It's Academic for Wallerstein

The 6-4, 272-pounder from Canyon Country (Calif.) Canyon, A.J. Wallerstein, is considered one of the most promising interior offensive linemen in the state. A very good student, he talked to us about how academics are a big part of his decision, and which schools lead...

One of the top offensive inside linemen in the state in the class of 2007 is Canyon Country (Calif.) Canyon guard A.J. Wallerstein (6-4, 272).

An all-state underclass pick as a junior, Wallerstein was one of the chief reasons BYU-signee J.J. DiLuigi rushed for nearly 4,000 yards the past two years.

Wallerstein has started the past 29 games for the Cowboys at left guard, coinciding with consecutive CIF-SS titles and this past season's Division I state title.

Now, schools are beginning to find their way to Canyon and showing a great deal of interest in him. "Some schools have hinted that they were close to offering and some have hinted that I am high on their list but no one has offered yet," said Wallerstein. "I've been hearing the most from Stanford, UCLA, Ohio State, Oregon and a lot from the Ivy Leagues."

Wallerstein is an excellent student, holding a 4.2 GPA and scoring a 1970 on the new SAT, so it stands to reason that academics play a huge role in his decision. "Stanford is my favorite and UCLA is up there, too, as well as the Ivy Leagues," said Wallerstein. "Academics are really important for me."

In fact, Wallerstein said that if Stanford offered him, they would likely be netting themselves a commitment. "For me, if Stanford offered, I'd commit," said Wallerstein. "If not right away, then not too long after."

Wallerstein attended Stanford's Junior Day a week ago, and raved about his experience. "There didn't seem to be many prospects, only about 20 of them, but it was great," said Wallerstein. "All the coaches seemed real personable and energetic and all were really nice. I talked with Coach Dalman and Coach Harbaugh quite a bit. I really like Coach Harbaugh, he's energetic and personable."

Wallerstein said he's also very serious about UCLA, having gone to Junior Day as well as spring practice last week. "UCLA is close to home and has a good education, too," said Wallerstein.

Strictly an inside lineman, Wallerstein said most schools want to keep him at his natural position of guard instead of moving him to center. "As far as I know, most schools are looking at me as a guard," said Wallerstein. "I like to think I can pass block but we didn't throw much. I do like to run block. Running the ball, you have to move your feet well, especially blocking the linebackers and defensive backs. My strength as a lineman is in moving my feet and getting in front of the linebacker." Wallerstein said he was trying to get to 285 by the time the Cowboys kick off the 2007 season and that he's working on lowering his forty time of 5.3.

He will keep himself busy this spring and summer. "I'll be at the Combine this month and the Nike Camp in May at Stanford," said Wallerstein, who also attended the U.S. Army Combine in January.

Coming off the D-I state title, Wallerstein said he's looking forward to the 2007 season, where the Cowboys will go for their third straight section title. "I think we have a bunch of good juniors taking the spots of seniors," said Wallerstein. "We play Notre Dame, St. Bonaventure and Crespi and Palmdale. There is no backing down from anyone.

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