Austin looking to hear from OSU

PLAYING MOSTLY UNDERCLASSMEN, Long Beach Polytechnic took another Division 1 title in 2004 -- their fifth in the last eight years. In '05, Poly has no less than seven, yes, seven big-time players whom recruiters are already lining up to take a look at, including Terrence Austin, an athletic technician at wide receiver who has no qualms whatsoever about laying his hat on someone. Schools are stuffing his mailbox to the hilt these days but one he'd like to hear a bit more from is Oregon State.

Austin, (6-0, 175) is an explosive receiver with some serious hops. He's hearing the most from Washington State, Cal, USC, UCLA, Oregon, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Colorado State, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Louisville, Stanford.

He said it's too early in the process to talk about favorites, but knows the prospects for early playing time will be a key factor in where he ends up. In addition to the lengthy list of schools already recruiting him, he'd like to hear from a few more.

"I definitely want to hear from the schools out in Florida -- Miami, Florida State and Florida," Austin said. "And from Texas, Texas A&M. I'd also like to hear from Oregon State. There's a lot of schools, also Kansas State."

A school that throws the ball and academics are also factors he'll be considering over this recruiting season in choosing a school. So is the type of position coach and coaching staff.

"I basically just want to go to the place that I fit in the best," he said. "I definitely want a guy who's going to be hard on me -- someone who will make sure I'm running my routes right and make sure I'm doing my best. I don't want a coach who is too laid back or would just let anyone (slide)."

His future plans call for the UCLA junior day and possibly the Cal junior day, Ohio State's football camp and the NIKE camp at USC or Stanford.

AN ALL-AMERICAN in the pentathlon, Austin compete in various events during track season such as high jump, long jump and the 110-hurdles. That translates to the field with a 39-inch vertical -- he doesn't lose many jump ball battles. As a sophomore last year, Austin cleared 6-foot-8 in the high jump and went for 23-feet in the long jump.

While Austin's preference is on offense, and every school is recruiting him as a WR, Lara said he would also make a darned good defensive back at the next level. He will also likely drop back as a return man. The plan is for him to also play at corner or free safety this year.

"I think he could do either one," said Poly's coach. "It just depends on the kid and what program he goes to."

Part of the reason he's a legit defensive prospect is Austin's physicality. An explosive player who runs a 4.4, Lara said many would-be tacklers underestimated the receiver's strength and paid the price.

"He'll break tackles and he'll run you over," said Lara. "He does not shy away from contact."

Smash-mouth is only one side of his game. Lara said Austin is a technician who tirelessly works on the fundamentals. On the year he snared 39 catches for 648 yards and 8 TDs. His post season honors included All-CIF, All-league and a member of the Long Beach Press Telegram's Dream Team.

"I like seeing guys try and work hard to get me," he laughed. T"hat's my way of playing receiver."

Terrence Austin profile

Poly has six more players also receiving early attention from Division 1-A schools who we'll be profiling later on

Vincent Joseph - (5-9.5, 180), a sensational shut down corner
Travon Patterson, (5-11, 175), a wide receiver with exceptional hands
Jurray Casey, (6-3, 210), a cat-quick defensive end and linebacker
Troy Guthrie, (5-11, 195) an elusive power back who gained over 1000 yards in '04
Ryan Smith, (6-1, 210), a fullback who does a fine impression of a bull in a china shop
Ellis Anderson, (5-10, 195), a running back who can flat out fly

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