Print and Go Back West Recruiting [Print without images]

Thursday, March 5, 2009
Ward, Kohler have same top two

There are some striking similarities in the recruitments of offensive linemen Chris Ward (Santa Ana, Calif./ Mater Dei) and Erik Kohler (Westlake Village, Calif./ Oaks Christian).

Both players have the same top two at this time, UCLA and Cal and both players were in Berkeley over the weekend for the Bears Junior Day. We talked to Kohler earlier in the week and caught up with Ward Wednesday.

"The trip was really good, I really like the new OL coach," Ward said. "Coach Marshall is a great guy and a great coach as well. I visited Cal in the summer so I had already seen a lot of the campus and the football facilities but this was more in depth and thorough.

"Cal is doing some new things to their buildings and the place looks great. I've always liked Cal a lot and they have been a favorite along with UCLA for a while now. I'm going to UCLA this weekend for their Junior Day so it will be a good chance to compare the two schools."

Ward left open the possibility of making an early commitment as well following his weekend visit to Westwood.

"After this weekend, I think I'll have seen all I need to see," Ward said. "There really is no other schools I'm waiting on to offer or anything so I definitely plan to think hard about what I want to do.

"I'm not going to rush in to anything but if it feels right and I'm comfortable with one of the schools, I can see myself making an early decision here."

Ward is being recruited as a tackle but could project as a guard as well.

Beck waiting on offer No. 1

Things have been a little slow in the recruitment of one of the top receivers in the West. Jordan (Los Angeles, Calif.) standout DeShawn Beck is hearing from a host of schools, locally and nationally, but still waiting for his first written offer.

Beck could be the fastest receiver in the state next year and has run consistently in the low 4.4-40 range. He had the fastest 40 time at the USC Rising Stars camp last summer and is one of the most explosive players in the region after the catch.

Beck earned 2nd team all-state underclass honors a year ago after catching 72 balls for 1,141 yards and 15 touchdowns. He added two more scores on the ground and threw for three touchdowns. He'll move to quarterback full time as a senior.

"I'm hearing from a lot of schools but no offers that I know of," Beck said. "My coach handles that for me but as far as I know, no one has offered. UCLA, USC, Cal, Oregon, Washington, Washington State, Arizona State and Arizona are the ones I've heard from so far."

Jordan coach Elijah Asante added a few more schools to the mix.

"In addition to the Pac 10 schools, Florida called me today about him and Notre Dame likes him a lot too," Asante said. "I'm not sure what schools are waiting on to be honest but every year, it's the same thing. I feel like schools are always slow to offer our kids, it's like they don't want to be the first one to offer or something.

"Last year, USC was the first school to offer James Boyd. With DeShawn, he's wide open and he'll be a national kid. I'm going to try and have him camp with as many schools as possible. Right now, his top schools are UCLA, USC, Cal, Oregon, Washington and Notre Dame but he's open and we're just going to try and find the best fit for him."

West Notes

• Athlete Robert Woods (Gardena, Calif./ Serra) picked up two new offers this week from Georgia and Nebraska. Also hearing an offer from LSU could come in a day or two as well.

• Defensive back Sean Parker (Harbor City, Calif./ Narbonne) was offered earlier today by Michigan. This comes on the heels of offers from Oklahoma and Oregon State, which came earlier in the week.