In Corvallis this weekend

LB/S Kevin Ellison narrowed his list down to Oregon State, USC, Cal and Colorado weeks ago. The three star safety just got back from visiting USC's campus and will be in Corvallis this weekend.

"I had a good time and enjoyed my trip to USC this weekend (11/27)," says Ellison. "My hosts were Thomas Williams (LB) and Lawrence Jackson (DE) and we had a good time."

"I really enjoyed the special teams pre-game meeting and going on the Trojan Walk with all of the players. This morning (Sunday) I went to breakfast with the players and the coaches at Beaches in Manhattan Beach.

"The highlight of the experience for me was the meeting I had with coach (Greg) Burns (secondary). We watched some film on DBs. I really liked seeing how my position functions on the team--that was the best part. The game came second.

"The coaches at USC gave me no pressure to commit there early. They told me to enjoy the rest of the recruiting process and my trips, and when I know where I want to go…I'll know."

Ellison visited Colorado in early November and liked their program, but the battle is clearly between the Pac-10 schools. This Friday he will be in the Mid Valley before heading to Berkeley to check out the Bear's facilities on the tenth of December.

USC is the only school recruiting him as a safety and not a linebacker, but that doesn't matter to Ellison, he just wants to play early and Oregon State could provide him with that opportunity. 

"Oregon State would offer me the chance at some early playing time. They only have three senior linebackers so it would be a great opportunity for me to go in there and compete for a spot," Ellison said.

Ellison will most likely be hanging out with his brother, talking with the players about their preparations for the postseason, and possibly attending the Colorado/Oregon State men's basketball game on Saturday.  The California native has mentioned that he likes the tradition of Colorado putting linebackers in the NFL and the way USC's defensive backs perform as a unit.  At Oregon State he will have the best of both worlds as OSU has recently put several linebackers (Nick Barnett, James Allen, Richard Seigler, Darnell Robinson) in the NFL and the Beaver linebacking crew is a close knit group.

"I like the coaches there and I'm pretty familiar with them because my brother Keith Ellison (OLB) goes there. They're doing pretty good and I think they're going to the Sun Bowl. They got a lot of talent there, and they should be good in the next couple years."

The NFL pipeline and the family connection is a plus for Mike Riley and his staff, but California also has room for early playing time, plus he likes their coaches a lot.

"Cal has some depth issues. And they will be losing six senior linebackers--that's a big plus," he said.  "The coaching staff there is great. I especially like coaches (Ron) Gould (RBs) and (Justin) Wilcox (LBs). They've got some outstanding academics, and I'm looking forward to finding out more about them on my visit."

Ellison does not have a leader and will not make a decision until after his trip to Cal.

"I really don't have a leader that stands out right now," the 6-foot-1, 215-pound player said. "My timetable for making a commitment is set for the middle of December after my trip to Cal…for sure."

The linebacker grabbed 101 tackles in his senior season for Redondo Beach.

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