- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
Playing behind mammoth defensive tackle and 2012 UCLA signee Ellis McCarthy can make things easier for linebackers, but Brett Walsh (Monrovia, Calif./Monrovia) might have gone a little overboard during his 2011 high school season. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound linebacker was in on so many stops, he nearly redefined the settings for the term "tackling machine."
In 14 games, Walsh was credited with 192 tackles. There were two outings that featured 20 tackles or more and Walsh hit the double-digit mark in 11 games. Additionally, Walsh chipped in with eight sacks, three fumble recoveries and four receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown. It was enough to earn offers from Fresno State, Nevada and UNLV, but Walsh is looking to break into the Pac-12 and is in contact with Arizona and Oregon State.
Walsh impressed the Oregon State coaches at their Southern California camp late last month, but said it will likely be another few weeks until he hears anything back from the Beavers, who are recruiting Walsh as a middle linebacker.
Arizona likes Walsh on the outside, and his next step forward with the Wildcats will likely come at the end of July or beginning of August, when he visits the Tucson campus.
"Coach [Tony] Dews says he likes me but wants the other coaches to see me," Walsh said. "I think Arizona is a great school, especially with head coach [Rich] Rodriguez there now."
Walsh will also look to prove himself in front of the Colorado coaches, when the Buffaloes host a summer camp in San Diego later this month. Colorado recently added a commitment from Walsh's teammate, George Frazier, and the linebacker said that is a big selling point.
"I would love to go somewhere with a teammate and Colorado is a great program as well," Walsh said. "It's on the rise out there."
Coming from a family full of USC alums, Walsh said the Trojans are atop his wish list, but he also recognizes that scholarship limitations likely make that a difficult destination in this recruiting class. And while the Pac-12 remains a goal, he won't turn his back on the offers he has already received. Fresno State is making a hard run at Walsh, and he said a visit to see the Bulldogs will likely take place.
"They've been recruiting me hard and that's a good program," Walsh said of Fresno State. "They're always tough to play. I know my family wants to go out there to meet the coaches."
After a full slate of passing tournaments this summer, Monrovia will take on Upland (Calif.) in an 11-on-11 event on Tuesday. Walsh said after that, attention will shift to getting ready for fall camp and focusing on his senior season.