Saturday, April 13, 2013
Recruiting coming around for LB Lazarus
By Brandon P. Oliver
One of the top players in northern California, and one of the top linebackers on the West Coast is finally starting to gain some traction on the recruiting trail. Linebacker Michael Lazarus (Berkeley, Calif./Berkeley) recently picked up his second Pac-12 offer.
Cal -- the school just steps from his high school -- was the first to offer the physical defender, which they did in March. Washington State followed suit this past weekend and it could be the beginning of a big stretch for Lazarus, who plans to compete at several camps over the next few months.
"Man, it's great to get another offer because I know the more schools that believe in you only makes you more attractive to other programs," Lazarus said. "I've been to Cal quite a bit and have a real good relationship with everyone over there."
Other Pac-12 programs are taking notice as well, with Arizona State, UCLA and Washington all showing increased interest in the 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker.
"I have been talking to ASU, UCLA and Washington quite a bit lately," Lazarus said. "I've been down to UCLA before and have a good relationship with the staff there."
Rumors have been rampant regarding a package deal between some of the top players from Northern California. Those rumors have included wide receiver Jalen Harvey (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito), running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) and linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito). Calhoun is Lazarus' cousin.
"We'll have to see how it works out, but if we can make it work, my cousin D.J. and I want to play together in college," Lazarus said.
Calhoun holds offers from both Cal and Washington State, but also has offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Oregon State, UCLA, USC and Washington, among others.
Arizona State, Boise State, Cal, UCLA and Washington seem to be the most likely destinations for the pair, should they decide to stick together. The Sun Devils, Broncos, Bruins and Huskies have all expressed enough interest in Lazarus that he believes offers are on the way in the not too distant future.
"Coach [Peter] Sirmon is recruiting me for Washington and we have developed a pretty good relationship," Lazarus said. "They have a really good program that is starting to turn things around and they seem like they are about to take it to the next level."
Aside from the schools he is in touch with, Lazarus expressed interest in hearing from the staff at Oregon and hopes they will be by to see him when they make the rounds next month during the spring evaluation period. Ducks defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti recruits northern California, due in large part to his ties to the area.
"I'd love to hear more from Oregon. I heard a little bit from them a while ago, but I'd like to get back in touch with them." Lazarus said. "They have an incredible program. Anyone would love to hear from them."