Los Angeles Preps: Oklahoma State

Jacobs heading to Oklahoma State

February, 1, 2012
The college destination of Seth Jacobs from Arroyo Grande was a hot topic on Wednesday morning and well into the afternoon, for that matter. The senior linebacker answered the lingering questions later in evening, however, when he picked Oklahoma State.

Jacobs announced his plans for the next level by choosing the hat of the Cowboys. Tough luck for both Arkansas and Colorado, the other programs in the final three for the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder. Signs point to playing the next four years in Stillwater as being the best fit.

“I picked Oklahoma State, my decision was tough, I'm glad it's over now,'' Jacobs said. “I had a great visit to the campus recently, liked all of the coaches and the facilities. I feel like it's a good place for me to be. I think I can come in and make an impact right away.''

The trip to Oklahoma State took place earlier this month. Before that, Jacobs visited Colorado and Arkansas. Another program in the mix appeared to be nearby UCLA. The Bruins, however, entered the picture too late. Jacobs' list had already been narrowed down.

“I thought about UCLA, and there were some things I liked. In the end, I didn't think it was a good fit,'' Jacobs said. “I appreciate the fact the Bruins recruited me though.''

Turns out, UCLA coach Jim Mora could not contend with the Cowboys. Once his mind was made up, there was no turning back for Jacobs. At least now, there will be no more questions about where he'll be playing. Oklahoma State was the answer people were looking for.

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Time is of the essence for Jacobs

January, 23, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- With football national signing day right around the corner, on Feb. 1, Seth Jacobs from Arroyo Grande (Calif.) has been about as busy as they come. Then again, the hectic schedule is something that simply comes along with territory when you are considered one of the country's top unsigned prospects.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior has recently made his rounds and visited multiple colleges. Jacobs, of course, was able to gain a better understanding of what each program had to offer, and it appears as if the trips helped him narrow down his list to three schools, and perhaps a fourth.

“Right now, Arkansas, Colorado and Oklahoma State are in the lead and about even,'' Jacobs said. “I feel good about how the recruiting process has gone so far. I'm really glad I took my time and did not commit to anyone early. Rushing into a quick decision was not an option for me.''

While Jacobs maintains his final decision is in the works, one has to wonder if UCLA has a chance to make a late run for his services. The Bruins, after all, have made a strong push and he plans on making a visit to Westwood this weekend to meet with new coach Jim Mora and his staff.

“I like Coach Mora, he has a great resume and some great assistants around him. I've been talking with some of the people at UCLA for a few weeks now,'' Jacobs said. “I look forward to checking out the campus and meeting everyone from there. The Bruins could pop into my top three.''

Last weekend, Jacobs visited Colorado. The fact the Buffaloes are still a player in the grand scheme of things is somewhat puzzling considering the high-profile options he has to choose from. Staying close to home and playing in the Pac-12 Conference is something he considers important.

Oklahoma State hosted Jacobs two weeks ago. At the time, all signs pointed to the Cowboys emerging as his leader. But the talk about that whole scenario has subsided since then.

Shortly before that, Jacobs visited Arkansas, on Nov. 5.

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Mickens is a hot commodity

January, 20, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- Patience is a virtue, as they often say, and Jaydon Mickens can attest to that much. The old adage, in fact, accurately describes how the Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey senior has attempted to recently approach the whole recruiting process.

Mickens has carefully weighed his options. And in doing so, the 5-foot-9 and 170-plus pound athlete has emerged as one of the nation's more sought-after unsigned recruits around and it appears as if his final destination could end up being Oklahoma State.

“I visited the Cowboys last weekend, liked what they had to offer and they're my leader now,'' Mickens said. “Things have been crazy for me lately, a lot of schools have interest in me. I almost rushed into some things, but am glad I waited to my pick.''

He gave a verbal commitment to USC, initially. Something happened along the way though. The lines of communication, unfortunately, broke down between him and the Trojans. Somewhat surprisingly, Lane Kiffin & Co. were no longer an option.

With the window of opportunity seemingly open once again, several programs stepped up their efforts to land him, mostly from the Pac-12 Conference.

“It didn't seem like the Trojans had big plans for me, I didn't think it was going to be a good fit, that's why I started to look at other schools,'' Mickens said.

Washington was once considered as a major player, as recently as a week ago. The Huskies, however, have been put on the back-burner. At least temporarily.

Oregon is in the midst of making a late run to secure a commitment from Mickens. He traveled North to Eugene on Friday morning for a visit with the Ducks.

Plans are in the works for a recruiting trip to Washington State on Jan. 28. With new coach Mike Leach in the mix, and the offensive system he brings to the table, you can't count out the Cougars. Mickens' game appears tailor-made for playing in Pullman.

Playing the waiting game has its advantages, apparently.

“Things happen for a reason, and I have a tough decision to make, but I'm not worried about things,'' Mickens said. “I plan on making my choice on signing day.''

“If I had to pick one, like I said before, it's Oklahoma State, that program brings a lot to the table. My next two visits are going to be big though. I would say that Oregon, Washington State and Washington are all about tied for second right now. They're all real close.''

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Lawler explores his options

January, 19, 2012
LOS ANGELES -- The Southland is home to its share of quality wide receivers. Kenny Lawler, however, has emerged as one of the hotter commodities around due in large part to the fact the Upland (Calif.) senior remains uncommitted and National Signing Day is right around the corner.

Oregon State appears to be the leader for the 6-foot-3 and 175-pound pass-catcher. The Beavers have recruited Lawler for a while now and the somewhat close proximity of the school to his Southern California roots could end up being one of the deciding factors.

“I really like Oregon State, I had a visit up there and it went really good, the coaching staff is great there,'' Lawler said. “They are at the top of my list right now.''

His family is on the same page when it comes to the future.

“It's coming down to the wire, but I'd have to say that Oregon State is in the driver's seat,'' said his father, Kenny Lawler Sr. “We had a visit with them last week and it went well. They are leading now, but that could all change. The next couple weeks will be interesting.''

Washington State is also considered to be a major player in the Lawler sweepstakes. Coach Mike Leach was in the family home on Wednesday night, presumably in an effort to make one final pitch. The plan is for Lawler to visit the Cougars campus this weekend.

“I was impressed with Coach Leach and his whole staff, I like what they have to offer me,'' said Lawler, who finished with 1,267 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns this season for Upland. “I have a decision to make soon and I'm going to think about all my options.''

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Preview: Culver City at Arroyo Grande

December, 7, 2011
At the beginning of the football season, there were not many observers predicting that Arroyo Grande and Culver City would be meeting in Friday night's CIF-Southern Section Western Division title game.

Back in early September, the so-called experts and fair-weathered fans, alike, appeared to be under the assumption the championship would ultimately be decided in a matchup between perennial powerhouse Gardena Serra and the Cavaliers' heir apparent, West Hills Chaminade.

Sante Fe Springs St. Paul and La Canada St Francis were a pair of programs also considered as threats in the grand scheme. That is, of course, during the early stages of the year. Shortly thereafter, Santa Monica and Ventura emerged as players in the postseason race.

Nevertheless, Arroyo Grande and Culver City stayed the course. A victory is the only thing separating both programs from winning it all, and finally, silencing the skepticism.

In retrospect, perhaps the Eagles (12-1) should have been given a bit more credit. After all, they lost to Serra in the title game last season and returned several skill-position players.

It begins, and ends, with Brent Vanderveen. The 6-foot-4, 205-plus pound senior quarterback has completed more than 57 percent of his passes for 2,244 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Oregon State commit threw for 140 yards and three scores last week against Chaminade.

His main target has been Garrett Owens. The fellow upperclassman has 758 yards receiving and six touchdowns. Owens also plays on the defensive side of the ball. In addition, he is considered one of the Southland's top kickers. Several colleges are interested in his services.

On the ground, senior Henry Adelman has gained 1,120 yards rushing and scored 16 touchdowns. He is another one of the many Eagles players who plays on defense as well.

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