thing.”