Sheldon Price (6-foot-2, 160 pounds) is a three-year starter in the Bishop Amat defensive backfield, which means he's a pretty talented football player. Several top programs have already been in touch with Price, including Notre Dame.
"Notre Dame has been sending me letters about their team, and why I'd want to go to their school," Price responded when asked if Notre Dame had been in touch with him. "I generally get a couple letters a week from them.
"I'm also hearing from Oregon, Cal, Wake Forest, and Colorado. I'd like to hear from UCLA and USC. I think [recruiting] is pretty interesting. UCLA is one of the schools that I'd like to go to because my mother, my father and my grandparents went there."
Sheldon's family connections to UCLA mean that he has access to football tickets. With the Irish in town to play the Bruins, Price has his weekend plans filled.
"I'm going to the game this weekend," Price said. "I get a chance to watch Notre Dame every now and then. I think they'll come out and compete, because they're dying to get their first win. I know they're a good school, but they're just struggling right now. Once they get things going on offense, they'll be able to stop some people on defense and they'll be all right. I think it'll be a good game."
"I know Charlie Weis came from the Patriots, but other that that I really don't know much about the Notre Dame coaches. The past couple years they were really, really good on offense. I know Brady Quinn was a really good quarterback and Jeff Samardzija was a really good receiver for them. Defensively they were pretty good as well.
"I know that Notre Dame is a prestigious school," he said "They have a lot of students from our school that have gone there, and I know they've had some student-athletes go there like Kory Minor, Joey Getherall, and Pernell Taylor."
Pernell Taylor is actually back at Bishop Amat. He is in his first season as the running backs coach. Another former Bishop Amat player has taken Price under his wing and is helping Price develop into one of the top players in the area.
"Daylon McCutcheon," Price responded when asked to name a player that he looks up to. "He used to play for the Browns, but he's retired now. He's our defensive backs coach. He's been helping me and mentoring me this year. "
Generally the top athletes like to play on the offensive side of the ball. In the past Price used to have those same desires, but now he's all about defense.
"Football was my first love," Sheldon explained. "I started playing when I was seven years old. Ever since then I've been playing. At first I always wanted to play offense, because you got the chance to score touchdowns, but as I got older, I liked defense more and more. Now I'd rather play defense than offense.
"I play cornerback and receiver at Amat. Offensively I'm the slot receiver. I run a lot of deep routes to open up the short passing game. I'd like to play cornerback in college, because I have more experience there and I think I bring a lot to the table. I work hard in practice and in the games. I've had coaches tell me that I'm a really good cover guy and that I'm able to shut down half of the field. I feel that I play hard and I have good technique. I think I have quick feet and that I'm able to read the receiver's route and then jump the route and get a hand on the ball. I like the feeling of shutting down the offense's best receiver and I like hitting people instead of getting hit.
"I've always been on defense, but I really didn't start liking defense until I got to high school," Price said. "I started my freshman year. I think overall I felt pretty comfortable as a freshman. I think the thing I struggled with most was their defensive concepts. That year I had six or seven interceptions. My sophomore year I didn't have any. This year I have one interception and about 20-25 tackles. I think it helps that [opponents] see that I'm and good cover guy and so they don't want to attack me very much."
Bishop Amat is out to a 1-3 start to the season, but they registered a 23-7 win in their last game against Rancho Cucamonga. This weekend the Lancers try to parlay their momentum as they go on the road to play Carson High School.