- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
After a knee injury cost cornerback Malik Cyphers (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) most of his sophomore season, the dynamic athlete set his mind to preparing himself for a big junior year. With one regular season game remaining, everything is going smoothly for Cyphers, who has 28 tackles and three interceptions.
Cyphers earned his first scholarship after his freshman year, as SMU extended an offer. But with the injury, Cyphers said schools wanted to see how he responded once he got back onto the field. At this point, everything appears back on track for the junior, who took an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech earlier this season and will take his second unofficial visit of the season this weekend to Boise State.
"They came into the picture this past offseason and I've been talking to them ever since," Cyphers said of the Broncos. "I have some good friends there, in Chaz Anderson and Bryan Douglas, and I think this game is right right time for me to go see them. It's after our league championship game and it felt right to go see what it's like out there and how good of a fit it is."
Cyphers said he'll head to the Broncos' campus with an idea of how to approach the visit.
"I know that first I have to take care of academics, so most of my questions will be about academics," he said. "Then they'll show me around campus. I'm very excited about it. I want to see how the college life is and get to know what college coaches are looking for in the players they recruit. They're saying they're really excited to get me out there."
While the possibility of a scholarship offer being extended this weekend hasn't been discussed, Cyphers said it would be "an honor and a blessing" to receive one during the visit. But he added that he isn't worried about whether that happens or not.
"They probably want to see where I stand and get me a feel for Boise," he said. "I want to have a good time and have a positive outlook."
This won't be the final unofficial visit of the year for Cyphers, as he has a trip to Oregon scheduled for Nov. 17. Several additional Pac-12 programs, including California, UCLA and USC, have been in contact as well.
But before he lands in Idaho on Saturday morning, Cyphers and his Oaks Christian teammates have their sights set on Friday's night's matchup against Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure, as only one team will remain undefeated in Marmonte League play.
"We're looking forward and taking it one game at a time," Cyphers said. "The defense is playing great and the offense is back on track. We're all looking forward to Friday's game."
20hSam Khan Jr. and Alex Scarborough