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Letter-of-Intent Day Arrives; Many Stars Uncommitted

February 12, 1986|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER | Times Staff Writer

Letter-of-intent day has finally arrived, but as of Tuesday, many of the top high school football players in the area and around the country hadn't announced the colleges of their choice.

Quarterback Jeff George of Warren Central in Indianapolis, rated by most as the No. 1 prospect in the country, has called a press conference today to announce whether he will go to UCLA, Purdue, or Miami.

The Bruins and USC are still awaiting word on several other recruits, among them defensive back Cleveland Colter of Tempe, Ariz., who is down to USC, Arizona State and Texas; defensive back Eric Turner of Ventura, UCLA and Washington; defensive back Rodney Winston of Marianna, Ark., USC and Arkansas; center Tom Dabasinskas of Escondido San Pasqual, USC, Texas and Iowa; wide receiver Greg McMurtry of Brockton, Mass., UCLA and others, and running back Terry Rodgers of National City Sweetwater, USC, Texas and Nebraska.

The week has already been a good one for the Trojans, what with oral commitments from linemen Mark Tucker of L.A. Banning and Tim Ryan and Gene Fruge of San Jose Oak Grove, tight end Scott Freier of Antioch, Calif., and defensive back Mark Carrier of Long Beach Poly, one of the top prospects in California at any position.

Carrier was set to take a trip to Penn State last weekend and make an announcement after returning. He said Tuesday that he had canceled that trip but hadn't told anyone in hopes of having a quiet weekend during which to make his decision.

Two of his good friends, linebacker Brian Tuliau of Poly and linebacker Charles Burnham of Long Beach Jordan had previously made commitments to USC.

"That's a comfort to be able to say that I'll know other people there," Carrier said. "It's not only nice to feel at home, but to have someone there with you."

Jim Jastrab, a running back-linebacker prospect from Hacienda Heights Los Altos who missed most of the season, will sign with Hawaii, and defensive back Miguel Ramirez of Santa Fe Springs St. Paul picked Miami of Ohio, where his high school coach, Rick Ready, was once an assistant.

If UCLA gets most of the youngsters it is hoping for, it will have a banner recruiting season. The Bruins are expected to sign at least seven and as many as 16 of the nation's 100 so-called best high school football players.

Iowa, still in the running for New Jersey running back Tony Stewart and Texas linebacker Melvin Foster also figures to be near the top, along with Michigan, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC.

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