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High school athletes in Colorado consider out-of-state moves to play fall football

High school football won't start until one month after National Letter of Intent Day for student athletes who want to play in college.

DENVER — High school sports started on Thursday in Colorado.

Boys golf teed off for at Wellshire Golf Course for the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Invitational.

Softball and boys tennis starts next Thursday, and cross country has its first competition on Aug. 15.

Colorado football, however, won't start until March 4, one month after National Letter of Intent Day for student-athletes who want to play in college.

"If I had a kiddo who was like I was, needed his senior year to get recruited, I would definitely be looking at going out-of-state," said Tim Jenkins, owner of Jenkins Elite, which is a player development group for more than 200 athletes.

Across the nation, 37 states have high school football starting this month, next month or October. Colorado is one of the 12 states that has moved football to 2021. North Carolina hasn't decided yet.

"You're asking college football coaches to say, 'hey, there [are] 37 other states playing on time or before signing day,' and you need to wait it out for a Colorado kid, who potentially, in three more weeks, will put out a good game on film? I think that's a hard sell for a college football coach," said Jenkins.

"A lot of kids rely on this fall to get the scholarship offers," said Cherry Creek senior wide receiver Chase Penry. "Transferring this year would definitely be a business decision, it wouldn't be for social, any of that."

Penry considered transferring out-of-state, despite have already having a number of offers.

"University of Colorado, Colorado State, UNLV, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Penn," said Penry.

The Ivy League school offers are impressive. Those schools don't offer athletic scholarships.

Penry decided to stay at Cherry Creek and try to repeat as state champions in the spring.

"We have a really special group this year, and I think we have a really good chance at being one of the top teams in Colorado history, and so I wanted to finish off what we started," said Penry.

Some prominent high school athletes have already transferred.

Grandview High School running back Noah Schmidt posted a goodbye to his team on Twitter that revealed he was moving to Chandler, Ariz., to attend Hamilton High School. A number of other Colorado student-athletes are also attending Hamilton, but some of those decisions were made prior to the change in the football schedule.

According to Joe Paddock, the assistant athletic director for the Arizona Interscholastic Association (Arizona's version of the Colorado High School Activities Association), a student and his entire family must establish residency for eligibility purposes.

"Anyone looking at leaving the state, it's got to be the right situation. The kiddo's really got to have a shot to go play at the college level," said Jenkins. "If the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) were to move signing day back to May, this is all done. Everything's fine. Any state can push back to the spring and it doesn't matter one bit."

On Thursday morning, Next with Kyle Clark emailed the NCAA to find out about signing day, and if it would change the date based on COVID-19. As of Thursday night, the NCAA had not responded.

SUGGESTED VIDEO: Full Episodes of Next with Kyle Clark

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