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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Recruiting notebook: Newell offered

By Blair Angulo

Three-star defensive tackle Peyton Newell (Hiawatha, Kan./Hiawatha) might not attend a big-name school or reside in a pipeline state, but with more than 30 scholarship offers stacked up, he’s one of the most highly sought prospects in the Midwest.

Newell had been exchanging Facebook messages with USC in recent weeks, so he was optimistic when he found out assistant coach Mike Ekeler would be dropping by his school. Ekeler, according to Newell, extended an offer through his high school coach last week, making the Trojans offer No. 33 for the 6-foot-2, 275-pound lineman.

“This one meant a lot to me,” Newell said. “I had been getting a lot of negative comments for being from Kansas, for being from a small town. People have been saying my competition level is not worth all the offers I have, so this is a big offer to show I can play. It showed me that elite schools are definitely interested and that I can play at the level. It meant a lot to me.”

Newell has visited Los Angeles before. He has a cousin that lives a block from Rodeo Drive on the west side of town, and he checked out the UCLA campus. He has also been to Cal’s campus in Berkeley, but has yet to see USC.

“We’re going to try to get out there soon,” Newell said. “I’m hoping to have a top five toward the beginning of the summer. USC is definitely a school I’ve been interested in. The chance to play early really catches my eye. The ultimate goal for all college prospects is going in and playing as early as you can. And as much as I want to commit now, I think I’m going to wait it out as much as I can. It’s not a four-year decision; it’s a 40-year decision.

“My biggest thing is relationships with coaches. You’ll be at a school with those guys for four years. Those relationships last a lifetime.”

Assistant checks in on Oaks Christian prospect

Class of 2015 offensive lineman Reno Rosene (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) received a visit from USC assistant coach Ed Orgeron last week, leaving the highly regarded prospect antsy to show his talents at the upcoming Rising Stars Camp.

“I’ve always been a really big SC fan ever since I was a kid,” Rosene said. “It was nice being able to meet him. He’s been here at our school before, but it was cool to talk to him. They’ve been watching my film from last season and Coach O told me I’ve been turning some heads over there. Hopefully I can show what I’m really about this spring so they’ll offer. He came out last spring too and took some video on me. He’s coming again for spring practice and I’m looking to leave a big impression out there. To get an offer from USC would be a big goal of mine.”

The 6-foot-7, 326-pound Rosene has also been in contact with Michigan and Stanford recently. He has one offer – though it’s a notable one – from Notre Dame.

“We talk once or twice a month,” Rosene said of the Fighting Irish. “We’re pretty close. I’m good with them, but I’m still waiting. I want to get more offers and hopefully make a decision after that.”

Rosene is planning summer visits to Cal, Stanford and Washington while he waits to hear from other schools, including Oregon and UCLA. He attended the Notre Dame-USC game at the Coliseum last fall, which he called a great experience.

“I really like it there,” he said of USC. “I like everything about the school. It makes me feel at home. I’m only about an hour away from home, so it’s nice.”

No offer, but Trojans lead for Inland Empire linebacker

As a former high school teammate of USC freshman Su’a Cravens, three-star linebacker Curtis Bolton (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) is plenty familiar with the Trojans.

“Su’a jokes with me all the time, saying we won’t be friends if I go somewhere other than USC, but he understands,” Bolton said. “I’m just trying to find the right fit, and USC is a real nice fit now. I grew up a USC fan. They were a big school for me, but when I started paying attention, I realized they ran a 4-3 defense and that really wasn’t my deal. I didn’t completely cut them out, and then they got the new defensive coordinator. I liked what they did at the spring game. I’m excited to see what they do this year.”

Bolton, who has scholarship offers from Arizona, Iowa State, Miami (Fla.), Oklahoma, Washington and Washington State, is open to all schools but said he would prefer to stay local. Assistant coach James Cregg is expected to swing by Murrieta when the school starts spring practice on May 13.

“I’m still big on UCLA, but at this point USC is passing them up,” Bolton said. “I’m looking real highly at USC right now. If I got that offer, they would be up there at No. 1. They said an offer could come, at the latest, at their summer camp.”

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