Monday, July 15, 2013
Notes: Rosen shines at passing tourney
By Blair Angulo
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- For Class of 2015 quarterback Josh Rosen (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), last month’s Rising Stars Camp served as an opportunity to measure himself against other highly-regarded prospects, including USC commit David Sills (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) and fellow Southern California-based standout Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure).
Rosen also chatted with quarterbacks coach Clay Helton about the possibility of a scholarship offer, which might arrive soon despite the fact that the Trojans already have Sills in the 2015 recruiting class. In the current recruiting cycle, Helton put all of his chips on No. 1-rated pocket passer Keller Chryst (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto), who committed to Stanford just prior to the Elite 11 finals, and further options appear scarce as the high school football season approaches.
“Coach Helton told me I pretty much have an offer, but he just needs to convince coach Lane Kiffin to make it official,” Rosen said. “They’re still in their dead period right now, but hopefully they’ll sort something out and an offer will come my way. I thought I did really well at camp. I didn’t get much sleep the night before because I didn’t find out I was going until about 10:30 or 11 the night before, but I did well. I thought I threw like I always do. I was happy.”
Fortunately for the Trojans, the presence of Sills has no effect on Rosen.
“I’m confident in my abilities, so I feel that wherever I go I’ll start at some point in my career -- even if I don’t right away,” Rosen said. “I want a great degree and then hope to take a shot at the NFL. You’ll get a chance to try out for the NFL if you’re good enough, no matter where you are. This college decision is mostly a school decision. You’ll get exposure wherever. It’s all about being happy in those next four years.”
In that same regard, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound quarterback has not shied about naming Stanford as the frontrunner in his recruitment, even after Chryst committed. USC undoubtedly has some major ground to make up on the Cardinal.
“A lot of ground,” Rosen said. “I haven’t toured campus and have only been there on game days as a kid. I’m looking to forward to getting the recruiting process started and not just the offers part of it. Right now I’m focused on my season, and we’ll see how it works out. I’m probably going to wait for this whole season to play through before doing anything.”
Rosen and St. John Bosco, one of the state’s top teams, are out for revenge after losing to Long Beach (Calif.) Poly in the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division championship last fall.
“We have a lot of friends on that team and, honestly, we don’t even care where we play them,” Rosen said. “We want to beat them and take bragging rights away from them. Ultimately, our goal is to get rings on our fingers, but in the process, we’d like to beat Poly and Mater Dei, run the league and not lose a game.”
In what could be a preview of things to come, Rosen propelled St. John Bosco to the Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison “Battle at the Beach” tournament title by defeating Trinity League rival Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei in the final over the weekend.
Trojans might pursue local running back
With ESPN 300 running back Royce Freeman (Imperial, Calif./Imperial) committing to Oregon last week and Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom), the No. 1 player at the position on the West Coast, recently indicating wavering interest in the Trojans, it appears USC will have to scour the area in this cycle. Though signing a running back in the 2014 class isn’t the biggest concern given the presence of newcomers Justin Davis and Ty Isaac, it would be important to add at least one.
Cal running back commit Tre Watson (Corona, Calif./Centennial), who attended the Rising Stars Camp, has emerged as an option.
“I definitely expect to hear from them soon,” Watson said. “Coach [James] Cregg told me after camp they’ll be keeping in contact with me and seeing how my season goes. My situation makes it a bit hard because I am committed to Cal, so I’m sure the USC coaches want to focus on someone that would make a commitment. I don’t know how that is going to play out.”
USC currently holds a verbal commitment from Watson’s teammate, defensive end Austin Maloata, and has offered Jaylen Johnson and Alabama commit Viane Talamaivao. A handful of out-of-state running back prospects, including No. 1-rated Leonard Fournette (New Orleans, La./St. Augustine), No. 4 Dalvin Cook (Miami, Fla./Central) and No. 5 Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford), recently mentioned USC as a possible destination for an official visit this fall.
“I don’t want to be a last resort because of some other guys not going to those schools,” Watson said. “They can come see me play this year. I’m bringing it. I feel like I’m one of the best and can compete with the best. If they want me, they can come see me.”
USC still a possibility for in-state linebacker
Four-star outside linebacker Fred Warner (San Marcos, Calif./Mission Hills) remains committed to BYU, but suggested during the “Battle at the Beach” that he is strongly considering taking an official visit to USC this fall.
“I have to talk it over with BYU, just to make sure if it’s something I can do,” Warner said. “I’m not sure yet. I know I’m going to the Texas game at BYU. It’s hard just to shut everything off because it’s a big decision in my life. I want to focus on my season and want to get everything out of the way, whether that means deciding to go somewhere else or sticking with BYU.”
The Trojans offered Warner in early June, but have since added a commitment from their other in-state target, ESPN 300 outside linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito).