Taking The Van Across The Country?

Rodney Van, Jr. will be one of the most sought after cornerbacks in the country this recruiting season. Though UCLA is a local favorite and has already officially offered he says that he is open to leaving the state of California to play his college ball and the Hurricanes are on his short list.

At 6-1 and 175 pounds and blessed with 4.40/40 speed Rodney Van is getting a lot of early attention from college coaches. University of Miami Wide Receivers Coach Curtis Johnson recently stopped by Van's school (Long Beach Poly) to visit teammate Derrick Jones and found out real quick that Van was also interested in Miami.

"Coach Johnson was here just the other day to see Derrick and he had no idea that I was interested in Miami so my coach spoke to him and then I met him and we talked," said Van. "He gave me a questionnaire to fill out and I'm getting ready to send it to Miami."

Van played free safety a season ago simply because his school was blessed with quality cornerbacks already. He prefers cornerback though, a position he will be featured at this season for the Jackrabbits. Last season Van accumulated 48 solo tackles, 17 assisted and also had two interceptions. He started the season returning punts and kickoffs but stopped due to a broken left wrist causing him to play the remainder of the season with a large cast on his arm.

Van has narrowed his college choices down to five early on in the process.

"Right now my top five is UCLA, Notre Dame, Miami, Florida State and Texas," he said. "UCLA and Florida State are probably the favorites right not but not much over the other schools."

Of the five favorites only UCLA has officially offered and Van has also received an offer from Utah though he says he is not seriously considering Utah at this time.

"I'll take all of my visits and decide from there, I am completely open until I see what the atmosphere is like on my visits," he added. "I just want to find the place that is most comfortable for me and that will be where I end up."

Van prefers to go as a package deal with teammate and close friend Jones. Both will be visiting schools together according to Van.

With four of his top five out of state it is clear that Van is willing to leave the state.

"My parents prefer that I stay close to home but they support me 100% and wherever I decide to go they'll be there to watch me," he said. "I'll be looking for solid academics and obviously a successful football program."

So how did Miami come into the mix?

"I don't know anyone in Miami at all," explained Van. "I have seen them play and know that they have success at graduating their players and obviously they have a lot of success on the field too."

With very few out of state prospects coming to Miami at defensive back, Van feels he can be an exception.

"I've heard that very few players come in from out of state and do well at Miami but I think I can be one to change that," he said. "I think I can be a successful cornerback for them despite being from California. Most of the teams recruiting me have told me I am the top cornerback they are recruiting so I think I can compete at Miami and have success there."

Van, who participated in drills only at the USC Nike camp earlier this spring, says he has not set any of his five official visits yet and does not have a preference as to when to take them. In the meantime he is focusing on his senior season and has one goal on his mind.

"I just want to be an impact player," he said. "I don't care about statistics, I just want to create turnovers and wreak havoc out there."

Sounds like he has a little Hurricane in him already.

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