Cal Among Sample's Early Favorites

Cal has successfully mined the Sacramento area for talent in the Jeff Tedford era. This year, Grant High School is loaded with talent, including one of the top safety prospects in the 2011 class. James Sample holds three Pac-10 offers and a list of favorites that includes the Bears...

James Sample (6-3, 185) is part of what may be the most talented defense in Northern California.

He was a First Team All-State Underclass pick in 2009 after anchoring the secondary for a Pacers' defense that had six shutouts.

Schools have taken notice of Sample, who has three scholarship offers and several more schools interested.

"I've got offers from Washington, Washington State and Arizona," said Sample. "UCLA is sending me a lot of letters and California, I went down for one of their games, and same with Oregon. I also like USC and Miami."

The Canes, in fact, were Sample's childhood favorite. "They've had a great tradition of safeties there like Ed Reed and Sean Taylor, so I've always liked them," said Sample.

Miami head his favorites list with Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Washington State, UCLA and Cal rounding it out.

"My dad wants me to stay on the West Coast, but if a school like Miami offered, I'd definitely be interested and want to go visit," said Sample.

Sample has been to Cal with his teammate Shaq Thompson, the younger brother of Syd'Quan Thompson and plans to take some more unofficials in the spring.

"UCLA wants me to come down there and I think I'm going to try and see USC too," said Sample.

Sample can play either safety spot, but said his preference is strong safety.

Sample said he's planning to camp at Stanford for the Nike Camp in the spring, while balancing that with track. He runs the 100m, 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m and hopes to do track in college.

Academically, Sample has a 2.7 GPA and took the SAT last Saturday, with plans to take the ACT in June.

During his 2009 junior season, he has 111 tackles, two forced fumbles, an interception, a touchdown and a fumble recovery.

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