RECRUITING 07: Just throw him the damned ball

TALL AND FAST, it doesn't take long to reach one conclusion when talking to Gardena, Calif., receiver Anthony Boyles: He does not lack for confidence. Distance, a coaching staff, comfort level -- he lists none of these to be as important as a sentiment that would make Keyshawn Johnson proud. The LA area speed merchant can lay claim as one of the state's better prep WR prospects -- and he bolstered his case less that 24 hours ago. Oregon State is in his top three, and his idol is a Beaver great.

Boyles (6-3, 185) is rated one of the top prep receiver prospects in Southern California by And he knows it. Despite a scalding 40 time of 4.37, he only caught 23 passes his junior season. Still, he made the most of his touches, averaging more than 20 yards a grab. He plans on increasing that reception number both this year and at the next level because, as Boyles says, he's a diffeent player than he was last year.

"From last year to now, I'm way quicker," said Boyles. "Way quicker."

Asked what will be important to his college choice, his answer is immediate and unwavering.

"The quarterback there," said Boyles.

What do you mean, someone who will first look to get you the ball?

"Exactly," said Boyles.

BOYLES SAID HE'S heard from Washington, Oregon and New Mexico State since May 1. His current top three includes the Beavs.

"Washington, UCLA and Oregon State," said Boyles.

The Beavers are tied at the top in part because of one of their alums -- a three-time Pro Bowl receiver at Cincinnati known for his flamboyant playing style, trash talking and propensity to draw fines from the NFL. As a collegian, this Beaver averaged 21.8 yards per catch his final year, helping Oregon State to a final No. 4 national ranking and a Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame.

"My idol went there -- Chad Johnson," said Boyles. "I've talked to their receivers coach (Lee Hull) there, too. He was talking some good things that I liked to hear -- like throw me the ball a lot. They throw the ball a lot there."

BOYLES CAN BE RELATIVELY succinct and soft-spoken during interviews. It's a different story once he gets on the field.

"Trash talking, that's part of my game also," said Boyles.

Area defensive backs, whom the cat-quick Boyles basically considers his own little balls of yarn, must surely appreciate that.

"What I think about a corner is that I don't think anyone can guard me," said Boyles. "Can't nobody in high school guard me."

IF THIS WEEKEND'S performance at the All-American Combine in Los Angeles was any indication, Boyles might just be right. Prior to the combine, Boyles said he was going to tear it up. And then he went out and did just that.

"He was peerless," says Brandon Huffman of "Best receiver there, hands down."

Serra Coach Scott Altenberg recently told Boyles has soft hands and comes out of his cuts like few others.

"He's just a freak," Altenberg says. "He's over 6-2, he runs very well, but it's his ability to cut is the thing that I think is most impressive. Some big time coaches have watched him and said he's faster, he's quicker and he cuts better than it shows on film. I believe it was either UCLA or Washington that thought he was hands down the best wide receiver in the state."

BESIDES OREGON STATE, other schools extending a full ride include Washington, Washington State, Oregon, New Mexico State, Arizona State, Nebraska, UNLV, Boise State and Utah State.

Based on the performance Boyles turned in Sunday, that number will likely continue to grow.

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