TX OL Prospect Ryan Cantrell

Quick, strong and agile, <b>Ryan Cantrell</b> from Sugar Land (Tex.) Clements, is an offensive line prospect to watch in the state of Texas next season. He looks to possibly leave the state, and a UCLA coach has already been tracking him...

Ryan Cantrell, 6-4, 263, Sugar Land (Tex.) Clements, is an offensive line prospect that has caught the eye of many college coaches, including UCLA's Eric Bieniemy.


Scouts in Texas have noted that Cantrell has good quickness and strength. He's run a 4.97 40, benches over 300 pounds and squats 425 with a 27-inch vertical jump.  In games, he displays his quickness and agility, and many believe he'll be one of the best lineman in the state of Texas next season.


When asked what schools he thought he'd consider seriously, Cantrell listed UCLA, Virginia, LSU, Missouri, Colorado and SMU.  He said that Florida State was his childhood favorite, "But they have recruited me yet."   As to a leader, Cantrell said, "Well, I really like UCLA, because of the opportunity in academics, the tradition, and the athletics."


It's also helped that UCLA assistant coach Eric Bieniemy has shown Cantrell some personal attention.  "Coach Bieniemy has written me a handwritten letter.  He's been following me since he was at Colorado. Since I like UCLA that makes it great what coach Bieniemy said in his letter, how much he likes me.  But really, I'd have to say that it's still too early to name a clear favorite.  The real issue is which schools will see me as an impact player.  I really like Virginia, too."


Cantrell has visited a few schools unofficially, including Texas A&M, TCU, and Rice, and is visiting LSU this weekend.  He's been invited to attend Virginia's Junior Day in June.  He said he'll make decisions on what other camps he'll attend after May.


With Texas omitted from his list, and many out-of-state schools included, Cantrell doesn't seem to hesitate to want to leave home for college.  "I've been in Texas for about eight years," he said. "But I was born in Virginia. And I've lived in Europe and New York, so going away wouldn't be a problem."


Cantrell said his priorites in a school are very strong academics, a good football program – and geography.  "I don't want to go to a school in the north or upper midwest," he said.


Would he potentially commit early? "For the right school. If I get offers from the schools I like, maybe."


As to his interest in UCLA, Cantrell said it's a school that's always attracted him. "It's a good school. Good location. And I think I might be able to compete for playing time soon there.  The depth chart looks like there is some opportunity.  I have some relatives in California, too."


Cantrell maintains a cumulative GPA of 4.1, is already one class shy of having all the classes needed to qualify by NCAA standards, and scored a strong 22 on the ACT.

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