Elite Linebacker Considers UCLA

The #11-ranked outside linebacker in the nation, Brian Nance from Trinity, Texas, said that a recent development has made him give the Bruins a serious look...

Since having surgery on his ACL in March, Brian Nance, the 4-star Euless (TX) Trinity linebacker, has been hitting the training room twice a day, every day to rehab his way back onto the field for his senior season.

"It feels good, feeling strong again," said Brian Nance, rockin' the black knee brace, showing off some movement in his leg.

With the various exercises, lifts, running and resistance training the therapists have had him doing, Nance admits he actually feels stronger than he did before.

"Now I got to finish strong. Only a couple weeks left until I get to play again. I'm just staying positive."

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound linebacker reported he will be good to go for Game 1, August 26th. We could see him on both sides of the ball that game, too, as the coaching staff is wanting to utilize him a bit at receiver.

"We had a receiving drill last summer to see who all could catch," explained Nance. "They made you go deeper and deeper. Once you dropped it, you were out. It came down to me and Brandon (Carter). We were the last two. We were catching them, ball for ball. They started throwing defenders in there to make it harder, and we were still catching. They started zippin' em… and I dropped one."

"It deflected off the defender's shoulder and I tried to grab it. Brandon got lucky," he joked. "But the coaches thought, 'Wow, a linebacker that can do this. Let's try him out there.'"

Any college programs liking him there?

"I'm getting recruited mainly at linebacker, but if schools see me at receiver this year, who knows, maybe they'll like me there. We'll see," said Nance. "I'll play wherever they need me. If it's going to get me on the field right away, I'll play it."

As for where he sees himself 'playing wherever they need him,' Nance noted, "I'm pretty much narrowing it down to what schools show me the most interest."

"People are always like, 'Why aren't you going to Alabama? You're taking visits to Baylor?… It's about the way they treat me, if they make me feel at home."

Interest-shown is important to Nance, but accompanying that must be a warm, welcoming, family atmosphere. After all, that's what he's loved most about Trinity.

Growing up in a rough area of Buffalo, NY, and moving to Euless, Texas his freshman year, Nance said, "I remember moving here not knowing a soul. It was a new culture. It was different… but Coach Lineweaver and the team here at Trinity made me feel comfortable. I wasn't used to that. Trinity became a home to me. We're a family."

"That's what I'm looking for in college."

He discussed schools leading that race:

"Baylor coaches (Art Briles, Brian Norwood, Jim Gush) keep in touch with me all the time. Check in, see how I'm doing… Same with Nebraska (Bo Pelini), Arizona (Mike Stoops). Why not be interested in that school? I don't care where it's located, it's where I'm going to feel at home and get my education."

"The Arkansas head coach actually came to the school and shook my hand. He said, 'Hey, are you interested in Arkansas?' I said yes. He said, 'Act like it and come up there.'"

Nance laughed, "That's the stuff I like to hear… He took his time to come up here, so I'm definitely showing interest in Arkansas."

"Oklahoma's another one. Coach Venables was the first person I met. He actually came to recruit Jonathan Yenga last year. I remember he came up to me and thought I was Yenga... When I told him who I was, he invited me to camp. I got up there a couple wks later, and we've kept in touch ever since… I made a few visits up there last year with Brandon (Carter)."

With Trinity teammate Hiva Lutui committed to UCLA, and Polo Manukainiu seriously looking there, Nance has decided to give the Bruins a look, as well. In fact, he listed both UCLA and USC as schools he's interested in visiting this fall.

"I'd love to check out Cali," he smiled. "and I'll most likely be down to Baylor and up to OU."

Nance plans to narrow his list to four and announce his No. 1 at the Army All-American Bowl.

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