Pounds throws weight around

Willie Pounds already has the physique of major college defensive lineman midway through his junior year of high school. He is attracting a lot of attention from college coaches, including the Colorado staff, a little off the beaten path in the Land of Enchantment. Get inside for more.

Willie Pounds, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound defensive tackle from Eldorado High School in Albuquerque, N.M., will be busy this spring throwing the shot put and discus for the track and field team. He earned a third-place finish at state in discus as a freshman and missed his sophomore season of track and field after undergoing minor surgery on a knee.

Pounds has one scholarship offer from his hometown team, the Lobos. But Pounds admits he is leaning toward leaving the state because he wants to play at the highest level in college and the state of New Mexico lacks a Bowl Championship Series program.

One of the schools nearest to home that fits that criteria is Colorado, about a seven-hour drive or one-hour flight north.

Pounds knows a lot about the Buffs. His high school team camps in Boulder each summer and he has become familiar with the campus and coaching staff. He could be just what the CU defense needs, a big man in the middle to stuff the run and demand double teams.

"I like them a lot," he said of the CU staff. "The campus is really nice, too. I wouldn't mind going to Colorado."

Pounds said seeing the Buffs have a little more success on the field next fall would make him like the program that much more. Like a lot of prospects, he'll be taking a wait-and-see approach with CU during recruiting over the next year. He can afford to because it looks like he will have some options.

Pounds said he is hearing from a lot of big schools in addition to Colorado, including a recent offer to attend junior day at Michigan this spring.

Alabama, Arkansas, Oregon and UCLA all are sending him mail. Every school is recruiting him as a defensive tackle, which is the position Pounds said he wants to play in college.

"I want to go out of state," he said. "The schools that are giving me the most attention are Oregon and UCLA right now."

Pounds said he recorded 10 sacks as a junior last fall along with numerous tackles for loss. He said he's working on becoming a bigger, stronger, faster and smarter player heading into his senior year.

Pounds said he is doing OK academically, but he is trying to make up some ground by taking some classes online.

"I'm trying to get the highest GPA as possible so my ACT doesn't have to be really high," he said.