Dutch Fork will feature a pair of wide receivers this season in Antonio Williams and Jalin Hyatt who are as talented as any receivers you’ll find in the country. The question for the defending 5A champions is: Who is going to get them the ball?
Rising senior Davin Patterson played sparingly behind starter Will Taylor last season. Joining the program this spring was Class of 2023 prospect Aliam Appler, a transfer from New Hanover High School in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Not much is known about Appler as a thrower. His team played just four games in the spring and most of the time he turned and handed the ball off to a running back.
This month, Appler (6-5, 195) has been out to show college coaches what his arm is like. He spent a day at USC camp Friday, and he was at Clemson for two days on Saturday and Sunday.
“It was really nice. The facilities are really cool,” Appler said of his first trip to USC. “I got to get out and visit with the quarterback coach, which was really nice. I got to see the weight room and the locker room and all that stuff. I like South Carolina a lot. Overall, it was a really good camp. I liked it. I wasn’t able to talk to the head coach there. I know one of the recruiters and he’s sent me a couple of invites to their camps.”
Appler has been to Clemson before, so he was more familiar with how things work in the Upstate, and there’s some familiarity with head coach Dabo Swinney and quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter.
“Clemson is always awesome,” Appler said. “Their facilities are amazing. Their coaches are really cool because they will just talk to you. Dabo still remembers me from a couple of the camps I’ve been to. He’ll just come up and talk to me, which is really cool, just like the quarterback coach Streeter.”
Saturday at Clemson was not a good day to be a quarterback not named Arch Manning. The nation’s top-rated quarterback in the 2023 class was on display, and he definitely overshadowed the other quarterbacks in the building. But Appler said, at the same time, it was a good opportunity for him to be judged against one of the best.
“I was seen on Saturday and threw well with the four and five stars,” Appler said. “Arch clearly did show out. I have nothing but respect for the guy. I appreciated being in the group with them because as an unknown, people got to see me, too. Sunday there were still some great QBs there, too.”
As for Clemson and a potential offer, Appler said there’s been no indication of that at this point, but it’s still early for him.
“I’m just not expecting much because I don’t want that to be my focus going into the season,” Appler said. “I’m trying not to get wrapped up in who is getting offers and who is not. I am confident my time will come. If I were to get offered, it probably would be senior year. I’m not trying to focus on that right now. They know who I am. Streeter follows me on Twitter, so he follows what I do. I’ll take it.”
Appler is going to camp at Wake Forest on Saturday and North Carolina Sunday. He has not been offered but said Toledo has been showing decent interest.