Prospect Has Early Leader

One of the best defensive prospects in the 2007 class in the Southland is Los Angeles Verbum Dei defensive end/linebacker Akeem Ayers, who has an early leader...

A high school that used to be a recruiting bastion for UCLA back in the day was Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei. Only it used to take place on the hardwood, as Kenny Fields, Roy Hamilton and David Greenwood all took their talents to Westwood while prepping with the Eagles.

Now, UCLA is recruiting at the school on the gridiron, with defensive end/linebacker Akeem Ayers (6-3, 215) the target for the Bruin staff.

"I'm hearing the most from UCLA and San Diego State," said Ayers. "UCLA is my leader, but I want to take some time and take my official trips."

Ayers was invited to UCLA's Junior Day and said he plans to attend that as well as the Scout.com Combine this spring.

The biggest question for Ayers will be what position he plays in college: defensive end or linebacker. "I will probably play linebacker in college because I have a hard time keeping the weight on for defensive end. I could grow into it, but it may take me a while and I want to play early," said Ayers, who said he was clocked at a 4.6 forty recently. "I think I'm built more for linebacker in college."

Aside from the Bruins and Aztecs, Ayers is hearing from Stanford, Florida State and Oregon.

Ayers is currently considered one of the top three defensive linemen in California in the Class of 2007 and is coming off a productive junior season, in which he had 87 tackles and 18 sacks. He also played tight end and scored three touchdowns. He was named to the All-CIF Division XI First Team Defense.

On a side note, his position coach at Verbum Dei is Owen Brown, the older brother of UCLA defensive tackle Kevin Brown. "Coach Brown doesn't really push UCLA on me or any of us, but he talks about it," said Ayers.

Academically, Ayers has a 2.9 GPA and has begun to take SAT prep classes.


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