Cheadle Checks in on Choices

A busy man this summer with football, basketball, training and work, Justin Cheadle is a tough man to track down. But the engaging four-star lineman from Bakersfield is always worth the effort. Halfway through the summer, Cheadle tells us his latest scholarshp news, what transpired recently at USC's camp, who are his current favorites, and what he has planned for the fall.

When we first found and reported to you on Justin Cheadle in May, we said that his Pac-10 recruitment would surge.  Indeed, the Bakersfield (Calif.) High School offensive/defensive lineman now owns offers from more than half of the conference.  One Pac-10 program in particular has been in the 6'5" lineman's cross hairs for some time despite standing outside the offer circle, with enough of his interest that he made USC his only college camp of the summer, attending their Rising Senior Camp a couple weeks ago.

"It was a good experience.  There was a lot of talent out there, and it made me realize that I have to continue to work hard," Cheadle reports.  "I mostly worked out at offensive line.  I need to work on my footwork and having a better base while blocking."

The four-star recruit, ranked by as the #28 offensive line prospect in the nation, set a goal for himself to walk away with a scholarship offer from the Trojans.  That did not come to pass.  Cheadle did help himself with strong performances, however, and is pleased with his camp work.

"I'm not disappointed," he comments.  "There was a lot of talent there, and just being noticed as one of the top athletes there on the O-line was fine for me.  They told me that they have around four to six guys guys they are looking at real closely, and I'm one of them.  They haven't made the choice yet, and they will follow me my senior year."

"And I did walk away with an offer," Cheadle shares.  "Idaho offered me for defensive tackle.  They were there helping the SC coaches.  Lucky number 13!"

If you have been keeping track of the Cheadle offer math, you may astutely point out that the Bakersfield talent totaled 11 scholarships per our last update.  Who was the other school to step forward for Cheadle?

"Arizona State offered me over text," the recruit replies.  "The assistant coach came to my school - Coach [Dan] Fidler - and talked to me and Phillip Thomas.   He said they would be in touch.  Then he used their one phone call in May and told me that he wanted to offer, and he was going to talk to the head coach and that he would get back to me.  Then a little after that [in early June] they texted me and told me they were offering me.  They asked me when I could make a visit, and stuff."

The Sun Devils joined their in-state rivals, the Wildcats, as well as the Cardinal, Bears, Beavers and Cougars as Pac-10 schools to offer Cheadle.  Those schools mostly comprise his current favorites list, with another Pac-10 pair yet to offer.

"My top colleges are Stanford, Cal, USC, Arizona University, Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA and Nebraska," the recruit reports.  "My top three are Stanford, Cal and USC."

"Stanford keeps in touch with me.  Just check-ups," Cheadle details.  "They tell me how much interest they have in me - that I'm one of their top recruits.  And we talk about taking an official visit during the season.  I want to make my choice before my season is over."

As more and more schools pile onto a prospect, one could wonder if the recruit would pass on the work required for Stanford and their admissions application process.  Despite his rising tide of offers, Cheadle says he remains focused and on track for the Cardinal.

"I'm going to retake the SAT in October," he says.  "I got a tutor, and I've been studying myself.  Stanford came and talked to my counselor, and we changed up my classes next year to where I'm taking all AP classes: English, calc, econ-government and psychology.  So they know I'm serious."

Intent on taking official visits and making a fall college commitment, there is still quite a bit of road to be covered in this recruiting story.  We'll keep track of Cheadle's latest here on The Bootleg, so stay tuned.

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