Bond With Coach Could Land Duo in Ames

Earning scholarships and playing for the same Division I institution is a key for a pair of Lakeland (Fla.) George Jenkins High teammates, and that destination could end up being Ames, Iowa, as members of Dan McCarney's signing class of 2004.

George Jenkins teammate Tyease Thompson told CN last week that Iowa State was one of his top choices this summer. Now, this week, coveted middle linebacker Mozell Axson says he'll likely take an official visit to Ames this fall and considers the Cyclones to be one of his favorites.

"We have made a bond and would like to go to the same place," said Axson. "One of the coaches I met with is really nice and I've been getting a lot of hand-written letters. The way they describe Iowa State, I really like it so far.

"Since I haven't been up there, it's really Coach (Chris) Ash that's the big factor right now. He talks to me on a one-on-one basis. Some of the other coaches shoot you a lot of stuff, but Coach Ash is straight up. I've called up there a couple of times and he talked to me and gave me some good advice. He really cares about the players."

Like Thompson, Axson has gotten multiple offers early in the recruiting stage. ISU is one of four D-I programs to have offered him.

"I have offers from Iowa State, Kansas, Louisville and UConn," he said. "I'll probably make my decision in the middle of my senior year when I have more time to think about it. I want to take my visits so I can look at the campuses."

Axson recorded 129 tackles, including 26 stops for loss last season for 7-4 George Jenkins, which earned a trip to the Class 4A state playoffs. He also forced three fumbles, snatched five fumble recoveries, picked off one pass and blocked both a punt and field goal. Doing so earned him first-team All-Polk County, first-team all-district in 12-4A and honorable mention all-state honors.

"Where the ball is, that's where I'm at," Axson said. "My main thing is getting to the ball. Whether I'm making a tackle or helping make one, I'm right there. I love being around the ball."

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