Groves Getting Recruited by his Principal

One of the best emerging linebacker/fullback prospects on the west coast is J.D. Groves. He hails from McNary High School in Keizer, Oregon, and you could say that UCLA has a good connection with the high school's principal...

Does the high school Keizer (Ore.) McNary sound familiar?

It's the alma mater of one of UCLA's budding stars on its offensive line, Bryce Bohlander.

And fortunately, it's also the high school of one of the better linebacker/fullback prospects on the west coast, J.D. Groves.

Groves put in one of the best performances by a linebacker at the recent Nike Camp at Oregon. At 6-2 and 225, Groves ran a 4.63 40, 4.26 in the shuttle, jumped 29 inches in the vertical, did 17 reps on the bench, and looked very good in the drills.

Groves said, though, that he thought his time was a little slow - that his best personal time in the 40 is a 4.48. "I run my best times when I'm running track," Groves said, who runs the 100 meters in 11.27, which is considerably fast for a linebacker.

As of right now, Groves said he hasn't been offered a scholarship, but his favorite college are UCLA, Oregon and Washington. Among those, he said, his favorite is UCLA. "I guess UCLA's probably my favorite. But all three are good schools and I'd love to attend any one of them."

So, has the fact that Groves goes to Bohlander's former high school affected his recruiting? "Bryce's family talks to my family. Bryce's dad is the principal of the school. He finds out when I have a class and comes in and talks to me. I also talked to Bryce and he said how much he loves it at UCLA."

Groves said that his own parents are also pro-UCLA. "My mother is from Los Angeles. She's always pushed UCLA because she used to root for them when she lived in L.A. She also likes them for the education."

Education is also high on Groves' list, carrying a 3.4 GPA and having scored an 1140 on his SAT, for many different reasons. "I'm looking for a college where I can get a good education and end up playing some football. I'd like to become a high school history teacher, so I'll probably major in education. So, yeah, education is pretty important to me."

Groves said he plans on taking an unofficial visit to UCLA this summer. "I'll be down there the first week in August and I really want to see the campus," he said. Groves said he has a friend who goes to Washington and he'll also be visiting the Husky campus this summer, while he's already been to Oregon's campus a few times.

Would he think of committing early? "I would want to weight my options before deciding. It's a four or five-year commitment, it's four or five years of your life, so you really have to think about it." But Groves said he'd have no problem with redshirting. "As long as the coaches are honest with me. If they promise me I'll play the first year and then tell me to redshirt that wouldn't be good. But if they're honest about redshirting, I'm cool with that."

Groves is being recruited as both a linebacker and a fullback and said he wanted to make it clear that he truly didn't have a preference. "In another interview someone made me choose, so I said linebacker. But I actually like them both a lot. There are things I like about both of them. I'm being recruited for both, so whatever it is, whatever position I end up in, that's fine with me, as long as I can be on the field."

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