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RECRUITING / JEFF FELLENZER : USC Makes a Pitch to Sign a Plum of a Lineman From Apple Valley

January 29, 1993|JEFF FELLENZER

Cal's already impressive recruiting class got a gem this week when outside linebacker-defensive end Regan Upshaw (6-4, 220) of Pittsburg, near Berkeley, made a commitment to the Bears. Upshaw, who reportedly committed to Washington on a trip two weeks ago before changing his mind, is considered an outstanding pass rusher. He had 19 sacks the past two seasons. Among Cal's unofficial list of 20 commitments are four community college recruits: defensive lineman Greg Webb (6-4, 255) of Saddleback College, brother of former USC defensive tackle David Webb; wide receiver Latario Rachal (5-10, 170) of El Camino College, a former Carson High standout, and defensive backs Rich Richardson (5-11, 185) and Darrell Myles (6-1, 205) of Laney College in Oakland. Notable high school players who committed to Cal include safety Marlin McWilson (6-1, 200) of San Diego High, guard Tarik Glenn (6-3, 280) of Oakland Bishop O'Dowd, running back Khalid Shabazz (5-8, 175) of Oakland Skyline, offensive lineman Ryan Rossetti (6-5, 260) of Modesto, defensive back Jihad Akbar (5-11, 178) of Berkeley and defensive lineman Chris Easley (6-4, 230) of Dos Palos, Calif.

Washington has received a commitment from the state's best quarterback prospect, Shane Fortney (6-3, 205) of Everett. Other recent Husky commitments include defensive tackle Jason Chorak (6-4, 245) of Vashon Island, Wash., linebacker Jerry Jensen (6-1, 215) of Everett, running back Jovan McCoy (5-10, 180) and defensive back Kyle Roberts (5-11, 185) of Seattle O'Dea, and cornerbacks Tony Parrish (5-11, 170) of Huntington Beach Marina and Terry Hollimon (5-9, 165) of Everett.

Oregon has received commitments from two of the best players on the West Coast: running back Woody Green III (5-11, 180), the son of the former NFL and Arizona State running back, and wide receiver Jamaal Wallace (5-9, 165) of Eugene. Wallace, who caught 74 passes for 837 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 1,127 yards last season, turned down Washington to sign with the hometown Ducks. Oregon also got a commitment from tight end Blake Spence (6-5, 215) of Mission Viejo Capistrano Valley.

Blue chips: Crenshaw wide receiver-cornerback Eric Scott (5-11, 175) has committed to Northwestern over UCLA. Scott, who has a 3.8 grade-point average and hopes to become a doctor, also visited Arizona State, Oklahoma and Hawaii. . . . Long Beach Poly wide receiver Jason McCorvey (6-0, 190) has committed to Fresno State. Also committing to the Bulldogs was Manual Arts linebacker-fullback Dion Laffitte (6-2, 225), who chose Fresno State over Oregon State, UNLV and Arizona State. . . . Dorsey wide receiver Antonio Carrion (5-9, 165) has made a commitment to San Diego State. Also committing to San Diego State were Pasadena Muir linebacker Derek Norman (6-1, 220), Pasadena Blair running back-defensive back Z-Ukoni Hodges (6-1, 185) and quarterback Kevin McKechnie (6-2, 175) of Sacramento. . . . Santa Ana Mater Dei fullback Nicky Sualua (5-11, 240) has made a commitment to Ohio State. Sualua also visited UCLA and Oregon, and canceled a trip to Kansas this weekend . . . Lawrence Phillips (6-1, 200) of Baldwin Park, rated the top running back prospect in Southern California's senior class by the Scouting Evaluation Assn., has committed to Nebraska over Arizona State and USC.

Nationally, Michigan is having a terrific year, maybe the best in the country, according to some talent evaluators. Recent commitments include nose tackle William Carr (6-2, 265) and cornerback Tomell Hurd (6-0, 175) of Dallas; tight end Pierre Cooper (6-3, 210) of Alief, Tex., who chose the Wolverines over UCLA; inside linebacker Rob Swett (6-2, 225) of Doylestown, Pa., and guard Zack Adami (6-5, 275) of Little Rock, Ark. . . . The nation's top quarterback prospect, consensus All-America Ron Powlus (6-3, 210) of Berwick, Pa., is expected to announce his college choice Saturday. According to well-placed sources, Powlus has already committed to Notre Dame, spurning Pittsburgh, Penn State and Miami. Meanwhile, the Irish have received commitments from one of the country's best fullback prospects, Ron Hardin (6-2, 227) of Louisville, who also visited UCLA, and highly rated tackle Mike Doughty (6-8, 265) of Lakeville, Minn. But Notre Dame lost out to Miami for standout wide receiver Taj Johnson (6-3, 190) of Ardmore, Okla. The Irish earlier lost wide receiver Tony Simmons (6-2, 190) of Chicago St. Rita and linebacker David Lysek (6-3, 220) of Bethlehem, Pa., to Wisconsin, whose coach is former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Barry Alvarez. Alvarez, an excellent recruiter, also persuaded inside linebacker Brian Flanigan (6-2, 226) of Brussels, Wis., the brother of Notre Dame starting nose tackle Jim Flanigan, to commit to Wisconsin instead of the Irish.

Hoop report: The drawing power of Cal freshman standout Jason Kidd was evident at Pauley Pavilion Sunday. Among the curious in the near-sellout crowd of 12,563 that watched Kidd and the Bears defeat UCLA, 104-82, were many of the best high school basketball players in Southern California, including senior standouts Charles O'Bannon and Avondre Jones of Lakewood Artesia.

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