Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Favorite emerges, but LB Bierria in no rush
By Erik McKinney
Linebacker Keishawn Bierria (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) didn't want to focus at all on recruiting during his senior season, so the 6-foot-1, 210-pound standout pushed everything back until after the season. That led to a very busy January and the possibility that Bierria could wait until after signing day to make a commitment.
"Right now a lot of schools are hitting me," Bierria said. "It's late, and I'm still undecided. At times it gets difficult, but I have family and coaches that help me. It's starting to get to crunch time, so it's starting to get a little harder."
Bierria took an official visit to Oregon State on Jan. 11 and one to Arizona State on Jan. 18. That kickstart to the recruiting process gave Bierria plenty to think about.
"Oregon State is a great school, and I feel like it has some of the best coaches in college football," Bierria said. "They kept their talks really direct, and I felt like it was accurate information. The players were great people to be around.
"The Arizona State visit was good. It has a beautiful campus and stadium. I was impressed by the community and how everybody is involved with the Devils."
Bierria said he will take two more official visits next week, with a mid-week trip set to Oregon and an official visit to Washington on Feb. 1. He said he doesn't hold offers yet from those two schools, but he has a plan of attack for each trip.
"A lot of guys my age are scared to ask direct questions, but that's something I'm going to do," Bierria said. "I'm going to look for direct answers to see if I'm a priority for their program."
Bierria was a tremendously productive player for a terrific Narbonne team this season, and his versatility on the defensive side of the ball is something coaches feel they can work with.
"Some schools think I can play outside linebacker but also move around depending on the package," he said. "In a heavier package, I can play strong safety, rover, spur, ram -- there are a lot of different names for it. It's a strong safety that rolls down toward the line of scrimmage.
"A lot of people think I'm not big enough to play linebacker, but they say I can play strong safety. I'm just looking to get on the field. I really have no fear to go up against linemen, and a lot of schools are looking to move me around. I'll play anywhere if it keeps me on the field."
At this point, all schools are chasing Oregon State, which made a terrific impression throughout the season and on his visit.
"They've been recruiting me the hardest and hit me early on in the year," Bierria said. "Right now I'm leaning a little toward Oregon State and starting to show a little favoritism toward OSU. But as I go on, a lot of schools are starting to pop up."
Bierria added that he wants to be able to fully experience the recruiting process and make sure he is making the right decision. He said he would like to be able to make a final decision on signing day, so he can participate in the signing day activities with his teammates, but he allowed for the fact that he might need to give himself some additional time to weigh all of his options.