High school Football Preview: Hard-working Luna takes on leadership role for Nogales

2013-08-13T00:00:00Z High school Football Preview: Hard-working Luna takes on leadership role for NogalesJason Harris Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 13, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Over the next 11 days, we will feature our picks of Southern Arizona's top preseason high school football players.

Our countdown continues with Nogales' Jason Luna, one of eight returning starters for the Apaches who will take on a role as a senior leader.

Jason Luna

• The rundown: Jason Luna, WR/DB, 5-9, 175, Nogales, senior

• Who he is: Now a senior leader and team captain, Luna flipped the switch after playoff baseball and set the example for his football teammates over the summer by working out twice a day, including lifting weights in the mornings before practice and running hills after. He spent time building the confidence of his new quarterback, Max Verdugo, by catching at least 50 balls a day over the summer. On the field, Luna can handle either zone or man coverage and is a threat to run after the catch with a 40-yard dash time of just under 4.6 seconds. Luna has also shown a knack for solid route running as demonstrated by his 19 catches for 473 yards and eight touchdowns, including three two-touchdown games, last season as a junior. Nogales coach Vince Villanucci said Luna's skills as a wide receiver are the same things that will make him a good defensive back.

• Proof he's good: Called up to varsity at the end of his sophomore year to add depth during the playoffs, Luna believes the experience gave him an early chance to get adjusted to the new level of play to be expected from him. He will be a factor in helping fill the void left by 22 graduated seniors and could have a breakout year at cornerback for the Apaches defense as one of only a few players on the team expected to play both ways. Although he did not receive any camp invites this offseason and has not yet received any college attention, with Nogales going up to Division II from Division III this season, it may only be a matter of time.

• He said it: "The work he put in everyday this summer proved to me he can handle going both ways this season." - Villanucci

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