2009 DT Prospect Noel Beckles

The 6-2, 275-pound defensive tackle prospect from Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei, Noel Beckles, is getting some attention from Pac-10 programs, while he has some considerable connections to the UCLA program...

UCLA signed two players in 2007 from Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei, and it might find another for 2009.

Defensive tackle Noel Beckles (6-2, 275) is still waiting for his first scholarship offer, but a handful of schools, primarily in the Pac-10, have been showing interest in him.

"I'm hearing the most from Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Arizona State and Arizona," said Beckles. "And I'm also interested in UCLA, Stanford, USC, Cal, Ole Miss and Florida."

Beckles said five schools, including four from the Pac-10, make up his top five.

"My top five is UCLA, Washington, Arizona, Cal and Florida," said Beckles. "I'd say UCLA is the leader because they were the school I grew up rooting for. Arizona sent me my first letter and they're probably recruiting me the hardest."

Beckles was a part of Verbum Dei's CIF Championship squad in 2006 as a sophomore, a team that featured current Bruin freshman Akeem Ayers and Justin Edison.

"I was starting until I broke my ankle, but being around those guys, I got a feel for what it was like," Beckles said. "Every once in a while, Reggie (Dunn), Akeem or Justin will come by the school and it motivates me. I'd love to play with Justin and Akeem at UCLA. And my (assistant) Coach (Owen) Brown, his brother (Kevin Brown) played there and we all kind of looked up to him."

Beckles is hopeful that UCLA's interest in him will accelerate to the point that an offer could follow. "My coach said that Coach (Todd) Howard wants me to come up for some spring practices and they want to meet with me," said Beckles. "I hope they will offer. If I do make an early decision, it would be during mid-summer time. But I probably will wait to go through the whole recruiting process."

Beckles said several factors will be a part of his decision. "I'm looking at the football program and the coaching staff a lot, but I also want to know more about the engineering program, too," said Beckles. "My family is ok with me leaving the area so that is not a factor."

This spring, Beckles is planning to camp at the Scout.com Combine in Southern California as well as camps at UCLA and USC.

During his 2007 junior season, Beckles had 52 tackles, 13 for loss, five sacks and three fumble recoveries.

Academically, he has a 2.7 GPA and will take the SAT in May.

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