Phillip Rauscher, 6-3, 242, Carlsbad (Calif.) La Costa Canyon, said he's been doing some early research into the colleges he might want to attend.
Rauscher visited Arizona, Arizona State and San Diego State in the last several days during his spring break. He's been to USC's campus and Wednesday he spent the day at UCLA. He's been to UCLA's campus before on a few unofficial visits and attended Junior Day in February. Thursday he sat in on some linebacker meetings at UCLA before practice, and he said, "They were great. I really like linebacker coach Dove."
Rauscher thinks all of his early research might lead to something. "I think it's important that I get to know the schools and see if I feel comfortable there, especially if I want to commit fairly early," Rauscher said.
Rauscher said he's interested in UCLA, USC, most of the Pac-10, and Colorado.
He doesn't have an offer yet, mostly because Rauscher missed much of his junior season with a chipped bone in his neck, which he says is now 100% healed. But because he sat a big portion of his junior year, many college coaches want to see Rauscher more before offering. With his size (legit 6-3 and 240), if he performs well at the summer camps (he said he runs a 4.6 40), those offers could be coming quicker than he might think.
When asked if he'd commit early if he got the right offer, Rauscher said, "Yeah, I think I might." What would be the right offer? In other words, does he have a leader? "I don't really have a favorite right now," Rauscher said. But when pointed out that he was decked out in a UCLA hat and UCLA shirt, Rauscher smiled and said, "I really like UCLA."
Rauscher went on to say that it would be a difficult decision if he got offers from all of the schools that he's interested in. "They all compare pretty well," he said. "If I got offers from all of them it would be a hard decision."
Living in Southern California, Rauscher said that staying close to home would be a bit of a factor. "Staying close to home would be an advantage. My parents want me to stay close and stay in the Pac-10. But it doesn't really matter. I'll go where I have to."
Rauscher said he's looking for a program with "tradition, a winning history, a good education and a place that's going to help me in the future." He also said that feeling comfortable is a high priority. "You have to feel like you fit in, like you belong there. That's why I've been going on these unofficial visits, to see how I feel at the schools."
Rauscher said he has a 3.3 GPA and will take the SAT for the first time in May.