Winston ready to make call

Jul. 6 -- Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic LB Lamar Winston is ready to make his college decision, and he says he's down to a top three, with UCLA in the mix along with Stanford and Oregon...

The Opening is the premier football camp of the year, bringing together the nation’s top talents from across the country to Beaverton (Ore.) and the Nike Campus for a three-day showcase. Despite it being an Oregon summer sports staple, the camp usually does not display a multitude of Oregon-based prospects, which elevates the profiles those who do garner an invite significantly.

This year, it will be Central Catholic’s Lamar Winston and Brady Breeze representing the in-state contingent. Winston spoke with eDuck about the opportunity to compete against the nation’s best on Sunday.

“I can’t be thankful enough to be considered as one of those top players,” he said. “To be able to compete and do it alongside my teammate Brady Breeze, I’m actually excited about it. We get to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity so I’m excited.”

After competing at The Opening regional camp in Eugene and earning his spot three weeks ago, Winston wants to show that he can hang with anybody at the camp. He said he’s been working on improving a couple aspects of his game in particular.

“Definitely physicality,” he said. “I’m trying to be more agile, be able to cover wide receivers at a more consistent rate. I don’t get this much talent in Oregon as I’m going to do at this camp, so I’m just trying to take as much out of this experience, especially competing against the best. I want to play well against the best.”

On Friday night, Winston will announce his college decision and will choose from three West Coast finalists: UCLA, Oregon and Stanford. Winston confirmed with eDuck he has his mind made up already and is waiting to publicly announce his decision later this week. With that in mind, he did break down what he likes about each of the three programs in anticipation of releasing his final pick.

With Stanford, Winston has been blown away with what they can offer him academically.

“The academics that Stanford provides their student athletes with are tremendous,” he said. “I honestly believe that’s one of the greatest things that Stanford can bring to the table as far as offering an athlete is that you’re going to get a lot out of Stanford. This is the national powerhouse academics-wise.

“Also, they’re not a bad football team at all. Finishing last year in the Pac-12 second behind Oregon was huge and then on top of that they’re getting a lot of new recruits that will contribute to the team in my class.”

Hometown Oregon provides Winston’s family with easy travel to see him play and he commented that he loves Eugene and how it provides a nice balance of city and seclusion. While the football program speaks for itself, he’s been impressed by the academic help they provide.

“I don’t talk much about Oregon football because I know that’s going to be a set done deal,” he said. “As proven in the last few years, Oregon is going to produce athletes and I know that they are going to be able to advance me athleticism-wise and stuff and I’m excited about that.

"But what really stuck out to me about Oregon was the academic support and what they have to bring towards my psychology degree. I talk to their linebackers coach about that and it’s been great to be able to know what they have to offer and how I’ll be helped, and how they don’t accept failure, and that they’ll be able to be there for me and I’ll be able to succeed in my goal, which is to get my psychology degree. And, on top of that, the relationships I feel with the coaches are just phenomenal.”

Like Oregon, UCLA has been keeping Winston heavily informed with how he can complete his psychology degree. Additionally, Winston has grown a strong bond with linebackers coach Scott White. That relationship has vaulted the Bruins into the running with the Cardinal and Ducks.

“He’s recruited me the absolute hardest out of any coach and I like that,” he said. “He’s gone out of his way to come up to Central (Catholic) and watch me lift and see me work out, come up to see me. We talk every day. He talks to my mom. He’s extremely consistent and I love that about Coach White because that’s what I want out of my coach. I need a great relationship because I’m going to be spending 3-4-5 years with this coach at this school and I need to know that I’ll have support, and I can be able to trust someone, and have my mom be able to trust someone and leave me with this coach and with this team. Coach White definitely provided us with that.

“Also, I love the linebacker scheme that Coach White has with Myles Jack and, I can’t remember the other linebacker’s name right now, but they were like the dynamic duo. I love what they do with those two and how I can see myself in that position as well.”


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