ASU Targeting Birmingham HS Players

Last weekend the Van Nuys Birmingham Patriots captured the Los Angeles City Section Championship Division, finishing their 2007 campaign with a 13-1 record. Naturally, their roster features several attractive prospects, some of them already committed to other schools. The maroon and gold have been pursuing some of those aforementioned prospects, and visited the high school on Tuesday.

Arizona State running backs Coach Jamie Christian came to the home of the Patriots to talk to the Birmingham coaches about Linebacker Donovan Carter, and twin brothers Malik Jackson and Marquis Jackson who both play defensive end for Birmingham.

"He (Christian) told the coaches that he wanted me and Malik to come to Arizona State for a visit in January," said the 6-1 227 Carter. "He wanted us to come this weekend, but I'm visiting UCLA this weekend. He said he was gonna come for a home visit in a few weeks."

Speaking of the Bruins, Carter did commit to ASU's Pac-10 foe back in June, and like many other UCLA commits is now exploring his options due to the uncertainty around the coaching situation in Westwood.

"I'm open to taking visits and I'm probably gonna visit Arizona State sometime in January," Carter remarked. "They seem like a great school that will be on the rise. Coach Erickson is a good coach that coached at Miami and in the NFL. I saw them play against UCLA and Cal and the team looks good. Arizona State looks like a great place to play at."

The Sun Devils haven't offered Carter a scholarship yet, but the linebacker got the impression that an offer would come when he would trip to Tempe. "I'm gonna visit Washington on January 11th," he noted. "They've been recruiting me real hard. Right I'm not gonna visit any other schools besides those three (UCLA, ASU and Washington)."

Carter paced the Patriots in tackles this season with 119 stops. He also registered 5.5 sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. "Stopping the run, pursuing the ball and being all over the field are my strengths," he said. "I need to work on my pass coverage if I want to play at the next level." While he primarily plays middle linebacker for his school, he commented that all the colleges recruiting him foresee him playing the WILL (weak-side) linebacker.

Twin brothers Malik (6-5 228) and Marquis (6-4 222) Jackson are no strangers to the maroon and gold. They participated in the team camp last June, and back then were already impressed with what ASU had to offer. "It's a real nice place there and I like the scenery," said Malik. "I really would like to go up there again and see more of the school."

Malik Jackson considers himself a "mild verbal" to Fresno State, who he will visit this weekend. He stated that in all likelihood he will trip to the Sun Devils in January. "Marquis and I are a package deal and they want both of us with Donovan to visit there," he remarked.

He added that lately he's being courted by USC. "They haven't offered, but we're talking," he said.

Both brothers have been offered by the Sun Devils two weeks ago. Malik, the more heralded recruit among the two, was second to Carter in tackles with 93, and had a team-high 12.5 sacks. He also tallied four pass deflections, an interception and a fumble recovery.

Marquis Jackson, who isn't committed to any school, collected 87 tackles, and was second to his brother in sacks with nine. He also had five pass deflections and a team-high three fumble recoveries.

ASU is also looking at running back Milton Knox, who just like Carter pledged to the Bruins in June. The 5-8 196 Knox amassed 39 touchdowns and 2,210 yards in his senior season.

We spoke briefly to Knox who wasn't at school today and was unaware that Coach Christian came and talked to his high school coaches. He too seemed receptive to the recruiting efforts of the Sun Devils and if invited wouldn't be opposed to taking an official visit.

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