New leader for LB Poly linebacker

HARD-HITTING OSU LINEBACKER PROSPECT Alfred Rowe from Long Beach, Calif., is already working out with his Poly High teammates and gearing up for the football season. On the recruiting side of things, there's been a change at the top for Rowe, and a new Top 5.

Rowe (6-0, 190) went on an unofficial visit recently to Oregon State and came away with an offer from the Beavs, his first.

"I loved it," said Rowe of his visit to Corvallis. "It was different from the city, and anything different from the city I like."

Distance will not deter him from a school, and in fact, he'd actually prefer to travel away from the nest.

"The farther away from the city, the better actually, because I want to experience something new," said Rowe. "My dad loves road trips, that's what he's saying. He said he'll come anywhere to see me play."

CAL AND UCLA were Rowe's two frontrunners earlier this year after he'd camped at both schools, but things have changed. The two California schools haven't been recruiting as hard, and one of them is slipping off his radar.

"Oregon State is my leader, Oregon State is my No. 1," said Rowe. "I haven't heard anything from UCLA, they're kind of off my list right now. I'll show interest in UCLA when they show interest in me."

USC remains high on his list, checking in at No. 2. Miami, Cal and Arizona round out his Top 5. Rowe also stressed he is open to all colleges, and said the Trojans could be close to offering.

"My door is open to all schools, everyone from Boise State to Miami," he said. "And I talk to (USC) coach (Jethro) Franklin about once a week. I think USC might be getting close (to offering), maybe after they get back from vacation."

ROWE SAID the Beavers and Hurricanes are recruiting him to play outside linebacker, while the Trojans think of him as a hard hitting safety. Rowe said he has no preference on where he'd like to line up. After visits to OSU and USC this year, the coaching staffs at each school have made an impression.

"Coach (Robin) Ross, we just connected from the first time we talked on the phone," said Rowe. "And coach (Mike) Riley reminds me a lot of Pete Carroll, they just have something about them. And then I met the defensive coordinator (Mark Banker) there at Oregon State, and he talks to you like a friend."

ALREADY PRACTICING OUT on the field in shorts and t-shirts with his LB Poly teammates, Rowe'ss also hitting the weights every other day. Academically, he's achieved a qualifying test score on the SAT, and also plans on an early graduation.

I'll be done by January. All the coaches I've talked to, they tell me to enjoy high school and that I don't need to come in early.

Rowe has no timetable on when he'll make a decision but said it would likely be during the season or after. He'd like to announce, if selected to play, at the US Army All-American game.

"I would love to announce at the US Army game, if I get nominated to that game," said Rowe. "The way things are going, I don't know when I would announce. But if I'm voted in to the Army game I will definitely make my official statement at that time."

As a junior, Rowe recorded 71 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception and 3 fumble recoveries while playing both linebacker and safety for Poly.

Alfred Rowe profile

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