With as many offers as California prep George Atkinson has right now, you'd think that he might be opting not to go to camps, because there's always that risk for an injury. Atkinson recognizes that, but recognizes something even more important that is a huge reason he is where he is at right now. "I love to compete. I don't think about getting injured. I make sure to stretch and all that. But I just love to compete," he said.
At the annual "Rising Stars" camp at USC, you get to do plenty of that, as you see some of the best from that region of the country converge on L.A. to do just what Atkinson loves best.
And he's not through.
The visits are, of course, a way to get to know some of these programs better, and a chance to get some face time with coaches who there might have only been brief contact with through e-mails and the occasional call. It's a chance to try and put this process into overdrive in trying to narrow a very large list down to something a little more manageable.
To that end Atkinson said he will definitely take official visits to Notre Dame and Oregon. And as for the other three he is allowed, that picture will probably be clearer after his Summer visits are done. "Yeah, we'll see how the trips down south go. Depending on that, I should have a much better idea of what my list looks like," he said.
As for Nebraska?
They are a school recruiting him to play running back, which is similar to some, but Atkinson has been offered for any one of three positions, and from some schools, they just want him to play whatever feels the best. "I have a lot of offers for the offensive side. But it's one of those deals where they just tell me that they will play me where I fit best," he said. "I like having the ball in my hand, but I'm open to doing anything.
"But I haven't heard a lot from Nebraska. I mean, I try to get back to coaches as much as I can when they e-mail me. That's kind of hard sometimes. But I'd still say Nebraska is on my list right now."
Atkinson obviously has a full month ahead of him as he winds down a busy Summer and gets ready for his last season of prep ball. He knows he'll make two official visits. And if it's up to him he'll take them all. "I really want to make sure it's a good decision. So, I'd like to take all of my official visits and just see how things look from there," he said. "It's going to be tough, but that's the reason for all the trips. The more I know the more prepared I'll be to make a decision that's good for me."
As a junior, rushed for 965 yards and 10 TD's on only 106 carries, an average of 9.10 each time he touched the ball. He had 260 receiving yards on 13 receptions, and another 295 yards on nine kickoff returns (32.8 avg). As a sophomore, he placed third and fourth in the CIF state meet in the 100-m and 200-m.