UCLA Will Make the Cut with Simpson

The 6-1, 195 running back from Pennsylvania, <b>Mikell Simpson</b> wants to start narrowing his list of potential schools, but he says he already knows UCLA will be on that narrowed, short list...

With 15 scholarship offers to his credit already, Harrisburg (Penn.) High running back Mikell Simpson (6-1, 195), is ready to trim his list down to 10 schools.

And one school sure to make the cut is UCLA. In fact, of the 15 schools he has offers from, Simpson said that UCLA is the only one he knows for sure he will visit officially.

"I definitely plan to take a trip to UCLA. I want to check out the campus, check out L.A. and see if the West Coast is the best fit for me. I don't have the date set yet, but I know UCLA is going to be a definite visit. I'm getting a lot of love from them," said Simpson.

The Bruins have offered Simpson, his lone offer from the West, to go along with official offers from Nebraska, North Carolina, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Louisville, Michigan State, Indiana, Boston College, West Virginia and Connecticut.

"All those schools who have offered are in my top 15. I'm also hearing from Minnesota, Purdue, Ohio State and Penn State. Those schools said they are wrapping up their recruiting boards, so I am just waiting, but they need to hurry," said Simpson. "I can't sit around and wait for the home schools (Penn State and Pittsburgh) just to make an offer. It's getting late."

Simpson is being recruited by UCLA defensive line coach Don Johnson, as well as running back coach Eric Bieniemy.

"They both are real cool guys. I like Coach Bieniemy a lot. He's young, he understands what I am going through, he went through this before so he knows what it's like. I have a lot of respect for him."

Smpson's family has no problem with him leaving the area, even if it's coming as far west as Los Angeles.

"They are leaving it up to me. They support me on whatever decision I make. I'm most likely leaving the state anyway, so it's no big deal to them if I go out West."

As a junior, Simpson rushed for 882 yards on 88 carries and scored 21 touchdowns. He had 23 catches for 520 yards, and as a defensive back, he had 57 tackles and five interceptions. In addition, he had 423 yards on ten kickoff returns with two taken back for scores, and 12 punt returns for 362 yards and a touchdown.

With Harrisburg set to start fall practice next week, Simpson said he plans to cut his list to 10 by then and will spend the season narrowing it to five, all of which he intends to visit. He doesn't expect to make a decision until Signing Day, or around then.

Simpson has a 2.8 GPA and just retook the SAT this weekend.

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