Gorman’s Justin Sweet commits to Colorado State

The 5-foot-10 defensive back was a three-year starter at Bishop Gorman, picked the Rams over UNLV and others

Jake Ortale, left, of Palo Verde can’t keep his hands on the ball as Justin Sweet of Bishop Gorman pursues during the Sunset Regional semifinals at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas on Friday, November 9, 2012.

One of the best defenders on the state’s unquestioned top high school football team made his college decision Wednesday.

Justin Sweet, a three-year starter at cornerback for Bishop Gorman High, verbally committed with Colorado State. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Sweet also had scholarship offers from UNLV, UNR, Utah State and New Mexico.

Sweet liked the direction Colorado State is heading under coach Jim McElwain, a former coordinator at Alabama who just finished his first season at the helm of the Colorado State program. The school also plans on opening an on-campus stadium, giving it the total package to attract one of Nevada's top high school talents.

“Coach McElwain is from Alabama and he is used to winning,” Sweet said. “That was a big part of it. I really liked the coaching staff. Those guys really care and believe in (their) players. They think I can play right away.”

Sweet had 33 tackles and two interceptions in 2012. In 2011, he had 48 tackles and an interception. He was an all-Sunset selection the past two years. He also saw brief carries at running back, taking his lone carry for a 55-yard touchdown run in the Gaels’ 63-10 victory against Liberty in the state title game. It was their fourth straight Nevada title, with Sweet having a significant role in the last three championship runs.

Verbal commitments are nonbinding and don’t become official until national signing day in early February. Sweet, who also visited Utah State earlier in the fall, plans on cancelling other trips.

Sweet is the fourth player from Gorman to commit, joining quarterback Anu Solomon (Arizona), defensive back Lorenzo Fertitta Jr. (Villanova) and 2014 defensive lineman Isaiah Nacua (BYU).

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or ray.brewer@lasvegassun.com. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.