April 24, 2009

Florida athlete intrigued by CSU

Colorado State's concentration on the Sunshine State for speed and defensive prowess netted the Rams three defenders and five contributors in the recruiting class of 2009. This year Colorado State's scouring of Florida has brought them to Clearwater (Fla.) High School linebacker Jeremiah George.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound George runs a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash, has a 355 bench press, a 425-pound squat and a 2008 season under his belt that saw him collect 94 tackles, including 10 for a loss and one interception. That performance has led to scholarship offers from Tulane, Kansas, Southern Methodist and Colorado State. George said he also anticipates offers from North Carolina and Iowa State.

"I can cover and make tackles downfield and I have the strength and speed to make tackles in the box," George said in response to being asked his strengths. "I really love linebacker. I have been playing that all my life. I like hitting people and making them not wanting to come back my way."

George said spring football for his Clearwater football team starts on May 1 and will bring with it a chance for him to show off his leadership as a captain. Last season, Clearwater won just two football games, but despite the record, he added things are looking up for Clearwater this year.

"Expectations are high because we didn't do as well as we could last year. A lot of players are very focused on improving that as well as myself," George said. "I want to get better disguising my blitzes. I want to get a couple more sacks and I had a chance to get a lot of interceptions last year and I didn't get because I didn't get back into coverage as fast as I could have. I want to get to where I could be faster."

George's audience of coaches looking for his services will have to play into what he is looking for in a college as well as a football program.

"I am looking for someone who wants me as bad as I want them," George said. "I want to be comfortable with the coaching style and the defensive coordinator as well as the position coach. The better communication I have with my position coach, the better chance my team has to win."

For George, his first real exposure to Colorado State came when he saw the Rams bounce Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl last winter. He was visited by Rams' offensive line coach Pat Meyer recently who offered him a spot on the CSU football team.

"Ever since watching CSU in the bowl game against Fresno State, I was really impressed," George said. "I want to learn more about their program. I am just excited to see if it is possible for me to attend for the next four or five years. Coach Meyer - I talk to him for the very first time when they offered me and I am going to talk with him tonight."

Colorado State will have to fight off some in-state powers for George's services. Although they have not offered yet, George has visited Central Florida as well as the University of South Florida.

"At UCF, I got to see them practice and their defense looked really good," he said. "It was high energy and a well-organized practice. As for USF, Coach Jim Leavitt was flying around all over there. It was a very organized practice. It was something about those practices that left a good impression on me. USF is right in my backyard and I am interested in them."

George said he has also been at the Junior Day for Florida State, where he is being recruited by Chuck Amato. The future Marketing major said he will also give a strong look at the University of Miami.

"Miami. Simply, they have had great linebackers come out of that school, he said. "If I go pro or not, I would like to be on the list of the great linebackers who have come out of there."

While he is excited at the prospect of talking to the alphabet soup of Florida schools like UCF, USF, FSU and simply, The U., George said he isn't resigned to staying in-state.

"It isn't about staying in-state or out-of-state," he said "It is about the best fit for me and I want to enjoy where I live because I will be there for the next four or five years of my life. I am really keeping my eyes open and I don't want anyone to think I am not interested in their program because they are out-of-state."

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