Wide Receiver Prospect Austin Usher

Considered one of the best wide receiver prospects in Southern California, Los Angeles (Calif.) Jefferson's <b>Austin Usher</b> said there are two colleges that are his early favorites...

Austin Usher, 6-3, 198, Los Angeles (Calif.) Jefferson, is one of the premier wide receiver prospects in the junior class in Southern California.

He told Don Hoekwater of GoBlueMagazine that UCLA and Oregon State have the early lead for him.

"My brother Whitfield is at Oregon State right now," Usher said. "Though that doesn't mean I'll go there. I've been to UCLA a couple of times and they are really close to home. Plus, they have the best situation for me playing time-wise right now."

Usher, who said he has a 2.8 GPA, expects UCLA and Oregon State to be the first to offer. "They said they would offer me after my SAT's," he said.

Usher also listed his early top five: ""Right now I like Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Michigan and Florida State," he said. "Those are the schools I would like to take my official visits to."

At the Nike Combine last spring is when Usher really showed he was an elite receiver prospect, running a 4.4 40 and a 4.19 20-yard shuttle. He caught 21 passes for about 600 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior. Jefferson head coach Doi Johnson told GoBlueWolverine: "We play in one of the toughest leagues in the State of California. There was one time against Dorsey when Austin ran back a kick-off and just got nailed. He was hit so hard I didn't think he would get up, but he bounced right back like nothing happened and played the next series. He's a tough kid. We don't throw a lot but he still averaged 27.1 yards-per-catch last season. He is very quick in his acceleration and his start and stop is instantaneous. At the Nike combine at USC he finished second in the 100 yard sprints."

While Johnson did have high praise for his talented receiver, he also noted that Usher has some room for improvement. "He runs high in his routes," Johnson said. "He makes a big target so we'll be working on having him setting his shoulder pads down."

Johnson said that Usher has played on the varsity football team since his sophomore year, exclusively at wide receiver, but there's a plan for that to change. "We're going to use him as a safety next season," Johnson said. "He is so talented we need to get him on the field so he can help us the most."

Usher is a multi-sport athlete, not only running track (100 meter sprint, relays), but starring on the Jefferson basketball team as well.

Usher said, even though he attended the Nike Camp last year, his spring and summer plans are up in the air for now. Jefferson begins its spring practices in May, after track season.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories