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Friday, May 3, 2013
Lazarus has high interest in Trojans

By Blair Angulo

The Northern California-based group headlined by D.J. Calhoun, Joe Mixon, and Adarius Pickett has a fourth, lesser-known member.

He’s linebacker Michael Lazarus (Berkeley, Calif./Berkeley), and he’s ready to bust out just as his good friends have.

The El Cerrito (Calif.) tandem of Calhoun and Pickett, plus ESPN 150 running back Mixon of Oakley (Calif.) Freedom, have bagged scholarship offers from USC, among other big-time programs. They have talked about playing together in college, and Lazarus would also want to line up next to 2013 signee Michael Hutchings in Los Angeles.

And despite not holding an offer from the Trojans, Lazarus accompanied Calhoun, Mixon and Pickett on a visit to the USC campus last week.

“I spoke to linebackers coach Mike Ekeler when I was down there,” Lazarus said. “It was an amazing experience. I went to USC last year on an unofficial, but I didn’t get to experience everything and meet every coach like this time. They really broke down everything for us and got us to see what they had to offer. I have a really good feel for the school now.”

Lazarus showed well last week at the Passing Down “Best of the West” tournament in Fullerton. He has offers from Arizona State, California and Washington State, but is looking for more.

“The USC coaches really like me,” Lazarus said. “They watched my film and have a lot of interest in me, especially now that they know that D.J. and I are related and that I’m close to Joe and Adarius. I feel an offer coming. I just have to stay in contact and build a relationship with them.”

The four standouts have not shied from stating their desire to play together at the next level.

“We always talk about it. We talk about it every day,” Lazarus said. “My favorite part of that visit was getting to know al the coaches. Coach Ekeler was a good dude. He broke down everything, what the linebackers do and what I would do if I were to commit there. The best part of it was how they broke down the education. They took us around campus and walked us to where we want to major. I want to major in environmental sciences and I met a professor there. That’s what I found most interesting.”

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Lazarus plans to compete in the Oakland Nike Football Training Camp on May 19. He would like to schedule visits to Oregon, Washington, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State this summer.

“If all the offers I want flow in sooner than later, I want to plan on probably commit after our preseason,” Lazarus said. “I want to get all the weight off my shoulders, but if I get invited to an All-American game, I want to make my announcement there.”