SoCal OL Says Academics First

For someone who didn't seriously take up the game of football until his sophomore year, offensive lineman <b>Aleksey Lanis</b> from Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles has proven to be a natural. He already has an offer from one local school, with another looking to bring him on campus this weekend. Do any schools outside the area have a shot?

"Michigan is definitely one of the schools I want to visit," Aleksey Lanis said. "I want to major in either engineering or mathematics, and Michigan has a great engineering school."

The talented offensive lineman has received one offer from UCLA, and has USC trying to get him in for a visit this weekend. "I'll probably go to SC this weekend for their Junior Day," he said. "I just talked to Oregon yesterday and they want me to come up for their Junior Day too, but that's a long way to go. I may do it but I'm not sure yet."

With a 3.8 grade-point average and a 1210 on the SAT, Lanis is fully qualified and says academics are his number one concern in choosing a college. Some of the schools on the top of his list attest to that goal. Along with Michigan, UCLA, Oregon, and USC Lanis has interest in Stanford, Notre Dame, and BYU. All of his favorites have been in contact.

Lanis is strictly an offensive lineman and didn't even take up the game of football until high school. "I never played football when I was younger," he said. "I practiced a little with the team when I was a freshman but then I broke my wrist so I didn't play that year. My first year paying was my sophomore year. I play every position on the line but prefer left tackle. We're primarily a running team so run-blocking is my strength." Lanis is originally from Russia and moved to the U.S. at the age of eight. As such he says he didn't have a favorite school as a youngster.

At 6 foot 6, 300 pounds Lanis has the tools to play at tackle in college, which is his preference. He says his bench press max is 275, with a squat of 350. He even played hoops his frosh and soph years, but took this year off. He didn't attend any camps last year but says he will attend a camp in San Diego in April. He doesn't plan on making it to any other camps this summer.

So, where do the Wolverines stand with the big OL? "My family went on vacation to Florida over the Christmas break and I talked to the Michigan coaches when they were out for the Rose Bowl," Lanis said. "Then I talked to them again later in January but I haven't talked to them since. I've been really busy and a lot of schools have been trying to contact me, but I'm going to make some time to call the Michigan coaches because I want to find out as much as I can about them."

Lanis said the final decision will be up to him and while his family is allowing him to make the choice, they are very close and would like him to stay near home, however, "I'm happy to go anwhere," he said. "We'll see what happens when more offers start coming in. I'll probably decide after the season and before signing day. I am taking summer classes to get my required courses out of the way so I can graduate early. I want to attend the spring practice wherever I go and waiting until February wouldn't allow me to enroll in school in time." Lanis is confident he can come in right away and compete for playing time. "I want to play as a freshman," he said.

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