California DB trips to Corvallis this weekend

QUIETLY MAKING A name for himself over the course of the recruiting season -- one Chris Wellington. The playmaker out of Woodland Hills, Calif., is down to his final four, a list that includes Oregon State. Standing 6-foot-2 ½ and sporting top end speed, Wellington was thought by many to project at wide receiver at the next level but the Beavers may have different plans for him. He trips to Corvallis this weekend.

The Beavers like Wellington (6-2.5, 195, 4.45) as a defensive back. He said he likes them right back.

Wellington's narrowed it down to four schools -- Oregon State, Arizona, UCLA and Nevada.

"I like the Beavers," he said. "They have a smart coaching staff and I like the way that they play. They tell me I'm ready to play, that I can come there and I'll be ready to go (as a freshman)."

Defensively for Taft High this season, Wellington racked up 21 solo tackles en route to a total of 29 takedowns plus two interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries.

Wellington said the local school has not officially offered but that he has a ride waiting for him if he wants it.

"If I want to go to UCLA, I can go," said Wellington. "They said they only have a certain amount of scholarships and they want to make sure if I'm going to go before they offer."

FOLLOWING THE OFFICIAL to Oregon State, Wellington's plans call for tripping to Arizona on Jan. 20 and possibly Nevada, who came by last week for an in-home visit, on the final recruiting weekend before LOI Day.

Washington had offered and was going to bring the Toreador speedster in on an official this past weekend but cancelled the trip, telling Wellington they were full up. His leader continues to be Arizona but that gap has narrowed appreciably over the past few weeks.

"They're the frontrunner but things may change, I'm not sure," said Wellington.

The chance to earn early playing time will figure prominently into his decision.

"Important will be just being able to earn a spot," Wellington said.

THIS PAST SEASON on offense, fellow receiver Jamere Holland grabbed most of the headlines for Taft while Wellington quietly put together an average of over 19 yards a catch, grabbing 24 receptions for 460 yards in 2005.

He also helped lead Taft to an undefeated regular season and the City Championship game.

Wellington was rated the No. 3 defensive back prospect in the Southland City Section by the Los Angeles Times this season, just behind Darian Hagan and Jonas Mouton.

Chris Wellington profile

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