First Class Treatment

Long Beach Poly (Calif.) defensive back Donovan Warren said that distance plays no role in his decision. He is planning on taking official visits to both Notre Dame and Ohio State, but doesn't know where the other three will be. His other favorites are USC, UCLA, California and Oregon.

Long Beach (Calif.) cornerback Donovan Warren (5-11, 185, 4.4) denies a leader but said he favors USC (offer), UCLA (offer), Notre Dame, California, Oregon (offer) and Ohio State. He claims to have written offers from the Trojans, the Bruins and the Ducks.

"USC has been recruiting me the hardest," Warren said. "I talk with Coach (Ken) Norton all the time. I get handwritten letters from Coach (Pete) Carroll just wanting to know how I'm doing. It's nice that they really care about me personally and not just as another player.

"USC has always been a favorite of mine. I guess it's the local thing. I already know a lot about the program and the coaches just because I live so close," said the Long Beach Poly star. "I've been able to see a lot of games and I really have a lot of respect for the coaches and the whole mentality of the team. SC is known for their winning tradition and getting people to the NFL. That's something I'm looking for in a school.

"UCLA is recruiting me hard too. They have the whole local thing going on too. I just got a letter from them yesterday saying how much they like my size for a CB and with so many seniors on the team, I would have the chance to come out and compete early. Coach (Karl) Dorrell said a lot of the same to me at their Junior Day (March 3)," Warren said. "I talk to Coach (DeWayne) Walker every week. I've really gotten to know him…he's a great guy and a great DB coach. I like that he played in the NFL. He's the type of guy that would take me under his wing and teach me a lot.

"I really like the (Oregon) Ducks. They were my second offer, the day after Signing Day (Feb. 2)," said the four-star recruit. "I've followed the Ducks since I was little and I really like where their program is going. I've haven't been up there yet but my friend, Derrick Jones, plays receiver for them. He keeps telling me all about the program and how much I'd like it at Oregon. I've talked with the coaches a lot and they send me letters every week. I'm going to take an unofficial visit up there hopefully sometime in April. "

Warren said that distance plays no role in his decision. He is planning on taking official visits to both Notre Dame and Ohio State, but doesn't know where the other three will be.

"I want to go see Notre Dame. I really like Coach (Charlie) Weis," he said. "I like what he's done with the program in such a short time. He knows exactly what he wants and knows how to get it. I like that he's from the NFL too. The program is so great and has such a winning tradition, I could really see myself playing there.

Warren said he hasn't received an offer from the Irish, but is optimistic about getting one soon.

"Coach Weis sent me a handwritten letter saying that I would be a great addition to the Notre Dame program," Warren said. "They also came to my school and watched game tape on me with my coaches. I might take an unofficial visit there sometime in the spring so I can meet everyone and get a feel for the place before my official visit."

"I would like to visit Ohio State," he said. "They have been recruiting me hard. My first letter was from them. I haven't talked to them yet and I don't know much about the school, but I've just always liked and respected Ohio football."

Warren said California is another school he likes, but he does not have an offer yet.

"Cal is an up-and-coming program. They are going to be a contender soon," Warren said. "I've talked with the coaches and they said I would have a chance to play early there, which I liked to hear. From what they've said, I know I'll have an offer from them soon. I'm going up there for Junior Day on April 9. I'll have a better feel after that."

Warren is also set to be at USC's Junior Day on April 2. He doesn't have plans to attend any camps or combines this summer, so he can focus on track.

"I'm not really thinking too far ahead right now. My focus is on track. I'm working really hard to increase my speed…I know that will help me down the line in football.

Warren said he doesn't have a time frame for making his decision. He plans on enjoying the recruiting process and letting things unfold as they come.

"I will commit when I feel it's right. I can't say when that will be…it's too early for me to rule anyone out or say I have one favorite," Warren said. "I know that I'll be able to contribute wherever I go. I'm smart and I have good fundamentals. I'm fast and I'm physical with the receivers."

As for his weaknesses, Warren thinks he could work on reading the routes a bit better. "I think I can get better at going one-on-one with different receivers…knowing what they are going to do before they do and reacting quicker."

According to Warren, Mississippi and Mississippi State have also offered him scholarships. Mississippi came in with his first offer. They were also the first school to recruit him--the middle of his sophomore year. Other schools that have joined the recruiting battle are Florida State, Florida, Miami and Texas.

"A big thing for me is coaching style. At USC, it's all about competing. Coach Carroll runs his practice just like the games—with high intensity. Everyone is expected to come in and compete. There's no freebies," Warren said. "At UCLA, the coaches work with you on improving your fundamentals. They take the time to help you correct things, no matter what it is.

"The perfect thing would be if I could start as a freshman, but I really just want to go to a school where I can come in and play football on a competitive level and get a good education."

Final junior (9-3) stats: 51 tackles/ one INT

Bench: 230/Squat: 385/ Power Clean: 230/ Vertical Jump: 36"

Warren reports a 3.1 core GPA/SAT 880 – April 1 retake.

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