Posted: 6:30 pm Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Notebook: Santaluces running back Diocemy Saint Juste underrated no longer 

By Matt Porter

Hawaii coach Norm Chow trusts Santaluces High coach Daryl Drinkwater. But when he saw tape of Drinkwater’s running back, he wasn’t sure what to think.

Saint Juste

Saint Juste

Chow figured a player with Diocemy Saint Juste’s speed must have numerous FBS offers. Saint Juste had none. Chow assumed there must be something wrong.

“‘For him to be available, he must be five-six,’” Drinkwater recalled Chow saying. “‘If you’re telling me he’s five-nine, I’ll take your word for it, and we’re going to offer him.’”

After that mid-November conversation, the word spread about Saint Juste, a 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior. Though he attended no major summer combines and is a relative unknown to recruiting sites, he has made Santaluces a busy place in the last month.

After Hawaii, a dozen programs offered Saint Juste, including Illinois, Nevada, Colorado State, TCU, FAU, FIU, Marshall and UMass. On Wednesday, Rutgers, Memphis, Bowling Green were at Santaluces trying to recruit him, as were Hawaii and Colorado State.

Taking over as Santaluces’ featured back as a senior, he rushed for 1,243 yards and 15 touchdowns. That was despite running behind an offensive line that averages 5-foot-10 1/2 and 222 pounds.

“Those guys blocked their butts off, but they weren’t experienced,” Drinkwater said. “He was going through holes I can’t even see.”

Several factors might have kept Saint Juste under the radar. He started his high school career at Atlantic, but his family moved into Santaluces’ district before his junior season. He spent last year dealing with a hip pointer, which kept him out four games. Santaluces, which regularly puts players in college, has gone 16-25 over the last four years.

Saint Juste has good grades, which always helps a recruit’s profile. But his speed — as a senior, he broke six touchdown runs of 50 yards or more — is what really interests college programs.

“He’s the fastest player I’ve ever coached,” said Drinkwater, who has been at Santaluces for five seasons and has Division II and junior college experience. “I think he’s as good as anyone in the county.”

Bostwick open: Centennial senior Jay-nard Bostwick is considering a couple new schools in addition to Florida, Miami, Alabama and Oklahoma. Bostwick, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive tackle and a Post Super 11 selection, added Georgia and Michigan State to his list. He eliminated Oregon.