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Bruins Could Lose Recruits

June 06, 2002|STEVE HENSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Brian Jordan spoke and Mike Nixon listened. Now it's Bob Toledo's turn.

Nixon, of Phoenix Sunnyslope High, is one of two prize UCLA football recruits taken in baseball's first-year player draft Tuesday. A catcher, he was a third-round pick of the Dodgers.

Jarrad Page, a shortstop-outfielder from San Leandro High, was a fifth-round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Both players were recruited by UCLA as defensive backs.

Page met with Brewer officials Wednesday to discuss a contract, and Nixon will meet with Dodger officials Saturday. They must weigh a baseball signing bonus and immediate opportunity to launch a professional career against a UCLA education and big-time college football.

Jordan, the Dodger left fielder, juggled both sports early in his career, playing defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons. He made an impression on Nixon during a workout at Dodger Stadium last weekend.

"He kind of said, 'Go with your heart,' " Nixon said. "He gave reasons why he's playing baseball over football.

"I think unless something goes wrong Saturday, it's going to be baseball."

Nixon informed scouts before the draft how much money it would take for him to forgo football and sign, a figure estimated at close to $1 million. Page stands to receive perhaps half that amount.

"It doesn't necessarily mean I am not going to school [and playing football]," Page said. "They will talk about that, and I will see what they say. I want to play both, unless they say something that makes me want to play just one."

Toledo is not conceding anything. He is hoping Nixon and Page follow the lead of Bruin defensive backs Ricky Manning and Matt Ware, who play pro baseball during the summer.

However, those players were much lower draft picks. The Dodgers and Brewers might be reluctant to pay a large signing bonus to players willing to commit only a few months a year to baseball.

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