Oregon athlete a hidden gem

THE STATE OF OREGON doesn't produce as many Division I-A football players as neighboring California and Washington. Then again, it's probably safe to say schools in those two states, and beyond, wish they'd recruited players like Portland's Mike Hass. In Keizer, Ore., there's a cornerback/running back who is waiting for his first offer. In the meantime, Kyley McCrae is focused on his senior season at McNary High. And after Week One, he's already tearing it up.

McCrae (5-10, 185) has started at running back since he was a sophomore and he's never been held under 100 yards rushing in the Valley League, one of the best in the state.

At the next level, though, most schools are looking at him at cornerback, although Boise State and Portland State have talked to him about carrying the ball. Oregon State and Oregon have both called recently, with Cal and Arizona State also showing interest.

McCrae said all schools are even and he's open to anybody, but also that Oregon State is certainly one of the favorites and is recruiting the hardest right now.

"I talked to Greg Newhouse (recently)," said McCrae. "It was a nice little conversation."

McCrae said he plans on calling a few coaches in the next few weeks to touch base.

Most schools, including OSU, have told McCrae they want to see his first few games before deciding if they'll offer. His first game this past weekend, Upland High didn't come his way much and he came out the second half on defense, but he was certainly able to made his mark on offense.

McCrae, a change in direction back with plenty of shake and excellent hands, accounted for all McNary's touchdowns. He ran for 271 on but 17 carries -- a 15.95 yard average -- in the 28-7 win over Grants Pass.

"I did alright," said McCrae.

At the next level, McCrae is looking for a great team environment, and coaches who will get the best out of him.

"I like coaches that will push you," he said.

McCrae's junior year, he had 1387 yards on the ground with 16 touchdowns. He totaled 2280 all-purpose yards. On defense, he had 18 tackles, three interceptions and three forced fumbles.

McCrae has some pretty good bloodlines. His mother was a volleyball player at Ole Miss, a cousin played junior college ball and his brother, Keegan Herring, is a 5-9, 181-pound freshman at Arizona State. Schools talked to Herring about being a corner as well during the recruiting process in 2004 and offers were slow to materialize. He's now a running back for the Sun Devils and this past weekend, rushed for 134 yards against Temple in the best freshman debut for a running back in ASU history.

Kyley McCrae profile

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